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Thread: New to TFP & BBB

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    Colorado Pool Gal's Avatar
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    New to TFP & BBB

    Hi All!

    I have maintained my pool for the past 5 summers. The last 2 summers have been AWFUL! Unstable FC & TC, high TA, low pH and rising CH. The Pool Store's advice has helped only to empty my wallet. Add muradic acid ($) then ph+ (more $). This did not solve anything, since both chemicals equally affect both values! They also did not tell me that the Calcuim Hypochlorite Chlorine they kept selling me causes the CH levels to increase! I did not know there were different types of chlorine until recently. I guess I was blindly lucky the first few years.

    Luckily, I found your forum and after reading up in Pool School and getting a K-2006 test kit, I decided to go BBB.
    I have some questions but 1st my equipment and current chemical info.

    Pool = IG Plaster 25,000 Gallons with DE Filter 120GPM & 1 HP Pump.

    FC = 0.5
    TC = 1
    pH = 7.0
    Alk = 100
    CH = 350
    CY = 30

    I want to raise the Free Chlorine to 3+ and the pH to 7.5 without increasing the Total Alkalinity. Do I just add the Pool Calculator's recommened amount 130oz of 6% bleach to the skimmer? Will this also make the pH go up since bleach is a strong base or do I also need to add borax as well? If I need to add borax, do I dulute it in a bucket 1st then pour in the skimmer?

    FYI
    My Calcuim Hardness was up to 490 2 weeks ago and I drained 30% of the pool water and refilled. I know the CH is on the highest end. Please do not tell me to drain more water; the water restrictions in CO is making water too much $$.

    Thank you for your help!
    KT
    BBB Method Convert
    25,000 Gallons Outdoor In-Ground Plaster Pool, Hayward 6000 series DE Filter, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo Pump, Raypak 6020 series Natural Gas Heater, Hayward Pool Vac

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Welcome

    Answers to many of the questions you are asking can be found in Pool School (Link is up there in the upper right corner of the page).

    pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals discusses how to add each chemical ... do NOT pour anything into the skimmer.

    What does your water look like?
    How did you get the test results?

    Note the Chlorine CYA Chart shows that your minimum FC level for the CYA or 30ppm is 2ppm ... so you should really be targeting closer to a FC of 5ppm as it will drop each day. Also, 30ppm is a bit on the low side and if your daily FC loss seems high, bumping up the CYA a little can help protect the FC from the sun.

    Bleach will not affect the pH very much at all, borax or soda ash is much more effective.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your numbers as they stand are not too bad. Raise PH to 7.2 using borax 1st. Then raise FC with bleach. Bleach additions end up having an esentially neutral effect on PH. Since your alk is already at 100, PH will slowly rise on it's own, but nothing to be concerned about. That's it
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    topher's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    when you put the liquid chlorine in the pool don't pour it in the skimmer, pour it slowly, in front of a return jet. It's good practice to not put anything in the skimmer.
    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Pool Gal
    I want to raise the Free Chlorine to 3+ and the pH to 7.5 without increasing the Total Alkalinity. Do I just add the Pool Calculator's recommened amount 130oz of 6% bleach to the skimmer? Will this also make the pH go up since bleach is a strong base or do I also need to add borax as well? If I need to add borax, do I dulute it in a bucket 1st then pour in the skimmer?
    As said before, don't add to the skimmer. To the pH change question, it's effectively neutral, so no borax needed to counteract the bleach. (chemgeek has explained why, but for the life of me I can't remember.)
    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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    Colorado Pool Gal's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Thanks for your quick replies.

    1. The pool water looks pretty good. I do have very determined & diffcult to scrap off green-yellow algea in small areas of the pool walls that shock levels of chlorine do not seem to make it fully go away. The low pH concerns me due to what I think is metal staining (light yellowish-tan stains on the bottom of plaster suface in deep end) as well as rapid loss of chlorine.

    2. I tested with my Taylor K-2005 kit today around 6:30pm. I have not used the K-2006 kit yet because I have not yet used the BBB method.

    3. The pH does not rise but it lowers. When pool was refilled 2 weeks ago the pH=7.2, TA=100, CH=310 and CYA=30. The pool is not used often so I run the pump about 15 hours/day. The results today showed lower pH and higher CH. The CH increase I believe is due repeated use of Calcium Hypochlorite 68% to try to keep chlorine levels up. The chlorine levels drop quickly.

    4. I will add chemicals to pool in front of returns only and not the skimmers. I did read some other posts regarding adding chemicals and it seem the replies were 50-50 on this issue.

    5. How much does the Borax increase TA? Is it a simular ratio as ph+(soda ash). I did not get good results with that method.

    Lastly, I was targeting the recommended Chem levels for my pool type that are listed in Pool-School/recommended_levels to get the best results for my pool. I do not want my TA high and pH low because the chlorine levels are too eradic. This is the problem I had last summer as well. I do have stabilizer on hand and can try to raise the CYA level and see if that helps.
    BBB Method Convert
    25,000 Gallons Outdoor In-Ground Plaster Pool, Hayward 6000 series DE Filter, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo Pump, Raypak 6020 series Natural Gas Heater, Hayward Pool Vac

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    I'll try to address two of these....
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Pool Gal
    Thanks for your quick replies.

    1. The pool water looks pretty good. I do have very determined & diffcult to scrap off green-yellow algea in small areas of the pool walls that shock levels of chlorine do not seem to make it fully go away. The low pH concerns me due to what I think is metal staining (light yellowish-tan stains on the bottom of plaster suface in deep end) as well as rapid loss of chlorine.
    Rapid loss of chlorine means either a) CYA is too low or b)something is living in the pool and consuming it. Based on visible algae I'll lean towards b, meaning you'll need to shock. To make sure we're on the same page, when you say "shock", what do you mean? When we way "shock", we mean holding FC up high for a prolonged period of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Pool Gal
    5. How much does the Borax increase TA? Is it a simular ratio as ph+(soda ash). I did not get good results with that method.
    When the time comes, use baking soda to increase TA, but don't worry about it for now. My pool is at 130 right now, down from 170 at the beginning of the summer. 100 is fine.
    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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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    2) the k-2005 is very similar to the k-2006, with the main difference being you can measure FC up to 50ppm with the k2006. You do not need to be on BBB to use one vs the other.
    3) Lower TA tends to also drop PH, but TA at 100 is not low. Are you sure you were not previously using trichlor or dichlor for chlorination as well? Both are acidic and can lower PH and TA. CH rises over time due to evaporation and can also be coming from the pool surface itself.
    4) Add infront of returns...it's safer
    5)Borax has less impact on TA. Both Borax and soda ash will increase PH, bud soda ash will increase TA at a greater reate than Borax.

    High TA promotes PH rise, so if you are seeing the opposite, I'm quite suspicious you have been using trichlor pucks.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    R.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    No matter what method you use, the k-2006 is the kit you should be using. I've had mine for 2 seasons and it's the best piece of pool equipment I own.
    18 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame
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    Colorado Pool Gal's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Thanks for all of the imput!

    High TA promotes PH rise, so if you are seeing the opposite, I'm quite suspicious you have been using trichlor pucks
    I was using 3" Chlorine Tabs in addition to the Cal-Hypo. I was not aware the Chlorine Tabs caused the pH to decrease. I have read some other posts and thought I might try aerating the pool with our power washer to see if this will help the pH rise without affecting the TA. However, I think I have another more pressing matter.

    To make sure we're on the same page, when you say "shock", what do you mean? When we way "shock", we mean holding FC up high for a prolonged period of time.
    I have been shocking my pool with 2-3lbs of Cal-hypo until the FC was at a level 5. Never have sustained this for longer than the natural time frame (1-2 days with out solar cover) for the pool water adjust itself to 4 or lower. I understand the BBB method has FC and shock levels of chlorine at higher levels. I read the "THE SHOCK PROCESS" in Pool School. It does not give time frame for the "prolonged period of time" to shock a pool. I do have the FC amount (12) based on my current CYA level (30).

    I have suspected for the last 2+ months I might have Mustard Algea. When I asked the pool store they continued to tell me to brush and shock my pool (as described above). The algea does not brush off easily and continually comes back in the same places (north walls of pool, stairs in the deep end and around the under water pool light). I read the The Mustard Algea article and it perfectly descibes my algea problem. The article states that after a "standard shock proccess" then proceed with a "Mustard Algea Shock Level" (18) for another 24 hours.

    I guess I need to know how long the standard shock process should be?!? I also read another article online that pools can be recontaminated with Mustard Algea through pool equipment and suggested these items (nets, robotic cleaners, poles, brushes) be in the pool during the shock process.

    Thanks
    BBB Method Convert
    25,000 Gallons Outdoor In-Ground Plaster Pool, Hayward 6000 series DE Filter, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo Pump, Raypak 6020 series Natural Gas Heater, Hayward Pool Vac

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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    There is no standard length of time for the shock period. A specific amount of chlorine will kill a specific amount of algae in your pool - the problem is there is no way to determine how much algae is actually present. Right now you are adding enough chlorine to kill some of the algae - and then letting it grow back. That's why the pool feels stuck.

    The shock process described in Pool School is designed to kill ALL of the algae and provide criteria for determining when that is done.

    Raise the FC level to shock for your CYA (This will kill algae faster than it can grow) and hold it there UNTIL
    1) You pass the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    2) Your CC is .5 or less
    3) The water looks clear

    Keeping the filter on 24/7 during this process and brushing a few times a day will speed things up.


    Once you stop using those Trichlor Pucks your PH dropping problem should reverse and PH would typically raise over time.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    The standard shock process to start is when you have multiple problems for clearing algae and cloudy water. If you've got only yellow/mustard algae (and not too much of it), you can start off shocking to its higher level. Are the places you described where the algae is hanging out shady areas of the pool? Don't forget to get behind light niches, under removable ladders, etc.
    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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    Colorado Pool Gal's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Thanks for the clarity on the Shock Process

    Once you stop using those Trichlor Pucks your PH dropping problem should reverse and PH would typically raise over time.
    I stopped using the 3" tabs this week. The pH is holding at 7.2 but based on what I read lower pH is good for the shock process.

    Raise the FC level to shock for your CYA (This will kill algae faster than it can grow) and hold it there UNTIL
    1) You pass the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    2) Your CC is .5 or less
    3) The water looks clear
    I do not have any other visable issues other than the patches of algae previously described. The pool's CC is .5 and my water looks good and clear. I think I will move straight to the Mustard Algea shock level for 24+ hours to attack the algae.

    Are the places you described where the algae is hanging out shady areas of the pool? Don't forget to get behind light niches, under removable ladders, etc.
    All the areas described where the yellow-green algae grows are in the most shady part of my pool. My stairs are built into the plaster wall. As for the light, does the casing that holds the light need to be removed in order for the shock to work in the light niche? How about other items that have been in the pool (brushes, nets, etc.) do those need to be shock treated in order to not recontaminate the pool?

    KT
    BBB Method Convert
    25,000 Gallons Outdoor In-Ground Plaster Pool, Hayward 6000 series DE Filter, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo Pump, Raypak 6020 series Natural Gas Heater, Hayward Pool Vac

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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    I don't think the casing needs to be removed. Once the light is removed, there should be decent water flow in the niche. If you don't find a lot of algae when you remove the light, then it probably wasn't a problem area, at least for your pool. And yes, all the poles, brushes, nets, etc. that you normally use in the pool need to go in during the shock process to avoid future contamination.
    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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    Colorado Pool Gal's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Thanks to all of you for your info and advice to help me get started and treat mustard algae in my pool!

    After a few days of shocking at Mustard Algae levels, the persistent yellow-green algae has not returned and my chlorine and other chemicals levels are holding in good ranges. My pool is a beautiful clear crystal blue and best of all I have not been to the pool store in 3 weeks.

    I am a happy convert and swimming pretty!
    Thank You! Thank You!
    KT
    BBB Method Convert
    25,000 Gallons Outdoor In-Ground Plaster Pool, Hayward 6000 series DE Filter, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo Pump, Raypak 6020 series Natural Gas Heater, Hayward Pool Vac

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP & BBB

    Jason, TFP Moderator
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