Wny I never get to use two B's of the BBB method

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
I probably not doing things right :hammer:
I’ve been using the BBB method on my 15k gal pool for 10 months now, and all my tests ever tell me is that I need bleach, and about one a week or two muriatic acid to lower the PH. Am using the TF test kit and my average readings are:
PH: 7.5
TA: 112
CH: 490
CYA: 46

1. Is that normal that I have never needed Borax or Baking soda?
2. Is it normal that I need to lower my PH every week or two?
3. I probably don’t maintain religiously my TC level—it’s usually 1 or .5 when I test and bring up every couple of days. Does that explain anything?
4. Does it also explain why every few weeks I see algae build up (which I brush off but don't add any algecide)?
5. Is there a better/less costly way to lower PH than muriatic acid from HomeDepot?
6. When should TA, CH & CYA levels be of great concern?

Thx for your help
Peter
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Your TA and CH levels are both a little high, nothing too serious, but it would be good to bring TA down a little to compensate for the slightly high CH level.

The reason you are getting algae is because you let the chlorine level go too low.

1) Normal
2) If you lower your TA the PH won't go up as much.
3) Right
4) Yes
5) No. Muriatic acid is the best choice. It should be costing $4 to $6 per gallon for 31.45%
6) Your CYA is fine
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
1. Is that normal that I have never needed Borax or Baking soda?
Yup. Your TA is naturally high, so you wouldn't wouldn't add baking soda to raise TA, and high TA means pH drifts up so you don't need to use borax

2. Is it normal that I need to lower my PH every week or two?
Yup...high TA and using liquid chlorine means pH will drift up

3. I probably don’t maintain religiously my TC level—it’s usually 1 or .5 when I test and bring up every couple of days. Does that explain anything?
It doesn't have anything to do with #1 & #2

4. Does it also explain why every few weeks I see algae build up (which I brush off but don't add any algecide)?
Sho nuff does

5. Is there a better/less costly way to lower PH than muriatic acid from HomeDepot?
Nope

6. When should TA, CH & CYA levels be of great concern?
Your CYA is fine, but you always want to maintain your FC higher than the minimum for your CYA level.
With high CH you want to keep an eye on your calcite saturation index to make sure you don't get scaling. You can use the pool calculator to determine your CSI based on CH, TA, CYA, pH, temp, etc. This means you may need to reduce TA and you want to make sure your pH never gets too high.

If you want to keep your pool sparkling and avoid problems your should really try to test and adjust (at least pH and FC) more frequently.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
1. Is that normal that I have never needed Borax or Baking soda?
Yes, your PH has a tendancy to rise and your TA is on the high side, but will come down if you keep adding MA
2. Is it normal that I need to lower my PH every week or two? Yes, because of the TA being on the high side, your PH will tend to rise
3. I probably don’t maintain religiously my TC level—it’s usually 1 or .5 when I test and bring up every couple of days. Does that explain anything? No, other than you may run into algae issues if you keep letting your FC drop below recommended levels
4. Does it also explain why every few weeks I see algae build up (which I brush off but don't add any algecide)?Ahah...see my answer to #3...with CYA at 50 (not sure how you got 46?) your minimum FC is 4ppm, and if you do not check often you should probably target an FC of 7-8...which is a little higher than needed, but will give you buffer. Given you have alagae, what is your CC reading? Do you need to shock?
5. Is there a better/less costly way to lower PH than muriatic acid from HomeDepot? True Value recently ran a sale for $5.99 per gal and make sure it is 20 Baume
6. When should TA, CH & CYA levels be of great concern?
TA should be adjusted down if you are experiencing frequent PH rise...having to add MA every 1-2 weeks is not that bad, but you would benefit from lowering your TA. CH above 400 can be problematic if you let your PH rise above 7.8. CYA should be adjusted down once levels are over 50 for a non-swg pool or over 80-90 on a swg pool.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,424
Pleasanton, CA
Since I also have high TA and CH fill water, I actually haven't used any of the BBB's unless you count a SWG as a B. :mrgreen:

About the only chems I need are salt, acid and CYA so I guess I have a SAC pool instead of a BBB pool.
 

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
Thx for the many and quick replies! Don't you guys have anything better to do? :lol:
Obvious you're all graduates of the same school.
OK, let's see...what have I learned?

1. Lower my TA to help maintain pH
2. Test and maintain FC and pH levels more frequently (I'll keep to daily for now) for more sparkling pool free of algae

dmanb2b - I'll check CC and see if I need to shock.
Thx again everyone! :wave:
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Hi Pete - until this year I never needed Borax or Baking Soda, or anything else, just bleach. This year I've been using trichlor (long story) and had to add Borax.

Anyway - to prevent the algae spots - keep your FC up above your "Min" at all times. So add enough each evening to reach your "target" and that should keep you above the "min" by the next day. If it doesn't use a higher target number. Does that make sense?

You should do an overnight FC loss test to rule out whether shocking is necessary (if the CC is not higher than .5).
 

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
"You should do an overnight FC loss test to rule out whether shocking is necessary (if the CC is not higher than .5)"

Thx FPM, but can you expound on that--about the overnight loss? What am I looking for?
Got it on the FC...I need to keep it up religously, and above minimum.
P.
 

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
Also, on the bit of algae that's now forming, will it die away with FC upkeep, or do I need to shock or treat with algecide?
Thx
Peter T
 

mynewpool

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2010
1,082
Spring, TX
The best deal I have found for muriatci acid 31.45% is at warehouse pool supply. I get 4 gallons for around 20.00. At home depot or lowes it runs around 12.00 for 2 gallons.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,060
SouthWest Alabama
If you're seeing algae forming then you need to shock.

Algaecide is a preventative not a cure. And it's a waste of money if you keep your FC above minimum at all times.

Test your FC and CC and report back but you should start shocking right away.
 

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
Thx guys,
I guess if I'm staring at green patches along one side of my pool, I should by-pass the overnight loss test and proceed with shock treatment.
P
 

Peter T

Member
Sep 24, 2009
20
um, is there a preferred method of shock here at TFP?
I read somewhere that I should be shocking every other week on a regular basis, and even weekly during summer and after heavy use. Is that necessary?
Peter
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,424
Pleasanton, CA
You should only shock if you really need to. I have shocked my pool maybe twice in 5 years. Usual reasons are high CC or algae.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,060
SouthWest Alabama
And yes we do have a preferred method.

Raise your FC level to shock according to your CYA and test and raise it as often as every hour until it starts holding. Keep it there until you can pass the overnight chlorine loss test found in pool school. (loss of 1ppm or less overnight, no more than .5 ppm CC's if you're using the FAS-DPD test.)
 

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