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Thread: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice please

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    Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice please

    Hi All,

    Let me start by saying what a great forum/boards you have here. I've been reading up on the BBB method and I have decided to give it a try.

    A little bit of background.

    6 year old white plaster pool, 19k gallons, polaris, cartridge filters, auto-feed chlorinator and a Nature2 vessel (do not use it though - long story). Going along great until several months ago, when we started to get this reddish/pinkish spots all over the pool which did not want to go away (reading up on it - it appears to be bacteria and not algae?). Went to the pool store and let them talk me into "No More Problems" and shocking it back to normal. Worked great for a few days and then it started to come back. Additionally, I could not keep the chlorine levels up at all - typical reading was 0 or .5ppm.

    Here are the sample results from two pool stores:
    Store #1 Store #2
    Free Chlorine 0.0 0
    Total Chlorine 0.2 1
    Combined Chlorine 0.2 -
    PH 6.8 7.1
    Hardness 175 280 (Calcium Hardness)
    Alkalinity 70 70
    Cyanuric Acid 110 120
    Copper not run 0
    Iron not run 0
    Total Dissolved Solids 1600 1200
    Base Demand - 2

    After reading the boards, I decided to drain the pool due to the CYA being so high.

    Started yesterday afternoon and finished this evening - drained about 75% of the water. As I was draining it, I made a mixture of 50% water and 50% Bleach and using a wire/nylon pool brush I worked my butt off brushing the plaster as the water level dropped. The pink/red spots came off and the plaster is nice an white again. As I was rinsing it off, the runoff into the pool had a white, milky look to it - I assume that is the CYA which attached itself to the plaster?

    So now I am filling the pool again - should be complete tomorrow. I am picking up a Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit from Leslie's tomorrow, which according to the forum is the Taylor K-2006. I plan on bringing a water sample to see what my CYA level is at, run my own sample at home using the test kit, and then use the pool calculator to add bleach and borax as needed based on CYA reading.

    I am hoping that is correct and am looking for some guidance from the forum pros. A couple of questions I do have:

    1. Do I bring the chlorine up to shock level first or adjust PH first to the correct range, or CYA if it dropped too much?
    2. I've turned off the inline chlorinator, but still have a shark float with three pucks floating in the pool. Assuming my CYA has lowered dramatically, do I keep the shark in the pool or totally remove it?


    We live outside Austin, Texas. Very hot here, pool is in full sunlight pretty much the whole day, and we have hard water to contend with also. In the past I've used a product to soften the water per directions from the pool store - do I still use something like that using the BBB method? For the life of me - I cannot remember the name of the product.
    I also still have a bottle of Pool Perfect which is supposed to remove the phosphates (per pool store) as a preventative - whats the scoop on that?

    I also have what appears to be blotching and streaks in various parts of the pool - some grey, some darker. I've tried the puck test on them, the vitamin C test on them and nothing seems to work. If anything, they might have lightened a little bit with the vitamin C tablets, but it could be my imagination. I've taken pics and will post as soon as I figure out how to get them under the limit here on the boards.

    Sorry for the rambling.
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Mike
    19,000 gal. IG white plaster, spa with spillover
    Pentair WisperFlow 2.5hp, Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter Cartridge
    Raypack 400k BTU heater
    Pentair 320 Chlorinator & Nature 2 --- not used

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Welcome to the forum.

    1. Make ABSOLUTELY sure you get an FAS/DPD kit and not a DPD kit....they are quite different.

    1. Do not bother having the pool store test your water.....we will only be interested in your test results....Always trust your own testing if you have the right kit and it seems like you will.

    3. Test your pool water and post those results here before you add anything. Adding chemistry to a pool when you don't have a starting point is a no-no. Tell us how your water looks when you post your test results.

    4. Have enough bleach on hand to shock the pool (probably 20 or more jugs) but don't be surprised if you don't need to shock.....the bleach will not go to waste.

    We can answer the other questions accurately after you post your test results.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    monkeywrench's Avatar
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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Hi Mike and welcome, to be brief If your in the market for a test kit it would be worth your while to order the TF- 100, you'll be glad you did , i find it to be much more cost effective.
    second if your using triclor pucks this is most likely what got you into your high CYA troubles, the stabilizer on the pucks, stop using puck if your going to go BBB.
    third there is no chlorine in the pool and your ph is low but you know this you are on the right track.
    As far as your stains some of the brighter chemistry folks may chime in with some help,( see I knew Dave would be there) however I have found that (Google)" Jacks' Magic Stuff" has some great products for stains and a good site to help ID your problem . I used their product on some iron staining on my stairs. just like the name says magic.

    jb
    14x28 IG Vinyl
    12.5k gal
    Hayward SP-Super Pump
    Hayward Pro-Grid 36sqft DE
    Hayward auto chlorine feeder (offline:using BBB)
    Hayward AG Gas heater

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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Yeah, pull the tablets out of the floater. That will just mess with your calculations.

    If your water comes from the aquifer, it may be really high TA and/or CH, you ought to try to call the water dept and ask for the annual test data, probably was sent to you this year and you probably threw it out.

    Beware of the test kits at pool stores, they almost always insist that what they have is what you want when clearly it is not and they never had what you want and never will, though they may claim to order it and then deliver the wrong thing after many weeks. We've heard that story more than once, so we tend to suggest ordering the TF100, what most of us use, being the better value and a product sold by a beloved forum member. But, do look at what they have to be sure.

    You may or may not need borax, you may need muraitic acid, you may need calcium. You will need chlorine. Check prices on bleach at Sam's or Walmart and compare to the pool store Liquid Shock, different strength. Do the math via the Pool Calculator unless you can handle the comparisons of % strength and volumes.

    Start a Pool Book, with all the equipment details, every test you get, every chemical you add and why. I have an expanded version of the test record from the TF100 taped to the top of the box that records each result and what I added that day with comments. For example, I switch chlorine sources from time to time and so I keep records of that.

    I also keep notes on all the phone numbers of the pool stores and other stores I buy products from and the recent prices. I buy lots of bleach and lots of liquid pool shock, lots of muriatic acid, every few years I get a big bucket of trichlor tablets, a big bucket of cal-hypo powder, a big bucket of calcium increaser, once in a blue moon I buy baking soda. My tap water has high TA and low CH, yours may be different.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Quote Originally Posted by mike60156
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Welcome to the forum. All of the advice above is sound, so I'll +1 on all of it.

    I'll only add this: Forget everything you think you know about pool care, and do what you're told here instead. I'm amazed by the number of people that come to the forum looking for a magic bullet, complaining about their pool. But when they get correct, sound advice, they don't do it, and complain about how BBB isn't working for them!!

    At first you're going to feel like you're blindly doing stuff we tell you and you won't really know why (kinda like the pool store ). However, as you go along, it'll start to make sense, and eventually you'll truly understand your pool, and truly understand why you're doing what you're doing.

    Keep reading and keep asking questions, cause we all love helping people take back control.
    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: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Thanks for all the replies!!!

    As an update, pool is full again and filtering. Pool water looks pretty good, not green ....has a white/bluish tint to it. It is a little bit cloudy though (which I attribute to the scrubbing i did with the wire brush, and only a couple of hours of filters running).

    I used my new K-2006 (nice testing kit) and here are my results:

    FC - 0.6ppm
    CC - 0.6ppm
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 110ppm
    CYA - 50 (might be 48 though - still a novice on looking at the black dot on bottom of tube, LOL)
    CH - 390ppm

    It appears that draining 75% of the pool did the trick as far as CYA is concerned, since I was starting off at 120ppm (per pool store). As a side note, I had the pool store run a sample when I picked up the test kit and they came back with a reading of 100.

    So this is where I need help from the Pros on here.

    If i want to get to the recommended FC range of 4 to 8, per the pool calculator I need to add 134oz. of 6% bleach to get to a 4, and 292 oz. to get to an 8. I did have a red/pink bacterial growth in the pool, which I scrubbed of the plaster with a 50/50 mix of water & bleach. Do I go to a shock level of 16 (per calculator) which would mean adding 607 oz. of bleach ???

    The pool looks really good right now and I do not want to add more than I should ......your input and help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    19,000 gal. IG white plaster, spa with spillover
    Pentair WisperFlow 2.5hp, Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter Cartridge
    Raypack 400k BTU heater
    Pentair 320 Chlorinator & Nature 2 --- not used

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    You really need to get some chlorine in that pool pronto!

    If I were you, I would take it up to shock level now and hold it until night time... and then do an overnight loss test to give you an idea of where you are. You won't hurt anything by taking it up to shock levels, and if you do have some algae trying to take hold, you won't give it much chance.

    A cloudy pool usually means algae.
    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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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Ok, I added bleach to bring it up to an FC of 8 per the calculator.

    I don't think the cloudiness is due to algae. I had vigorously scrubbed the plaster with a wire/nylon brush and when i rinsed it down, the liquid was a milky white. It is already much clearer since the filter has been running for several hours now.

    So when do I test again for FC ? Now, or at dusk and then again in the morning to see what the OCLT is ?

    Should I worry and/or adjust the TA right now ? And what can I do about the CH which it would appear is on the high side ?


    Thanks,
    Mike
    19,000 gal. IG white plaster, spa with spillover
    Pentair WisperFlow 2.5hp, Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter Cartridge
    Raypack 400k BTU heater
    Pentair 320 Chlorinator & Nature 2 --- not used

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    I would still bring it up to shock level for a day and do a oclt to be sure there is nothing living in there....better to be safe than sorry.......Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Your CH is a little high but managable. Keep the pH in the 7.0-7.2 range and drop the TA to 70-80. They grayish streaks you mentioned earlier may be scale. By keeping the pH and TA at the low end of the range you should see the scale slowly disolve back into the pool water. Keeping the pH and TA low will prevent the scale from forming on the surface of the pool.

    We usually recommend bringing the pool to shock level prior to running the overnight chlorine loss test, since some of your original pool water is now mixed in with the fresh fill. That way the super chlorinated water can disinfect everything in the pool and the plumbing and give you the best odds for a fresh start. If you choose not to do this it is ok, just keep the FC at the high end of your range. Check your FC at dusk and again at or before dawn if possible.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    Back again. After a loss of FC down to 0.4ppm at this morning's test, I did bring the FC up to shock level (16). I also added MA since my PH was high (8.0), but that was due to my adding Borax.

    I will test this evening - adjust accordingly to shock level - and test again in the morning to see what the FC loss is, if any.

    The water looks beautiful right now though ....better than it has looked in a really long time. Hard to believe that any algae is in the pool .......

    The pool is in direct sunlight all day long and with this Texas heat how large of an FC loss should I expect ??

    Zea3 - If I understand you correctly, when swimming is done for the day and the pool is no longer in direct sunlight - thats' when I test and bring the pool up to shock level, correct? So I would add the chemicals as needed, run it for an hour to circulate the water, turn of the filter/pump and test again in the morning to see what my FC loss is ?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    19,000 gal. IG white plaster, spa with spillover
    Pentair WisperFlow 2.5hp, Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Filter Cartridge
    Raypack 400k BTU heater
    Pentair 320 Chlorinator & Nature 2 --- not used

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Going to give the BBB method a try - need some advice pl

    My guess is that you do have some organics in the water still and bringing your FC to shock level and running an OCLT tonight is a good idea. Measure your FC at least an hour if not two after adding the bleach tonight and keep the pump running 24/7 for now. Retest the FC before sun hits the pool to see if you pass the OCLT.

    To save on reagents use a 10ml water sample for testing the FC. Each drop will count as .5 ppm instead of .2 ppm.

    The water can look clear but still have organics in it that consume the chlorine and that is what the OCLT is used for. That was the condition of my pool when I found this site and it took 5 days of shock of the shock process that cleaned up my pool.

    Please post back the results of the OCLT in the morning.

    edit: Make sure your pH is 7.2-7.5 range before bringing the FC level up to shock levels. You'll be safe to add the chlorine an 1/2 hour after adding the acid.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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