Starting the BBB method

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
I installed an Intex 15x48 Easy Set pool 2 days ago. I filled the pool overnight (3700 gallons) My wife and I swam in the pool briefly the following day. I had not added any chemicals to the pool at that point. I knew I had to sanitize the pool so I went online and found this forum. I liked the idea of the BBB method. I bought a 6 way HTH test kit. I wanted to get my CYA to 40 ppm by using Dichlor so I could begin using bleach. Walmart only sells HTH products and they do not have granular Dichlor. It was late in the day so I decided to buy unstabilized chlorine to sanitize the water. I got the level to 3 ppm that night. The PH was 7.8. Today I tested TA and it was 250. The FC was 1 ppm. I used the pool calculator and was instructed to add dry acid to reduce my PH to 7.2. I have not tested CYA since I know it is 0. I went out and got some Dichor today. My TA went down to 190 and my TC is now 0. I want to wait until the sun goes down before I add the Dichlor. How do I get this BBB thing started. I feel like I am chasing my tail. I have dichlor, dry acid, borax, muriatic acid, baking soda and unstabilized chlorine. My water is beautiful although I don't know why. Help.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Welcome!

Have you seen this article yet? It's right up your alley.

pool-school/temporary_pool_guide

Quite a few of us use dichlor in the beginning of the season to get our CYA up since it dissolves so quickly and chlorinates to boot. As long as you realize that it will raise your CYA fast and you keep tabs on it, there is no problem using it. If you want to start out with the dichlor, you can do it. Just switch over to bleach when your CYA gets to 40.

I think that your TA will continue to fall on it's own with your acid additions to correct pH. If it doesn't do it quickly enough for you, then take a look at Lowering Total Alkalinity to get it done faster.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,476
SW Indiana
I wouldn't suggest dry acid in an Intex pool. You'll have trouble keeping the water clear with much powdered chemical addition. Use muriatic acid instead.

Your TA is already on the high side, so you'll never need baking soda. TA isn't all that relevant to a seasonal pool except as it relates to maintaining pH.

Don't wait on the chlorine. Once algae starts, it's much harder to get it under control. Maintain your chlorine level 24/7.

I'm not sure what you mean by unstabilized chlorine. Bleach/liquid shock and calcium hypochlorite are the only two sources of unstabilized chlorine available to home pool owners, and the cal hypo is prone to clouding the water in some situations.

Keep your FC at the appropriate level based on the Chlorine CYA Chart and maintain your pH between 7.4 and 7.6 and you'll be good. CYA at around 40ppm will help maintain your FC during the day.

Another good article is the Temporary Pool Guide
 

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
As a general rule, how fast does dichlor raise CYA? I only have 2 tests available and don't want to waste them. If I take my pool to shock tonight with dichlor (10ppm) I would be adding 8 oz by volume. About how much Cyanuric acid will I be adding? Also, the pool calculator told me to lower my PH to 7-7.2 in order to lower my TA. I lowered my PH using dry acid. My PH is now 7.1. My TA went down to 190. The calculator is now telling me to add soda ash. My TA goal is 100. How do I get my TA down? Calculator says to lower TA I would lower PH then raise it. I dont understand.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,476
SW Indiana
jimbo65 said:
As a general rule, how fast does dichlor raise CYA? I only have 2 tests available and don't want to waste them. If I take my pool to shock tonight with dichlor (10ppm) I would be adding 8 oz by volume. About how much Cyanuric acid will I be adding? Also, the pool calculator told me to lower my PH to 7-7.2 in order to lower my TA. I lowered my PH using dry acid. My PH is now 7.1. My TA went down to 190. The calculator is now telling me to add soda ash. My TA goal is 100. How do I get my TA down? Calculator says to lower TA I would lower PH then raise it. I dont understand.
Unless you find yourself unable to control pH, don't worry about the TA.

Dichlor will raise the CYA by almost as much as it raises FC.
 

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
The pool calculator instructs me to use soda ash/washing soda or borax to raise my PH. Why can't I use muriatic acid or baking soda? I still don't understand why the calculator had me lower my PH in the first place. It was perfect before I changed it.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,476
SW Indiana
jimbo65 said:
The pool calculator instructs me to use soda ash/washing soda or borax to raise my PH. Why can't I use muriatic acid or baking soda? I still don't understand why the calculator had me lower my PH in the first place. It was perfect before I changed it.
The pool calculator doesn't make suggestions. It responds to your input. If you tell it you want to move TA down, it will tell you to lower the pH.

Don't worry about the pH. Don't worry about the TA. Add Chlorine ASAP.

Please stop and read the responses to your posts, then read Pool School.
 

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
I didn't mean to infer that the pool calculator suggests anything. It is true that I instructed the calculator to assist me in lowering my TA from 250 to 100. It instructed me to add 15 oz by volume of dry acid, which I did. The result was a lower PH as expected but the TA only went to 190. The goal was set at 100. That was my issue. I didn't achieve the TA goal and now I am dealing with a low PH as well. I understand your advice to ignore the TA and PH. I am a bit of a perfectionist and have a hard time ignoring things! LOL. Anyway, I have added Dichlor to take me to 3 ppm. I guess I should log a 2.7 ppm level of cyanuric acid thus far. Correct? Thanks for your patience. Once i get this little sucker on the BBB, I'll be less annoying.
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
If you read pool-school/lowering%20total%20alkalinity, you lower TA in steps. Per the pool calculator, 15 oz of dry acid wouldn't lower your TA by 150 anyway (more like 12). Lowering TA by that much will take a little time and is not critical now.

To reiterate what has already been said, the TA and PH are fine for now. You really want to focus on getting CYA to 30-50, and ALWAYS maintaining above the minimum FC for your CYA level.
FC is consumable, and should be added daily up to a level which ensures that it is still above minimum the next day when you add again.
 

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
The HTH test kit is going away. I now know it isn't up to snuff. It doesn't measure FC. I guess FC and TC are the same in my pool right now since it is crystal clear but I still want a better test kit. Any recommendations? I don't order things online very often so most likely its gonna have to be a kit from a local pool store.
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
You want either the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100 which is a much better deal. TF-100 is only available online, and the K-2006 you will never find in a store. You could also get the Leslies branded version of the K-2006, but most Leslies don't carry it. You don't want the Taylor K-2005. This inferior test is widely available, but is a different kit without the FAS-DPD test.

Get the TF-100; you wont be disappointed.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
If you are not comfortable ordering online because of inputing your credit card info, then call. You should look at the TF kits, there are several that may suit you. Most of us use them in one form or another, mostly because they are best value and service around. And, you know, a Trouble Free Pool is a thrifty pool.

The order of importance for pool chemicals is... get pH in range first (can be hazardous if out of range, range being 7.2 - 7.8), then address FC and CYA together. Later, tend to CH if it matters for your situation and address TA if you find that pH is changing too much, subjective. When all that is in range and seems stable, then look at if you want to fine tune CYA and FC, or TA and pH.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Jimbo, the only thing the high TA will do in your pool is cause the PH to very slowly drift up. Since you don't want PH to be above 7.8, when it does drift up there, simply use muratic acid to lower the PH down to 7.2 Don't worry about the TA right now. You should not use the recommended TA target of 100 to calculate acid dosages. ALWAYS use the PH target of 7.2 . Does that make sense?

Log your daily Dichlor addition, determining the CYA level as you go with each addition. When you have reached 30-50 for CYA, based on these additions of Dichlor, then stop using it and switch to bleach.

Post back if u need clarification on anything.
 

jimbo65

Member
Jun 29, 2010
17
frustratedpoolmom said:
Jimbo, the only thing the high TA will do in your pool is cause the PH to very slowly drift up. Since you don't want PH to be above 7.8, when it does drift up there, simply use muratic acid to lower the PH down to 7.2 Don't worry about the TA right now. You should not use the recommended TA target of 100 to calculate acid dosages. ALWAYS use the PH target of 7.2 . Does that make sense?

Log your daily Dichlor addition, determining the CYA level as you go with each addition. When you have reached 30-50 for CYA, based on these additions of Dichlor, then stop using it and switch to bleach.

Post back if u need clarification on anything.

I definitely want to track my CYA levels as I add dichlor but I am not exactly sure how to do it. Tonight I added 2.5 oz by volume of dichlor. (first time for dichlor) That took me to 3 ppm. I also added 11 oz borax to bring ph from 7.1 to 7.2. I have been told CYA is .9ppm/1ppm chlorine. Does that mean my CYA is now 2.7 ppm?
 
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