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Thread: Oh yeah....another conversion

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Oh yeah....another conversion

    Well, after reading the forums here and on ps, I've come to realize that it wasn't me. I use softswim and the first year was great until my DE filter kept getting gummed up. (I don't recommend those things!) So last year when I opened pool, I had cloudy water and started to get pink slimy gunk. I was constantly 'bumping' my de filter and backwashing and spending tons of $$$ on chemicals and de for filter. Finally, I bought a sand filter. Much, much better. However, I still had cloudy water and pink gunk. I spent most of my summer vacuuming and brushing this stupid pool. Yes, by the end of the summer, I was ready to ditch this thing. I thought I wasn't doing something right and no one would help me. (Meaning the pool fools).

    So this year, I was thinking 'should I convert to chlorine?' Oh, its too hard, I don't know what I'm doing. Just deal with the softswim. Thank God, I found these forums. Because it told me that it wasn't me who didn't do something right, it was the **** I was using. So, I'm making the plunge and boy do I need help.

    I have someone new helping me open the pool (aboveground 24' round). I told him I want to convert and he said that he has done it before and will help me. ONe thing he did say was if the level of softswim was very high, then I shouldn't do it until it was lower. He mentioned testing a bucket of pool water with chlorine and if it turned a milky white that I shouldn't do it yet. Do you all agree? I ordered your test kit today and hopefully will get it by next tuesday. My pool is only half full as there must have been a hole in the cover because when I syphoned off the water on top of cover, it kept draining down. Well, I figure that might be a good thing. Lower level of softswim, maybe. Pool guy told me to start filling it up to skim level now, so I'm doing that. Town water, has chlorine in it. I wish now that I shouldn't have put chemical in for winter.

    Now, folks, talk to me like I'm a 2 yr old. I need to know what the abreviations stand for: CL FC CC CYA and any others I'm missing here. Also, what do I need to put in pool: bleach (laundry kind) or pool chlorine (more concentrated). I'm reading all over about putting in bleach, but when I mentioned that to another friend of mine, she said pool chlorine is more concentrated so therefore, wouldn't it make for a faster conversion? I didn't have an answer for her. Do you guys? My pool guy is bring new sand for the filter and he wants to do that for the conversion. I understand that everyone here says do that after the conversion and I agree. However, since I know nothing about changing the sand in the filter, I figured I'd watch him do it now and then after I'm done, I'll just buy more sand and do it again.

    I'll need alot of advice on this and hope I don't bug you all too much. I'm planning on doing this tuesday, may 13th and will really start with the posts then. I am off from work too so will be no problem keeping up with the testing and adding of chemicals. Oh, and I'm so glad that someone on here posted his pics. Boy, that would've scared me if I didn't know it was supposed to happen.

    I'm looking forward to a much better time enjoying my pool this year and years to come. Someone mentioned somewhere else about starting a class action suit against bacquacil and the like for these products that are ****. I second that one! I spent over $1,000 last year in chemicals! I'm done!

    Thanks again for any help you can give me.

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Oh yeah....another conversion

    Hi, Deb,

    First, welcome to the forum. You'll be amazed at how many people are willing to help. Especially a baquagoo conversion.

    Here's some random reactions to your post:

    1. It's a process, not an event. It may take a week or more to complete. You'll need to tend to the pool pretty closely first day and then you can work it into your work schedule.

    2. Guess how much chlorine it will take, double it, and you'll still be short....this thing CONSUMES chlorine.

    3. Clorox or stronger chlorine makes no difference....Get whichever will save you the most money. If they're about the same in cost...get the stronger...it'll be less weight to carry.

    4. Read the Stickies. BBB for beginners, ABC's of pool water chemistry, definitions, etc. they'll answer a lot of your questions.

    5. Be sure and include the size of your pool, etc. There's a sticky on that, too!


    6. Pick a source for your info. Your friend sure sounds like he's got it right but you'll have to have one source to trust if it comes to conflicting advice....only you can decide that.

    7. Changing the sand now is really a waste of time and money. If your friend can not help later, there's plenty here that can walk you thru it.

    8. Everything else you've done to this point is great. You'll probably get really discouraged when this doesn't go as fast as you hope it will......keep the faith You'll have no choice but to stick with the process once you start....just be patient and let the chlorine do it's work.

    9. Your kit will ship this afternoon and should be to you on Tuesday. I would recommend you not start the conversion without it.....you'll need it daily. (Thank You for your Business! )
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    As one currently in the process of a conversion Mark's conversion you are asking all the right questions and have come to the right place.

    You have also made the wise choice

    A few comments

    1. Patience - think of this as a journey with an excellent prize at the end
    2. Yes; you will use chlorine - LOTS of it. I agree, think about how much you might use and then double it (I'm approaching 100 gal and not quite done). I'm guessing I'll end up using around 150 gal of the 10% solution I've found.
    3. Find the most concentrated stuff you can. I've found 10% solution by "Kemtek" (I think that's the one) sold at Lowe's. It comes in boxes with 2X1 gal jugs. I've got a picture of some of them in my thread
    4. Yes, you can do the test in a 5 gal container and it will show "stuff". However, given that you've already put some baquagoo in during the winter you will probably be waiting a LONG time for it to drop. I was in the same boat, the pool store sold me some "non-chlorine shock"....said "throw this in, come back in a week and we'll check again" - at that rate I'd be swimming sometime next century. Bite the bullet now and plan for the worst
    5. I don't know enough about DE filters or sand filters, but I'd agree on waiting to change out the filter media. I've got a new set of filter cartridges I'm waiting to install once I get to blue water.
    6. Use your test kit, initially I only tested for FC (Free Chlorine). It will drop very fast early as the "goo" is consumed.
    7. Patience. The more time you can devote to this the faster your conversion will go. I'm at work most of the day so I've only been able to pay attention to things at night. I'm on day 9, but I've got some time to spare so I'm OK with taking my time.
    8. Oh yes....patience. You will initially panic when you see the rainbow of colors, but it provides for interesting commentary each and every morning you wake to see "what's the pool doing today"???

    good luck, keep the faith
    Mark A. Wolf
    vocation = engineer
    avocation = bass trombone

    homebrewing, swimming pool chemistry - all my home science experiments
    ++++++++++++++
    21000 gal gunite IG pool/spa; Hayward Swimclear 3020 cartridge filter, Hayward Northstar pumps (one filter, one waterfall), heater (not sure size), Hayward Navigator

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Hi Deb and welcome


    When buying clorox (bleach) always get the UNscented. We use the cheap 6% stuff from Aldi's.

    You cannot post too many questions, so ask away!

    We have members here that will walk you thru all the conversion issues.

    And Deb, please take pictures!

    Glad you are here!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Wow! You guys are officially awesome!

    That sticky for beginners is great! Well, I was going to ask about how to get to this 'pool calculator' that I kept hearing about, but I found it.

    Thanks for your encouragement and support. As soon as I get the test kit and test the water, I will post the numbers. I'm going to go and start buying bleach now.

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Changing the filter sand is not a fun or very easy job, so I would definitely not do it now. You absolutely have to do it after your conversion so doing it now would be a waste.

    Here are some pictures from my conversion last summer.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/sue.chastai ... ToChlorine

    Even though my pics show a sparkling pool on day 6, it was another week before the baquagoo was completely out of the nooks and crannies and I was able to change out the filter sand. So stock up on plenty of patience along with the bleach. I think I chose the hottest week of the year to do mine and the waiting was miserable, but so worth it in the end! Be sure to wear your rattiest old clothes throughout the whole conversion process, because no doubt you will get bleach on something.

    Opening the pool this year was my easiest ever and cost me less than $50 for CYA and some test refills.

    You won't regret it!
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Well, of course my local wallyworld did not have any liguid chlorine, just tabs. So I bought 8 1gal. jugs of clorox 6%. Pricey too. So I'll have to find a place who sells it cheaper. And I almost made it out of the store without looks. But a customer walked by my checkout and looooookkked. lol (She must be thinking 'my, she must have alot of whites!') I'll check out Lowes & Home Depot since they are the next closest to me.

    Thanks sue for your pics. It didn't look as bad as Mark's adventure. Should I be pouring something else in first to lower the level of the softswim? Or go right with the bleach?

    And just so I'm clear on this, if my pool guy brings granulated chlorine or tabs, I am to tell him no, right? Liguid only for the conversion and maybe keep the powder or tabs (if he brings them) for maintenance?

    And patience I have plenty of, as I don't plan on swimming soon at all.

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by debjan
    Should I be pouring something else in first to lower the level of the softswim? Or go right with the bleach?
    You can go right to the bleach. I did the sodium percarbonate experiment, but it is not necessary, and it's another thing to buy. I'm not sure if it reduced my conversion time, though it did seem to tone down the funky colors. I have no scientific basis for saying this, but I wonder if it contributed to the super high TA (240) I had after my conversion.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Okay, so its Tuesday and my pool will be opened this afternoon. Should I run the pump for awhile to mix up the water before I test it? Remember, I had to fill the pool up from about the halfway mark. So part of the water is fresh from my tap. This pool guy coming to open up the pool for me is bringing chemicals, so should I just tell him not to put any in as I want to move the water around first? Again, if I should run pump first, how long? I did loosen up the cover alittle and got a cupful of the water from the top and did a 'test run' water test to get use to it. I forget what my numbers were exactly, something like FC 0; CC 0; TA 200; and don't remember the rest. I was using the Taylor K2006 (or 2006K) that I ordered before ordering yours. That one should be coming today.

    I'm armed and ready with 20 gals of bleach 6%, patience, test kit, patience, vacuum, patience, new ladder, new sand for later, patience, scrub brush, bengay, patience, gas for car to get more bleach and as long as my internet connection doesn't go bonkers on me, I think I'm good to go. I'd hate to loose the connection to you gurus! 8)

    I'll post numbers along with pool size and filter info this afternoon before I add any bleach, right? I'm so excited! This oughta be fun! he he Famous last words!

    Deb
    Former Softswim Loser (um User)
    Future Chlorine Get To Actually Use Pool Winner!
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You want the pump running for at least an hour before you test the water.

    The first step is to balance the PH to between 7.0 and 7.4. Do this before adding any bleach. Also check that the TA is reasonable, ie between 60 and 200. If it is out of that range you may need to adjust it before continuing.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Okay folks!

    Here are my numbers for a 24' round AG pool, 52" deep: (your test kit)

    FC 0
    CC 0
    TA 170
    PH 7.2
    CYA 0

    I didn't bother with CH right now, is that ok?

    The pool guy gave me a 5 gal jug of 12.5% liquid chlorine. Should I use that first before my 6% bleach? And should I just put the whole thing in? The calc calls for 1 gal 2 qts, but would putting the whole thing in hurt? This thing is heavy. He didn't change out the sand like he said he would because he looked at it and said it looks brand new. So that's good. I'll wait until conversion is over. He tested a small amout of the pool water in a separate container by putting some chlorine in it and it turned yellow. He said that's not bad and that this might not be a long process for me. He was very nice and didn't try to sell me anything.

    Thanks gurus!

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Hello? Is everyone out using their nice clean clear pools?

    I put in roughly 3 gals of the 12.5% chlorine tonight. Water turned cloudy yellow and pump & filter are running. So here we go!!!! I'll test water in morning and post numbers. I'll take pics but not sure right now how I'll post them on here. I'll look into that later. I plan on vacumming tomorrow also. I read where everyone talked about vacuuming to waste and didn't know what that meant. But when I looked at my filter today, I saw that there was a setting 'waste'. So I put the lever at that setting, but where does the junk go? Do I just set the lever there, vacuum and then backwash? Sorry for the stupid ??'s but I'm the only one here and I do not know.

    Can't wait to see that water tomorrow!

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Deb, if your pump is still on and you are set to "waste" You are emptying your pool. Go turn your pump off!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    What duraleigh said is important. Don't leave it set to waste as it pumps water right out of the pool and the pump can run dry and damage it's self.

    It is best to add about 3 gallons of 6% or 1 1/2 gallons of 12.5% at a time and wait at least an hour between additions. After a couple of times of that you need to measure the FC level and adjust the amount you add each time so that you are getting the FC level up to 15 each time. You do not want the FC level going too high.

    You can use my Pool Calculator, see the link in my signature, to figure out how much bleach you need for any given starting FC number.
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15
    No, no, no.......I don't have it set at waste right now. When I vacuum tomorrow, I will set it to waste. Right now, it's set at recirculate, by-passing the filter per this pool guys advice. Is that okay? Or should it be running through the filter now?

    I did use your calc and did see that I only needed to add 1 gal, 2 qts.....but because the 5 gal jub was hard to handle by myself, more got dumped in.

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There are two ways to look at the filter vs. recirculate issue. Leaving it set to filter during the conversion will do some damage to the filter media. However, the filter media is probably already damaged by the baquacil and is going to have to be replaced when you are done converting anyway. By capturing some of the goo in the filter you speed the whole process up a little. So I suggest leaving it set to filter.

    Adding extra bleach at the start is not a big deal. It will combine with the baquacil very very quickly and go away. In the later stages it becomes more important to get the quantities right.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Morn'

    I have a nice white creamy color going on, with chunks of stuff floating around on top. Expected.

    My numbers this morning:

    FC 2
    CC 15
    TC 17
    TA 190
    CH 0
    PH 7.5

    I didn't do the CYA test as I've read that that test should wait until end or towards the end. Am I correct?

    Used calc and I'm to add 1 gal, 1 qt and change of 12.5%, so I'm going out to do that. That should finish off this 5 gal jug, then I go to the bleach I bought (6%). If I need to do something else as well, please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Another question: In doing these tests every hour or two, can I just to the test for FC CC & PH and forget about the others for awhile? Maybe test the rest once a day? Also, I changed the setting on my filter from 'recirculate' to the regular setting running water through filter.

    Deb
    24' round AG; Hayward pump & sand filter, vinyl liner

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You really only need to do the FC test every hour. CC is nice to know so there is some point to doing that one. The others aren't going to change in any important way so there isn't much point in testing them hourly.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MeSue
    Quote Originally Posted by debjan
    Should I be pouring something else in first to lower the level of the softswim? Or go right with the bleach?
    You can go right to the bleach. I did the sodium percarbonate experiment, but it is not necessary, and it's another thing to buy. I'm not sure if it reduced my conversion time,
    It did
    though it did seem to tone down the funky colors. I have no scientific basis for saying this, but I wonder if it contributed to the super high TA (240) I had after my conversion.
    It did
    The TA rise could have been mininiezed by adding 7 lbs of dry acid for every 10 lbs of sodium percarbonate.
    Sodium percarbonate is NOT necessary for conversion but it does speed up the process quite a bit. It is pricey, however!

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