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Thread: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

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    Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Hi,

    I have always used Assist (20% sodium chlorite, 70% inert) but it is no longer available. It seems to be the only thing that gets rid of white water mold in a biguanide pool. I am seriously considering converting to chlorine but since this can take several weeks I believe I'll wait until opening next spring if I decide to do that. That being said, IF I change my mind and decide to stay with biguanide, I will need to find something that does the same job as assist did. I cannot continue to use biguanide if there is no chemical out there that controls the mold problem. I was told that Softswim Oxysheen replaced assist in being able to kill water mold, but apparently this is not the case since I am once again battling the cloudy water / mold issue. Prior to Oxysheen, I was told that CDX was the go-to chemical of choice to prevent mold. I've about had it with all this stuff, but at least need to get through the rest of the season. Is there anything I can use that would add the correct amount of calcium chlorite to the pool, since that did indeed seem to get rid of the water mold for the better part of a season. Thanks for any advice!

    Keith
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% calcium chlorite)......

    I'm not very knowledgeable of those products, but I would urge you to consider switching to Chlorine. It's so much simpler, and certainly less expensive. Most importantly, you won't have any of these issues at all if you maintain it correctly, and that isn't hard to do at all.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% calcium chlorite)......

    I swear every 5th word of so I am thinking what does that have to do with a swimming pool?
    biguanide? Oxysheen? CDX? mold?

    Yikes, forget all that stuff and make the switch
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    If you were in my shoes for the past 15 years or more, you'd know that all those terms have aLOT to do with a swimming pool...at least mine. Every few years some new product has come out that is designed to take care of water mold issues. I am hoping chem geek reviews my thread, since I need some real technical advice on the sodium chlorite.

    As to switching....I get it already.....but from what I read it takes several weeks to do it, and so I don't think it's something I want to delve into this season anymore. Why bother going through the trouble as the swimming season starts to wind down? So if I do convert, I think early spring would be a better time. I am leaning in that direction. All of you should be very happy to hear me say that. It's not that I want to work with chlorine...cause I have never enjoyed it when I was using it..worst of all working with those harsh chlorine 'smart' sticks....but the issue is forced upon me. I've fought the good fight and lost.

    BTW...I found chlorine to be anything BUT simple. I eventually got into a chlorine demand situation that was ridiculous...it was calling for like 100 lbs of chlorine...that's when I bagged out and switched to non-chlorine.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Well, if you avoid the solid forms of chlorine, like we recommend, then you do not have to deal with sticks or pucks and no worry of the mythical "chlorine demand" problem

    But you have all winter to learn that
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Your previous problem was that you were using pool store methods. Using tabs or sticks builds up excessive CYA. If you follow TFP methods, you won't have that problem.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Quote Originally Posted by three4rd View Post
    BTW...I found chlorine to be anything BUT simple. I eventually got into a chlorine demand situation that was ridiculous...it was calling for like 100 lbs of chlorine...that's when I bagged out and switched to non-chlorine.
    I would be interested in hearing more about your experience that brought this situation on in a 12K gallon pool...
    15'x35' IG 16,500 gallons w/attached raised 18" spa continuous coping w/underneath spill and ledger stone wrapped, NPT mini pebble aqua blue w/2x pigment & abalone shell finish, 2"x24" travertine coping, 3x Jandy Color LED lights (2 in pool), Jandy Flo Pro 2HP VS pump, Jandy LXI (low NOx) 400K BTU heater, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure Ei SWG, Jandy Z4 automation with iAqualink and remote poolside PDA, 1,300 sqft Belgard Catalina paver deck with drainage, fire pit that matches the spa with travertine coping and wrapped in ledger stone, Elitewood insulated patio cover, Vinyl gates, back vinyl fence coming soon...
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    I suspect the chlorine demand problem was that the pool was "let go" over the winter or got to zero chlorine at some point and then had a bacterial conversion of Cyanuric Acid to ammonia. That creates a HUGE chlorine demand, but can be avoided if one knows the proper methods.

    As for limping along in a Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB pool, to avoid white water mold you need to keep your oxidizer (hydrogen peroxide) level higher. Baquacil is not a disinfectant against white water mold, but hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer can prevent its growth but not at the low end of normal levels for such a pool.

    You can also get sodium chlorite directly yourself such as here or least expensively here though it's probably more quantity than you need for the rest of this season.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    I suspect the chlorine demand problem was that the pool was "let go" over the winter or got to zero chlorine at some point and then had a bacterial conversion of Cyanuric Acid to ammonia. That creates a HUGE chlorine demand, but can be avoided if one knows the proper methods.

    As for limping along in a Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB pool, to avoid white water mold you need to keep your oxidizer (hydrogen peroxide) level higher. Baquacil is not a disinfectant against white water mold, but hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer can prevent its growth but not at the low end of normal levels for such a pool.

    You can also get sodium chlorite directly yourself such as here or least expensively here though it's probably more quantity than you need for the rest of this season.
    Hi chem geek,

    Just talked to a guy at length who sells these Aqua Finesse Pucks that I believe you actually mentioned to me in one of the threads. It is not a chlorite product, but he said it does work because it is actually some sort of microscopic glass particles that act as little razors to cut apart the biofilm. I told him it sounds dangerous but yet apparently it isn't. My pool store is recommending Bioguard "Silk Sticks". I hated all that stuff....that is why I'm hesitant to go back to chlorine. She also just told me that she is not a fan of either DE filters or the Baquacil program, and yet that store never once over the years ever tried to encourage me to go back to chlorine. I've been buying Baq products from them for probably the past 15 years. $$$$...I guess that is the reason I wasn't encouraged to convert.

    Here is the MSDS on Aqua Finesse.....http://www.aquafinesseone.com/wp-con...ts_03_2009.pdf Does this look like something that is safe to use?? Reading it frankly scared me.......

    I guess the metasilicates is what the guy meant when he described it to me as being 'microscopic glass particles' that cut up the biofilm? Should I try this product? I always liked Assist, but it is no longer available anywhere.

    Then again, I just read the MSDS for Assist, and it sounds just as bad!!! Makes you wonder what sort of stuff you're really swimming around with when you're in the water...
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    The BioGuard Silk Sticks are just Trichlor chlorine so nothing very special there. You could try the AquaFinesse, but I don't know if it will work against white water mold.

    If you look at the experiences of over 90,000 members of TFP and the fact we get nearly half a million people per month visiting the site in peak swim season you will find that chlorine is not a problem when properly managed. There isn't "all that stuff" with chlorine managed the TFP way. Once the water is set up, it's mostly about adding chlorinating liquid or bleach every day or two (unless one has a pool cover in which case one may add it twice a week). It's up to you but there's no question that Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB is much more expensive.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    You won't be sorry if you convert to chlorine. I fought with Baquacil and white water mold for 3 years before switching to chlorine. If you want to make it really easy install a SWG and it will make the chlorine for you. That's what I did and pool care has never been easier or cheaper.
    10,000 gal Inground Fiberglass Pool;Aquarite SWG; Hayward H Series Gas Heater;
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Seems like your first step should be to stop talking to the pool store ... Who have a $$$ interest in you not changing your method. Seems generally most pool store employees have very little understanding of the chemistry or how to maintain a pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Quote Originally Posted by suep View Post
    You won't be sorry if you convert to chlorine. I fought with Baquacil and white water mold for 3 years before switching to chlorine. If you want to make it really easy install a SWG and it will make the chlorine for you. That's what I did and pool care has never been easier or cheaper.

    Suep,

    Interesting!!! Tell me more about SWG...I know nothing about this. Would I keep my DE filter with a SWG system? Does another large piece of equipment get connected to the plumbing. I already have a heat pump which takes up significant room in the filter / equipment area. How does one convert from Baq to Salt? More info if you don't mind.....
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Start here;
    Pool School - Salt Water Chlorine Generators

    No big piece to be plumbed it. The cell is about 8-10 inches long and depending on the brand you choose a small flow switch is also plumbed in. The cell is connected to a control panel/power supply by a power cord.

    I'm using, and reccomended the Hayward AquaRite T-15. Initial cost is around $800-1,000. The cell is an expendable item, that generally provides chlorine for 5-7 years before its depleted and must be replaced at a cost of around $400. So once the system is in place the chlorine cost is well under $100 per year. In my case it works out to about $56 per year. You control your chlorine level by adjusting the output on the control box along with the daily run time of the unit and your pump. The chlorine is generated by the cell by using electricity to break down salt (sodium chloride) into its component parts.. Afterword the chlorine recombineis back into salt in the pool and the process in repeated. So you don't even have to replace the salt.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Before you convert to a salt system, understand it is just a way that the chlorine is created right at your pool. The SWCG takes salt from the water and converts it to chlorine. The chlorine in the water is converted back to salt as it oxidizes the bad stuff in your water. Kind of a closed loop so to speak.


    But, the hard part is what you already know about - convert to chlorine first.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    but from what I read it takes several weeks to do it,
    14 posts and I think everyone might be overlooking some misinformation. The baqua conversion generally takes a matter of days.....not weeks. Done correctly 7-8 days usually does it.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    14 posts and I think everyone might be overlooking some misinformation. The baqua conversion generally takes a matter of days.....not weeks. Done correctly 7-8 days usually does it.
    yup, I missed it....

    Pool School - Convert Your Baqua Pool to Chlorine
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions. Lots to think about. I do believe, though, that for the remainder of the season, I am going to try some of these aqua finesse pucks. I came across them at parpool website, emailed the guy, and he called me and we spoke at length for over an hour. He explained alot about biofilm in general and how the aqua product operates. He took more time with me than anyone at the pool store ever did...and I've been dealing with them for over 25 years! He seemed honest, forthright, and I was impressed. So I figure it's worth a try. If I'm still not satisfied with water clarity (my main concern since I really want to see the water sparkle now that I have the new plaster), then I will plan on chlorine conversion next spring..not this season anymore. So this is the final attempt to continue with Biguanide. We'll see.

    The one thing that I wonder about with these pucks though is that one of the two ingredients is sodium carbonate....why would that be part of a product designed to eliminate biofilm and mold? The guy also told me that the overall effect of the program is to LOWER pH...how could that be if you're adding soda ash? Confusing. The other ingredient is disodium metasilicate.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    If you really wanted a faster Baqua conversion, then there's a way to do that using sodium percarbonate, but we normally recommend doing the conversion using chlorine and while it takes a little longer, it's much more colorful and quite a bit less expensive.

    It DOES take weeks if you've been using the CDX system because it takes quite a while to get rid of the CDX so you can have a high chlorine demand for a while. Have you been using CDX?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Looking for an alternative to Softswim Assist (20% sodium chlorite)......

    Of course...I try whatever comes along in the hopes that I actually might get clear water one of these years. Assist, CDX, Oxysheen...you name it...I've tried it. Now I'll probably try the Aqua Finesse too. Why not..it's only money. Some day I might actually drain the thing, have it filled with dirt, and have a lovely flower bed or garden that has this beautiful granite coping around it. Has to be less headache than the pool has been.

    Sorry...but the past few days I'm just really fed up...all I want is CLEAR WATER. Whatever will help me do that, I'll buy into.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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