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Thread: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

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    BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    Can the BBB method be used if I can only test/adjust the water weekly?

    Here's the situation: the pool is at a second house, which is used on the weekends during the summer. Up to now, I've had a pool guy that comes in every once in a while (I think once a week) to do whatever needs to be done. He was here yesterday. Today the water is less cloudy than before he came, but the small amount of algae that we had yesterday tripled overnight.

    I'm very tempted to buy one of the recommended test kits and start doing the pool maintenance on my own. For the most part, I am only here on weekends, and occasionally I will skip a weekend. This means that I would usually be able to test/adjust levels weekly but sometimes only biweekly. Would this be a problem?

    FWIW I don't have a SWG

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    it would be a problem for any pool maintenance program. not the testing so much (once it's cleared up anyway) but the additions of chlorine. you can look into an SWG or a product called the liquidator for automation help. unless you're going to keep the pool guy (who apparently isn't doing his job if you have algae) you need to read pool school to get the algae cleared up, and it will take at least a couple days minimum of intense chlorine addition and testing (and brushing and pump running.) anyway, read pool school, including how to defeat algae, and you can see if you are going to have the time for that stuff.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    Thanks for the advice.

    I read a lot of pool school, including the algae sections. It is difficult to gauge how much time it involves because I don't know what my current levels are and how much work would be involved to get the water to optimal levels. I also don't want to drop $70 on a kit while still keeping the pool guy.

    If I were to get rid of the pool guy and do the initial shock to get appropriate levels, would it be possible to shock up the FC levels each Sunday night and then let the water sit with the filter running for 5-6 days or would things get too out of balance during the week?

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    you will lose your chlorine within hours. you also need to brush daily.
    pool-school/defeating_algae
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    Getting rid of the algae is the problem if your not there to keep the FC levels up. I would lok into getting the liquidator which is an auto chlorinator if your not going to be there on a daily basis, but keep in mind that if anything happens to the chlorinator while your not there you could be back to square one again.

    Is there someone who could go over and look after your pool while your not there you trust ? Once your water is balanced it should only be adding chlorine to the water daily to keep up your FC level.
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    It could be a problem. Let's get hypothetical for a sec. The following is my opinion, and not necessarily representative of others on the forum.

    I don't know what kind of filter you have....if you have sand filter and vinyl liner, it will be easier for you to use a trichlor method, described below.

    You order the TF-100. You read every article in pool school, 2 or 3 times.

    You start out with algae-free water, that is balanced and FC is holding overnight. You will have low CYA, preferably 30-40. (If this is not the current situation, you would need to get there before you could start using this method. It will probably take more than 2 days to get there, so keep that in mind.)

    You have or will get an inline chlorinator that uses trichlor tablets. Understand that Trichlor raises CYA and Lowers PH and TA.

    Your pump will run on a timer. You have an autofill, or someone who checks the water levels for you. Will you use a safety cover, or solar blanket? Both reduce evaporation and FC loss from sunlight.

    You start with a CYA of 30-40, the trichlor tablets will raise the CYA slowly over the season. Each week when you arrive, you will test your water and make any necessary adjustments to PH using Borax, then Chlorine (using bleach), then TA, using Baking soda.

    Each weekend or as necessary to keep the CYA below 50, you will backwash the sand filter which will lower the water, requiring water replacement. This routine backwashing will help keep the CYA level in check. You will monitor your CYA level monthly, adjusting FC levels as necessary (the higher the CYA level, the higher the FC level required to prevent algae).

    If the chlorinator isn't producing enough FC you may arrive to a cloudy or green pool, and you'll spend the weekend shocking. It may take a few trial and errors to figure out what level you will need to set the inline chlorinator at, to produce enough FC daily. To avoid problems, I would start at the high end of the chlorinator's options, and work you're way down till you figure out the proper setting to obtain the daily needed FC levels. If the CYA level is getting too high, and the amount of FC the chlorinator is releasing can't keep up, you'll need to drain out some water and replace with fresh to lower the CYA level. Starting out at the high end could be problematic for PH/TA though.

    On the weekends, you can turn off the chlorinator and just use bleach while you are there. You can tweak any necessary levels while there...

    With your TF100, you will monitor your PH/TA levels, using borax and baking soda to keep the PH and TA in line. Because the trichlor is acidic, you need to keep the PH and TA up at the start of the week before you leave, so it doesn't get too low while you are gone.

    You will probably need to increase these levels when you arrive to your vacation home. Ideally, before you leave for your main home, your PH is 7.8 and your TA is 100-120. (Running with a higher TA will help keep the PH from getting too low.)

    If you know in advance that you will miss a weekend, shock the pool with bleach before you leave, as an added precaution.

    It's not perfect, but it could possibly work. But you have to be diligent with monitoring the levels, and making sure they are as ideal as they can be at the outset.

    There are lot of pool owners that use the trichlor method and have moderate success. They probably shock more than the average BBB user, but whatever works, right?

    If you have visible algae now, your pool guy is not doing his job, so why pay him your hard earned money?

    There are articles in pool school that instruct you on the basics of BBB and how to defeat algae. You should dedicate more than a weekend just in case, if you want to tackle clearing it up yourself.

    Trichlor is not what we normally recommend, but you CAN make it work if you understand what they do to the pool and how to rectify it. It's more expensive to go this route, but it can work for your situation.

    The alternative is a liquidator (not without issues) and ideally an SWG.

    The truth is there is NO system for pool care that takes care of itself. But an SWG is certainly more ideal that trichlor.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    I would also say that a modified trichlor approach would be workable as long as you don't mind doing the drain and refill dance (extended backwashing will suffice) to keep the CYA in check. I would also recommend adding borates to 50ppm or using polyquat 60 weekly as extra insurance against algae.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    Good point.
    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

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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    Thanks for all of the responses, especially frustratedpoolmom.

    I took a look at the liquidator, it looks interesting, but seems like it could get expensive down the road. Also in a few years I hope to be out here full time which would mean I wouldn't need the liquidator.

    The inline chlorinator looks pretty inexpensive. My pool guy is currently using Trichlor by just leaving three tablets in both skimmer baskets.

    I think for now I'm going to give the pool guy a chance to improve, but if I come out to a green pool next weekend he'll be history. I definitely intend to switch over to BBB once I spend more time out here.

    Thanks again

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    FYI, tablets should not be placed in skimmers, unless your pump runs 24/7.

    Since they are acidic, if the pump is off, the water in the skimmer becomes very low in PH, almost like adding acid to the skimmer. It causes skimmer parts to become brittle and break, and can wreak havoc on pump/filter parts and equipment. Better to use an inline chlorinator or floater.
    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

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: BBB With Only Weekly Testing?

    You say you don't have an SWG, but would you consider installing one? That would make taking care of the pool much easier. Once you got all your numbers in line it could keep your pool pretty much perfect with only weekly testing and the occasional muriatic acid edition.

    This would also allow you to keep the pool trouble free without all of the water replacement.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
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