Well-known member
Jul 8, 2009
Merrimack, NH
Originally written as a reply to this post. Split into a new topic as it was getting off topic for that one. JasonLion
Richard320 said:
BBB is a nice alliteration, but in reality, you can buy liquid chlorine at a pool store or maybe even a hardware store and end up slightly cheaper. If you have low CH or CYA, you might even find the dreaded pucks worthwhile. It doesn't have to be grocery store bleach. So scratch the first B.

Borax is optional. I know it will make the water feel nice. Best swimming pool I've ever been in was at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, and not just because it was 97 at 9 PM.... I'm looking at a drain or R/O so I see no point adding it now. Scratch the second B.

Depending on your fill water, you may never have to add TA nor raise pH. Scratch the Baking Soda.
Richard, I think you need to re-read what the 3 B's are for...

Bleach IS liquid chlorine - 6% strength... keep the first B
Borax is NOT optional (for some)- it's used to raise pH. I use at least 1/2 box during startup each year. I have a lot of pine tree needles and cones which will lower my pH. Spilled Coke and fruit juices probably don't help either. I have some "pH Down", but I've never needed it.
Keep the second B.
Baking soda is not used to raise pH, it's for TA. It's also very good for washing the waterline. Three boxes used this year, so far. Keep the third B.

Not trying to be a booger, here... just don't generalize...



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
Re: TMI- BBB overwhelming or isn't it

We have discussed in the past that the BBB could just have easily been ABC;acid, bleach, cya or ABC; acid, baking soda, chlorine or some other cute thing. I don't think anyone has yet found a way to combine the A for acid, or MA, with B for bleach or baking soda, with C for chlorine in all its forms, with B for borates which many of us never get to, with S for the salt some of us require, with C for calcium which some of us do not require as well as CYA.

I might have preferred TA DA = Trouble Free Pool -- Test Accurately & Dose Accurately but no one has asked me. Heck, I might make that part of my signature.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
BBB, or whatever else you want to call it, is a collection of philosophies. Even though the name specifically refers to bleach, baking soda, and borax, that isn't where the original idea came from. That is simply the name that got attached to the original idea because it was easy to remember.

BBB grew out of the ideas posted here at Ben Powell's web site. Some of the original principals include:
  • Be consistent[/*:m:2mvvtpey]
  • Use chlorine[/*:m:2mvvtpey]
  • Purchase inexpensive generic chemicals[/*:m:2mvvtpey]
  • Do your own water testing[/*:m:2mvvtpey]
  • Adjust the FC level based on the CYA level[/*:m:2mvvtpey]

It doesn't really make any difference if you use all of the Bs, or none of them.

The points Richard320 made argue that BBB isn't the ideal name, but nothing he said invalidates any of the underlying principals.

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