A few ??? regarding the BBB Method

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
After reading Pool School and The BBB Method AND having a recent problem with Pink Algae, I have decided to "Dive In" to the BBB Method of pool chemistry. I do have a few questions, but first ... my setup and chemistry.
Setup:
24' Round (14,600 gal)
Hayward Pro 18" Sand Filter w/ 1HP Powerflo Matrix Pump (Run from 10am to 8pm)
Water temp. was 80 Degrees today. Sun on pool from about 10am - 8pm

Chemistry:
FC - 2? (The ? is because I use, well, used to use, the dreaded test strip) A TF-100 is on order BTW
TC - Seemed way over 5 (Orange in color using HTH Test (OTO))
pH - 7.0 (HTH test)
CYA - 70 (HTH Test)
Total Alk - 130

Here was my usual method of madness. I would "Float" pucks daily, add a little Baking Soda when the pH tested low. Add shock if the TC was low, not realizing that I was fighting an increasing CYA all along (Darn test strips). I never knew that CYA takes a long time to "burn off" and just accumulates, well, until reading here. As the BBB method stated, "Everything was fine, until one day ....". And for me, Pink Algae that started at my stairs 48 hrs. ago was "one day".
My treatment is / was:
1) Reading this forum.
2) Add shock (2 1/2lbs, with one directly into skimmer) immediately. FC on test strip was dark purple when I tested at 24hrs. (Numbers above are after 48hrs.)
3) Add HTH AlgaeGuard 10 (I want to say 18 oz., should have wrote it down)
4) Ran pump continuously for last 48 hrs.
5) Knock off and manually clean Pink Algae from stairs. (at 24hr. point)
6) Vacuum pool bottom and sides. (at 24hr. point)
7) Backwash pump (at 24hr. point)
8) Added 96oz. of 6% Aldi Bleach because the pool calculator said so using above (48hrs) numbers.
9) Added 18oz. (volume) of HTH pH UP (Sodium Carbonate)
10) Went to Wally World and bought Borax. DID NOT add any, awaiting numbers post Sodium Carbonate.
Now, after 24hrs. it looked like the Pink Algae turned white while I was manually scrubbing and vacuuming. After 48hrs. there are very little "floaties" in the pool, the "cotton candy" looking Pink Algae, which from reading here I realize is actually bacteria. So I am HOPING that my problem is resolving, and it looks like is going in that direction, now that I am keeping on top of the FC number and adding chlorine in relation to CYA. I do realize that because of my high CYA level, and obvious bacteria load (hopefully reduced) that I will be using plenty of chlorine in the short term. But with such a short rest of the season here in the Northeast, I was planning on shopping at Aldi's a lot and letting the CYA dilute naturally. I read a great deal before I post, so please don't flame, now here are my ???
1) With rain, backwashing, and water adds, the CYA should dilute down, right? I really would like to avoid a water exchange if I could.
2) I feel I should be prepared with enough chlorine to fight high CYA (Aldi's is just around the corner), but I wonder in the next few weeks just how much? I guess there are plenty of variables ... most being environmental, that there probably isn't even an answer to this.
3) At pool closing, what should I do if my CYA is still above 40? Do I use twice the shock at closing? With the sun the pool gets I figured a CYA of 40 should suffice during summer, please let me know if you think different as I can see from reading that there are quite a few experts on this forum.
4) Is there a chart that that guides as for how long after you add a chemical, that you can test for that chemical and get accurate results? ex. - 24hrs. after adding Borax or Sodium Carbonate?
5) Away from my pool chemistry, What is a "Safe for Me" FC or TC level for getting in the pool? As I mentioned, I was swimming in a FC and TC bath for a short time (30 mins.) and proceeded to take an immediate shower upon exit and a wash of the swim gear.
6) What is a "Safe for The Family" level of FC and TC? I'm willing to accept some danger, but nothing for my family, thank you.
Anyway, sorry for such a long first post, but I don't roll into a forum uninformed and asking non-pertinent, or already answered questions. I did go to Pool School, well at least most of it ... still getting to the last couple of subjects. This is a VERY informative forum and I WILL be recommending this to my fellow water-logged mateys. I wish I found this forum back in May 2007, our pool installation. Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for any and all replies!!! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!
BTW - I think Test Strips should be banned from ALL 50 states and US Territories !! Write your Senator and Congressman today !! LOL !!!
I found out the hard way.
The Pirate Morgan
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,941
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
CYA 70 may not be too high if you get that much sun - it just makes shocking harder.

You seem to have a handle on things, really. I would ignore pH, CH, TA, all that stuff until you pass the overnight chlorine loss test. Since you've found Pool School, I won't try to explain it - the articles are much better anyway. With a TF100, you'll figure things out.

If the water's clear and the CC is below .5, you could probably swim in it up to shock level. Normal level for your CYA is up to 10, anyway. It kinda depends on the pH, too. Nobody likes dry itchy skin or burning eyes.

Just a thought - any pool toys, pool cover, anything that goes in the pool, ought to go in the pool while it's at shock level. They may be harboring more algae.

And I bet you never let FC drop below minimum again. :mrgreen:
 

zea3

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Jul 10, 2009
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Hi,welcome to TFP! I have clipped out part of your posts so I may answer your questions and make some comments and still keep the post reasonably short!

thepiratemorgan said:
Chemistry:
FC - 2? (The ? is because I use, well, used to use, the dreaded test strip) A TF-100 is on order BTW
TC - Seemed way over 5 (Orange in color using HTH Test (OTO))
pH - 7.0 (HTH test)
CYA - 70 (HTH Test)
Total Alk - 130
Do you have a result for calcium (CH)? Even though you have a vinyl liner it is good to know what your CH level is.

CYA of 70 is not unmanageable. It is higher than the recommended range of 30-50 for manually chlorinated pools, but you can still easily maintain daily chlorine levels.
thepiratemorgan said:
I never knew that CYA takes a long time to "burn off" and just accumulates, well, until reading here.
It most cases CYA doesn't "burn off". Sometimes it can be consumed by bacteria when the FC drops below 0 for an extended time, but usually the only way to drop the CYA level is to drain and replace water.
thepiratemorgan said:
I do realize that because of my high CYA level, and obvious bacteria load (hopefully reduced) that I will be using plenty of chlorine in the short term. But with such a short rest of the season here in the Northeast, I was planning on shopping at Aldi's a lot and letting the CYA dilute naturally.
1) With rain, backwashing, and water adds, the CYA should dilute down, right? I really would like to avoid a water exchange if I could.
That would all depend on how much you lose to backwashing. To lower CYA from 70 to 40 would require replacing 43% of the pool volume with fresh water. That being said, it is possible to maintain a pool with CYA of 70. You do not lose CYA with evaporation, only with physical removal of the water, such as splash out, backwashing, and draining.
thepiratemorgan said:
2) I feel I should be prepared with enough chlorine to fight high CYA (Aldi's is just around the corner), but I wonder in the next few weeks just how much? I guess there are plenty of variables ... most being environmental, that there probably isn't even an answer to this.
You can plug your most recent test results into The Pool Calculator and it will show you how much bleach you need to add to meet your target level. With your most recent test results, your daily FC range is 5-10 ppm. You want to target the upper end of the range to make sure you have plenty of FC to fight any organics that may drop into the pool. To raise FC from 2 to 10 requires 2.5 96oz jugs of unscented 6% bleach. You may need to add a jug every day or every other day to stay around 10ppm.
thepiratemorgan said:
3) At pool closing, what should I do if my CYA is still above 40? Do I use twice the shock at closing? With the sun the pool gets I figured a CYA of 40 should suffice during summer, please let me know if you think different as I can see from reading that there are quite a few experts on this forum.
When you are ready to close test the CYA level and use the pool calculator to find the shock level for your pool. Complete the shock process (keep pool at shock level until the FC drops by 1.0 or less from dusk to dawn and the CC is .5 or less) and follow the remaining steps for closing an above ground pool.http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/winterizing%20and%20closing%20your%20above%20group%20pool


thepiratemorgan said:
thepiratemorgan said:
5) Away from my pool chemistry, What is a "Safe for Me" FC or TC level for getting in the pool? As I mentioned, I was swimming in a FC and TC bath for a short time (30 mins.) and proceeded to take an immediate shower upon exit and a wash of the swim gear.
6) What is a "Safe for The Family" level of FC and TC? I'm willing to accept some danger, but nothing for my family, thank you.
You can swim up to shock level for your CYA safely. Check the pool calculator to see what shock level for your pool is.
thepiratemorgan said:
Anyway, sorry for such a long first post, but I don't roll into a forum uninformed and asking non-pertinent, or already answered questions. I did go to Pool School, well at least most of it ... still getting to the last couple of subjects. This is a VERY informative forum and I WILL be recommending this to my fellow water-logged mateys. I wish I found this forum back in May 2007, our pool installation.
You will likely read through Pool School a couple of times and still have plenty of questions. That is fine, feel free to ask all the questions you need. We are here to help!
thepiratemorgan said:
Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for any and all replies!!! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!
BTW - I think Test Strips should be banned from ALL 50 states and US Territories !! Write your Senator and Congressman today !! LOL !!!
I found out the hard way.
The Pirate Morgan
:goodjob: LOL!

EDIT: Well, Richard beat me to it, but I spent a lot of time on this so here it is!
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
Thanks again for your replies.
My CH level is 100 as per HTH kit.
What about my Total Alk level at 130 ??? Is that too high? I would like to get the pH up for softness and eye irritation reasons, and I wouldn't want to fight that. I guess I could leave the solar cover off and turn the eyeball to the surface and aerate the pool. Is that ok to do?
My pool closing questions are answered, thank you. So whatever level I am at with CYA ... the shock level will be determined just as FC is. I kinda thought that with the charts I have seen, just have to confirm it with a human. As for safe swimming levels, that has been answered also ... thank you.
As far as the overnight FC test ... I will have to wait until I get my hands on a more accurate testing solution ... TF-100. But I will be keeping FC in the dark purple range of that stupid test strip (should be 10ppm at that point)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
On the CH test, if the sample turns blue right away then CH is zero. However, if it stays clear or turns some color other than red, pink, or blue, then there is some problem with the testing (possibly bad reagents or extremely high FC levels).

TA at 130 is fine as long as your PH is reasonably stable. If your PH is constantly rising, you will want to lower TA. But if PH stays reasonably stable, you TA is fine where it is.
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
JasonLion said:
On the CH test, if the sample turns blue right away then CH is zero. However, if it stays clear or turns some color other than red, pink, or blue, then there is some problem with the testing (possibly bad reagents or extremely high FC levels).

TA at 130 is fine as long as your PH is reasonably stable. If your PH is constantly rising, you will want to lower TA. But if PH stays reasonably stable, you TA is fine where it is.
Yeah, I edited my above post because I went back out and did another test. When I added the 5 Drops it didn't turn red (like the HTH instructions say, that's where I stopped on last test). It was pretty clear if not yellow. Then I decided to slowly add drop by drop of titrant and it then turned red and then turned blue at 10 drops, hence ... 100. thanks for the info. regardin' TA. My pH never seems to rise, even after adding Sodium Carbonate. I am going to switch to using Borax. But I need advice on how to go about raising the pH for softness and eye irritation aspects.
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
Well, it's been a couple of days since my problem. Most of the Pink Algae is gone with the exception of a few stray "floaties" that are pure white (apparently dead). I strained those out and shocked the pool again with 1lb. HTH Shock'n'Swim. Tested after 24 hrs. and FC appears to be (Dang test strips) at or above 10ppm. Color is dark purple.

But I still would love some advice on raising pH for softness and eye irritation reasons. We swam the other day, that's when I did the above strain and shock post-swim, and I noticed some eye burn and the water did not feel soft anymore. I knew at that point that FC was in the 5ppm range from testing just before entering and pH is sticking at 7.2. Anyway, can't say thanks enough for the information provided on this site. My one problem I had with my method was not realizing the constant accumulation of CYA. My TF-100 test kit will be here tomorrow, can't wait to get accurate numbers.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,941
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
thepiratemorgan said:
Well, it's been a couple of days since my problem. Most of the Pink Algae is gone with the exception of a few stray "floaties" that are pure white (apparently dead). I strained those out and shocked the pool again with 1lb. HTH Shock'n'Swim. Tested after 24 hrs. and FC appears to be (**** test strips) at or above 10ppm. Color is dark purple.

But I still would love some advice on raising pH for softness and eye irritation reasons. We swam the other day, that's when I did the above strain and shock post-swim, and I noticed some eye burn and the water did not feel soft anymore. I knew at that point that FC was in the 5ppm range from testing just before entering and pH is sticking at 7.2. Anyway, can't say thanks enough for the information provided on this site. My one problem I had with my method was not realizing the constant accumulation of CYA. My TF-100 test kit will be here tomorrow, can't wait to get accurate numbers.
You'll have this thing fixed before Labor Day, once you get accurate test results. You may still have some CC causing irritation, the FAS-DPD test will tell you that. You'll also be able to run the overnight loss test accurate to .2 ppm if you want to be that precise. pH and TA should be in the comfort zone, if your test results are correct, so I'm leaning more towards contaminents. You'll know soon enough wihen the kit arrrives!

When you perform the CYA test, mix it up good, take your reading, then pour the sample back and shake it again and repeat it a few times, until you're satisfied. Even after running the test many times, I can still get variations as much as 20.
And if the dot diappears below 100, you'll have to dilute the sample. The vial in the test kit is pretty good for precision measuring. 20ml pool water, 20 ml tap, distilled, or bottled water. Cap and shake to mix it good, then pour from the vial into the CYA mixing bottle.

The CH test takes a long time, even with a speedstir. Your wrist will get tired of swirling. If so, set it aside but don't lose count, and do something else, then come back and continue.

I get a big sample of water and carry it over to the patio table and do my testing sitting down comfortably. It beats squatting pool side. And if I drop something, it's no problem to pick it up.

It's also normal to obsess and test more often than necessary when you get the new toy. :mrgreen:
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. And you are right about getting a new toy (TF-100) ... I'll probably be out there in my jammies at 2 in the mornin' !!! Thank you for the info. regarding contaminants, we'll see what the tests bring up. I will post them either here or in a new thread as TF-100 first test. Today has been an ABSOLUTE washout ... rain ALL day ... will be pumping water out of this pool tomorrow, along with some CYA and chlorine :( of course. Doesn't sound like pool weather tomorrow, either. Oh well, at least I can adjust chemistry as needed without worry to swimmers.
One more question: Do I have to leave the pump on overnight, while doing the Overnight FC Loss test? My pump is off between 8pm and 10am.
 

duraleigh

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Post your test results here in this thread. It helps us all to see your whole "story" when commenting on your test results. :lol:
 

JasonLion

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You don't need to have the pump on all night, but it is good to run it for at least 30 minutes before taking the water samples (evening and morning).
 

thepiratemorgan

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 16, 2010
185
Central NY
JasonLion said:
You don't need to have the pump on all night, but it is good to run it for at least 30 minutes before taking the water samples (evening and morning).
Thanks for that info.

On another note, I received my TF-100 Kit in the mail today. Very nicely packaged, and with the explanations from JasonLion in regards to extended testing printed from this forum, off I went to test.
Excellent guide from JasonLion and I HIGHLY recommend it to any newbies reading this post. It's found here:
extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html
Here are my first results:
Environmental - 12 hours post 4 inches of rain, pool at 73 degrees (ahhh man!!), Cloudy, drizzly day, Air temp. 70 degrees at most.
FC - 9
CC - .5
TC - 10
pH - 7.2
TA - 170
CH - 120
CYA - 70

My thoughts: Well, just before the massive rains came, I added 96oz. Bleach ... hence FC - 9 which isn't a bad thing according to poolcalculator.com. TA is a little high, but you guys said all is well there, so no worries. pH a little low, and surprised it's not lower with the, probable, acid rain soaking the pool got yesterday. But it's been stable, so I guess no worries there. CC looks as though pool is clean. Is an overnight FC loss test in order? I guess so, just for good measure, recent algae problem, and practice ;-) (that "new toy" dilemma).
Thanks again for your help and comments guys / gals ... I like to help others as well, and maybe one day when I finally get "schooled" in this ... I can help others here also.
 

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