I'm in St Petersburg, Fl, and am converting my above ground 15'x26'x52" 11,000gal pool from Baquacil to chlorine - something I should have done YEARS ago! The question I have is whether it's really necessary to change out 150 lbs of sand from the 22"filter - some background :
Pool was last used last Nov. and pool store computer testing last week showed 20 ppm of sanitizer left; pH, CH, & TA all OK. After cleaning out all the leaf debris and vacuuming the floor so that all was clean, the water was kinda cloudy from sitting partially covered all winter (adjacent deck leaves a gap for the MANY leaves to fall through), but mostly clear. I'd read all the posts about color changes & having to backwash "baqua goo" from the sand filter for days, or even weeks, after adding the bleach, but what I actually experienced was the water turning an aqua color (could still see the bottom liner) and less than 24 hrs later, it was sparkling clear. I did go through lots of chlorine during the first day maintaining a 15 ppm FC level but only backwashed once, which didn't look all that bad. Had out of town visitors (a curse all Floridians endure about this time every year from our northern family and friends!), so wasn't able to monitor FC late night/early morning, but added bleach every evening (after we swam!)to bring FC back up from next to nothing to 15ppm after sitting in the sun all afternoon. Finally was able to check last night & this morning, no overnight drop in FC, so I'm ready to move on with the CYA & install my newly purchased SWG, but really wonder why I should change out the sand which I just put in last July - I normally changed it every 1 &1/2 seasons. When I backwash now to release rainwater, all looks clear & good - no signs of "baqua goo". In fact, the pool looks better than it ever has!
I'm guessing that since the conversion went so quickly and the sand filter looks so clean, there really wasn't 20 ppm baquacil that the pool store test indicated? And, changing the sand is a major pain in the neck, so I really hate to change sand that's less than a year old.