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Thread: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

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    Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Hey Gang

    Well the pool is up and we have been using it a lot. I have a local pool store that is very close (reputable), and they water test for free, as well as store results, and give you a print out of levels, and suggestions. (Free service)

    In this instance how necessary is a kit for me? It is on the way to work and I can have the water tested weekly, is it worth the expense of a test kit, in my case?

    I can still use the BBB method, because they provide all the results for the test items, and I could add chemicals as needed.

    This last trip my pH was high (8.7), added a gallon of muratic acid, CH was very low (40), added 10lbs of calcium chloride dihydrate, salt was ok (3000ppm - I am getting about 100ppm increase per 40lb bag) settings for my SWG recommend 2700-3400ppm, FC was low (0.8), added 2 packages of shock, CYA was good at 74ppm, TA was good at 98ppm. I added this Friday and Saturday, so I figure by Wed I should be able to get another sample check to see where my levels are at. I think my chlorine may have been a little low because of the salt PPM - I would like to have it around 3200ppm.
    27'x54" Matrix Resin - 200lb Pentair sand filter - 1.5hp Pentair optiflow 2 speed pump - Aquatrol SWG - Gorilla Pad

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Yes, it is still worth getting a test kit. The odds are good that their test results are significantly wrong at least some of the time, and even if they happen to be perfect there are times when you need to test several times a day for a little while or do a test last thing in the evening and also first thing in the morning, which is somewhere between tedious and impossible to do at a store (depending on their hours).

    In your particular situation making large PH changes based on a single test result is dangerous, as it is way too easy to overshoot or undershoot your desired PH and extreme PH levels can cause damage. You really need to follow up with another PH test to make sure you ended up in the right range.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    The pH adjustment was after 3 water sample tests. We are having some friends over this weekend, so I was going to take another sample of Wed and see where it is. I should have changed the subject - the pool right now is very clean and clear with what I have done so far, I do agree that if something ever happened where it had to be tested more than once a day a kit would be good to have on hand.
    27'x54" Matrix Resin - 200lb Pentair sand filter - 1.5hp Pentair optiflow 2 speed pump - Aquatrol SWG - Gorilla Pad

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    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Swanny297, looks like you just bought a new pool. You should use Jason's recommendation and buy a kit. You mention testing only once a week at the top of the post then you mention testing everyday at the bottom. In reality you have to test every two to three days using BBB (once you get used to your pool) with a reliable test kit. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for large swings in chemicals which is not what we endorse here. Do yourself a favor and get a good test kit (TF100 or K-2006) and learn how to test yourself. The vast majority of people on this website do there own testing and change there chemicals based on the test result they receive. If you do this testing every couple of days you will have Trouble Free pool water.
    Carlos
    Pool: 28,000 gallons IG; IC 40 SWG; Pentair 120 gpm cartridge filter; Marble finish; Pentair Wisperflow 1.5 hp; Polaris 360
    Spa: 350 gallon; Bromine
    How to shock your pool

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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    My pool is pretty small compared to most here.
    But now having my own TF-100 kit, I wouldn't never NOT have one now, my test kit is the best tool in my toolbox, it can address any water problems I will have. (I have the salt and borate tests too)
    I would call it a really nice comfortable feeling just to KNOW I'm in control, not the pool store!
    Best $$ I've spent along with the upgrade to a better filter system.
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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    If I didn't have a test kit worth testing with I would not even bother owning a pool. And my pool is a lowly Intex with crummy filtration. If I couldn't test the results after adding chemicals to verify they do what I want them to do to the pool I wouldn't want to add anything to it.

    The pool store version of adjusting chemicals seems to be in the pound range for every pool. They guess at quantities, and everyone is told to add things a pound at a time. Around here, we calculate precise additions based on NOW test results with the pool calculator. And when we add things, we test to make sure whatever has been added did the trick. Without a kit, one is throwing chemicals at the pool blindly and very poor results can occur.

    It's your pool, we can't make you do anything you don't want to. All we can say is based on our own experiences, a test kit is essential if you want your pool to be clear, sanitized, and sparkling with little effort on your part. We can help you attain this but without a kit, we're as blind as you are even with pool store results because they are so often wrong. If you read enough threads where people describe pool store results they're all over the place, and hardly ever consistent even a day later. Some members have gone to multiple pool stores to get results on the same sample, and every store has a different result. Pool store results are always taken with some suspicion around here because once the pool owner starts testing on their own they so very often post back here all kinds of ticked off at the pool store for giving them such bad results all along.

    This is why you won't get anyone posting saying that sure go ahead and trust the pool store. No one has much history with trust-able results, we simply can not say it will work for the purpose intended (clean, clear, sparkling pool). We do however know what does work, and we test our pools ourselves to make it happen.
    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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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Buy a kit and learn water quality management yourself, don't rely on others (even if free) for what you can do yourself, plus, properly managed water requires regular testing and I doubt you plan to run down to you the pool store every couple of days.
    I personally don't find managing the water that big of a job, once you understand the basics and get your water at par the chemical maintenance isn't that much work. I came at this as a noob and after +-6 tests I was already understanding the process, after 1 summer I have the tests memorized and can usually predict the levels, not trying to boast, it's just confirmation that the process is within your ability.

    If your pool store is a quality store then I personally would just rely on them if a problem materializes.
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  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Thanks for all the replies, I ordered a TF test kit yesterday. My degree is in water resource engineering so I am very familiar with potable water testing, not so much pool water (techniques are similar tests are different). I took my third sample this morning to the pool store (don't have the kit yet and we are having a good pool load this weekend), during my last trip my FC was 0.34, and my pH was high 8.6 - I added 2 packs of shock and a gallon of muriatic acid last Friday - today results were much better:

    CYA - 86
    FC - 2.3
    pH - 8.1
    TA - 150
    Adjusted TA - 124
    Hardness - 78
    Sat. Index - 0.4
    Salt - 3100ppm

    Recommendations on print out from water sample were - Add 3pts (48oz) Muriatic acid to reduce pH, which will also help reduce Sat. Index, add 5lbs calcium to raise hardness (which I understand from reading different threads this isn't critical in a vinyl pool).

    cramar - pool store is very reputable, they give you new sample bottles each visit, and for above ground pools ask that you measure the water depth when you take the sample so they have a current water volume so your chemical additions quantities are fairly accurate.

    Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks again for the feedback on the test kit - I should have it by Thursday so I can start testing myself.

    Clint
    27'x54" Matrix Resin - 200lb Pentair sand filter - 1.5hp Pentair optiflow 2 speed pump - Aquatrol SWG - Gorilla Pad

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Your hardness is just fine for a vinyl pool with SWG. Leave that alone.

    Yes on the muriatic acid. Ph is far too high. But I'd plug your values into the pool calculator to verify the dosage the pool store listed before you add the acid. You can also do a reverse calculation by using the pool calculator's "Effects of adding chemicals" section at the very bottom to see what 48oz of acid will do to your pool. If high pH is an issue, you want to know how low that 48oz of acid will take the pH. If that ammount will only lower it to 7.8 or 7.6 you'll want to adjust that so you can take the pH lower (7.2-7.4) which will allow you more time between now and the next acid addition. Calcium saturation index doesn't apply to your pool, so ignore that.
    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.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Here's what's confusing about the calculators - when I do the numbers in the pH section going from 8.1-7.3 (0.8) it tells me to add 41oz, but than when I put 41oz in the reverse calculation it says it only lowers the pH .58.........
    27'x54" Matrix Resin - 200lb Pentair sand filter - 1.5hp Pentair optiflow 2 speed pump - Aquatrol SWG - Gorilla Pad

  11. Back To Top    #11
    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    Quote Originally Posted by swanny297
    Here's what's confusing about the calculators - when I do the numbers in the pH section going from 8.1-7.3 (0.8) it tells me to add 41oz, but than when I put 41oz in the reverse calculation it says it only lowers the pH .58.........
    The reverse calculation at the bottom is just an approximation (read the note below where you enter the numbers). Your TA being high and your swing being greater than .4 is going to cause some error. At any rate, the difference is not that big a deal. Use the numbers that you got at the top and use that. Then check your values again by testing and adjust again as necessary. As you get used to your pool all this will seem trivial.
    Carlos
    Pool: 28,000 gallons IG; IC 40 SWG; Pentair 120 gpm cartridge filter; Marble finish; Pentair Wisperflow 1.5 hp; Polaris 360
    Spa: 350 gallon; Bromine
    How to shock your pool

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    Re: Pool Clarity - BBB Question

    I say the test kit is defintely worth it. That way you dont have to rely on the pool store say they are busy one day or something. And 2nd you dont have to worry about stopping at the pool store and wondering if your test results are accurate. When you have your own test kit you know you are getting accurate results.
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