BBB Just getting started

Jun 23, 2008
11
#1
I have thouroughly enjoyed this very informative site and I have learned sooo much in the past couple hours...especially @ Pool School. THANK YOU GUYS! So yesterday in HOT Columbia, SC, I bought a regular 16' x 48" Intex frame pool, (1000gph pump, water capacity will be approx 5100 gallons) and it is almost full. From what I have read/learned on this site, I am leaving the house shortly to go pick up
1) A good test kit!
2) CYA,
3) Bleach,
4) Borax
5) Baking Soda
6) Muriatic Acid

I have just a few questions that I could not find specific answers for....

1) Since I need CYA (careful not to overdo it!) in the pool to help maintain the correct level of chlorine, and it takes approx. a week to get an accurate CYA level, do I just keep adding bleach to keep/get the water at the correct level until the CYA disolves and stabilizes?

2) For my 5100 gallon pool, what would be an approximation of the amounts of the above chemicals I should probably buy for this first month?

3) Is there any specific order that I should add the Chemicals or waiting periods between adding them?

4) Using the Calculator to add the first round appropriate amount of chemicals, how long do I have to wait until I can swim in the pool?

If I have mis-stated anything here I appologize in advance....I am COMPLETELY new to owning a pool, but I am excited about it at the same time. I know I am long winded, but I just want to do this right from the beginning. Thanks in advance!!!
 

lovingHDTV

LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2007
529
Round Rock, TX
#2
I would do:

TA,PH,CH,CYA,FC

If you could post your numbers for the fill water that would help a lot. If the balancing for TA/PH is going to take a day or two, then you would want to put some FC in there to keep the algae out.

Get that testcase and post some numbers.

I would put half to 2/3 of the recommended additive when I have not done it before, wait retest and adjust again. On my own pool, I've added so much Acid that I know exactly how it will react, so I put the entire amount in.

Wait times depend.

CYA - 1 week
FC - with pump running 30minutes to an hour, same for PH/TA.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#3
tallpaul said:
I have thouroughly enjoyed this very informative site and I have learned sooo much in the past couple hours...especially @ Pool School.

Congrats on going to Pool School! It WILL make you smarter!! I will answer a couple of your questions:


1) Since I need CYA (careful not to overdo it!) in the pool to help maintain the correct level of chlorine, and it takes approx. a week to get an accurate CYA level, do I just keep adding bleach to keep/get the water at the correct level until the CYA disolves and stabilizes?

Yes. you need 1-3 ppm FC while your CYA is 0, and 3-5 once you get to your target level of 30-50ppm CYA. So I would start at 1-2 and move to 3ppm halfway thru the week, and be at 3-4 by the end of the week

2) For my 5100 gallon pool, what would be an approximation of the amounts of the above chemicals I should probably buy for this first month?

The answer depends on your fill water, weather, and usage. If you have very high TA for example, you won't need any soda! If you have a high bather load daily, you will need more bleach than someone who only uses the pool once a week

3) Is there any specific order that I should add the Chemicals or waiting periods between adding them?

I will let someone else cover this

4) Using the Calculator to add the first round appropriate amount of chemicals, how long do I have to wait until I can swim in the pool?

Wait a few minutes for the water to mix, and start swimming!
I will state that with the intex filters, you need to stay 2 steps ahead of your water!! Test and add the appropriate chemicals on a daily basis, and it will be smooth sailing... um, er, swimming all summer!!
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#5
Thank you for the responses and again I am definitely a noob! Just went to wally world and picked the stuff up then went to my local pool dealer to get a test kit and all they had were the strip kinds which I didn't want and which they said wouldn't work because "the amount of chlorine from the bleach added to my pool wouldn't register on the strip".?! I called another dealer he didn't have any of the taylor k's in stock and asked me why I wanted that type of kit......Again, I tell him what I am planning on doing and he gives me the same song and dance saying that the amount of chlorine in bleach will not register...it is bad, blah, blah, blah. He then lets me know that I have to have calcium consistantly added to the pool bc the combination of "chemicals will try to pull it out of my vinyl liner" (I couldn't make this up if I tried) I could tell this guy wanted to sell me the farm.
What is wrong with these people. Correct me if I am wrong, but I would be adding more bleach than there chlorine products(guy told me his stuff was 41% chlorine) to make up for the difference is concentration but they never assumed this I guess...AM I MISSING SOMETHING? I was all excited to use this BBB DIY approach and now these guys have me second guessing myself.
I just got off the phone with a large nationwide pool supplier listed from this site and they have this DPD Complete Chlorine Kit for $49.99. Will this work?

Description
"The industry standard for accurate, reliable testing, These kits are designed to permit users to build up their
test kits in a stepwise fashion as their testing needs grow. Top-notch chemistry and easy-to-follow color
coded instructions make this kit the perfect choice for service technicians, public and semi-public pool
operators,environmental health specialists, and DIY consumers. This kit features .75-ounce reagents.

Kit contains tests for free, combined, and total chlorine (.5 to 5ppm), total bromine (1 to 10ppm), pH (7.0 to8.0)
with acid and base demand, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid. "

Anyhow, I just want to get this show on the road so I can jump in my now full pool!!!! I always seem to find much more knowledgeble people on forums than in a store, dealership, etc., so I TRULY VALUE your help! Will the above kit work for me and am I not grasping some key concepts?
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
#7
Hey tallpaul,

Good job on not getting "pool stored". :goodjob: Just stick with the folks here and you will have no problems with your pool.

tallpaul said:
I was all excited to use this BBB DIY approach and now these guys have me second guessing myself.
Just ignore them. You will find testimony after testimony about how BBB works great for our pools! If you have any doubt about the BBB method of pool care, you are welcome to to come see our pool. We are near Irmo.

Now, about that test kit. The favorite kit around here is the TF Test kit sold by duraleigh, one of our members. He also has fantastic customer service. He ships the same day if order rec'd before 2 PM & he is next door in NC. Link in my sig for his site. Also, TFP has made a kit comparison, here: category/pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison

Also, should you decide to support the TFP site and become a Lifetime Member, you get a discount on the kit. :)

The BEST investment we made in our pool was a good test kit!

If you haven't found it yet, use Jason's Pool Calculator, link in my sig, to find the correct doses for your pool.

Post back any questions you have and someone will be here to help you. :lol:
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#8
jjparrish, you really are right around the corner! Again, thank you everyone...I'm gonna stick to my guns and go the BBB route. That calculator is one of the many resourses that I have found here and it really helped to seal the deal for me to go with the BBB approach because it seems pretty straight forward. Since time is of the essence, (ie, I have off of work tomorrow and want to swim!) I am opting to get the local kit listed in my previous post so we can get this process started before we start growing a science experiment that I have read so much about :) . Anyhow, thanks again and I am really finding great info on this site!

PAUL
 

skinman

LifeTime Supporter
May 29, 2008
38
SE Michigan
#9
tallpaul, I was so thrilled about the praises from people getting control of their pools and the help available from the great people here that I became

a Lifetime member and bought the TF test kit a week BEFORE my pool was installed. That's about one trip to the pool store. My water has been crystal clear from the day it was filled. I spent $12.00 for chemicals to get the chemistry right and it is costing me $.73 a day for bleach.

Stay with us and you'll be the proud owner of a beautiful pool while the neighbors are pouring the green from their wallet into their green water.
 
G
#10
tallpaul said:
I just got off the phone with a large nationwide pool supplier listed from this site and they have this DPD Complete Chlorine Kit for $49.99. Will this work?

Description
"The industry standard for accurate, reliable testing, These kits are designed to permit users to build up their
test kits in a stepwise fashion as their testing needs grow. Top-notch chemistry and easy-to-follow color
coded instructions make this kit the perfect choice for service technicians, public and semi-public pool
operators,environmental health specialists, and DIY consumers. This kit features .75-ounce reagents.
This sounds very much like a Taylor K-2005. It is NOT the kit you want because it uses the DPD chlorine test. The kit you want is a Taylor K-2006 or the TF Test Kit's TF100 which both use the FAS-DPD chlorine testing method. It is far superior, easier to read, will test much higher chlorine levels, will not bleach out, and can detect combined chlorine at low as .2 ppm.
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#11
Thanks Waterbear...I'm assuming what I need from the store I'm going to is the Leslie's FAS-DPD Service test kit (since it is the same as the Taylor K-2006 from "Pool School-test kits compared"). Thanks for pointing that out...I was about to buy the wrong one...too much learning in one day, lol it's all running together! I would (and eventually will) buy the TF100 but I have to have it tomorrow. Thanks again

Paul
 
G
#12
tallpaul said:
Thanks Waterbear...I'm assuming what I need from the store I'm going to is the Leslie's FAS-DPD Service test kit (since it is the same as the Taylor K-2006 from "Pool School-test kits compared"). Thanks for pointing that out...I was about to buy the wrong one...too much learning in one day, lol it's all running together! I would (and eventually will) buy the TF100 but I have to have it tomorrow. Thanks again

Paul
If you get the leslies's FAS-DPD service test kit you really don't need a TF 100. I would also pick up their OTO basic test kit (2 way total chlorine/pH tester) for quick daily checks to make sure chlorine and pH are in the ballpark. If you do this you essentially have the TF100.
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#13
Well, wasted a trip to Leslie's so I ordered the TF100 which I'm sure that I will be pleased with. Got my fill h2o tested and the #'s are as follows:

FC - 0
TC - 0
PH - 7.2
TA - 20
Calcium Hardness -30
total dis. solids - 100

So first I have started to add Baking Soda (76 oz by volume according to Calculator and Pool Store) in two batches according to PS guy over 4 hours. Following lovingHDTV's advice, I will tackle things in the below order.

lovingHDTV said:
I would do:

TA,PH,CH,CYA,FC
Until my kit arrives, I guess that I am at the mercy of the PS for testing but that should be ok for now I guess. Should I be adding bleach during the TA/PH process/waiting period before the test kit arrives, and if so how much? I understand that without CYA the chlorine will rapidly dissipate so any ideas on how to keep everything somewhat in check from this point until I get my test kit would be great to know. - I get more confident everyday thanks to this place!
 

DLSDO

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2007
330
Midwest
#14
Get some bleach in that pool. ~4 cups of 6% should suffice per the pool calc. Will get you a FC of ~3. In regards to CH....Vinyl lined and Fiberglass pools probably need none but 150ppm is suggested by some vinyl manufacturers and may well help reduce foaming in your pool water. Get your CYA in a sock and add it in.

Enjoy,
 
G
#15
DLSDO said:
"Vinyl lined and Fiberglass pools probably need none but 150ppm is suggested by some vinyl manufacturers and may well help reduce foaming in your pool water. Get your CYA in a sock and add it in.

Enjoy,
fiberglass pools actually do need almost as much calcium to help prevent staining and cobalt spotting.
 

saml

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2008
51
Near Knoxville TN
#16
I started the BBB method this year after about 15 years of fighting pool chemistry. This year was the worst yet since I couldn't see the bottom of the shallow end. That's when I found this site and started learning about FC requirements for a corresponding CYA level, as well as how to shock the pool. I also asked several questions which were very helpful. My biggest problem was that for years I had been using WalMart/Home Depot shock which contains stabilizer. This coupled with the pucks had driven CYA to >180 according to strips. After a 60% drain/refill followed by another 20% I'm now at ~80 CYA (still learning to see the dot.). For the first time in years I had to add some acid tonight to lower the ph which, as expected, drifted up to 7.8. (It had been "stuck" at 7.2 for who knows how long.) I could go on and on but I will just say that at this time the water looks as good as I can remember in a long time. Also my wife stated the water feels better. Like you I ordered the TF-100 and ended up ordering a spare FC/CC test since I was shocking and still fine tuning. As others have stated the customer support is outstanding and best of all you've got all these people who can help you on proper usage if you need it. Actually its very easy. Two suggestions I found handy, [1] for the CH test mix between drops 20-30 seconds, and [2] make sure the pink is gone when doing the FC drops. But don't let the sample set because it will turn pinkish again if you wait. Sorry for the ranting but it's a relief to have a hold of this pool chemisty thing after all these years. Good luck.
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#17
Once my tf100 kit gets here (DHL said tomorrow) I will be able to know what is going on with my water, but it is still clear. After going to the PS for water analysis yesterday I added the proper amount of Baking Soda for TA, I run the pump 24/7, added 42 oz of 6% bleach per the pool calculator, put the CYA in a sock and added 3 cups of bleach this morning. After work I am going to take another water sample to the PS. I hope that I am doing this right considering I am flying blind w/o a kit.

1) Should I now work on the PH even though I don't have my test kit yet? PH is 7.2 as of yesterday and to get it to 7.5 I need to add 16oz of Borax according to the calculator. I guess I need to go through pool school again bc I cannot remember the correct way to add the Borax.

2) In the PS analysis, it says that I need to "broadcast 10 lbs of HARDNESS PLUS over the pool's surface - not on the same day as Soda ash (borax) or Alkalinity up (baking soda). Is this for Calcium and do I need this much/or do I need my goal in a vinyl pool to be 260? Is the PS the only place to buy calcium chloride or calcium chloride dihydrate and how much is it?

I'm hope that I can have this thing in order before Saturday because we are having some people over to swim!!!

THANKS AGAIN you guys/gals are a lifesaver...Soon, I will hopefully not have to ask so many questions!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#18
There isn't normally any need to raise PH from 7.2 to 7.5. Only if your PH tends to drift down should you raise it, this is common when using trichlor tablets. Otherwise it is likely to drift up slowly on it's own and you can simply let that happen naturally.

Hardness Plus adds calcium. With a vinyl pool I would suggest a much lower CH target, say 150, and many people leave their CH level lower than that in vinyl pools. Calcium can be added using calcium chloride, often sold as a deicer, if you can find it. Otherwise you can use the pool store stuff.
 
Jun 23, 2008
11
#19
So I got my tf-100 kit and now I understand why you guys recommend it so much!!! It is very easy to use. So I took a test and only added bleach bc FC was @ zero again. I waited and hour and tested again...these were the results:

FC - 3
CC - .5
TA - 200 (yikes! how did that get so high)
CH - 20
PH ~ 7.4
CYA - 0 (still only been 2 days with it in the sock)

I added Baking Soda for the TA based on Tuesday's report from the PS (the PS report said TA - 20). I added a little less than 70oz (based on the pool calculator) by volume of baking soda over two periods (35oz each time). Did I do something wrong to cause this spike and do I need to do anything to bring this down to ~ 100? Now it is POURING down some much needed rain but I am sure this will send my #'s all over the place! Thanks for any help that you can give me on this!

Paul
 

DLSDO

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2007
330
Midwest
#20
Don't panic.

I would bet the PS values were inaccurate. In order to drop your TA you will need to drop your pH to the low end of normal and aerate.

It usually takes about a week to get your CYA up.

Your doing fine. Just check your value each night and adjust accordingly.