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Thread: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

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    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Central NJ
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    Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    This is probably my 4th or 5th post on this board. A couple of years ago (2009) I came onto this board totally unschooled, crying about an algae problem, having poured a bunch of $$ and pool store c**p (dichlor, and some copper ) into the pool with little results. Not quite a worst-case scenario, but still pretty bad: impossibly high CYA, some copper, and nothing to show for it but a green pool. After reading this site and asking a few questions, I purchased a real test kit, managed to drain/refill 1/3 of the water in the pool and get it into swimmable condition, but didn't have a real clean go at the BBB method that summer.

    FF to 2010: Open the pool to its typical green murky appearance (safety mesh cover), CYA is <20 if that (whew). Start fresh with the BBB method - used all liquid chlorine at the start, banished dichlor from my vocabulary. OK, still had some trichlor pucks I used but with a very low starting CYA level (and a pool that is in the shade 60% of the time), I made judicious use of these and the CYA never got over 30 during the summer. Still made some mistakes along the way ... BUT lo and behold, the water cleared faster than it ever did, AND the dreaded late-season algae bloom never happened last summer. (Hmm. Once you learn about proper pool chemistry, it's amazing how some problems you just assumed were part of the territory are not necessarily so.)

    2011: I've got this down now. Finally found where to get the big 5-gallon jugs of liquid chlorine; armed with a couple of these and a couple of boxes of washing soda, I first test the pH/TA/CYA of the murky green swamp, adjust the pH/TA with the washing soda, start scooping leaves/gunk, pour in enough chlorine at sunset to overshoot shock level a bit, and monitor the pool the next day or 2 to maintain chlorine at slightly higher than shock level. Pool clears in about 3 or 4 days - and given that it's a 36K gallon pool or so, that's saying something. Return the empty 5-gallon containers and use the deposit to buy a box of 4 gallon jugs of liquid chlorine for maintenance. Run the robotic pool cleaner once the chlorine drops below shock level. Two mins or so every morning to test the water, as they tell you to around here.

    2009 cost to get the pool swimmable: somewhere north of $300, lots of time and heartache.
    2011 cost to get the pool swimmable with BBB: about $40, less than a week. Wish I had taken before/after pics.

    Now I have on hand: a few pucks to bring up the CYA a bit, a box of mule-team borax to tweak the pH as needed (tends to drift down with the pucks, but not much), and a 3-jug carton Clorox beach that I pick up every week or 2 on my Costco run. TA is fine and I have baking soda on hand from last year should I need it.

    I know I'm just offering up "me too" testimony in the church of BBB, but I'm here to say that BBB works, it's inexpensive, and it's dead simple. End of story.

    (OK, I do have to go to the pool store to get the 5-gallon jugs of chlorine, and return the empty jugs for my deposit. And maybe a new leaf rake next year. But that's IT.)

    Thanks to everyone for helping me see the light.

    (no longer such a)
    pooldummy
    36K gallon IG pool, vinyl liner
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward heat pump heater

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    4 or 5 posts on the forum in 2 to 3 years indicates that you did your reading and you had good retention.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    So glad you finally decided to make the full swing to BBB. It's great.. you won't go back! I think you know that already.

    It's fine that you left a lengthy note of testimony... helps others see that it really works and hopefully helps them jump in and avoid the headaches. It's also good for those of us that have been doing it to see it make a difference for someone... that keep us around!
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Southern NH
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    Good job, BBB is painless and works great. I followed someone's suggestion here about shocking before the winter cover goes on and this year my pool water was clear with still some chlorine showing up on the tester. Better yet 0 organics. Quick shock just in case and a vacuuming, clear as can be. Love my Intex SWG also.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    Thanks for the testimonial. I don't have my pool yet and have been *almost* pool stored a couple of times. I almost jumped ship on this bbb method cause it seemed too complicated...guess not.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
    Dynamo 1hp 2 speed pump, 199k Rheem milivolt heater
    Pool rover jr. - our best friend!
    Tf-100 plus borate strips and Taylor k1000.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    Any method seems complicated before you get familiar with it. Once you get working on things you will soon realize what needs to be done. I switched in the beginning of this season, which for me was roughly a month ago. I can't believe I ever used the pool store's advice or trichlor, luckily it was only one year!

    BBB is very easy with a good test kit.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    dorpo75's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    I'll chime in and say that I, too, was pool stored the first year we owned our pool. Had the dreaded "algaebreakout" and impossibly high CYA and thought we would NEVER clear it up. We finally did then one of my friends turned me on to this site and I have never looked back. Our water is absolutely the most sparkly in the neighborhood and it feels like silk with the added salt (a little trick I learned here). I also purchased the TF100 and LOVE to play jr. scientist and test my water almost daily. My husband at first thought I was nuts, but he has become a believer in the "church of BBB" and now brags about how well the pool is maintained.
    To this I say "Thank you TFP. I couldn't have done it without you".
    Amen.
    2005 Dimension One Venture model 370 gal. hot tub. We'll be using the TFP method to keep it clean and ready to use!
    TFP - The Finest Phorum on the Net!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Guest

    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    I am right where you are in the BBB journey. 2 1/2 years of pool store swamp and <$500/year trying to clear it up at the beginning of the year.

    I found TFP, read incessantly, bought the correct test kit, worked diligently, and believed. Last year I bought a cover to keep winter garbage out of my pool and opened my pool this year for the first time with clean water and little debris.

    The day after removing my cover I fell and sprained my knee. I had the kids shock the pool while recovering and broke out the test kit 2 weeks later. Tested water, added CYA to bring it up to 30, and shocked the water again when I got a quick algae bloom.

    Last night I was able to vacuum the pool and brought the kids out to look at the pool. Crystal clear, sparkling, refreshing, beautiful water. And only the second week of June in MI. In years past I would slave for weeks to get the leaves and debris out of the pool and the water to some semblance of clear, If the pool was presentable by the 4th of July, I would celebrate. I would celebrate more if I could keep it under $150 to open (as suggested by the local pool stores with their opening kits). If I add it up right, I did it all for $54 ($30 for CYA) on a bum leg. And my daughter is now testing every night as she sees the GREAT results and wants to have the beautiful water all year long. By the way, I shocked the pool for $9 three days ago and my FC level is still above 5. Pool chemistry is a wonderful thing to understand and use.

    Thanks TFP and friends!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple



    Now I'm thinking a thread full of testimonials might make a good sticky.

    Naw, what am I thinking? Hardly anyone reads the stickies before posting!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Austin, TX
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    OK, I can jump in on this too. You can see my post count also is low. 3 years ago we had just bought a house with a pool and I was lost and the pool stores all had different readings and different advice. Found this site, got the TF-100, realized my CYA was off the charts... dealt with it that year by draining / refilling some.. immediately switch to a Liquidator.. and the rest is history. After the first year I got the CYA down and was able to bring the pool numbers into the right 'range' (had to run high FC content the first year with the CYA...) and havent looked back. My wife and relatives marvel " I never see you slaving over the pool, and it always is crystal clear". I have a supply of 20 mule team, muriatic acid, some baking soda, stabilizer, and every 2 weeks I pick up the 3 pack of Clorox from Costco. I haven't had to shock the pool besides the initial openings since I started BBB, and to date I haven't had any algae or any other problems (knocks on wood). Great site, great advice, great results...
    32x16 in-ground vinyl
    18,000 gallons
    Sand Filter, 1.5 hp
    One skimmer, main drain feed, 3 returns
    Auto Chlorinator (pucks,not in use)
    Using The Liquidator
    Austin, TX

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Now I'm thinking a thread full of testimonials might make a good sticky.
    You mean like this topic?
    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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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    I would appreciate some more stickies in this forum. I am on year 2, and just got my posts up to be a registered user this year. Last year was all about learning, this year I feel compelled to help now and again but I'm still reading and learning and occasionally there's something that's said over and over again by you awesome experts that it seems like some more basic stickies in each sub-forum could really be helpful. Some people don't read them, but lots of us out here would rather read stickies at first than bother to post. I'm a searcher myself, I'll read everything I can find before I post a question that seems like it has to have been answered before.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    aa62579's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Re: Year 3 of BBB - cheap, simple

    I think being in a rural area without a pool store actually helped me out. While waiting for our pool to ship, I headed online to figure out what chemicals I would need and the cheapest place to buy them. One of my search terms got me to a different pool forum board where they talked about BBB. More searches on the BBB method led me here. I preferred the layout and feel of this message board more, so here I have stayed. Lucked out and had my test kit and CYA delivered the day before the pool came in, so I have been able to do BBB right from the start! DH is continually amazed at how great our water looks and now all we use is bleach and muriatic acid.
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
    BBB FOR BEGINNERS ~ THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE OVERWHELMED!!

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