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Thread: BBB Questions

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    BBB Questions

    This will be my second year tending a pool and the first year went well thanks to this website. I did however cheat and use store bought chlorine and PH Plus. This year I want to use the BBB but need to understand it a little before jumping right in (no pun intended)

    1- Where does everyone buy Baking Soda for the Alkalinity and 20 Mule Team Borax as a PH increaser?
    • I live on Staten Island and the only Baking Soda I find are the little Arm & Hammer boxes for the fridge. As this will be used for a pool and not my fridge, I would think we are talking about much larger boxes.....no?
    • Perhaps I need to pull my head out of my ***** like my wife always tells me, but I have never seen a 20 Mule Team Borax in any stores. Where should I be looking? Much like the bullet above, where do I buy large quantities of this?

    2- I understand chlorine and bleach are sodium hypochlorite. By many posts on this site, many have claimed it and provided proof via the MSDS, but when Clorox states 6% sodium hypochlorite, what is the other 94% in the bottle (probably water). Is there anything in the 94% harmful to the pool that chlorine would not have?

    Sorry if these questions are amateurish but as I have been only doing this for under 1 year therefore I still fall in the category of a newbie and permitted to sound foolish.
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

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    The only place that I ever remember seeing the large containers (10 lbs plus) of baking soda was at Sam's Club or Costco. Never once have I seen them anywhere else. Now, I have seen the 4 pound boxes of baking soda at Kroger. For borax, I have seen it located in every laundry aisle in every grocery store down here in Texas. I'm not sure about where you live though. It is a green and white box with reddish letters I believe. Did you ask a stocker or manager for help in locating it?

    Craig (my name too)

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    Hi, Craig,

    Good questions and easy ones because even I can answer them

    10lb bags of baking soda available at most Sam's Club's, Costco, etc.

    20 mule team borax in the laundry section at most grocery stores, K-mart etc. 4lb boxes.

    You got it..................94% water in the bleach (little bit of salt but not enough to have any significant affect on your pool.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    One pound boxes of generic baking soda from the baking aisle (next to the flour) of the grocery store also work well, are easy to store and are much less expensive than the baking soda sold as alkalinity increaser in pool stores.
    19,000 vinyl pool, solar heat, .75 hp tristar, 48 sq ft de filter

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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    yeah, i too didnt realize that borax was sold in stores until i physically went to look of it. its in the laundry aisle as others have stated,


    that is what youre looking for.
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    I can tell none of ya'll are very old. If you were my age, you watched "Death Valley Days" on TV (hosted, maybe, by Ronald Reagan) and sponsored by 20 Mule Team Borax....Sunday nights, I think.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Agree with above...as for the bleach...make sure you are getting plain bleach, nothing scented.

    Also, the cheaper the better..so feel completely safe getting some generic store brand.
    25,000 gal IG Utopia pool/Raypack gas heater/BBB

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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ideliver
    Agree with above...as for the bleach...make sure you are getting plain bleach, nothing scented.

    Also, the cheaper the better..so feel completely safe getting some generic store brand.
    :werd: bleach is bleach is bleach, its all about the concentrations. check to make sure its sodium hypochlorite and 5.25% is the "normal" and 6% is the "ultra". i know that kroger's has an offbrand called "colorex" that is only 3% and costs $.10 less than the wal-mart ultra bleach (which is 6%).

    also to note, some times the pool store will have the cheapest liquid chlorine, just swing by, or call, ask them the concentration they carry and the price per case (typically 4 gals).
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    Quote Originally Posted by IkeRay
    Quote Originally Posted by ideliver
    Agree with above...as for the bleach...make sure you are getting plain bleach, nothing scented.

    Also, the cheaper the better..so feel completely safe getting some generic store brand.
    :werd: bleach is bleach is bleach, its all about the concentrations. check to make sure its sodium hypochlorite and 5.25% is the "normal" and 6% is the "ultra". i know that kroger's has an offbrand called "colorex" that is only 3% and costs $.10 less than the wal-mart ultra bleach (which is 6%).

    also to note, some times the pool store will have the cheapest liquid chlorine, just swing by, or call, ask them the concentration they carry and the price per case (typically 4 gals).
    That is one H*LL of a post!!! It covers a lot of issues that 'pool people' often encounter
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by IkeRay
    Quote Originally Posted by ideliver
    Agree with above...as for the bleach...make sure you are getting plain bleach, nothing scented.

    Also, the cheaper the better..so feel completely safe getting some generic store brand.
    :werd: bleach is bleach is bleach, its all about the concentrations. check to make sure its sodium hypochlorite and 5.25% is the "normal" and 6% is the "ultra". i know that kroger's has an offbrand called "colorex" that is only 3% and costs $.10 less than the wal-mart ultra bleach (which is 6%).

    also to note, some times the pool store will have the cheapest liquid chlorine, just swing by, or call, ask them the concentration they carry and the price per case (typically 4 gals).
    Though Clorox Regular (unscented) is clearly of high quality and most off-brand Ultra bleaches will be OK and also be around 6% concentration, the off-brand Regular bleaches do vary in quality, not just in concentration. I've seen reports of some losing their strength much faster than they should, especially at such low concentrations (3% or less). So though you are generally OK with the off brands, if you notice any problems then consider switching.

    I buy my chlorine from my pool store that carries 12.5% chlorinating liquid even though they are more expensive than bleach (now $3.30 per gallon so equivalent to about $1.30 for 96 ounces). I like the fact that I return the bottles so they get reused -- even better than recycling them.

    Richard
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    In my area borax is only available at Target and Walmart. Grocery stores around here don't carry it.
    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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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: BBB Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig
    1- Where does everyone buy Baking Soda for the Alkalinity and 20 Mule Team Borax as a PH increaser?
    • I live on Staten Island and the only Baking Soda I find are the little Arm & Hammer boxes for the fridge. As this will be used for a pool and not my fridge, I would think we are talking about much larger boxes.....no?
    • Perhaps I need to pull my head out of my ***** like my wife always tells me, but I have never seen a 20 Mule Team Borax in any stores. Where should I be looking? Much like the bullet above, where do I buy large quantities of this?
    just like to add, i just got back from wal-mart and guess what i found. (notice, 4lbs)


    and guess where it was....thats right, next to the borax, infact the 2 boxes were touching. i also never noticed the baking soda, i guess you really dont see things until you look for them.
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Last year I found the baking soda in large bags at Wal Mart right in the pool supply aisle. (I was looking for something else pool related, and was wondering "What the heck is baking soda doing here???)

    That was while I was still on Baquacil and had problems with white paper algea... and cloudy water.... and .....
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Thanks all! As usual you all came through with a plethora of information! Does everyone agree that the other 94% of the bleach is water and nothing to be concerned about as far as unwanted additives?

    BTW- How long has everyone been using this method? I keep being warned that "I'll bleach my liner", although through prior posts I'm convinced the liner will fade primarily through ultraviolet rays, secondarily through over chlorinating for extended periods. Since bleach is chlorine; it is not the use of bleach, it is the overuse of chlorine that can cause the fading.

    But to further assure myself, and stick it to the non BBBer's, can anyone state they have been using this method for an extended period of time without significant liner damage?
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

  15. Back To Top    #15
    No P in my ool's Avatar
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    But to further assure myself, and stick it to the non BBBer's, can anyone state they have been using this method for an extended period of time without significant liner damage?


    Chlorine is chlorine. You will not bleach your liner using liquid chlorine. I have found that sometimes the top of my liner will look lighter above the water line, but I have found that it just needs cleaning. I'll scrub the liner above the water line with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser and the color matches back up.
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Bleach and chlorinating liquid are denser than water so if you dump it in quickly without good circulation then it can settle towards the bottom of a vinyl liner pool, especially since such pools often do not have floor drains. The high concentration of chlorine is not something you want accumulating at the bottom of your pool. However, the solution is very simple. Just pour the chlorine slowly over a return flow (with the pump running) at the deep end. For extra safety in vinyl pools, brush the walls and floor area near where you poured the chlorine. Once the chlorine is mixed, it doesn't settle -- think The Liquidator which only works because the two layers don't get significantly disturbed for mixing.

    Richard
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Many people on this forum have been using bleach or liquid pool chlorine (12% bleach) for years. I am going on my fourth year. Most large commercial pools use liquid chlorine through an injection system. Added correctly, it is no harsher than other types of chlorine. Additionally, it does not add calcium or stabilizer to the pool.
    Chris
    19,000 vinyl pool, solar heat, .75 hp tristar, 48 sq ft de filter

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Bleach is fine for use in a pool. Aside from water and chlorine there is also salt and possibly tiny amounts of contaminates (nothing compared to what falls into the pool).

    The main cause of chemical damage to the liner is low PH. Normal usage of bleach won't have any effect on the liner that other forms of chlorine wouldn't also have.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    if you can shop around for bleach you may find a place like the "Big Lots" near me.

    $1.30 per gallon (better than Walmart even)
    miegbert

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    Thanks everyone!

    BTW There is no P in my ool brings up a great point. I've been using the Arm & Hammer Magic Eraser to clean my liner above the water line as well, in addition to my white fiberglass stairs, and they come out great!

    It almost seems Arm & Hammer should go straight to the pool business!
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

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