Opening my pool this season

Hello all,

I used my pool for two years so far and was able to manage it most of the time using chemicals and walmart bought test kits.
This year I wanted to start here and get advice on how to manage it with BBB method. So far I only opened the cover and get the pump going. I took some water and got it tested since I do not have a test kit now. I am looking to buy one the ones recommended here soon.

Here are my test results:
Saturation index 1.2
TDS 900
Total chlorine .1
Free chlorine 0
pH 8.6
Total Alkalinity 137
Total hardness 225

I need to vacuum the pool and will get to your recommendations. Please let me know if I am missing any information here.

I appreciate your help in advance.

Just FYI:
The pool store suggested to use a bottle of algecide. First use half the bottle, wait at least an hour, and then use more if necessary.
4.5 lbs of pH-
Add 5.5 lbs os stabilizer 100 to increase CYA
Add 2 bags of Smart Shock. I do not how many pounds is in a bag.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Get your PH down to around 7.4 to 7.6 as soon as possible. It is best to use muriatic acid, put PH- will do. I wouldn't make a large PH change like that all in one go. It would be best to use half as much as the pool store suggested, or one quart of 31% muriatic acid, and then test the PH again to see where you are. You might end up needing more or less than they guessed.

The pool store number on stabilizer sounds just about right.

Add 2 ppm of chlorine each evening until 24 hours after you add the stabilizer. That would be about 2 quarts plus one cup of 6% bleach. 24 hours after stabilizer you can start aiming for an FC level of between 3 and 7.
In that first post I forgot to mention that my pool had algea. I stayed on top of it a few days and got rid of the algea. The water has a milky look now. Last couple of days I have been backwashing and cleaning the filter and the water is getting clearer. I can now see the bottom of the deep end but barely. I think it will be ready for the weekend.
I recieved my TFT100 test kit and made my first measurements and wanted to post them for comparison.
FC: 1
CC: 1
pH: 6.8
TA: 140
CH: 230-270 I did not see much of a color difference between these values.
CYA: 100
Temp: 66F

I know I need to raise my pH but on the baking soda label it says not to add any if CYA is above 110. I am almost on that border. I just added a little chlorine for the night. The reason my CYA increased from 0 to 100 is initially I added stabilizer. I also had granular shock at hand and used it to shock the pool so CYA raised too much.

I will be backwashing the filter a few times more and will add some water but I do not know if it will be enough to lower the CYA.
What are your suggestions now to bring the pool to balance? Should I just keep back washing?
I am also going to get bleech and will start using it from now on so hopefully CYA won't be an issue again.

Thanks :)


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
You are going to need to drain at least 50% of your water to lower the CYA level to 50. According to the pool calculator if you do not drain your water you will need to maintain a FC level of 8-13 on a daily basis to prevent algae. For now you will need to add 3 gallons, 2 quarts of 6% bleach to raise your FC to 13.

You need 8lb 13 ounces of washing soda or soda ash to raise your pH to 7.5.


LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2008
NE North Carolina
Congrats on getting the test kit. Pool store tests are notoriously inaccurate......

Here are my recommendations in order:

1. Add chlorine. Go to wally world, buy some 182oz jugs of great value brand. Add two full 182 oz jug. This will get FC up to around 11. As zea3 said, you need a FC level of at least 8 right now with CYA at 100. Pool school has a chart that discusses required FC for various CYA levels.

2. On the upper right hand of every TFP web page is a link to pool school. There is a wealth of information on those pages.

3. Not to sound harsh....Make sure you understand the overall effect of anything you add to your pool BEFORE you add it. Adding the dichlor granules is case in point. You are now faced with several water changes to get CYA down to a reasonable level.

4. Follow the link in my signature or in pool school to the Pool Calculator. Just enter the total number of gallons in the pool, your current test results, and your desired levels. Don't forget to set up the "Suggested Goal Levels" in the last row. The Pool Calculator will tell you how much and of what to add to reach the desired levels.

5. With a CC of 1 and signs of algae, shock your pool. Read the pool school article on how to shock. Shocking your pool is a process and not a product. Continue to shock until you can maintain FC overnight (1 ppm or less drop), CC is 0.5 or less, and your water is sparkling clear. Your target shock FC level with CYA of 100 is 39 ppm (from pool school). The Pool Calculator will also give you recommended shock levels based on your current test results. It will also tell you how much bleach to add.

6. With a TA of 140, I would recommend aerating your water to raise pH. Point your returns upwards for a day or so, and pH should raise back into the normal range. Then follow the Pool School article for lowering TA to get down around 100 or so. Basically , the process consists of adding muriatic acid to a pH of around 7.0 or 7.2, then aerating the water to raise pH. Continue this process until TA is 100. The Pool Calculator will tell you how much muriatic acid to add. total alkalinity

7. Have a beer (or is 9:00 or so after all), relax, and have some P.O.P - pool owner patience.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Just to emphasize, you need to do a partial drain/refill before you try to begin to balance the other numbers and complete shocking the pool.

1, drain/refill/recirculate/retest CYA and repeat this process if necessary
2, balance PH to the mid 7s
3, complete the shock process.

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