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Thread: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

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    I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method, which works OK, but not great. My only real probem is that I can never kill the mustard algae. I understand that the BBB method is more about the "spirit" and the testing, than the literal meaning. Still, I wonder if I am missing something.

    What I end up doing is using cal hypo in the winter, just to keep the pool from not being green. I seem to have a leak that causes me to add a lot of water throughout the year. So, by the time summer comes around, I usually have fairly low cya, as result of the leak and not using trichlor in the winter. For pool season, I then starting adding trichlor, which builds up the cya, and lowers the ph. Then, I try to balance that with bleach throughout the summer, to offset the cya and the acid. I try some polyquat 60 occasionally, and use muriatic acid as needed.

    I have never used Borax. Also, between the past use of baking soda, the bleach and winter use of cal hypo, my TA tends to be high enough to not need anymore alkaline substances throughout the year. So, I become more of the "B" method.

    My pool is about 35,000 gallons, which makes me very hesitant to go out and buy the hundreds of pounds of Borax and muriatic acid, to meet the recommended amount. (Someday, I might break down and I hire somone try to figure out the leak, and fear the repair could lead to the pool being drained, which makes me even more reluctant to invest in that much Borax.)

    Anyway, I have few questions. Since Borax, bleach and baking soda are all highly alkaline, even if Borax is suppose to act as a buffer, isn't acid really one of the main items needed, rather than anything else? Is there anyway to really avoid relying upon muriatic acid, to regularly offset the bleach, other than trichlor? Muriatic acid has gone from about $2.00 a gallon to $5.00 in the last 5 years, or so. As far as I can tell, all other acids are even more expensive, for their relative strength. Anyway around this? Next, does it do any good to add Borax, if it not raised to the very high, recommended levels, which would require hundreds of pounds of Borax for my pool and gallons and gallons of acid (which does not seem that cost-effective)? If my TA is already high enough from baking soda, bleach and cal hypo, is there any pont in adding Borax? If I keep adding bleach thoughout the year, doesn't that already keep my alkaline up? How do your keep a pool close to the proper ph using the BBB method, when everyone of the B's is highly alkaline? I understand why stabiliser isn't emphasized much in the name, as that is more of a once a year adjustment. But isn't some of form use of acid, on regular basis, a pretty vital ingredient to offset the bleach, more so than any use of baking soda or Borax. As it is, my pool already tends to run high in ph from the chlorine, how does adding even more alkaline substance help that? Am I missing something?
    25K gal, sand, IG, Vinyl

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    Re: The BB method (no Bicarbonate)

    Welcome to TFP!

    The term BBB came more from the common items one could buy in a grocery store rather than a pool store. It does not mean those are the most common items you would most typically use. For people using mostly chlorinating liquid or bleach, they might use some Muriatic Acid on occasion though can minimize this by having the TA not be too high. So yes, generally it's chlorinating liquid or bleach and a little acid that is the most common set of chemicals needed. Over a longer period of time, a little baking soda might be needed to raise the TA. And, of course, after rain dilution, one might need not only more TA but CH as well, so one can use Cal-Hypo as you are doing over the winter.

    The key is understanding the effects of various chemicals, the equivalents of certain store-bought chemicals vs. pool-store chemicals, and doing what makes sense for your own pool. Knowledge is power which is what BBB is really about -- not a specific set of chemicals to use.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    If you balance your levels properly you won't end up using very much acid at all. Bleach, the only B you end up adding regularly, has no net effect on the PH. When added it raises the PH, and then as the chlorine gets used up the PH goes back down.

    Borax has a number of uses other than just raising and stabilizing the PH. Most significantly, it is an algaecide and improves the water "feel". Using borax in quantities large enough to get any effects other than raising the PH is totally optional, but many people who have tried it like it a lot.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    I've never used acid in my pool.
    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: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I've never used acid in my pool.
    That's right Ann! (Hallucinating people have no business being in a pool! :P )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    LOL

    I've never used MURATIC ACID to treat my pool 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

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    Re: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    But modesty forbids her to brag about it.
    --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: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    Thanks for the responses. If my TA isn't low, and my ph isn't low, should I consider adding some Borax, just for some borates, anyway? From what I read, it seems like people indicate if you don't use a huge amount of Borax, there is no benefit as an algaecide.
    25K gal, sand, IG, Vinyl

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    Re: I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method

    If you want to do 30-50ppm borates, do it when your TA and pH are where you want them. But in a pool the quantities are huge; a lot of people use boric acid, which is essentially TA/pH neutral, because it's easier than getting the borax/MA balance just right.
    --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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