New Levels w/ BBB & TF-100


Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
Recent BBB convert here! With my brand new plaster pool only about a month old, I've put away the dichlor and trichlor chemicals the startup company gave me, yanked out my Nature2 cartridge and have now started following the BBB method. Although I'm finding I need to add bleach daily, I think in the long run it will still be a less expensive alternative.

I'm working on bumping up some of my chemical levels, based on info received from my previous posts, but I wanted to post my test results with my new TF-100 test kit and see what you all think. Having read just about everything I could on this site regarding the BBB method and correct pool chemistry, and using the Pool Calculator as my guide, I think I already know what I still need to adjust, but I was hoping for a second or third opinion - just to be sure I'm interpreting all of this correctly.

Here are my latest levels as of this morning:

FC - 5 (I think I still need to bump this to 6 based on CYA level, although this confuses me because I've read that you don't want to swim in anything higher than an FC of 3)
CC - 0 (trace amount)
TC - 5
pH - 7.5
TA - 110? I'm still trying to get the hang of this test in the TF100 kit. My HTH 6-way kit is telling me closer to 80.
CH - 210 (I believe I need to increase this with calcium chloride)
CYA - 50 (as of last test on 6/27)

My water is still crystal clear and overall the pool looks great. I'm probably being over-cautious about all of this but don't want my pool to turn into the green swamp I keep hearing about from others.




Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
Northeast Ohio
I'm not an expert on new plaster pools, so I'll let the others weigh in on your adjustments. Not swimming with FC is above 3 as a rule by itself is a myth (although one that you will hear almost every pool store perpetuate.) Safe swimming FC level is based on your CYA. You can safely swim UP TO shock level for your CYA. So, as long as you're under shock level, you're fine.

Chem Geek can, and probably has, gone into the gory detail somewhere on the why, but the chemistry of it is a little too deep for me. We've been swimming in greater than 3 ppm FC for two years with no issues at all and I'm sure others on here have been doing in much longer.


Your water looks good (I like to keep my FC at 5 ppm, and with your CYA a little "high" you will probably want to up yours a bit as well). I would not add any calcium to up your CH! If you have hard water, it will rise on its own. If you don't, it is in great shape :goodjob: It is easy to raise CH, but harder to lower it. Lots of folks in my area would die for your CH level!

Good for you to dump all the "other stuff" instead of bleach and acid, and for taking possession of your pool early on! You should have a great summer :party: :whoot:


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Hi, Tim,

It looks to me like you have this stuff figured out. I'll add this......

1. Wipe the dropper tip with a damp cloth or paper towel every 2-3 drops when performing the TA test. When the R-0009 reagent is very fresh, it actually has an opposite charge from the plastic bottle and frequently causes the reagent to "jump" from the bottle forming drops that are too small. Wiping the tip will prevent it for now and that condition seems to go away after a month or so.

2. You are looking to keep your FC within a range. In your case, I would suggest a range of 7-5ppm. That keeps you above the minimum of 4 and, if you bring it up to 7 daily, it should come down on it's own to around 4-5ppm.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
tim_pool_newbie said:
FC - 5 (I think I still need to bump this to 6 based on CYA level, although this confuses me because I've read that you don't want to swim in anything higher than an FC of 3)

I'm stuck with outrageously high CYA for the moment, so I keep FC at 17 +/-2. I was in the water for a couple hours Sunday, underwater, eyes open, working over some calcium scale with a steel brush. No burning eyes. No dry itchy skin. My wife was in the water longer than me (but not much help with the scrubbing, grrrrrr) and she has no complaints. Nor does her best friend and her two little kids, who were with her. Those kids were in the water for like 6 hours!

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
San Rafael, CA USA
Yup, 17 ppm FC with 200 ppm CYA has the same active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) concentration as 2.6 ppm FC with 30 ppm CYA or as 0.075 ppm FC with no CYA which is much lower than found in most indoor pools (that usually do not have CYA). This is known chemistry since at least 1974. It's simply not disclosed nor taught in the pool/spa industry. The rules for maximum FC level are all based on not having any CYA in the water. The only issue with a high FC even with high CYA would be if you were to drink large quantities of pool water on a regular basis (not something you would normally do -- the 4 ppm FC EPA limit is a drinking water standard based on drinking quarts of such water every day).