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Thread: Diving in to BBB!

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    Diving in to BBB!

    After lurking on all the various forums I am diving into BBB!

    I have had tremendous algae problems. My pool maintenance company just "fired" me. Too hard. (I think they were spending more on shock than I was paying them.)

    My pool (27,000 gallons, Polaris 380, DE filter) is blue today! I just completed a green to clean prescription from my local Leslie's.

    I followed the instructions and shocked with 4 bags of power powder plus (calcium hypochlorite) just after adding the g to c and then 12 and 24 hours later. The pool is blue but very cloudy.

    I am about halfway through adding 14 boxes of 20 MT Borax. Eight boxes so far plus acid to keep the pH at about 7.9.

    I will let that sit overnight and proceed in the morning.

    I just went to Leslies to get the water checked - half way through.

    The chlorine (FC and TC) is still way up - 5+ is all they would say. Purple + on my test strip.

    pH 7.9
    TA 130
    TDS 700
    CYA 100+
    Phosphates 300

    I have ordered the borate test strips so that I can fine-tune the finish line with the borate.

    I don't know why the CYA is so high. The pool was drained and refilled about two years ago for repairs.
    CYA must have been added in excess. I asked them to test it again which they did with a micro test cubicle and it was still high.

    Do I need to be concerned about the high CYA? I gather from the forums that that might be why my chlorine isn't working or why I have algae problems.

    If I need to drain off water to lower the CYA I guess I should stop adding the borate until this step is completed?

    Or ... since I am switching to liquid chlorine (from Sam's Club today) should I just let it go down naturally as I backflush the filter over the next few years?

    I suppose the cloudiness is from the calcium in the power powder or the algae carcasses.

    I am running the DE 24/7 so I expect that will eventually be filtered out.

    I am not seeing much enthusiasm for floculents on the forums.

    I did add about 40 oz of Polyquat 60 (from Leslie's).

    I know that I should get a better pool water test kit but I am expecting to use the strips and stop by Leslies (just up the street) once a week or so for now.

    Thanks for any comments or advice.

    I will let you know how this is working for me.

    [attachment=0:13lqjd9r]Photo_072908_001.jpg[/attachment:13lqjd9r]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Hello and welcome!

    Your CYA is probably high from the use of stabilized chlorine and shock. Some of it adds almost as much CYA as it adds chlorine, so it accumulates really fast.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Welcome!

    Your test results don't show a CH number, and your specs don't tell us if you have a vinyl liner or plaster?

    A good test kit is essential when you have high CYA, which requires high FC levels. If you nor your pool store can test above 5, you will never know if you are reaching your target level for FC, you will only be guessing. Not a good idea, IMHO.

    As for CYA, you should do a partial drain and refill, then finish your borates treatment. You really want to get your CYA down to a more manageable number. Once your down to 70 or so, you'll be able to conquer your algae issues and it will continue to reduce over time thru backwashing, etc. I wouldn't wait to lower your CYA, I would do it now. Check out the link in my signature for the CYA chart, it shows you the direct relationship between chlorine and cya and how high you need to get for your levels, in order to defeat algae.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Thanks! I was afraid of that.

    Draining now.

    I will order a better test kit as well.

    Hal
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    I decided to drain it all out. There was a lot of white mud remaining in the last part of the water.
    Any suggestions for getting rid of the last remaining algae on the walls? - Short of an acid wash. Should I have someone do an acid wash?

    Should I check on anything while the pool is empty?

    Thanks,

    Hal[attachment=0:3639si23]Photo_073008_001.jpg[/attachment:3639si23]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    In the long run, you most likely did the only thing you could do to get rid of all your issues.

    Adequate chlorine in your pool (as you start to fill) will start working on the algae and algae stains on your pool walls and floors but, since it's empty, I'd clean all the junk out and put straight clorox on the worst algae stains. Chlorine to get rid or algae and organic stains....not acid.

    Use acid if you have calcium deposits on your pool....although you don't mention that you have any so you may not need acid at all.

    What will your fill water be? City? Trucked in? Well? Post that answer back for some more info.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    City water.

    Bicarbonate 289
    Hardness as Ca/Mg 348
    Chloride 40
    pH 7.5
    Sulfate 12
    Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 289
    Total dissolved solids 381
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    I'm not sure I can interpret some of those results but, that said, city water is easily the most troublefree source for filling your pool so you'll have little problems.

    You are ahead of the game to realize you dumped too much stuff in your pool in times past. This time, get a good head start by reading everything you can about pool water chemistry up in "Pool School".

    You'll need virtually nothing in that pool for start-up except chlorine and stabilizer (CYA).

    Then, have a really good test kit on hand so you can do your own accurate testing and your pool will give you little, if any problems from here on out. BBB is not magic or any "new" method........it is testing your own water and understanding how to make any adjustments (frequently from the grocery store) to keep it balanced perfectly.

    Last, the folks here on the forum will help walk you thru the essentials of balancing your water as you refill. Ask lots of questions and enjoy your pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Hate to say it but your CYA was not as high as your thought!!!!!! Your pool was cloudy, the CYA test is a turbidity test or cloudiness test (the more cloudy the water the higher the CYA)! I assume that Leslie's was testing the CYA. The test is going to read high if the water is cloudy before you test!!!!!

    As far as it goes, instead of wasting money on the borax and acid right now you should have invested in a good test kit and started testing your own water. It would have save you a LOT of money in the long run. Your cloudiness was most likely from calcium carbonate that precipitated out of your water from the cal hypo since your TA is so high!

    I suspect that you did not have to drain but if you had good test results we could have gotten everything under control. I am surprised that no one else caught this!

    Oh well, what's done is done!

    Get a good test kit before you do anything else and read the pool school section of the forum!!!!! If you had read the how to on adding borates you would have known that the FIRST step is to balance your water and that you need a good test kit!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    I saw a post somewhere about filtering cloudy water through coffee filters before doing the CYA test.
    I was going to ask but ...

    I am cleaning out the sump in my main drain. It was filled with junk. Silver lining there.

    I'm sure the white sludge is calcium.

    I may have been too high on my CYA, though. I vaguely recall buying some and adding it after the refill two years ago.

    I tend to add more.

    This pool also gobbles chlorine and I have been using the pucks with stabilizer in them. I'm sure we've been through five or six large tubs in two years.
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Hal,

    No offense, but your pool has been yearning for a fresh start. It really sounds like you have glommed too much of everything in there.

    Again, go straight up to "Pool School" and do your home work (read, read, read).......you'll come away with the understanding that "less is more".....you don't need all that junk. Again, chlorine and stabilizer is gonna' get your pool in order.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Well, I gotta agree on needing a fresh start, and I think you are ready to take control by getting a good kit and ready EVERYTHING you can in Pool School. Then this situation won't repeat itself.

    In all fairness, we aren't sure WHAT your CYA levels were. Frankly, every indication was that it was too high, even with the cloudiness likely altering your results. My thoughts were a partial drain, refill, and retest, would be progress in the right direction regardless, and if the CYA had turned out to be in a normal range, even better.

    I still believe based on the info you provided that the signs were pointing to CYA that was too high, among other issues. Oh well, we'll never know for sure. (I do wish you would have asked about the filter trick, I must have recommended that very thing 5 seperate times in the last 2 days....error of omission on my part, so sorry!) I'm not sure draining it completely was necessary, but like Waterbear said, whats done is done.

    Hope you have cheap water!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    BlondeGrandma can tell you about a good test kit. I need to go to bed.
    Skinman

    16 x 32 Doughboy AGP
    Doughboy 17" AquaView sand filter
    1 HP, 2 Spd. pump
    (4) 2 x 20 Sunheater Solar Heat
    Solar cover w/reel
    TF 100 Test Kit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    I'm new to this thread but I immediately saw what Waterbear saw--CYA measurements in a cloudy pool can't be trusted. It's the ONE time I'd use a test strip, as a double-check.

    However, the way you were having to use chemicals, the new water may cost less. CAVEAT: I'm not sure I read it correctly, but the T/A in the town water looked EXTREMELY high...so you may have to go into T/A-lowering mode (Acid to bring pH and T/A down, aeration to raise pH only, then repeat)...Luckily, with a hard-surface pool if your pH goes too low it won't do much harm.

    I totally agree about the test kit. You need a proper full FAS-DPD test kit and they aren't very expensive. I bought my first, a Pool Solutions PS-232, when I had a 15'x3' Intex donut pool and it was STILL worth every penny and then some--even for 3500 gallons. It saved me chemicals, but more importantly, it saved me heartache and ensured that I, in my second year of pool ownership, could always have my pool swimmable (or, in the case of the Intex, wadeable! ) You can't get a PS anymore, but there are perfectly good alternatives, all, if used properly will tell you what you need to know:

    The TF-100 (is that the right #?) TFP has the link to it right on the home page.
    The K-2006 and K-2006C from taylortechnologies.com
    Leslie's "FAS-DPD full Service Chlorine Test Kit" from Leslie's on-line web page--but not in their stores (wonder why not?)

    The Taylor is available from other sources. Prices on these kits range from $50 to $80, but as far as I'm concerned, that's pennies compared to what it will save you in heartburn, chemicals and no pool downtime.

    BTW, the Borate method of raising borates to 50ppm is NOT part of the B-B-B method, though it is complementary and compatible with it. Also, I would STRONGLY suggest you implement the Borate method when your pool is clean, not when you are fighting something. It gives the old adage a new twist!
    "When you are up to your back bumpers in alligators, it's hard to remember that the objective was to drain the swamp!"
    Stay ahead of your water!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a K-2006 on the way.

    After reading the Pool School I realize that I need to clean my DE filter. I haven't looked inside since we bought the place two years ago. I have seen instructions for disassembling the panels completely but it also seems that it may be possible to just wash them off still assembled. ? I have a Hayward DE filter.

    So ... today I am going to snake the pipes with a 1/4 inch spring snake just to make sure they are clean and refill.

    I have an old Hayward light so I was thinking about putting in one of the new LED lights from Hayward expecting that it would fit right into the old niche with no problems. I am spooked by the thought of trying to re-snake the cord through the conduit after 20 years though. I am also not sure there isn't a junction box or something along the way. And then, there is the $500 expense.

    I have been paying for pool service for two years. I thought everything was under control.

    I believe my water costs $2.70 per hundred cubic feet. Google convertor says 27 000 US gallons = 3 609.375 cubic feet
    (If you don't know about Google convertor it is great - Google it!) So that is 36 hundred cubic feet x 2.70 = $97.00.

    I would rather take my wife out to a nice restaurant with that but it is only about the cost of one large bucket of chlorine that I will not have to buy.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

    Hal
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  16. Back To Top    #16
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Quote Originally Posted by skinman
    BlondeGrandma can tell you about a good test kit. I need to go to bed.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    I found a small flexible tube going from my suction side to my supply side.

    Does anyone know why that is there?

    I have included some blurry pics in case they are helpful.

    Hal[attachment=1:gq1pik8y]Photo_073108_001.jpg[/attachment:gq1pik8y][attachment=0:gq1pik8y]Photo_073108_002.jpg[/attachment:gq1pik8y]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    That looks like the kind of tubing that might run to an out of line automatic puck feeder. If the puck feeder was removed, they might have left the tubing instead of patching the holes.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    Makes sense.

    My pump has trouble self-priming.

    Might that be the cause?
    "Whatever happened to the guy who drained his whole pool?"
    27,000 gal plaster in-ground
    Compupool 40k SWG from eBay - works great!
    Polaris 380
    Hayward DE
    1.4 HP Hayward Northstar pump
    Two FAFCO Solar Bear panels now heating the pool!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Diving in to BBB!

    That kind of hose connection will make it more difficult to prime, but it isn't usually the primary cause of priming problems.
    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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