TMI- BBB overwhelming or isn't it


New member
Jul 11, 2010
I have been having lots of issues with our pool this year and just found this forum and I am very intrigued by using the BB method but not sure where to start.

Can I just start tomorrow using the BBB method even though I have been adding pool store bought chlorine and other chemicals?

If so, Can someone break it down easy on how to start?


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
East Texas
First-------go to user control panel and under profile, add a sig line with all your pool specs like mine below so everyone knows what you have. Second---------give us test results best you can if you don't have one of the recommended test kits here. Third-----if you're serious about taking control of your own pool and REALLY know what's going on, order one of the test kits. Welcome to the club!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
You will be amazed at just how easy it can be to keep your pool sparkly and clean. As you have probably noticed, almost all of us have contracted Sparklypoolitis.

You will need a test kit (see for the best value choices out there).

As you read here, start a Pool Book. Print out things from the Pool School. Make notes of the specifics for your pool. Get familiar with the Pool Calculator and the Chlorine/CYA chart -- bookmark them. If you have chemicals on hand, do the research to find out what these things actually do and what their ingredients are. Start a phone list of who carries the chemicals you need and call for price comparisons, we are all about doing this economically. Record your test results and what you did in response and why. Just like recording miles per gallon on your car, reviewing this can warn you when something is starting to go wrong.

It may be that a lot of what you got at the pool store is usable, maybe not, probably not, but don't worry about it. The key to it all is that going forward you will test, accurately and frequently, and then you add (or subtract) according to what you pool requires.

For example, I still buy things from pool stores. I have calcium increaser, tabs for the automatic chlorinator, cal-hypo "powdered shock", liquid "pool shock", and maybe stabilizer/conditioner buried in there somewhere. I also buy bleach and muriatic acid from the grocery stores, from the hardware stores, from the big box retailers.

So, to begin. Order a test kit. Start reading Pool School, then read it again. Get good test data and post back on this thread exactly what you know. And how you know. Start playing with the Pool Calculator to understand it. When you have reliable tests you will use it to see what you need to do and we can tell you what to do first. We love photos too.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
Anonapersona and WoodyP have very good advice. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all this information, then here is the simple way to start...
1. Have your water tested and post the results here. If you do not have a drop based test kit, then have a pool store test the water but do not buy anything. Do not bother with test strips.

2. Buy about four 96 ounce bottles of 6% regular unscented bleach. This will be enough for a week or two of basic chlorination or will get you started if you need to shock your pool.

3. Follow the advice you get from this site after you post your test results.

4. Ask questions if you don't understand or have any problems.

Welcome to TFP!


Platinum Supporter
May 4, 2010
SW Georgia
Get the test kit. Post the results and listen to the advice here. Keep a daily journal of the test results and you will see the numbers change and will start to understand the correlation between what you put in your pool and the test results. To me this correlation helped me understand my pool better. If you ever run into a situation you do not understand these guys will help you.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
It can be a little overwhelming just at first, but it gets much much simpler as you start to learn what to do and how to do it.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
What you do is more important than where you buy the chemicals.

The most critical thing is accurate testing. And if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So read up on test kits, then make your choice. I recommend the TF100XL and a speedstir.

Bookmark Pool Calculator.

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.

It's not about the chemicals - it's about taking charge of the pool, testing and calculating and adding only what's needed to have the least side effects. It takes little time, but it has to be on a consistent basis.

The whole point of BBB is cheap. Substitute some attention for $$$$. It's like having a movie-star smile. You can brush your teeth, just a few minutes a day, for pennies a week. Or neglect them for 8 months and spend five grand at the dentist once a year so you look good for the summer. The daily routine is much cheaper and much less pain.

It won't be overwhelming after a week or two of using the test kit and doing it.

A side conversation on the naming of BBB was moved to a new topic. JasonLion


Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2009
SW Wisconsin
I had our same thoughts and concerns about 11 short months ago. I was crazy, scared to try and figure out HOW to work the pool calculator and get BBB method going in my GINORMOUS 33ft round pool, that holds 25,600 gallons of water. But here I am today..I got the BBB method down pat, and have sinced switched from adding bleach to a SWG generator. The pool calc. is my best friend, and now I even keep a spreadsheet on myt computer of all my testing and additions.

So..don't'll get the hang of it..just keep reading and asking lots of questions if you get stuck



LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2009
I started the BBB last summer - might have tinkered with the idea of it for the last 1/2 of the summer before (we moved here in July 08) - can't remember though.

But I feel like this is the first year that everything "morphed" in my mind and that I feel kinda comfortable knowing that I'm doing it right. Last year was good, but I just felt like I didn't know what I was doing, it was so new and somewhat overwhelming.

You'll get it too!! Just hang around here and read all the experts posts. That's what I do... I'll read something and it will click!! Or something will happen with my pool, and I'll remember something that I've read on here.

Good Luck!!!