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Thread: Hardwater and getting started with BBB

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    Hardwater and getting started with BBB

    I have three constant operation in-ground pools in Mexico (condo complex, small hotel and a rental house). I have been spending $100s/week for chemicals to maintain these pools. I have left it to my maintenance staff to keep the pools running until now. I have been studying pools like crazy since we had an algae bloom in the large hotel pool our guys couldn't get under control.

    I am very interested in the BBB method - not just for the potential cost savings, but to keep a better running pool. I just started purchasing the supplies for my guys. I haven't got them to take the tablets out yet - but we didn't put granulated chlorine in today and started adding bleach and borax. Progress!

    Here are the measurements from last night in small hotel pool.

    24,000 gal
    TC = 0 (my current test kit just gives me this)
    Ph = 7.2
    TA = 70
    CH = 1020
    CYA = 55-57 (didn't line up on a line)

    Ok, no chlorine, so I added 3 gal of 6% bleach. I was reluctant to add more because of the possibility of lowering the Ph too much. Tested this morning and got these results:

    TC = 0.5
    PH = 6.8
    TA = 80

    We added another 1.5 gal of 6% and 4 cups of borax.

    I was thinking we would need to remove some of the water from the pool to get the CH under control, but we have REALLY hard water out of our well. Tap test shows shows CH of 500. All the pools are plaster.

    I know I need a better test kit (my staff has only been testing Ph and TC for years, I just got a cheapo walmart test kit - because we don't have a pool supply store any where close). Best test kit to order?

    I know we need to get more chlorine in the pool, but I don't think I should be adding it all at once because of it's acidity. Our staff has been maintaining the chlorine (TC) levels at 2-3. I am reading that with the CYA levels where they are, we should be looking at much higher numbers. The concern I have with much higher numbers is that we might freak out the government pool testers who regularly come check our pools.

    Any help getting going with this is appreciated.


    24' Round Vinyl-lined AG, 14K Gal., Hayward Xstream 1500 Cartridge filter w/ powerflow Matrix pump, Hayward H200 Heater, plus one ribbit

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    Adding chlorine using bleach does not have any net impact on the PH. Adding bleach will raise the PH and when the chlorine gets used up it will come back down again. Over time the total change in PH will be very very small. Dichlor (typically granules) and trichlor (typicaly tablets) are completely different, both lower PH signficantly. You can purchase bleach in 50 gallon drums, I don't know if that would be simpler for you or not.

    If the inspectors enforce an upper limit of the chlorine level then you may well need to get the CYA level down. With chlorine levels as low as you have and CYA over 50 you are sure to get algae. If you get CYA down to 30 you could have effective chlorine levels around 2 or 3. That means replacing some water, which will also help with the CH at least a little.

    If you can keep the PH around 7.4 and TA at 70 you shouldn't have any problems with that high a calcium level.
    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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    saraiks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Fremont, CA
    You really need to "invest" in a good test kit. See Jason's Signature above for the TF test kit which is pretty darned good...
    16,000 G in ground Gunnite (plastered) with attached Spa, Gemini 3 NG Heater, Sta-rite cartridge filter, Aquabot Mark V, TF test kit

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    Test Kit

    Get one!!!! Makes all the difference and the BBB thing really does work but those strips just don't cut it. I suck at chemistry and my little pool was crystal clear all summer using BBB but I had to read a TON of material about it and tested my water EVERY day. Don't slack it's worth it. Just come encouragement.
    20*40 Liner 2'-8' deep, Spill Over SPA, Electric Cover, Jandy Purelink (Aquapure & PDA), Hayward SP2610x15 (1.5HP Single Speed), Hayward H300 (Millavolt)

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    From_Arizona's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    Hi Brian,

    I compleetely agree that a good test kit is needed at each of the locations in order to maintain the pools with the least amount of effort. My last pool, I used the test strip methos, and taking the water to pool store to test....I spent lots' of $ at the pool store with constant water issues, algage bloom, etc.

    With my new pool I went ahead and purchased the TF Test Kit. I am very impressed at how easy the tests are to complete and how easy it has made keeping th ebrand new pool sparkling clean, clear and in balance with much lower $ cost than taking the pool store and having them upsell chemicals I do not need or really want.

    Best to you on getting the three pools under control and getting your employees unhooked from those tablets! I am sure your clients will be thrilled to swim in a balanced pool.
    1980's Shasta built 30,000 gal inground diving pool. Pebble-tec interior. Pentair DE Filter. In ground pop-ups. Hayward Navigator sweeper.

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    Thanks for the responses. Test kit on the way. I didn't realize there was one available here until it was ordered - ended up with a K-2006 - sounds like they are comparable, but the TF is priced a little better.

    I have asked my guys to remove the pucks from the pool for the last couple days. They haven't been removed yet - will probably have to do that myself.

    From what I understand it's acceptable to keep the pucks around as a source of CYA when a pool is drained and refilled. As CYA is needed to keep the chlorine around. Did I get that right?

    Thought I would share some pictures of what I am working with.


    24' Round Vinyl-lined AG, 14K Gal., Hayward Xstream 1500 Cartridge filter w/ powerflow Matrix pump, Hayward H200 Heater, plus one ribbit

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    ktdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Katy, TX
    Wow! those are some nice looking pieces of property (and pools).

    Yes, pucks aren't totally taboo. They are good to use as long as the CYA (stabilizer) is monitored. You don't want the CYA level to get above 30-50 ppm. They will also tend to lower the pH as they are acidic.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
    Intelliflo 4x160 pump
    Intellichlor IC-20 SWG
    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
    Pool School
    JasonLion's Pool Calculator
    TF Test Kits

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Your properties are gorgeous!!

    Welcome to TFP!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool,
    Intex SWCG, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Waaay NW MN
    Just beautiful!! Yep, you need to keep those beauties blue and not green!
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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