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Thread: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

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    BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Hello All,

    I came across your site earlier this week looking for information on Automatic Pool cleaners as I was picking up a new Kreepy Krauly to help hopefully reduce some of my "Weekend vacuuming" chores! After I got that information though I became intrigued by "Pool School" and the "BBB Method." I'm a pool newbie essentially... my wife and I purchased our house at the end of 2008 and I've been trying to "learn the ropes" since. I had gotten sucked into the "Tabs and Shocking" method by the local pool store but now feel like I am starting to understand a little more about what's happening with my pool.

    Being a CPA I basically have neglected the pool from January until recently and had found a dirty and kinda green pool last weekend. I of course added some tabs to the chlorinator and shocked it and it "seemed" like the pool was clearing up. I read about the BBB Method on my lunch break yesterday and saw a post about the green not necessarily being gone even if the pool is "clearing up." I literally laughed out loud when I got home yesterday to find I had a "Green Pool" again.

    I added some liquid Chlorine (which I was depressed to see only had 10% and I have been paying much more than standard Bleach for it!!) last night and a packet of shock (still have a couple more on hand) to try to bring up the Chlorine levels to begin killing the Algae.

    I don't yet have the fancy tester in hand, so I took my water to Leslie's this morning to have it tested and here are the results:

    FC - 5
    CC - 0 (EDITED from 5 down to 0)
    pH - 8.0
    TA - 140
    CH - 50
    CYA - 50

    I have on hand in my garage: PH up powder, PH down powder, Shock, Liquid Chlorine (10%), Clorox (6%) and 20 Mule Team Borax (my newest additions)

    Where do I need to go from here? I plan to order one of the fancier test kits soon but for now do have one of the cheaper $30 kits that I could use to test Chlorine levels daily.

    Thanks for any and all help and guidance!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Welcome to TFP!

    TAC stands for total active chlorine, which we call TC. Since TC = FC + CC, CC = TC - FC. With FC and TC both at 5, your CC level is zero.

    You should lower your PH down to about 7.5. Assuming your water looks nice and is clear, you don't need to do anything else right now.
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    CH seems low, is that a typo?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Thanks for your replies!

    Jason, Thanks for the CC clarification. I have edited my original post to show 0 for CC. The water is not nice and clear. It is very cloudy, no longer green as of this morning, but you can barely see the bottom of the pool. (and the pool isn't that deep!) As far as "not doing anything right now" are you saying to use my PH down powder to get it down to around ~7.5 and then maintain my FC levels at around 5-6? Will that keep the green away? (I'm worried that I should be maintaining a higher FC level for several days to make sure that is all dead?)

    Meltinthesun, the CH is not a typo. Where should that level be?

    Thanks for the replies!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Hi Russ,

    First, lower your pH down to 7.5.

    Since your water is not clear, you should maintain shock level until you meet this three criteria:
    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    An overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less;
    And, if you don't have a FAS-DPD test kit, the water is clear.

    pool-school/shocking_your_pool explains the shock process.

    Your CH (as MITS said) is way low. CH for plaster pool is recommended at 250 - 350
    pool-school/recommended_levels lists the recommended levels.

    We'll help you get your pool all clean and sparkly.

    Pool School is full of fantastic info, but it can be a lot to digest all at once.

    Keep asking questions

    Welcome to the forum
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    The reason I asked about a CH typo is that it seems like most of our SoCal members have high CH and would sell their firstborn to have such a low number! You may want to get a second test (either your own with a good kit or from another pool store) before you go dumping calcium in there.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    The reason I asked about a CH typo is that it seems like most of our SoCal members have high CH and would sell their firstborn to have such a low number! You may want to get a second test (either your own with a good kit or from another pool store) before you go dumping calcium in there.
    Excellent point! Definitely have that retested!

    Oh, the importance for having your own good quality test ........

    See Test Kits Compared
    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.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    btw, what are the ingredients in your 'shock'?
    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.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Thanks for the replies!

    I will go ahead and adjust the PH down when I get home tonight and according to the schedules in the Pool School looks like I need to be about ~20 for the shocking process and I will maintain that until things clear up.

    Thanks for the link on the Test kits Butterfly, I checked that out yesterday and plan to pick up the TF-100 soon... I will go ahead and have the water re-tested this weekend at a different pool store in the mean time.

    The Shock I have is from Home Depot... the Kemtek "Quick Shock" that comes in the 1 lb Orange and White bags. Don't know the contents of it off hand. I can post that up later when I get home.
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Looks like this is the chemical data sheet for the Shock I have:

    http://www.kem-tek.com/MSDS/040%20MSDS.pdf
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    That is what we call trichlor. Trichlor is not normally used for shocking because it dissolves relatively slowly. Trichlor adds chlorine and CYA, and lowers the PH.
    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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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    That's pretty awesome that they market a product as "Shock" that isn't really a great product to Shock with! (I hope my sarcasm is apparent here! haha) I guess I'll go ahead and just use the high amounts of liquid Chlorine and Chlorox to get the Chlorine levels up and return the remaining shock packets I have? Is that the best plan of attack in this situation? Or is it probably decent to use since I need higher Chlorine now, lowered PH now and a little higher CYA wouldn't kill me?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks for your reply!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    I would save the trichlor for a time when you actually need the CYA level raised.
    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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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    welcome to TFP fellow CPA

    You've gotten great advice so far. The BBB method is really not just about Bleach Borax and Baking soda (although those are cheaper alternatives to Chlorine, PH+ and Alkalinity +, respectively). Rather it is about understanding what is going on with the chemistry of your pool water. I highly suggested investing in the TF100 from Tftestkits.net or the taylor k2006. Being able to measure your levels consistently and adding only chemicals that are needed have save me much more than the $68 spent on the test kit.

    Also, you can proably stop using the shock as it will only increase your CYA level. BTW shock is something you do to your pool water by raising FC with a source of chlorine...powdered "shock" is just another source of chlorination.

    {edit} - sorry took me a while to post this, but you got the msg on shock
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I'll hang onto the powdered "shock" packets if I ever need to raise the CYA as you suggested Jason.

    Thanks for your input to dman... nice to see another CPA around!

    I'll adjust the PH tonight and Shock using Bleach and Chlorine according to the Pool Calculator and I'll keep you guys/gals posted on my progress!

    Thanks again!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ D
    Thanks for the replies guys!

    I'll hang onto the powdered "shock" packets if I ever need to raise the CYA as you suggested Jason.

    I'll adjust the PH tonight and Shock using Bleach and Chlorine according to the Pool Calculator and I'll keep you guys/gals posted on my progress!

    Thanks again!
    Sounds like a plan
    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.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Just wanted to drop a quick update:

    By the time I got home last night the pool was bright blue... but still cloudy. I added some PH down and some Chlorine.

    By this morning my Chlorine levels were still maxed out. (My cheapy test kit only goes to 5) and my PH was down to about 7.6. I decided to double check all my filter grids because my wife had told me when she had tried to vacuum the pool a couple weeks ago "dirt was coming out the returns." As it turned out, the grids looked perfect, but the O ring that seals the return pipe to the filter manifold was basically shot. Part of the cloudiness was arising from a combo of DE and dirt returning to the pool! After replacing the O ring and adding DE to the skimmer I was not seeing a single hint of DE returning to the pool.

    Tonight I got home and Im happy to report I can almost see the bottom of the pool!

    I'll get my Sparkling Oasis back soon! I can feel it!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    Great update
    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: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    UPDATE!

    Hello All,

    Just wanted to report... after fixing the O Ring over the weekend the water cleared dramatically... my wife vacuumed the pool over the weekend, we got the Kreepy Krauly moving about 24/7 pm Monday, and I've been maintaining the levels every day.

    I am happy to report we have ONE SPARKLING OASIS! I really have never seen the water so beautiful in our pool! The only downside... now we can see how bad the plaster is starting to get! Maybe with the $ saved from not buying $$$ pool chemicals all the time we'll be able to save up for a pool remodel!

    Thanks a bunch for all of your replies!
    Russ D.
    Pool Size/Type: ~7,500 gallons In Ground Plaster(~25' x 10' 4' Deep "Play Pool")
    DE Filter (60 sq Ft)
    Hayward Tri Star "Variable Speed" Pump

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    Re: BBB Newbie - Want to go from Green Pool to Clean Pool!

    [quote="Russ D I really have never seen the water so beautiful in our pool! The only downside... now we can see how bad the plaster is starting to get! [/quote]

    That darned clear water!
    TFP Moderator
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