Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?


New member
Jul 18, 2010

I've had a pool for about 2 years and have always used the overpriced Leslie's pool chemicals. Never had problems with the pool, but I do have a problem with the prices I have to pay for everything. I happened across this forum and am intrigued to say the least. It doesn't seem like rocket science, especially with keeping the ph/alkalinity balanced with baking soda and borax.

However, my question is with the chlorine. I currently have an automatic feeder and have just recently purchased a 35 lb bucket of 3" tabs. I do like the conveniece of the feeder and if the tabs are my only "pool chemical" expense that's ok with me. But can i keep using those, at least until they are gone, and use bleach just as shock (to replace the tri-chlor granules they sell that I am almost out of)? Can I use BBB and continue to use the 3" tabs as the regular chlorine delivery system?

Sorry if it is a dumb question :hammer:

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Welcome to TFP.

It's not a dumb question. With proper testing and knowledge of what those tablets are adding and if you're willing to drain water when your CYA gets out of hand it possible to keep using them.

If you keep your FC at or above the recommended level for your CYA level then you naver have to shock so that's a moot point but if you did need to shock bleach would eb the way to go.

Read pool school on how to maintain your pool. Get a good test kit so you can track your numbers and get numbers you can believe.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
Hi jonance, welcome. What source of chlorine you use may vary over time. The key to to be certain that all the chemicals in the pool stay with in the recommended ranges.

Things you add to the pool may contain chemicals that build up over time until they become problems. Tablets add CYA, a necessary thing, but too much and you have problems. Some tablets add copper, which can be a problem. Cal-hypo, one of the types of dry shock products that you can buy, adds calcium, also a necessary thing for plaster pools, but again, too much will cause problems. Dichlor, another dry shock product, has CYA. There are others as well. Even tap water can cause buildups, in my case my tap water has high TA and so if I am adding a lot of tap water to the pool TA goes way up and then pH gets too high. Rainwater can cause other chemicals to go lower. So, testing is really important so you can manage these variables properly.

As Bama said, go to Pool School, the button the upper right. Read it all and make notes as needed.

Also, be certain to get a decent pool test kit. I use the TF100, buy that here There are other kits, one, that the forum recommends but I got the TF100 as I found it the better value.

We also suggest that you keep records of what you test with the pool and what you add. These records can help you to diagnose a problem before it gets out of hand.

As for whether to use the tablets or not. It may be that you will save them for vacations, I did that this summer. Since CYA was still low when I got back I am using both tablets and bleach now, the auto chlorinator is on a very low setting and I test every other day and add bleach as needed to get FC to the top of the range. I keep cal-hypo on hand since it keeps well over time and if I need to shock the pool I can get the pool FC way up there fast.

What I have never used are clarifiers, flocculants, algaecides, or enzymes.