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Thread: Should I switch

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Should I switch

    Hey all,

    First I want to say that I really respect and appreciate all the knowledgable people on this site. You guys have all helped me out tremendously whenever I have any problems. Most of the time I don't even need to post a question since its already been posted and answered 10 times before

    That all being said:

    I do not use the BBB method for my pool at all. I have a 16' x 38' IGP / Vinyl with a DE filter. I use a chlorinator with pucks and 1 or 2 bags of Cal Hypo shock about every other week for maintenance.

    I test the pool every week for chlorine and PH, but only with a very cheap test kit with strips you dip into the pool.
    The pool is always sparkling perfect.
    I have no idea what the CYA is, what the CH is, what the CC is, etc. But the pool is unbelievably perfect as far as the way it looks.

    This method requires me to do nothing other than test once a week, add pucks every other week, and throw a bag or two of shock in every once in a while.

    So is there really a good reason to switch to the BBB method? It seems like SO much more work!

    Because I get so much information out of this board, this year I almost made the switch. But I got nervous because for 5 years my pool quality (or at least visually anyway) has been perfect.
    Im worried that if I switch, I will have to maintain it daily and perhaps not have as good results as I have now.

    So I am asking all the pool geniuses here if I should switch???

    It has been 5 years... At some point is my CYA (which I have never tested) going to be too high for the chlorine to be effective? Or will I have to much CH because of the Cal Hypo?

    Thanks in advance.
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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    keri1973's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Hi, I'm learning too, but just wanted to say I had about 6 or so years of good luck too and then last year it all went down hill, fast.
    18ft. Arcadia Round AGP - 19" Sand Filter, 1 hp pump
    Foam cove/ Gorilla Pad/ Wedding cake steps
    Sta Rite Lil' Shark cleaner and Aquabot Pool Rover cleaner - Aqua-Luminator light and return flow w/fountain attachment
    Added Borates 5/19/09 Taylor K-1005 and Taylor FAS-DPD Chlorine Tests

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    Re: Should I switch

    Personally, I would buy a good testkit and just keep doing what your are doing as long as you don't see issues sneaking up on you.

    Theoretically if you backwash, spashout, i.e. replace enough of your water on a regular basis you may never see your CYA level become a problem. But then again you may come out one day and fight what many of us have experienced.

    So I say, buy a good testkit and know what is happening in your pool instead of hoping it stays OK. This will not increase your pool maintenance work as you already test weekly.

    my $0.02.

    dave
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Chances are you are one of the people whose water exchanges from year to year allow them to deal with the CYA issue without problems. BBB isn't really all about chemistry, but about understanding the water, and adding the right chemicals at the right time. The big key to that is a good quality test kit that gives repeatable results. That's why we recommend the K2006 and the TF100. The second key is understanding what the chemicals you add to the water do to it.

    You've had good luck with your method, but if something gets out of kilter, knowing what is wrong and how to fix it can be the difference in a little extra chlorine and pump run time versus shocking for a week and having to brush or vacuum daily.

    Shocking weekly is somewhat like opening your front door and spraying the lawn with machine-gun fire occasionally to prevent trespassers. It works, but isn't the most effective use of your time or ammo, and the side-effects are problematic. We have an alarm system (test kits), so we only need to defend our pools when there is an actual problem. Many people here go through an entire season without shocking.

    I wouldn't change, but I would learn what you need to know and be prepared if things do go bad.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch08
    I do not use the BBB method for my pool at all. I have a 16' x 38' IGP / Vinyl with a DE filter. I use a chlorinator with pucks and 1 or 2 bags of Cal Hypo shock about every other week for maintenance.

    I test the pool every week for chlorine and PH, but only with a very cheap test kit with strips you dip into the pool. I have no idea what the CYA is, what the CH is, what the CC is, etc. But the pool is unbelievably perfect as far as the way it looks.
    This method requires me to do nothing other than test once a week, add pucks every other week, and throw a bag or two of shock in every once in a while.

    So is there really a good reason to switch to the BBB method? It seems like SO much more work!

    Because I get so much information out of this board, this year I almost made the switch. But I got nervous because for 5 years my pool quality (or at least visually anyway) has been perfect.
    Im worried that if I switch, I will have to maintain it daily and perhaps not have as good results as I have now.

    So I am asking all the pool geniuses here if I should switch???

    It has been 5 years... At some point is my CYA (which I have never tested) going to be too high for the chlorine to be effective? Or will I have to much CH because of the Cal Hypo?
    Mitch:
    I use a combination of BBB & MA & SWG to take care of my needs. The BBB process takes 5-10 minutes each day and is simple for me. I 'know' to load a little more bleach in the pool 1-2 hours prior to a higher bather load; that is when we're the kids are having friends over and with 2 teens that's 2-3 times a week!

    I understand what the water and chemicals are, how it's going to react, how much I can leave it alone, what to expect under different circumstances, etc.
    I know how to fix problems if there is algae, chlorine is high or low, CYA is high or low, PH and TA are high and low, etc. To me, that's important.

    Your splashout/refill may take care of any CYA overload you may have, the same with the calcium level. You might not know what your chlorine levels are and that's crucial to sanitation.
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Hi Mitch....

    The key to a properly balanced pool is routine testing and making necessary adjustments. It's not alot of work, I spend MAYBE 5 minutes a day. IF that.

    Many users operate their pool with pucks successfully. The key is knowing what they do to your pool and how to keep problems in check. You can continue to use pucks, provided you understand the chemistry involved.

    Pucks increase CYA - so if you keep the CYA level in check thru water replacement and you maintain the corresponding FC levels (see the chart) then you'll be okay and you will rarely have to shock. If your FC is not high enough from the pucks, use bleach to boost it up a bit. If you fail to keep the FC above the minimum level for your CYA you are operating an unsanitary pool.

    Pucks lower PH - so keep your TA around 120 and use Soda Ash or Borax to keep the PH at 7.5-7.6 and use Baking Soda to keep your TA at 120.

    I have shocked my pool 4 times in the last 2 years. The key is testing, and adjusting. If you find yourself having to shock every 2 weeks with cal-hypo then something isn't right. Plus, frequent use of cal-hypo and your calcium levels (BTW unneccessary in your vinyl pool) can get too high and put you at risk for scaling. So IF you find yourself having to shock, you really should be using Bleach or Liquid Chlorine.

    Armed with one of the recommended test kits, you can take total control of your pool, and you won't be second guessing yourself. You can make pucks work for you, provided you understand the chemistry involved.
    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
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    Re: Should I switch

    Shocking weekly is somewhat like opening your front door and spraying the lawn with machine-gun fire occasionally to prevent trespassers. It works, but isn't the most effective use of your time or ammo, and the side-effects are problematic. We have an alarm system (test kits), so we only need to defend our pools when there is an actual problem. Many people here go through an entire season without shocking.
    One of the best-written paragraphs on troublefreepool. Kudos, John. Very funny and with a very important message. It couldn't be said any better.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Should I switch

    Just thought I'd mention that just because your water LOOKS great does not mean it is SANITARY! There are many things that are worse than algae that will grow in your water if it is not properly sanitized at all times!

    Why not just take a few minutes a day to keep your chlorine balanced, and then you won't lose the swim-time when you do your bi-weekly shocking!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Thanks everyone!

    you guys rock!

    I am going to order the recommended test kit tonight. I will probably stick with what I am doing now because it is so easy for me, and it has been working, but like you all said, at least I will have a much better idea of what is going on with the water.

    I really appreciate all the feedback you all have given me! This is probably the best pool resource on the web. I am very thankful I found it.

    -Mitch
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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    Re: Should I switch

    We're glad you joined, Mitch. Lots of really nice people here always willing to share what they know.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Mitch, when you get your test kit, please post your results. I for one am interested in what your numbers look like, especially your CYA level.
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

  12. Back To Top    #12
    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    Mitch, when you get your test kit, please post your results. I for one am interested in what your numbers look like, especially your CYA level.
    I definitely will. I am ordering the kit right now, so hopefully in the next few days to a week I will have results. Thanks again everyone!

    Edited to note I just ordered the TF100 off of Duraleigh's link!
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Shocking weekly is somewhat like opening your front door and spraying the lawn with machine-gun fire occasionally to prevent trespassers. It works, but isn't the most effective use of your time or ammo, and the side-effects are problematic. We have an alarm system (test kits), so we only need to defend our pools when there is an actual problem. Many people here go through an entire season without shocking.
    One of the best-written paragraphs on troublefreepool. Kudos, John. Very funny and with a very important message. It couldn't be said any better.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Should I switch

    I've said it before and I am going to say it again...BBB is not some special 'method' of pool care nor it is anything new or controversial. It's just good pool maintenance based on proper water testing and using the right chemical for the right purpose at the right time to avoid problems before they start just like commercial pool operators have been doing for many years. In fact, BBB is very similar to the way a large majority of commercial pools ar maintained, using liquid chlorine and generic chemicals. commercial pools cannot have long periods of down time in their pools so it's imperative that they keep on top of their water! Imagine if the water parks at Disney were closed because their pools turned green due to poor maintenace! (Pool supplies do sell 50 lb bags of sodium bicarbonate, often with the Arm and Hammer brand!, soda ash, calcium chloride, etc. not to mention the muriatic acid and test kits like the ki-2006 for commercial pool operations. However, these would not be high profit items for your average pool store so unless they also service commercial accounts they will probably not stock these items.)
    BBB also means understanding what is going on in your water so you are in control, NOT the pool store trying to sell you all kinds of chemicals that you probably don't need or very expensive, repackaged baking soda or borax or washing soda with a fancy name like Balance Pak 100 or Optimizer Plus or Balance Pak 300!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    Mitch, when you get your test kit, please post your results. I for one am interested in what your numbers look like, especially your CYA level.
    Ok so I just received my TF-100 test kit and immediately tested the water.

    CC - 0
    FC - 2
    CH - 250
    CYA - 0 (although I am a little confused by this test)
    PH - 7.2

    The CYA test seemed pretty straight forward, but the black dot at the bottom of the tube never dissapeared completely.
    I filled up the entire tube and I can easily see the dot. So I am assuming that means 0 unless I am doing something wrong.

    Which would mean I should probably add CYA. But that is showing me that the pucks aren't really adding CYA to my pool so I am going to continue using them because of how easy they are to throw in a chlorinator.

    Also with the calcium test, when you add the 1 drop at a time to see when the water turns blue, do you shake after each drop? Or should it just turn blue from adding drops? Because that would change my number significantly... It was 250 by adding 25 drops straight and eventually turning blue. But I could tell that after 15 drops if I would have covered and shook, it probably would have turned blue earlier from the shaking.

    Thanks!
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Should I switch

    You should mix/stir/shake between each drop, when you are looking for a color change, for all tests.

    dave

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch08
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    Mitch, when you get your test kit, please post your results. I for one am interested in what your numbers look like, especially your CYA level.
    Ok so I just received my TF-100 test kit and immediately tested the water.

    CC - 0
    FC - 2
    CH - 250
    CYA - 0 (although I am a little confused by this test)
    PH - 7.2

    The CYA test seemed pretty straight forward, but the black dot at the bottom of the tube never dissapeared completely.
    I filled up the entire tube and I can easily see the dot. So I am assuming that means 0 unless I am doing something wrong.

    Which would mean I should probably add CYA. But that is showing me that the pucks aren't really adding CYA to my pool so I am going to continue using them because of how easy they are to throw in a chlorinator.

    Also with the calcium test, when you add the 1 drop at a time to see when the water turns blue, do you shake after each drop? Or should it just turn blue from adding drops? Because that would change my number significantly... It was 250 by adding 25 drops straight and eventually turning blue. But I could tell that after 15 drops if I would have covered and shook, it probably would have turned blue earlier from the shaking.

    Thanks!
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

  17. Back To Top    #17
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    the pucks are adding cya, it's just slow. I know my tabs used to take what seemed like forever to dissolve, even on the highest setting. and then in the end they don't add all that much (just a long term usage issue, or if your cya is good and then you use pucks on top of that). see the second post here:
    raising-cya-t1153.html
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Any pics of this clear pool? 8)
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  19. Back To Top    #19
    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey
    Any pics of this clear pool? 8)
    Sure. Ill post them in a few hours.

    edit: Here are some pics. I took them today after testing the water. I will try to get better ones of the entire area. But for water quality, these should do.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Should I switch

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch08

    Ok so I just received my TF-100 test kit and immediately tested the water.

    CC - 0
    FC - 2
    CH - 250
    CYA - 0 (although I am a little confused by this test)
    PH - 7.2
    What is the TA? With your pH at 7.2 your TA might be on the low side and that can be a problem!
    But I could tell that after 15 drops if I would have covered and shook, it probably would have turned blue earlier from the shaking.

    Thanks!
    For the CH test you want to swirl the tube for about 20-30 seconds after EACH drop. This is not a fast test to do. DO NOT SHAKE. At first you will see a purplish color that disappears on swiriling but in a few drops it changes to blue. If you get a purple 'floating endpoint' then you might have metals in your water and there is an alternate way to do this test. If that is the problem we can tell you the alternate way.

    NONE of the titration tests should be shaken. the tube should be swirled or you could invest in a magnetic stirrer. The pH/OTO test (comparator tube) should not be shaken either. Cap both sides after adding the reagents and turn it over three or four times.

    The only test that should be shaken is the CYA test. Shake for about 30 seconds, let it sit a few minutes, then give it a quick shake again before dispensing into the view tube.

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