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Thread: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

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    new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Hello BBB'ers!
    I am new to the forum, but have been reading/learning for a couple months. I switched to BBB this season (4/15 opening) and love it so far.

    I have a 20x40 (33K gall) in-ground gunite (plaster?) with a sand filter. It's located in central North Carolina and I get direct sun/full sun on it roughly 4 hrs/day. This pool is "super old" (80's style) and I'm sure the water is too...7 years ago it was on Baquacil, then we got it and changed to di-chlors and tri-chlors which we've been using for years, unknowning how it affected CYA)
    We have been struggling for the past for years with super high CYA levels (up to 150 last season!) and couldn't figure why we had to keep adding so much Chlorine just to get a 1-3 reading, not to mention how fast algae would grow and the 'circular refernce' of shock/ ph adj/vaccum to waste/pump running continuously, repeat! After doing mad research before opening this season, now I know why we struggled! I cant afford to replace 52% of my water, so I'm trying to keep my chlorine levels up high to compensate til the CYA (eventually over lots of time/displacement goes down).

    I have been using basic strips to monitor TC/FC and Ph. (I have only had to adjust Ph 2x since April, yay) But, Did a k-2005 test today to check a few things. the chlorine reading doesn't go high enough on this test and i didn't trust myself on the CH levels, as I don't use this kit often, yes, I know i should more now! so, I took to my local store to get tested. (turns out the CH was correct my test vs. thiers..yay, but boo).
    I realized (hopefully not too late) I haven't been paying attention to my CH level and have a questions. Here are the results I got from store:

    Temp: 72
    TC: 8.5*
    FC: 7.1*
    Ph: 7.5
    TA: 105 (i thought I got an 80 or 90 on my K-2005 test..) hope this TA level is OK
    Total Hardness: (i assume this is the same as CH): 74!!!!!
    I also got a saturation index of -0.7. not sure if this is same as CSI?

    *re: chlorine.. I need to get this up a bit more today.. I know!

    Anywho- they wanted some $155 for 57# (matches what pool calculator calls for) of cal. chloride to bring my CH level up. I have a few questions re: CH
    1. is there a better/cheaper place to get this?
    2. Do you suggest all at once or a bit at a time?
    3.Will it affect any of my other levels?

    I also have a question re: PhosFree. Last year we did a lot of research on phosphates. Some (not so) wise soul decided to put this pool in the "forest" near a lake, so...I have lots of "nature" around,(ie- trees), including ducks, who like to poo in there semi-regularly (i try to keep up with it and scare 'em away as much as possible). anyway, last year we did a couple PhosFree treatments and it seemed to help. My question is, would it behoove me to do a PhosFree treatment while using the BBB method? would it help or hinder do you think?

    Any advice on my CH questions and PhosFree question, or anything else you see fit to throw in would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    RE: my TA per my pool store test mentioned above:

    Total Alkalinity: 104
    Adjusted TA= 74

    My k-2005 test read about an 80..which do I go by?

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Ugh! I forgot to add my current CYA level.. it is 104. Sorry!!

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Welcome to tfp, Junyper

    First, the test kit you got is decent, but missing the very important FAS-DPD FC test that will allow you to test up to 50 ppm FC. You can purchase that test separately, but will probably have to do it online. Tftestkits.net has it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    My k-2005 test read about an 80..which do I go by?
    We always suggest trusting your numbers over the pool store's, since pool store numbers are notoriously inconsistent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    Anywho- they wanted some $155 for 57# (matches what pool calculator calls for) of cal. chloride to bring my CH level up. I have a few questions re: CH
    1. is there a better/cheaper place to get this?
    2. Do you suggest all at once or a bit at a time?
    3.Will it affect any of my other levels?
    See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...pool_chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    My question is, would it behoove me to do a PhosFree treatment while using the BBB method?
    By maintaining your FC at the proper level for your cya level, phosphate remover is not neccessary or recommended on tfp. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ya_chart_shock
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    With a TC of 8.5 and a FC of 7.1 your CC is 1.4 and that means you need to carry out the shock process. If your CYA is just 100 that means your shock level is 40 ppm FC and in 33,000 gallon pool it'll take 21 gallons of 6% bleach or 10 gallons of 12% just to get you there.

    Don't worry about the phosphates.

    Trust your own results.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    Ugh! I forgot to add my current CYA level.. it is 104. Sorry!!
    That is quite high... you will definetly need the FAS-DPD test, since you normal FC level at that cya level is 7 ppm FC minimum and you would want to target 12 ppm FC. What does your water look like?

    Edit: Bama beat me too it, with CC above 0.5 ppm, you need to do the shocking process. As Bama noted, your FC level will need to be very high for that cya...I would drain/refill first.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Why do I need to bring to shock levels? I was going by the recommended levels for TA/Ph etc.. and the chlorine/CYA chart for Ch levels which says I need an FC of 7-12. this is also what the pool calulator recommends.
    using the pool calc and recommended levels in pool school, I have been maintaining roughly a 7-10 regularly on my test strips. (i know, tsk, tsk). My water looks crystal clear/sparkly/superb and has for 2 months. so I didn't think I needed to boost chlorine up too too much (not to shock levels at least.)
    I haven't done much reading re: the CC levels.. guess i need to start paying more attention to that?

    Unfortunately, due to a lot of personal circumstances I can not afford to get a new fancy test kit or replace water. at this point, even the thought of having to bring my CH levels up is scaring me, much less the $$ it will take in bleach to bring to shock levels. I feel like i'm about to drown with this pool Had good feelings so far this year until today. (realizing CH level & having to bring to shock) If i drain it, it will most likely be refilled with dirt.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    The recommended levels and chlorine/CYA charts assume clean water. If you have CCs > .5, then your water is not clean and you need to shock.

    As for the $$$ for the test kit, it may seem expensive up front. If you buy the kit and do your own testing, you will never need to visit a pool store for chemicals ever again, and you will save a ton of money in the long run. I'll give you a real world example...I've got a 23000 gal pool. The only thing I've put in my pool this year is bleach and muriatic acid. I've got a stockpile in my basement that will last me the rest of the summer. I've spent a grand total of $120 on chemicals.

    Yes, you read that right, $120 for the whole summer.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Use CalHypo to do your shock, you can bring up your CH at the same time, and not add more CYA to the pool. Leslie's calls it Power Powder.
    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: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    I think for today I am going to add 2-3 more 1.42 bottles, luckily I already have on hand) to get my FC closer a bit higher and try to maintain for a bitthat rather than try to jack it it up to 39+ (seems it would take a long time to drop back down to "safe/normal")

    I think I need to direct my immediate concern (and few available/financial resources) to the CH level and getting it up before it gets lower and ends up doing more damage than it may have already.

    Added after typing most of the above and reading newest post from RobbieH:
    I can't wait to get to that "cheap" to run the pool.. by now, I've nearly spent more than 1/2 that in bleach alone so far.
    I seriously, seriously can not afford that test kit at this point, so I will have to make do til I can. I understand it 'pays for itself', etc... but you cant bleed a rock Will get as soon as I can (which probably isn't soon enough)
    I may look into the suggestion of CalHypo to do both shock and increase my CH.. off to research...
    thank you all for responses... i'm not ready to give up yet, but can't afford to do everything I need to do "right now"

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    About to make the decision to get 25# bucket of 67% Cal-Hypo at local store... According to pool calculator I'd need about 14# to get to shock level of 39 and it would increase my CH by roughly 23...(not high as I need to be) would you recommend this treatment for the immediate then separately increasing my CH more with CalChlor?
    Of course without getting the other test kit, shocking may be futile? cuz i won't be able to test accurately with strips or k-2005. If I go this route (shocking til 39) generally how long to wait before it's safe to swim again (FC=12'ish) and will i be able to generally maintain again with bleach (unless heave rains, etc call for another shock) luckily if I get the 25# bucket, I won't use it all right away..

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    If I go this route (shocking til 39) generally how long to wait before it's safe to swim again (FC=12'ish) and will i be able to generally maintain again with bleach (unless heave rains, etc call for another shock) luckily if I get the 25# bucket, I won't use it all right away..
    Our recommendation is that it is safe to swim up to shock level for the cya level in the pool, so for your 104 ppm cya, that would be 39 ppm (per Chlorine/cya chart). We do not recommend swimming when CC is above 0.5 ppm, or when the pool is not clear.

    By the way, I am assuming that is a pool store result for cya...I wouldn't trust if it is. I think that test comes with your 2005 kit. I would repeat the test with your kit using the extended test kit directions and use the method for testing over 90 ppm cya:
    9. If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
    Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
    Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
    Shake briefly to mix.
    Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
    Continue the test normally from step 3, but multiply the final result by two.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    About to make the decision to get 25# bucket of 67% Cal-Hypo at local store... According to pool calculator I'd need about 14# to get to shock level of 39 and it would increase my CH by roughly 23...(not high as I need to be) would you recommend this treatment for the immediate then separately increasing my CH more with CalChlor?
    Of course without getting the other test kit, shocking may be futile? cuz i won't be able to test accurately with strips or k-2005. If I go this route (shocking til 39) generally how long to wait before it's safe to swim again (FC=12'ish) and will i be able to generally maintain again with bleach (unless heave rains, etc call for another shock) luckily if I get the 25# bucket, I won't use it all right away..
    When only considering FC level it is "safe" to swim up to shock level.
    As for being able to properly shock, that will not be possible with your current testing equipment.
    Also, just bringing the FC level to ~40 is not shocking, you need to hold it there, which will take much more chlorine... more than the 25# you will have probably.
    Read here for the procedure...
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    Stolen from Bama Rambler
    "You can stop shocking when you pass the OCLT(You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear."
    This is also when you could swim also assuming FC is < shock level.
    ~3800 gal AG. Vinyl. Cartridge. 1k gal/hr Pump. Adding SWG soon.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    To linen, yes the 104 CYA was from store results, got similar results on my last k-2005 test (a couple weeks ago, although that one is more 'subjective' and my test strips also confirm the CYA near 100.. dont have too much reagent left on my k-2005, but will try the nethod you suggested on my next test (after i decide what to do about my shock/CH levels)

    To barleyeligible: guh.. i have to hold it there (40 FC) til i continuously read less than .5ppm CC?? I guess as long as I maintain that level (with bleach once i get it there), then I'll be OK to let FC # drop to "normal"
    Yes, I definitely need to get at least the single FAS-DPD FC test if nothing else ASAP it seems.

    Looks like I need to make a decision of what I need first based on limited funds I have.

    Le Sigh.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    ...Looks like I need to make a decision of what I need first based on limited funds I have.
    Sorry for the situation!

    The sooner you do the shock the faster it'll go. (and the cheaper it'll be)
    Yeah, holding with whatever is cheapest is best... once you hit the CH level you are going for.

    Also, depending on water cost it may be cheaper to just drain some of the pool to lower CYA so you don't have to use SO much bleach. Either pay for water or pay for chlorine...
    ~3800 gal AG. Vinyl. Cartridge. 1k gal/hr Pump. Adding SWG soon.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Just a note, Dave (user name duraleigh) has the FAS-DPD FC test for $26 on his site: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.html

    In redoing your cya test with the above method, you may find that your cya is even higher (that would be my guess, since it usually is) and it will make your difficult decision about drain/refill at least more black and white. Ignore cya results form test strips, I have never seen them be accurate.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Made a decision to start with the single FAS-DPD FC tester first. Just ordered it. .will deal with things (ie- getting/applying CalHypo) when that arrives and I have something to test with!

    first plan is to Plan to work on getting my CC closer to target (while starting process of increasing my CH), then will address getting CH up where I need it as more funds become available.

    using Cal hypo should only affect my Chlorine levels and my Hardness, right. It wont affect TA/Ph/CYA?

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    That's correct.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    Made a decision to start with the single FAS-DPD FC tester first. Just ordered it. .will deal with things (ie- getting/applying CalHypo) when that arrives and I have something to test with!
    That was a smart move!

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    first plan is to Plan to work on getting my CC closer to target (while starting process of increasing my CH), then will address getting CH up where I need it as more funds become available.
    This too is a good move, since low CH is more of a long-term (slow leaching of calcium out of plaster) than short-term problem. If you CH was high, that would also be more of a mid-term problem since scale could start to form. The organics (algae) in your pool is a short-term/fix it now problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junyper
    using Cal hypo should only affect my Chlorine levels and my Hardness, right. It wont affect TA/Ph/CYA?
    Correct.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: new to BBB - ?? re: CH & PhosFree

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Just a note, Dave (user name duraleigh) has the FAS-DPD FC test for $26 on his site: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.html

    In redoing your cya test with the above method, you may find that your cya is even higher (that would be my guess, since it usually is) and it will make your difficult decision about drain/refill at least more black and white. Ignore cya results form test strips, I have never seen them be accurate.
    amazon has the 0870 powder for 5.95 + 2.50 shipping and the 0871 reagent for 6.95. OP can probably live without the 0872 and instead use the reagents from whatever kit he has.

    So for 13+shipping he can get the critical part of the test to measure FC.

    OP, how much is water in your area? how much do you estimate a 50% drain and refill will cost? Where are you located?
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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