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Thread: Having difficulty transitioning...

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    Having difficulty transitioning...

    I seem to be having a difficult time transitioning to BBB from following pool store directions, largely because even with a dead pump for five days, I don't have any problems with my water. It's just that I'm spending a lot of money. Here's my latest numbers, and what I presume the differences to be between the two methods:

    CYA: 122
    Pool Store: No worries as long as it doesn't get above 200 or so.

    BBB: Need to drain 1/2 your pool, and refill it.

    TC: 8.5
    FC: 7.2
    CC: 1.3

    Pool Store: Use non-chlorine shock, and then let the chlorine get down to acceptable levels of about 3 ppm.

    BBB: With my CYA, I'm pretty much at minimum maintenance FC. I should shock by going up to about 30 ppm, which is pretty much impractical. So I'm back to a refill.

    pH 7.4
    Pool Store: No problems.

    BBB: No problems.
    (Agreement... Yea!!!)

    TA:160
    Pool Store: No problems.

    BBB: Need to get it to about 80. Pull the pH down to between 7.0 and 7.2 with acid and then aerating the water to bring the pH back up. (So much for agreement on the pH).

    I'm looking to go to BBB to make things easier and cheaper.

    The cheaper part I got, but so far, it seems difficult for me to depart so radically from what I have been doing, especially since it's been pretty much working. (Though maybe my problems are lurking around the corner).

    On the other hand, I suspect that if I get my CYA levels under control, the process will become as simple as BBB is meant to be.

    One thing I think is ironic: Until I get my test kit, I've still been getting my numbers from the pool store, but using BBB for maintenance. And, they think my water's great.

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    BBB is not about saving money......that's a by-product. Nor, IMO, it is about making things easy.....it requires some learning and rethinking ways of doing things. Easy is throwing 3 pucks daily into the pool and hoping for the best.

    BBB is embodied by accurate testing and then knowing what to do with the results of those tests. Pool stores are far too often way off base on their test results to provide you the info you need. Importantly, they are there to sell products you most likely don't need so they have a different agenda than you do.

    So, if it's working for you, that's pretty hard to encourage you to fix something that is not broke. However, as you read more, you will find hundreds of folks on here that are now able to take charge of their pools using the knowledge they have gained. Most end up saving money and most find it easier because of the newfound freedom from the poolstore.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    I was thinking the same thing Duraleigh ! Couldnt have said it better myself .....
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
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    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    Regarding TA, I have gotten the impression over time that exactly what the TA is doesn't matter so much, and a high TA by itself is not necessarily a problem. High TA in combination with high pH and high CH can get you into calcium-scaling territory; high TA by itself just puts upward pressure on pH. If you don't have high CH, the only real reason to lower TA aggressively is because you're sick of adding acid "all the time."

    The Pool School and Pool Calc will give you lower target ranges, but that's because when everything is in range you'll minimize any potential issues, avoiding trouble (which is the point, right?). Except for pH and too-low FC, straying outside the ranges is not a guaranteed problem, it just takes more attention.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    [quote="waskydiver"]CYA: 122
    Pool Store: No worries as long as it doesn't get above 200 or so.

    Yeah, but what they have not yet said is that they will be happy to sell you algaecides, flocculants, and clarifiers, and then finally metal sequesterants which may be needed to maintain your pool with this sort of CYA level.
    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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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    what does metal sequestrant do in a high cya level situation?
    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: Having difficulty transitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    what does metal sequestrant do in a high cya level situation?
    Awk, I was not being clear there.... I am just suspecting that if the poster continues with the high CYA, letting it go toward 200 as the pool store says is OK, then they will be sold a huge lot of exotic chemicals, one of which may include copper and then they will need metal sequesterants as well. Maybe I'll just be quiet....
    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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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    oh gotcha. yeah I am constantly amazed and dumbfounded at some of the pool store advice I see here. sickening really.
    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: Having difficulty transitioning...

    When you are using stabilized chlorine, gas chlorination, or bromne (or using MPS to shock on a regular basis) then you want a higher TA to offset the acidic nature of these products. The higher TA will keep driving the pH upward and keep the water from becoming too acidic quickly. However, the TA does get depleted over time so it must be monitored on a regular basis. Also, you will rarely or never need acid but will use a LOT of baking soda (alkalinity increaser), Soda ash (pH increaser) and/or borax (alternative pH increaser with much less impact on TA).

    If you switch to any of the unstabilized chlorine products, including bleach and SWGs, which are essentially pH neutral in use, then you want a much lower TA so the pH does not rise as fast (from outgassing of CO2). You will probably never need soda ash or borax (except to add 50 ppm borates--but that's something else!) and will need baking soda very rarely, if ever (depending on the TA of your fill water). You will need acid and might need CYA on occasion so in effect you are trading 2 or 3 different auxiliary chemicals for one or two. Because of the costs of these chemicals and the frequency that they are needed in each scenerio using unstabilized chlorine (which is what we promote in the "bbb method" -- I really do not like that name since it really does not describe what is involved) comes out costing less in most cases and is easier over the long run.

    There is nothing new or radical about what we call BBB. It's just good pool maintenance as performed by professional pool operators for years using unstabilized chlorine sources. The different TA requirement for the different sanitizer sources did not start with us. It's actually part of the NSPI/ASPS recommended levels that State Health departments base their requirements on and that are taught in CPO (certified pool operator) courses for maintaining commercial pools.

    Likewise, limiting CYA levels is something that most state health departments do with commercial pools. Usually 50 -100 ppm is the limit that a pool will be closed, depending on the state. NY state allows NO CYA in commercial pools at all. Spas usually have no CYA allowed or it's limited to very low levels of around 30 ppm. This is because CYA does interfere with chlorine's ability to sanitize and kill algae.

    The info that 200 ppm CYA is fine comes from Chemtura, one of the largest manufacturers of stabilized chlorine products and the parent company of Bioguard (and I bet your pool store is a Bioguard dealer!), Omni, Sun, Guardex, AquaChem, and Pooltime (and other brands also).They base this on a flawed study that was done many years ago that was financed by another manufacturer of stabilized chlorine products, the infamous Pinellas county study.

    Their recommendation of up to 200 ppm CYA will not fly with just about every state health departmant across the US for a commercial pool.

    Why should we keep our own pools any differently?

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    When you are using stabilized chlorine, gas chlorination, or bromne (or using MPS to shock on a regular basis) then you want a higher TA to offset the acidic nature of these products. ...
    If you switch to any of the unstabilized chlorine products, including bleach and SWGs, which are essentially pH neutral in use, then you want a much lower TA so the pH does not rise as fast (from outgassing of CO2).
    I figured you would have the detailed explanation!

    In summary, you try to keep TA where it will help stabilize pH, and exactly where that is depends (at least partly) on the chlorine source. And as you learn how your pool behaves, you'll get a better idea where TA should be.

    Thanks!
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    I think I may be understanding a little better.

    Would it be fair to say that using stabalized chlorine actually dumbs it down for the masses, if you will?

    And the "ease" is not so much because the process is easier. Instead, it necessitates an increased understanding in the chemistry, and that understanding makes it easier?

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    Re: Having difficulty transitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by waskydiver
    I think I may be understanding a little better.

    Would it be fair to say that using stabalized chlorine actually dumbs it down for the masses, if you will?

    And the "ease" is not so much because the process is easier. Instead, it necessitates an increased understanding in the chemistry, and that understanding makes it easier?
    Actually, using stabilzed chlorine is harder because TA and pH are always getting lower and CYA is always getting higher so it's more difficult to keep the water balanced. However, the 'masses' just pour in whatever 'magic in a bottle' the pool store guy says to put in to cure the latest water problem and hope for the best. They really do not care for their pools properly and most do not even have a test kit that will test for CYA (or even worse, they use test strips!)

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