TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
Midland TX
I was about to start another thread, but this is just the place to say how much I love this forum. I' been treating water in an industrial setting for almost thirteen years but have learned so much here. Some has even been a good refresher for my job skills, and actually been fun. I go to pool school often and learn something new just about every time. The amount of knowledge here is impressive to say the least. I dont have a real pool, but I get into keeping it nice and watching my chemistry as much as anyone. If I can ever talk the wife into it, I'll have a respectable IG or AG pool someday in the near future. I've used tabs and bleach until finding TFP summer of 09'. Thats when I started using Borax and lovin it. Not trying to brag, but I've been quite successfull too. Been lurking again this season and really getting more interested in tweaking and learning further. I haven't found a place I like better and just wanted to say it. Thanks to all of you here.



LifeTime Supporter
Apr 30, 2011
Lynchburg VA

I have had my pool for about 6 years. Over the 6 years I have had mixed results in keeping the water clear and keeping algae out of the pool. It was a rare occassion when the pool was crystal clear and I could see clearly from one end to the other. Toward the end of last summer I got pool stored and dumped 60# of shock into the pool to meet the "chlorine demand" that the pool required. When I opened the pool this spring, I got pool store again dumping 75# of chlorine into the pool to again meet the chlorine demand. I then found TFP and the BBB method. When my new test kit arrived my CYA was well over 100, more in the 200 range. After a few drain and refills to lower my CYA, shocking the pool for a couple weeks, and doing battle with a dead frog in the skimmer my pool is wonderful and could not be easier to take care of. I never thought I would be signing on to my computer every day to read about other people taking care of their pools. Tomorrow is payday, tomorrow I will become a lifetime member! One thing that does drive me crazy......I can never get every last spec of dirt out of my pool! God knows I try!


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
Altoona, AL

"One thing that does drive me crazy......I can never get every last spec of dirt out of my pool! God knows I try!"

It sounds like we need to start a support group for those of us who are suffering from "Sparklypoolitis!" LOL
I never thought I would find enjoyment in cleaning my pool, but I do!


Jun 20, 2011
I joined TPP just a short time ago. I had an inground pool as a child, but dear old dad took care of most of the stuff and I just watched and helped whenever possible. Skip ahead about 20 years and here I am as a homeowner, mother of 2 and new AG pool owner. Hubby and I were given no real guidance by the pool store where we purchased the pool, but figured being college graduates we could probably figure things out. After about a month of having water in the pool and finally getting the filter/electrical work hooked up, we found that whatever we were doing wasn't working.

I went online to find some answers and came across TFP. Even though they've likely heard the same problems over and over, TFP moderators, contributors, etc. answered my questions and got me through the rough patches. After getting the water pretty crystal clean, about all I need to do now is maintain my chlorine levels and vacuum once in a while. Much more enjoyable than that green swamp I had!

Perhaps the best thing that came out of all this was the compliments from my husband on getting the pool water so nice and enjoying time with the family -- just like when I was a kid. The only pitfall from all of this is that I may have to bring back the tie-dyed look because I keep dripping bleach on my clothes when I pour it in the pool. Oh well -- small price to pay!


New member
Nov 20, 2011
I have only been a member of troublefreepool.com for a short while. I haven't found many other forums with this much quality information. I feel confident that if I have any questions I will find my answer somewhere in these forums. It is great to have a community of pool enthusiasts like myself so share their knowledge. Thanks!


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 29, 2011
The TFP team has been the biggest blessing I have had since becoming a pool owner, only second to my son and his dogs happiness. I always knew there was something fishy when every time I entered a pool store I left with $50, $60, $70 or $100 bill and that doesn't even count for the pool guys cost (who I really liked and was a chlorine and acid only guy).

After finding this site, studying all the resources and most importantly with the guidance of people like jblizzle, Linen, JasonLion, frogabog and others that have lent insight direction and guidance I have become so less dependent on the Pool Store for the care of my pool. Funny its like they know somehow I found you guys they don't even bother selling me on anything anymore, I think they realize all I'm there for is Chlorine, Acid and CYA.

What a GREAT group of folks to put this kind of time and energy into helping those around them. At the very least I could donate and help pay for the resources that cost JasonLion cash to keep running.

Thanks again to those I listed, and to the rest of you who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, you guys ROCK!



LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2011
Bartlesville, OK
I had above grounds for about 12 years, and now have an in ground, and back then, the method was buy that $90 bucket of pucks, the $60 box of shock, misc algaecides over and over, and of course the pool would be fine for a few years, then it gets to the point where things grow, the plastic steps would become an algae farm, and it was a continuos fight. Luckily I found this site last year, and now I GOT IT!. I learned how to really shock a pool, get the organisms killed, and except for having a high CYA which caused me to go through a higher than normal bleach bottle count, I was able to keep it clear the rest of the summer without having to go through the shocking PROCESS again. I've got my CYA in check, and now have a SWG for even less maintenance. Looking forward to a full trouble free year.

Even with an excess rain that spilled into the pool, everything is still in check, and water is clear.


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2012
San Angelo Texas
I am a Fish at heart. I was at my witts end and after 11 years I told my wife I was going to take tractor and fill pool in. I put in pool when I built new house. We were promised rurual water within a year but today still on the well that has very hard water. Two years ago my pool chemical expert left town and since then it has been a nightmare. Three stores in town and 3 completely diferent results from water readings. Researching one last time I found your site. Oh My!!,! I KNOW HAVE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF MY POOL AND I AM IN CHARGE. YES I AM IN CHARGE,,!!,

"balance a fish's water he swims for a day, teach the fish to balance his own water, the fish swims for life time"

Cost down 70% and water never looked or felt better!!

I thank you and my family thanks you. I mean all of you!



Jul 26, 2012
I just joined earlier this summer, but I love this site. I searched everywhere on the net for a site like this one (no adverts) and could not find one. They all have links back to affiliate accounts and other adverts everywhere.

The fact that this site does not allow all of that makes it the cream of the crop! This site is all pool owners trying to give each other a helping hand the honest way. Thanks for being here! I can't wait for spring to roll around so I can put my little Intex pool back up and start again.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2012
Hi, I found your site this year, switched to the BBB method, and indeed did have a trouble free pool this year. We did not have a single day where the pool was unusable, or even a little iffy. I have half a bucket of chlorine tabs leftover, which amounts to about $30 or $40 wasted, but I do not even care, because BBB saved me so much time and effort, with great results. I am happily giving the tabs to a co-worker who uses them. I am so glad I found your site! Thank you for providing it.

Sunny Blues

LifeTime Supporter
May 18, 2012
Testimony - This is why you should do BBB!

My first post this year; I joined last year. I am hoping my testimony helps anyone trying to decide if the BBB Method is the better way to go and allows them to move forward with solid confidence.
I wish I was as short on words and quick witted as this testimony:
man-i-hate-this-bbb-stuff-t58290.html - :goodpost:

So If you don't need detailed proof like what I'm going to provide, go there for some quick inspiration! We had the exact same experience as gboulton did. But for those who need the details and wordy people like me to provide 'em, read on...

We wrestled, truly WRESTLED, with turning our pool into a BBB pool last spring and it took us two excruciatingly long months to finally get balanced water. Keep in mind that it took this long because we started with water which had been maintained according to our pool company's advice for four years straight. (It was not due to the BBB method itself.) I was determined to save $2,400+ per year on pool expenses and this method was suppose to be the way to do that. So no matter how rough things got, I plowed through with blind faith. And it did get rough. I had moments where I shook with uncertainty that we had wasted hours and hours of effort doing this. But I still kept plowing forward because of what I was reading on the forum. And I used the forum to help me through every snag or battle we came across. We struggled with an endless cycle of cloudy water, ammonia, and extremely high Alkalinity. We had every kink you could have using the K-2006 test kit including reading the FAS-DPD test results. Our FC tests never turned clear "suddenly" or even at all. Jason's post about using and reading the tests extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html literally saved us when I finally came across it after weeks of struggling. And in the end, getting rid of ammonia was just as hard and exhausting as these forums warned it would be and it just took that long.

Once our pool was balanced, using just Bleach, Borax, and muriatic acid, maintaining our pool the rest of the summer was a breeze, only requiring a few cups of bleach here and there and only one or two small doses of borax or acid when needed.

Our first time closing a pool was last fall, 2012, and the process went so smoothly, I was giddy with confidence. We were almost 100% believers ... almost. Why almost? Because previously we only experienced a closing and its subsequent opening using our pool company. All winter long I looked out our window with a tad bit of anxiety over what was happening under the cover; with its water bags holding it down, and a few misc bricks in between, it was certainly the ugly cousin of our neighbor's automatic pool cover. I was always wondering: Did we place the water bags correctly or did we not seal out the outside elements well enough? Was it really wise to only have shock level chlorine in the water and some polyquat when we closed or would we regret not having added all the other winterizing chemicals the pool company used? Would we open to the same opaque, green water that the pool company opened with in the past 5 years? Would it take 2, 3, even 5 weeks to get clear water after opening as all the other years had? If so, that would mean two months of tedious work again. That anxiety is what kept me from being a "100%" believer.

We opened this weekend and I almost cried in amazement. Our water was sky blue and only had a tad bit of cloudiness, in spite of the fact that we did have a few windy days that blew things under our cover last fall as in previous years. After 24 hours, we could see the bottom crystal clear and vacuumed. After 48 hours, the water is perfect. I have inserted pictures below to share our amazement. Our neighbor, with the sleek $10,000 cover, opened last weekend and their's is still cloudy grey-green today. Our pool is defying all their logic and it's amusing to watch. Our ugly little winter covering was hiding a diamond in the rough all along. :wink:

Last spring, we went through more than 93 gallons of 12.5% bleach, over 7 gallons of Muratic Acid and 9 boxes of Borax to correct our water and convert to BBB numbers. We had to get rid of an enormous amount of ammonia and became a great textbook example for those who may struggle with this. We studied and learned how to reduce our 280+ Alkalinity and then patiently applied what we learned with fantastic results. We also chose to add borates to 50 ppm and achieve a CYA of 60.

This weekend it took only 4 gallons of bleach to open the pool and 1 gallon the second day to complete balancing!
Our first year as BBB pool owners, our costs were as follows:

$323.00 - to fix the water cared for according to the advice received by our pool company and get it in BBB Condition
$128.80 - total to maintain all summer long including all costs associated with closing for the season

$452.00 - GRAND TOTAL to change to BBB (Since we didn’t have to pay $500+ for the pool company to close our pool,
we were able to pay for the change.)

$1708.00 - TOTAL SAVINGS last year

Our 5 gallons of bleach this weekend cost only $12.50. Compare that to last year’s $323 spring water balancing cost, (just comparing the expenses related to converting to the BBB method, not the $440 we had to pay the pool company for its 1-hour opening tasks.) If we can use last year’s remaining expenses as a guide for this year, it means our total cost for maintaining our pool using the BBB method during our first FULL year (opening to closing) will be no more than $150.00! We have our very first year of saving over $2,400!!! And our first year of a true, “trouble free” pool.

Four years and one spring opening using our pool company’s style of maintenance cost us just over $10,050.00 (to open, close, and keep water balanced.) More than half that amount was entirely the cost of their chemicals which we really needed in order to recover from their closing/opening and to avoid various problems with our water the rest of the summer. Had we used BBB from the day we installed our pool, it would have cost us around $675 total, (four years of BBB chemicals, test kit supplies, our new backwash hoses and water bags, etc.) We would have saved over $9,300 in the past four years. Imagine all the things that money could have been used for while raising three children and going through rough times economically. Consider that we own only one car and have two, brand-new teenage drivers. The past 6 months have been difficult trying to do everything with one car. With that $9,000 savings, we could have bought and paid for either one really nice used car or two fair condition used cars and not have the added stress we have today. BBB will definitely help us have a different story after the next four years.

If this isn’t reason enough to convince you to place your skepticism aside and plow forward, I don’t think anything else will be either. Worried about extra work? You’ll have much less. Worried about extra worries? You’ll have fewer. The initial change to BBB is the only time you will have extra work and/or extra anxieties if you've been maintaining your water with pool chemicals previously. But if you’re starting BBB at the same time that you install your pool, you’ll never experience as much extra work and anxiety as you would have from doing it any other way.

My sincere thanks to Jason, Dave, Richard, and all the other great moderators and supporters on this forum that gave me their help last year, right through closing. :lovetfp:

OUR POOL AFTER OPENING: (**Notice our neglected fence in the background that we couldn't afford to stain for the past two years? This year we can thanks to TFP!!)

[attachment=0:3rfkay9o]after opening.jpg[/attachment:3rfkay9o]

[attachment=1:3rfkay9o]close up after opening.jpg[/attachment:3rfkay9o]



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2012
Elverson Pa.
Re: Testimony - This is why you should do BBB!

Congrats on the switch. I've tried to explain this method to some people and they are just too closed minded to digest it. Already been told your nuts. Ok I'm fine with that.

This will be one of the best things you've learned. Also congrats on the savings. Enjoy the extra cash !!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Bronze Supporter
Apr 24, 2012
Nashville, TN
Re: Testimony - This is why you should do BBB!


Thanks for the kind words, Sunny....though I don't know when I was last called "short on words". :lol:

Yours is an exceptional post! Really enjoyed tracking the costs and steps...it makes for a solid reference in its own right, and plenty motivational as well.

I can't provide "conversion" numbers. I was lucky enough to find TFP (and geeky...or perhaps stubborn...enough to want a way to do it my **** self) when we bought our first pool last year. It's been BBB for us nearly from day 1.

Hard to argue with the results in either case though, ain't it? :goodjob:

Great job, and best of luck!