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Thread: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

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    Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    I have a 27' above-ground pool that we are converting from Softswim (same as Baqua, I believe) to salt. I've read through a lot of what is on this site (and others) and I think I have a pretty good understanding of what needs to happen (and it sounds like it's going to be a pretty lengthy process, so I'm glad I'm starting early in the season.

    My first concern is the water. I don't cover the pool in the winter because we don't have a lot of trees nearby to drop leaves, so it's usually easier to clean the leaves when I open than it is to deal with the cover. When I opened this year, there were some leaves on the bottom and a layer of pollen floating on top (I live in Middle GA and we're deep into Pine and Oak pollen season... and will be that way well into May/June) but the water looked good. After starting the pump and putting the crawler in (to get the leaves) the pollen got mixed in and I now have water that looks like a mixture of lemon and lime Jello. From past experience, it'll take quite a while for the filter (sand) to get all the gunk cleared out.

    Given the condition of the water, can I start the conversion now… or should I wait for it to clear somewhat. Again, clearing is going to take a while, because as fast as the filter can clean it, Mother Nature adds more. I'm going to pick up a GOOD test kit this weekend so I can get a look at the levels.

    Second… I see a lot of references to bleach. Why bleach vs. Chlorine? Is it just that bleach is cheaper in the long run? As I understand, Chlorine is 12% concentration and bleach is 6%... so if Chlorine is less than twice the price of bleach would I be better off buying Chlorine? (As you can tell, I have NO idea how much Chlorine costs!)

    Finally, approximately how much bleach/Chlorine should I expect to add to at 27' (17,200 gallon) pool to reach 15 ppm? (I have not put the numbers in the Pool Calculator yet – was waiting until I got the test kit.)

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Mike

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, you are fine to start the conversion now as long as you have gotten the majority of the leaves out.

    Liquid chlorine is fine. It is exactly the same stuff as bleach, just in a different concentration. All of the various solid forms of chlorine have issues, but liquid is fine.

    The amount of chlorine needed varies greatly. I suggest starting by getting 40 gallons of 6%, or 20 gallons of 12% to have on hand. If you don't use it all up, you can use on the pool later.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Welcome to TFP

    I'm going to pick up a GOOD test kit this weekend so I can get a look at the levels.
    I can recommend the TF Kit (in my sig below) you wont be sorry
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    You are correct about the 6% vs 12% regarding price. I think most people have found that multiple large bottles of bleach from Wallyworld are cheaper than the gallon of 12% from pool stores.

    Now if the price is about the same you have to decide if you want to carry double the # of bottles for bleach (which you then have to throw away).

    Not that it applies to you since you will be using a lot of it quickly, but the half life of 6% is longer than the 12% ... meaning the 12% concentration of begin to reduce faster than the 6% will reduce. So the 6% can be stored longer while maintaining close to its advertised strength.

    Which also means ... be wary of HD,etc that may have a cheap deal on 12% if it looks like old bottles that have been left outside in heat/sun ... the concentration may be well below 12%.
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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Thanks everyone!

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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Things seem to be proceeding okay. For the past two nights, FC was 15 at bedtime and 14 - 14.5 in the morning. Pool is very cloudy/milky still. Thinking of keeping up with the 15% levels until the weekend so I'll have time to get the sand changed without rushing. Thoughts?

    Mike

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Yes, except that you can stop adding more chlorine during the day. Now that the FC level is mostly holding overnight, you are losing most of your chlorine to sunlight during the day, so daytime chlorine isn't really worth the effort. Raising FC to 15 in the evenings will be plenty to keep the process moving along.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Softswim (Baquacil?) to Salt

    Outstanding! Hopefully I can get some of the cloudyness out by then. I'm going to do a full water chemistry when I get home and try to see where the trouble may be.

    Mike

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