BBB and chemical questions

jbeale

Member
Jul 5, 2012
9
Adkins, Tx
OK didnt want my first thread to be a hijack so here goes.

Reading up on the BBB option and have some adv/dis adv ?'s

How many of the 3" tabs of chlorine equate in liquid bleach?

I guess 2nd ? would be be answered by the previous to figure how much more costly the 3" tabs are compared to liquid bleach.

I have recently purchased the big 34lb bucket of 3" tabs from the pool store since in the past it seemed to work better than the hth brand found at walmart

I guess some history is next. I just got things cleaned up this year (about 2 wks ago). Have only added chlorine tabs so far. Pool is ~15,000 gal fiberglass in ground, from about 3' - 5.5' deep, sand filter, 1.5 hp pump, not sure on gpm but I leave it run 24-7. Sand has never been changed and i think this is year 7. My spa jets run all the time because the air intake line has become loose under the concrete so this might be playing into my problems. All the leaves and Crud have been sucked up, I bypassed the filter and dumped straight into the yard, I knew that much junk would Crud out the sand filter in no time. I've back washed many times, at first the water would run cloudy/grey and then clear, would then rinse for 20 - 30 sec, and then back to filter. Now back wash water seems clear, rinse for 15 sec or so and then filter. Been putting 3 - 4 tabs in the skimmer basket and 3 - 4 tabs in the basket at the pump.

As of today TH = 200, FC=0, TA=0, CYA=0, pH < 6.4, according to strip tester (i know not the preferred test method, but it should get me close)

Last year I had a problem getting the TA up to get the pH to fall in line. Guy at pool store sold me jug after jug of alkalinty plus stating that my pool was acidic, tried partial water changes as well. This year I seem to be going down the same path. Based on these number in the pool calc (i used 5 for a pH number) it says to add 1.3 gal of bleach, over 8lbs of soda ash or 16lbs of borax, & 22 lbs of baking soda. Are these numbers a bit extreme or is my water that screwed up. Also should I add all this at one time or 1 chemical at a time until things stabilize? Which should I start w/ first

My wifes having trouble seeing the value of going bbb vs pool store chem. Trying to get a handle on things and generate a decent cost analysis for her. So far HEB has their brand bleach $2.99/gal, baking soda 4lb $2.19, & borax 4lb $3.35

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,938
North Georgia
Welcome!!! We need to get your chlorine up
A.S.A.P!!! Folks will be along to give advice soon. You need to first start reading Pool School a button you see in the top of this page. It will answer all your questions.

You need a better test kit than strips as well.

At this point your wife needs to be more concerned with the unsanitary condition of the pool vs the cost to clean it up.
 

danivdp

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2011
91
Sunny Central Florida
Your water is that screwed up. I would not trust that strip AT ALL, since almost everything it read is at the lowest #. (I'm assuming TH is really calcium, CH.....right?)You should have SOME CYA, due to the fact that you've been dumping pucks in the pool for two weeks. You need to start with Chlorine and CYA, and don't swim until you get the PH higher as well. The soda ash/borax is going to raise your PH, do that in steps. Maybe the baking soda first to get a normal TA number, but honestly, I would not do ANYTHING until I had a real test kit, or more reliable numbers from the pool store. Just go get your water tested, and don't buy anything :)

Is your water clear?

There are tons of threads on how much $$ the BBB chems cost, pool stores always seem to sell you $20-$30 worth of Crud every time you go in there.
 

fast1971chevelle

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2012
456
SW Ohio
i have a 7000 gallon above ground pool and use the bbb method and it cost me a mere 45 cents a day for bleach i buy it in a 96 oz jug for 99 cents and get 2.1 days out of a jug. but all my other water chemistry is spot on and my water is crystal clear it may seem like alot because your water is out of whack righ now but as soon as you get it balanced then to maintain it is a breeze, and this is my first pool and i could not imagine going the pool store route......Mike
 

jbeale

Member
Jul 5, 2012
9
Adkins, Tx
TH = total hardness i guess that would calcium

so to get chlorine levels up, how many gals of bleach are we talking about or should I just go w/ the 1 gal the calc suggested, and maybe 10lbs of baking soda to get the TA moving in the right direction
 

fast1971chevelle

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2012
456
SW Ohio
i would start off by adding 46 oz of borax by weightto get that ph up and about 10 minutes later add 124 oz of 6% bleach that should get you to 4 ppm fc and as soon as possible get some stabilizer in there start off with 4 lbs in a sock in front of the return but don't let it touch the side of the pool and knead it every now and then...that will get you started on the right track.....
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,932
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I think my vote goes to danivdp. Do nothing until you get good test results.

Inaccurate test results are what lead to the see-saw that pool stores are so famous for. If you don't really know where you are, you can't get where you want to be without a lot of wrong turns. If ever.
 

maryj0w

Well-known member
TBH I got so angry with all the "problems" the pool store would tell me every time I brought my pool sample in, then having to hear my husband complain about the $$ we are spending. Last year we would only go if lucky a week with a perfect pool. I decided, to do some research. I found this site late May, and since have had a crystal clear pool ever since (after I shocked all the problems out) , and only buy bleach. Everyone here is so helpful, but my advice as a newb, read up in the pool school section. Take there advice spend a few $$ on a good test kit, and I assure you, you will be satisfied!

Look at your pucks/tabs and see exactly what is in them, and you will see you are adding a lot of things to your pool, that are not even needed.
 

supertune

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2011
447
Clearwater, FL.
You need the Snap-On tools to fix this! :shock:
Go here and order TF-100, if your pool is green, order the XL option.
http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html
Then test, come here post those results here and we can help you in the right direction to go.
pH is the first thing to adjust if the TA is not below 60. if below, get it up to 60-70 then adjust pH to 7.2 - 7.6. Then go through the shock process to clean pool of any organics that eat all your chlorine up faster than you put it in. (this is covered in Pool School link at the top right of the page)
It will seem hard at first but will become easy as you learn what does what.
My pool does exactly what it told to do!
Thanks to TFP! :cheers:
Chuck
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
Welcome to tfp, jbeale :wave:

You have gotten good advice above, especially about getting an appropriate test kit...those strips have been known to be outright misleading.

Putting cost aside for a second, the BBB method is about understanding very basic pool chemistry and testing accurately so you know what to put in (or not put in) to efficiently maintain you pool water chemistry.

Now to cost...in my view, this equates to less time in the car running to the pool store with water samples or to buy chemicals, using the cheapest appropriate chemicals available at many stores (not just pool stores), only using the amount that is needed of these chemicals, and proactively being able to avoid expensive algae outbreaks and pool water changes.
 

toadlife

Well-known member
May 9, 2009
58
Lemoore, CA
jbeale,

To give you an idea just how horrible those test strips are, I just grabbed one I had left over from before I bought a real test kit and tested my water. Here is what the test strips showed for my water, along with the actual measurements taken earlier today with my Taylor K-2005 test kit:

TH = 0 (Actual measurement: 380)
TC = 0 (Actual measurement: 6)
FC = 0 (Actual measurement: 6)
PH = 7.2-7.8 (Actual measurement: 7.5)
TA = 150 (Actual measurement: 90)
CYA = 0 (Actual measurement: 80)

Bottom line: Don't trust the strips. They're garbage.
 

coffeegoddss

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2012
96
Minooka, IL
It can seem like a lot of $ to use the BBB method - especially if you're starting out with a green pool or other problems. But, believe me, it's so much easier and cheaper. I wanted to choke at the prospect of shelling out for a decent test kit - it's now my most used tool and favorite pool "toy" I own! :wink: And the amount of bleach I used to finish the shock process initially was scary - until I did the math of the bleach (I pay $1.19 for 96oz) vs. the cost of what the pool store was trying to sell me. Now that everything is balanced and as it should be according to BBB, I use maybe a jug of bleach every two or three days. That's it.

It's worth it.
 

jbeale

Member
Jul 5, 2012
9
Adkins, Tx
I picked up a big jug (182oz) of bleach, the 4lb jug of hth stabilizer/conditioner, and the 4lb box of borax. Im going to get a good vaccuming tonight, backwash one last time, and top off the water level w/ the hose, add borax, wait 10 - 15 min, add 3/4 - 1 gal of bleach, and then setup a sock w/ the stabilizer/conditioner in front of the skimmer/return or would it be best to drop the sock into the skimmer basket

Also what about changing the sand in the filter? I remember reading something last year about needing to replace the sand in the every 6 - 7 years. Is this something I should be concerned w/ or not really?
 

jbeale

Member
Jul 5, 2012
9
Adkins, Tx
Alrighty, sprinkled 4lbs of borax through out the pool, added ~3/4 gal or so of bleach, and worked 4lb of stabilizer/conditioner through hanging socks in the skimmer. I'll report back in the morning how things look. I'm also going to try to acquire a good test kit tomorrow, probably the lesies version since there are several around town.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Be aware that most local stores do not carry the FAS-DPD chlorine test that is a must have. It is found in the k2006. Don't let them tell you that the DPD test is the same thing in the k2005.

Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone ;)
 

rabbitdundied

Member
Jul 3, 2012
15
I just started this week. I had a bad algae outbreak. I ordered test kit 92.00 including shipping although it is not in yet I have managed to get by with the smaller kit I have throughout the shocking process. I could not test for CYA so I went to the pool store and they tested it for me. I also could not get an accurate FC/CC reading but I have managed. I purchased about 18 gallons of bleach so far to get rid algae outbreak at approximately $32.00. Baking soda and borax $6.00. I also purchased 2 gallons of muriatic acid for $14.00. 3 days later the pool is crystal clear. I am now adding about 3/4 of a gallon of bleach per day now to maintain FC. If that holds that will be approximately $1.35 per day. I intend to invest borates which will lower the chlorine demand after a week of making sure the pool is stable. I have 20,000 gallon pool so yours is approximately .75 the size of mine. I recommend really taking the time to read the pool school stuff. I have asked a bunch of dumb questions that were written in plain English for me to see.