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Thread: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

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    Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    This is my first post!

    My wife and I moved into our first house last summer with our first pool. Our local pool store recommended using Pristine Blue for our pool touting that it's "chlorine free" and you only have to check your chemicals once a week.

    As the summer wore on I found that I could never balance the chemicals quite right, algae grew uncontrollably, and the chemicals were expensive compared to the alternatives. I'd like to get some input on what is the easiest and least costly way to maintain my pool chemicals this summer. Some food for thought, I have two dogs that will use the pool along with small children.
    Eric N - Pittsburgh, PA
    16000 gallon rectangular in-ground (14' x 28', 3.5' - 7.5')
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Pristine Blue is not an approved sanitizer for pools.

    Chlorine is far and away the easiest and cheapest. Check out Pool School
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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Ditto's, don't buy into anti-chlorine hype, and you shouldn't want to maintain a weekly schedule, you should keep a daily or every other day schedule.
    Read pool school and get a good drop based test kit, I use the BB method and my tap water has stronger chlorine than my pool, regular testing will give you the information to apply proper dosage thus keeping chlorine levels to only what is needed.
    BBB is a simple, effective and inexpensive way to manage a pool.
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Welcome to tfp, esn13_jrr14

    Just to add to what the others said...run away, don't walk from the Baquacil! If you use the google search down at the bottom left of the page, you will not find much good mentioned about Baqua. You will however find a multitude of threads about converting to chlorine from Baqua.

    Chlorine is the cheapest way (and imo easiest way) to maintain properly sanitized water.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Thanks for the advice everyone! One question about the BBB method... Is there an alternative to borax that I could use? I read a thread that brought up how borax was unsafe for dogs.
    Eric N - Pittsburgh, PA
    16000 gallon rectangular in-ground (14' x 28', 3.5' - 7.5')
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Many of us don't use Borax at all, the great thing about BBB is you can use as much of the system or as little as you want as long as you have a good understanding of the chemistry involved, which is really what BBB is all about.
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    I don't know where you read the article about borax and dogs, but you should do yourself a favor and look up some of Richard's (Chem Geek's) posts on the subject. All in all, it isn't an issue. The little bit of borax you might use won't be enough to matter.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Isaac - I think I understand now. Essentially as long as you can balance everything you can use as many or as little B's as needed. BTW, nice picture! I definitely need to get steps for my two. We have to lift them out of the pool now!

    Dave - Thanks, I'll take a look at Richards posts. I was just worried as my dogs tend to drink and swim simultaneously.
    Eric N - Pittsburgh, PA
    16000 gallon rectangular in-ground (14' x 28', 3.5' - 7.5')
    DE Filter
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    As noted in Are Borates Safe?, it's the higher concentration of borates intentionally added to the pool at around 50 ppm concentration that are of minor concern if you have dogs. If you are only rarely using borax to raise pH, there shouldn't be any problem and usually you aren't using borax at all if you are using a hypochlorite source of chlorine such as bleach or chlorinating liquid since the pH tends to rise or be stable, not usually drop.
    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: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    My dog swam for 3 years with no problems in my BBB pool. Just don't up the borates and your water dogs will be fine!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey
    My dog swam for 3 years with no problems in my BBB pool. Just don't up the borates and your water dogs will be fine!
    Just to be clear, using borax to raise ph is not a problem, since the pools Borate level will remain low. Purposefully raising your Borate level to 50 ppm (which requires a lot more Borax then one would use to maintain ph) is where the gray area is for dogs.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    [QUOTE=esn13_jrr14;463157]
    I've maintained an above ground pool for 5 years, have small kids and dogs as well.

    All methods, chlorine (with and without borax), salt generator, and bacquacil have all been successful.
    I am happy with all of them - and I have no anti-chlorine bias.

    Allow me to highlight the pros/cons:
    Chlorine:
    Pros: cheap, fast, effective. Cons: sun evaporates it fast, so must maintain often.
    Summary: adding the borax really makes it sparkle - highly recommend it if less than 50 ppm. CYA gives some protection from sun.

    Salt generator:
    Pros: reliable, and effective. Cons: will rust your metal on above ground pools in approximately 1-2 years. Salt generator can be expensive.
    Summary: the continuous generation of chlorine helped me leave it alone for longer periods.

    Bacquacil:
    Pros: effective, resists sunlight longer. Cons: it's more expensive, you can't skimp on the chemicals.
    Summary: kids find it to be gentle and some people claim this to be an environmental chem-free, but they look like chemicals to me.

    Overall, when you maintain your plan at a regular interval - things go smoothly. So pick a style that you like.
    Personally, I am trying the Bacquacil because it doesn't require a salt generator and lets me go a whole week between times.

    I might still be using salt gen if it didn't rust my metal above-ground posts. The chlorine and borax works really well. I did have a few concerns about my little kids swallowing it - but just keep the Borax PPM down to approx 30-40 and my research shows it's fine.

    Now: I did get behind with my Bacquacil this winter. Thought I could be cheaper and use less chemicals. I got the "dusty" looking white water mold as Spring neared.

    So, I've had to buy a lot of their Step 3 - CXD mold killer. Essentially, any of the savings in chemicals during the Winter is being spent right now in the Spring. The water is looking better again, and I can tell my sand filter is able to pull the mold back out (I see it when I backwash).

    Hope that helps!

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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Before considering Baquacil - please review the Baquacil section of our forums.

    It's a VERY expensive way to maintain your pool, and after a couple of seasons, it often seems to crash out and create a giant mess.

    Some good info here:
    Biguanides vs chlorine

    By far the best, easiest, most cost-effective way to keep a pool sanitized is chlorine based - whether through manual adds of liquid chlorine/bleach, or via a salt water generator.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pristine Blue vs. Baquacil vs. Chlorine

    Thank everyone for their input.
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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