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Thread: First year using BBB and need advice.

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    First year using BBB and need advice.

    New to BBB method and this is what I have. I uncovered my pool to water that was semi cloudy and I added 12 pounds of shock (sodium dichlor) and put cover back on. I ran pump for 1 week with cover on. Used solid cover. No visible algea when I re-opened pool but water was very cloudy. Considerable scaling in pool walls which I scraped off already while in pool. Used a spakling knife to scrape it off, and it came off fairly easy. Definitely added some calcium to the water making it even more cloudy.

    Went to pool store and had water tested. After many gallons of muriatic acid and using aeration ( used my spa blower to raise ph) I am at this point. Here are my numbers as of a few minutes ago.

    FC = 1
    tc = 3.5
    ph = 7.2 (still recovering from acid last night)
    ta = 180 ( was 230 at pool store 5 days ago before using acid)
    ch = 330
    CYA pool store said 30.

    Last year the pool center said my cYA was about 100 and it caused me to use tremendous amounts of pucks to get the chlorine levels where they should be. This year I am not using pucks, but have been using 6% bleach that I purchased at Walmart. I am having a problem performing the CYA test. I add water, add solution, mix for 30 seconds, and when I pour it in the tube, it takes a full tube and I can still barely see the black circle. If i read this correctly, then my CYA is over 90, and the pool store gave me a faulty number a few days ago, because I did not shock or use pucks since they tested my CYA.
    My pool is still cloudy and I use fiber clear and have backwashed 2 times since the weekend. My chlorine level does seem to be holding overnight, so I believe I have no organics in water, but I don't ever remember it taking more than 2 days to totally clear up water. Any idea where in the heck all the calcium came from that caused scaling? DI I do wrong by adding shock, and then recovering and running pump for 1 week? The water is 6 years old, and we get alot of rain so i add water many times throughout the season. I do realize that for the first 3-4 seasons, I opened the pool, ran the pump for a day or 2 and had crystal clear water. You think I need a water drain or partial drain?
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    If you fill the tube and still see the dot (and if you are doing the test correctly) your CYA is at or near zero. You should see the circle when you start filling, then when you can't see it any longer that's when you stop and get your CYA level.

    My understanding is that high TA can cause scaling. I lowered my TA and went with borates and my scaling went completely away.

    With FC of 1 and TC of 3.5, it's time for you to go through the shock process. You may be holding chlorine, but you fail the second part of the shock process in that your CC has to be .5 or less.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Your high TA level is making you more prone to scaling. You need to either keep the PH fairly low, or lower TA, or both.

    CC=TC-FC, so CC is around 2.5. Any time CC is above 0.5 you need to shock the pool. Shocking works a lot better if you do not cover the pool. The pool needs to breathe a little, especially when you are shocking.

    You should also double check that your filter is working correctly, you have it set to filter, and the pressure should be going up slowly. Have you backwashed/cleaned the filter recently?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    If you fill the tube and still see the dot (and if you are doing the test correctly) your CYA is at or near zero. You should see the circle when you start filling, then when you can't see it any longer that's when you stop and get your CYA level.

    My understanding is that high TA can cause scaling. I lowered my TA and went with borates and my scaling went completely away.

    With FC of 1 and TC of 3.5, it's time for you to go through the shock process. You may be holding chlorine, but you fail the second part of the shock process in that your CC has to be .5 or less.
    I thought that if you fill the tube and see the dot, your cya level was high, not near zero. Please clarify. I am looking straight down into the tube and see the bottom black decal on the bottom. When I fill it, I can still see it and eventually have the tube filled and still see it. Does that mean I'm at zero or at the high level on the tube?
    The tube has 3 markings on the outside. 1.8, 4.5 and 9 at the top. How do I read the CYA levels based on these markings?
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    The sooner the dot disappears, the higher your CYA level. If you can fill the tube and the dot is still visible then CYA is zero.

    If you look around the various sides of the tube you will see another set of markings that go by 10s with 100 near the bottom of the tube and either 20 or 30 at the top of the tube. The marks for the CYA test are not uniformly spread out, the higher numbers are crowded together near the bottom.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The sooner the dot disappears, the higher your CYA level. If you can fill the tube and the dot is still visible then CYA is zero.

    If you look around the various sides of the tube you will see another set of markings that go by 10s with 100 near the bottom of the tube and either 20 or 30 at the top of the tube. The marks for the CYA test are not uniformly spread out, the higher numbers are crowded together near the bottom.
    Wow. I had it backwards. SO if I fill the tube and can just about see it when it is full, my CYA is close to zero. I got it. I'll use my remaining 12 1 pound bags of dichlor shock I had since my CYA is low, and the stabilizer in them will help. If after using those, my CYA is not at least 30, I need to purchase stabilizer right?

    I have a large jug ( 45 pounds I think) of the 3 inch tablets (trichlor 80%) I purchased before I found this forum. If I get through the shocking process ok, do you think I should chlorinate with the pucks until they are gone or the CYA level is correct?


    I'll wait another hour to retest. Went and bought 30 more 1.44 gallons each 6% clorox at Sams Club. They have the 34 pack of these for $7.45. That's the second time I was there buying that much. They looked at me funny this time.

    My pool went from a cloudy slight greenish tint to a cloudy emerald blue tint since this morning. I am feeling better about things now.
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    You can chlorinate with the pucks if your shock doesn't get your CYA too high. Or you can shoot on the low side of the CYA scale and use your pucks in floaters for when you will be out of town for a while.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Time for some sleep. Keeping my fingers crossed and my levels hold tonight.
    I realize now that I haven't had a blue clear pool in a couple years. Last year I went through boxes of shock and barrels of pucks, and couldn't figure out why my free chlorine levels were nil, and my pool always had a dull cloudy slight green tint to it. I convinced myself it was from the reflection of the trees nearby! That sure is denial.

    I never appropriately shocked and killed all the organic matter, and because I kept shocking in too small amounts, my cya went sky high and it caused me to use more pucks.

    Has there ever been a class action suit against the pool stores such as leslies, because it is obvious to me that they set you up for failure, knowing that you will buy much more in the way of chemicals to constantly adjust ph and constantly shock to no avail because the cya levels are too high.

    Just doesn't seem right. I guess that is capitalism!
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankintx
    Has there ever been a class action suit against the pool stores such as leslies, because it is obvious to me that they set you up for failure, knowing that you will buy much more in the way of chemicals to constantly adjust ph and constantly shock to no avail because the cya levels are too high.

    Just doesn't seem right. I guess that is capitalism!
    Leslie's is just repeating what the manufacturer's reps and sales folks from the manufacturers tell them. Same is true for most pool stores. If you want to blame anyone for the intentional withholding of materially important information consumers need to know to make informed purchased decisions (aka fraud), then it would be the manufacturers of stabilized chlorine products and even Cal-Hypo manufacturers. None of them disclose the following chemical facts that are independent of concentration of product and of pool size:

    For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by at least 7 ppm.

    The stabilized chlorine manufacturers also claim that CYA is no problem with regards to algae. Nevertheless, they are labeling their products according to FIFRA rules and they do disclose the ingredients. You just have to know enough chemistry to figure out the side effects of those ingredients; there is no law requiring them to make such disclosures.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Ok. SO a day later and here is what I have.

    I woke up this morning and the chloring numbers were

    FC 4
    tc 5
    cya 30
    ph 7.0

    ta 120

    The pool looked bluer than yesterday but still cloudy. I brushed the pool, vacumed it, backwashed and thoroughly cleaned the DE filter and rechartged with fiber clear.
    As the day went on, the blue look dissappeared and the very slight greenish tint came back. AT 6pm my fc was 2. Over the last 2 days I have added 77 total gallons of 6% pure bleach, along with 12 1 pound packs of granular shock and I just now added 10 gallons of 12.5% which I purchased this morning. Did I make a mistake not putting it in right away this morning when I knew my cc was greater than .5?

    Is it possible to use this many gallons to clear a pool that only looked cloudy with a very slight greenish tint to it?
    I haver never heard of anyone using this much chlorine in a pool. I will test in 1 hour to see the numbers to see if they hold through the night.

    I have spent more on bleach than I would have spent for water if I drained the pool and refilled it. I am starting to think that I should have done that, but I hope someone can shed somer light on my problem.

    If it does sometimes take a hundred gallons or more, I won't feel so bad. Just want to make sure that my situation is not unique.
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    You aren't using nearly enough chlorine. You need to be shocking the pool, which means maintaining the FC level at shock level. You still have CC, which requires shocking, and you are letting FC get too low, which is allowing algae to start, which also requires shocking. Read the article in Pool School on how to shock your pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You aren't using nearly enough chlorine. You need to be shocking the pool, which means maintaining the FC level at shock level. You still have CC, which requires shocking, and you are letting FC get too low, which is allowing algae to start, which also requires shocking. Read the article in Pool School on how to shock your pool.
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Had a CYA test done correctly today and it was at 115. No wonder I can't hold any free chlorine.
    Pool was drained today and is now refilling. Hopefully I can start fresh with the BBB method and hopefully I will never have to add pool store chemicals that eventually foul up my water with too much CYA.

    Oh...and my phosphate levels were 750, which was very high as well. I figure the $250 I will spend refilling my pool is far less than the $$$ I will spend in chemicals trying to get it right.
    I just wish I hadn't already spent $600 in chlorine and chemicals over the last week.

    Live and learn I guess. I learned the hard way. Onward........
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Don't let the pool store fool you into thinking you need chemicals for phosphate. I'll let one of the experts chime in, but from what I have been reading it is a non-issue.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    Don't let the pool store fool you into thinking you need chemicals for phosphate. I'll let one of the experts chime in, but from what I have been reading it is a non-issue.

    I didnt buy any from them. They did try to sell me some but I don't buy anything from them anymore. I will need some stabilizer though when the pool is full because I use liquid chlorine .
    I hate the thought of buying from them.
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Just want to make sure that my situation is not unique.
    This is a VERY common concern for newbies and probably ought to be in a post of it's own. The long story made very short is virtually NO ONE's situation is unique....water is water.

    All water is crystal clear and sparkling so all we have to do is get the junk out of the water that's keeping it from being crystal clear and.....voila!

    OP's pool in this thread and everyone else's pool contains that same crystal clear water....we all simply have to find out what's in it and then understand the best way to remove that stuff and we will have a clear pool.

    All the principles of BBB apply to all pools and they will all have the same effect......success!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Just an update since I drained my pool and refilled it.. I had to add about 40 lbs calcium up, some borax for ph, some baking soda for alkalinity, and 2 gallong liquid stabilizer conditioner whatever for cya levels because they were at zero after refilling pool.

    As of today here are my numbers;

    FC = 4.2 (added liquid this morning and not sunny at all today
    cc = .2
    ph = 7.8 ( may add a bit of liquid muriatic acid to reduce to 7.6)
    ta = 110
    ch = 250
    cya = 35

    I am thrilled with the advice I received on this forum and will recommend it to all. getting the proper test kit also greatly helped me. I will never use Sam's Club dichlor shock again, and since I refilled the pool, I have been using pucks and liquid chlorine to maintain fc levels and to add cya , and now that my cya is at 35, I will no longer use pucks except while I am on vacation.
    I spent about $1000 in chemicals this season and spent most of it before draining the pool. Knowledge is power, and this forum supplies knowledge.
    The pool looks great and now only requires about a bit over a gallon of liquid 6% clorox to keep levels where they need to be. That is far far less than what I put in it all of last season. I still can't believe my pool is actually blue and doesn't have a turquoise tint to it like it had for the past couple oif years.

    Thanks again all.
    34000 inground gunite / plaster pool 6 years old with spa. De filter system using fiber clear.

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    Re: First year using BBB and need advice.

    Those numbers look great and your plan sounds perfect!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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