BBB method alternatives?

PoolGuy87

Active member
Jun 11, 2012
26
Topeka, KS
We have an Intex AGP and I have been lurking on here for a bit. The BBB method sounds great but my wife INSISTS that we don't put bleach in our pool with the kids. I have shown her the labels that show its the exact same stuff, but I will choose my battles wisely.

We picked up 3'' pucks at Wal-Mart for chlorine and also some ph minus. Tested water and CYA was at 10, so I got some stabilizer also and put it in a sock on the ladder. Will all of this work together or should I just do pool maintenance while she is at work?

Marriage at its finest, eh?
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
Do you know what your current cya (stablizer) level is?

The pucks will add cya to your water very quickly, and once it is high the only way to lower is to drain/refill.

I would recommend you fight this battle with her...maybe have her read this article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/bbb_for_pools or just use liquid chlorine, which doesn't say bleach on the bottle, but it just higher concentration sodium hypochlorite.
 

wetchem

Well-known member
PoolGuy87: Is DW willing to read this forum?
You might point out that a Chemist with over 20 years in an industrial laboratory (me :blush: ) is using this method and that there are a lot of people on this site that have backgrounds in pool maintenance using this method in their own pools.

See if she'll read some of the Pool School documents.

If she is still unreasonable... then we need to find a convenient truth: Now, what I would do, is go to the local hardware (ie Menards, Ace, Lowe's, etc.. if you're in the U.S.) or the pool store (ONLY if cheaper!) and look for the liquid chlorine: Here's one from Menard's - it's just one brand: http://www.menards.com/main/outdoor/pools-accessories/polyguard-clear-x-pool-shock-treatment/p-1729517-c-10137.htm This is the more concentrated version (10 to 12%) of the bleach you use in the laundry (6%) - The point here is that it is labeled for pool use.

Don't tell her it's bleach... tell her it's liquid chlorine, or liquid pool sanitizer. These are both true statements; this way you can continue to use the BBB method and not lie to your DW! You'll never get away with trying to sneak the BBB method behind her back, the girls can read minds... at least my DW seems to be able too... :shock:

Good luck!
-wc
 

PoolGuy87

Active member
Jun 11, 2012
26
Topeka, KS
I'll test my CYA tomorrow. I pulled my sock out last night to make sure I didn't add too much. If I'm using pucks, I'll see what they bring it to. As far as convincing the wife, I may try the liquid chlorine method. Is it ok to finish using my pucks and then switch? I'd imagine so, but want to make sure.

I had to add 3 cups of baking soda yesterday to raise my TA and wanted to add it right before we swam to mix it. She freaked because she didn't want to swim with that stuff. Ugh, she is making it VERY difficult to maintain this thing. (The evil part of me wishes I didn't add anything to it and let her see what happens in two weeks....GO SWIM IN THAT!!!)
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
If I read it correctly, she is concerned about adding the bleach/sanitizer and then adding the kids to the pool. If this is the problem, try adding the chems to the pool in the evening, after the kids have finished for the day. The BBB method depends on daily maintenance and if you add the chems in the evening, after use, it will have time to clean up the pool. If you are going to loose chlorine, it will be lowest in the late afternoon (when the kids get in) and then you add the new dose after use... Lather, rinse, repeat.
 

wetchem

Well-known member
Here's another... on a different thread here (I'll have to search it again) there was a link...
http://www.anotherperfectpoolnews.com/2011/06/26/incompatible-pool-chemicals/

(EDIT: Noticed... in the links to right of the page... guess who'e there... that's right TFP! :goodjob: )


Have her watch the videos (read the caption under one.... "Just click on the video on the left and see what happens when a little Coca-Cola is poured on granular Cal-Hypo — again — DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!" Even as a chemist, I wouldn't try this at home and I have idea what I'm doing!)

... then ask, which is safer, BBB or the other stuff............

-wc
 

PoolGuy87

Active member
Jun 11, 2012
26
Topeka, KS
She just doesn't want the kids to swim with BLEACH period. Not necessarily elevated levels versus minimal levels, but the idea of BLEACH!!!!! She thinks that the pool chemicals have been tested, blah, blah blah....

Of course, when we bought the pool she wanted to go right to the pool store and load up, which I refused to do. I think I'll finish out my pucks (5 left) and then switch to liquid chlorine and check my CYA levels then. Liquid chlorine doesn't add CYA also does it?
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Not sure if this explanation helps your cause or not, but the sanitizing agent in your swimming pool is hypochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is created in the pool by adding chlorine. So, whether you add dichlor, trichlor, cal-hypo, bleach, or "pool shock" (read: powder, pucks, or liquid), they ALL react with water to create the same HOCl, which cleans the pool.
 

wetchem

Well-known member
PoolGuy87 said:
She just doesn't want the kids to swim with BLEACH period. Not necessarily elevated levels versus minimal levels, but the idea of BLEACH!!!!! She thinks that the pool chemicals have been tested, blah, blah blah....
OK< Logic is out the window...

If you're brave enough... ask her what she thinks the kids are swiming in at the public pool or water park... of course, I have a nice warm bed calling me. :wink:

-wc
 

Samantha Sabrina

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2012
346
Bloomsdale, Mo
You might consider showing her the ingredients of "bleach" right next to the ingredients of the pucks.

They should both list chlorine, and then point out the additional ingredients in the pucks.
 

PoolGuy87

Active member
Jun 11, 2012
26
Topeka, KS
Samantha,

I did exactly that, and she said she doesn't care and she will not let the kids swim with bleach. don't you know bleach is only used for laundry?!?

I'm not going to battle with her, go buy the "pool chemicals" (liquid chlorine) and hopefully the pool remains fun for everyone. The point is to enjoy it and not let it be an arguing point!

I appreciate the help of everyone and cheers to happy swimming!!!
 

Mesamav

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2011
190
Mesa Arizona
I'm in the Phoenix area and the cheapest chlorine in any form I've found is at Walmart. If you compare the 6% vs. the 10%, even the dollar store stuff, the 10% comes out cheaper to use. I haven't found any great deals around here so I get my "pool sanitizer" from Walmart.
Either man up and tell her the way it's going to be (hope you have a nice couch) or buy the 10% at Walmart and be done with it.
Well, I suppose you could buy 4 gallons with all the fancy writing on them saying they are pool chemicals and keep the bottles when you're done with them. If you have someplace that sells cheaper bleach, just transfer the contents from one bottle to the bottles with the fancy labels.
Would that work for ya????
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
Bleach gets a bad rap - probably because it's one of the strongest industrial chemicals found in a typical home. Your wife uses it, and knows it's dangerous and is therefore fearful of it. Fair enough.

But we cant forget - Bleach is what keeps the Cholera out of our drinking water. The EPA says you can have 3ppm of Bleach in your drinking water - and in fact if you dont have at least 1ppm of Bleach in your drinking water then it's unsafe to drink!

One of the things people get hung up on with "BBB" is it sounds a lot like Use Laundry Detergent in the pool. But really it has nothing to do with that. What we are in search of are the purest forms of chemistry we need - with no additives - at the cheapest price. If we found these products at an automotive store or restaurant supply - we'd go there. It happens that this chemistry is found at the grocery store.

The thing about Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite, Chlorine, whatever) is that is can be described as "Salt (the kind you eat) + Water + Energy" It's this extra energy that gives bleach it's disinfectant properties. But the beauty is once Bleach does it's thing it looses it's extra energy and converts back to salt. So there is no build up of anything in the water - except salt (the kind you eat)

I totally appreciate the skepticism. It's really hard to trust the information you find on the internet. So much of it is bogus. But you wont find a more detailed, technical, scientific and community oriented group of people than you'll find here.

If in the end it feels better to use 12% Sodium Hypochlorite "Pool Shock" rather than 6% Sodium Hypochlorite "Clorox Bleach" - go for it. Just keep in mind ALL forms of solid pool chlorine contain additional chemicals that DO build up over time and can cause problems. It's not that they are unsafe - you just gotta know what they are.

Anyways - I wish you and your wife a great summer. Kids and a pool are really what life is all about.

You can find a very detailed discussion of the chemical makeup of these products here :

post190888.html#p190888
 

PoolGuy87

Active member
Jun 11, 2012
26
Topeka, KS
You guys are awesome!! I feel like I shouldn't prod too hard and we'll see what happens when "the dust settles". For now, I will use the "pool stuff" and see where the idea goes. Maybe later in the summer she will realize its the same stuff and we can just dump bleach.

However, keeping an old liquid chlorine bottle around and adding bleach may work. We'll see how observant she is.
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
PoolGuy87 said:
For now, I will use the "pool stuff" and see where the idea goes.
I'll second the above advice....I've been pricing liquid chlorine in all concentrations for the past 6 months, and the best value I've found is the 12.5%, labeled as "Pool Shock" or "Liquid Pool Shock" or the like, and I was getting it for $2.50 a gallon. That's better than WalMart prices on laundry bleach. You should be able to use BBB while using chemicals labelled for swimming pools, and still pay the cheapest price.

Good luck.
 

gkruske

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2009
220
PoolGuy87 said:
However, keeping an old liquid chlorine bottle around and adding bleach may work. We'll see how observant she is.
Aha! I was waiting for this to come out! I never condone being deceitful, but sometimes, in order to prove a point, you gotta do what you gotta do. My wife had the same concerns with bleach. But at the end of the day, all she wanted to do was swim in a healthy pool. I presented evidence, and that was that.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
If she takes a whiff of the liquid chlorine (chlorinating liquid), isn't she going to think it's just a stronger form of BLEACH (which it is, of course)? I guess it just comes down to what the label says.