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Thread: Started My Conversion Last Night

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Western KY
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    Started My Conversion Last Night

    So I finally took the cover off my pool Monday evening. When I closed the pool, I knew I wanted to get away from baq, so I actually didn't use any baq closing chemicals. I just drained the pool down about 50% and put the cover on it. By this point, I had had so many issues with baq that I just didn't really care that much what I was going to find under the cover the beginning of the next pool season. Well, fast forward to now. I have accepted a new job in Nashville, so my wife and I are putting the house on the market, but since I have no idea how long it will take for the house to sell, I am going to enjoy this pool while I still can. Plus, I want it to be sparkling clean for prospective buyers.

    So anyways, I drained the pool down a couple more inches until my fear of the liner getting out of whack got the best of me and I started filling it back up with fresh water and it was full by yesterday evening. I threw my robot vacuum in the pool just to remember that it will only work for about 2 minutes before it quits (gotta see if it is still under warranty), and my black lab chewed up the end of my strainer vac, so I ran out to get a new strainer vacuum system, a test kit, and some bleach, but wouldn't you know, the pool place closes at 5pm, and guess what time I get off work? Needless to say in the way of a vac and testing, the best I could get from my local Lowes and Walmart was a water hose vac and the dreaded strips. The water hose vac is ok, but not great. I like that I can use it to vacuum and replenish the water level after I backwash, but I still think I need to get a good ole fashioned vacuum system, or sweet talk my neighbor into borrowing his for the meantime. I am going to order a TF100 today if the pool store doesn't have anything suitable.

    With all this being said, I am a stubborn man who wants to swim in my pool soon, so I decided to go on with the conversion anyways. I added about 6 gallons of clorox to the pool last night and it turned the water extremely cloudy and slightly green, but I really didn't see any "goo" form. I came out this morning, and it looked about the same, and I went ahead and backwashed and added water to replace what was lost. I should also note that I found that my pressure gauge is broken, so until I get it replaced, I am sticking my hand in front of the jet to see how hard it is pushing to determine when I need to backwash. This is where I wish I had something better than the test strips because before I backwashed, I tested, and it said FCs were 10 ppm (it only shows up to 10 ppm). After I backwashed and added water (maybe 1" water level lost to backwash if that, and added back 1.5-2" for a little extra buffer zone), I tested, and the strip read about 3 ppm FC. Does that sound right? I know these strips are horrible, but until I can get something better, they are all I have to go by. Anyways, I added 4 gallons of bleach to the pool and took off to work. I noticed at this point though, that a dark film was starting to form on the water surface. Sorry no pics yet. I have a couple on my phone, but I can't use photobucket at work and my 3G sucks in the building, so I will post pics during lunch or this afternoon. BTW, does anyone know of other stores that might have liquid chlorine at a cheaper price than $3.50 plus tax for a gallon jug?
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    Oh, one more question. I have read the conversion process on this site many times now. I feel comfortable with the steps, but I want to be sure that I deviate from it as little as possible, since I want this to be over as quickly as it can. From the conversion write-up, my impression is that the only parameters I should really concern myself with for the most part are FC, pH, and CC towards the end, correct? So basically during this process I only need to be adding bleach/liquid chlorine, and whatever necessary chemicals to keep pH between 7.2-7.4. Am I understanding this right?

    P.S.
    On the test strips, the pH last night read about at 7.2, so I figured I was ok to proceed with adding the bleach to kick off the conversion. This morning, both test strips seemed to show ~7.0. If I trust this reading, then I need to add some soda ash correct?
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    The FC level will go down very quickly during the initial phases of a baqua conversion, typically down to 1 in under an hour.

    The colors, foams, and goo that appears during a conversion are somewhat different for every pool and change as you go through the various stages. I wouldn't worry about colors or films on the surface until right near the end.

    You are really going to want a FAS-DPD chlorine test a bit later in the process. For right at the moment you can get away with using strips because you just need an FC high or FC low indication. But later on you will want precise measurements of overnight FC loss, which require the FAS-DPD test. In most areas test kits which include that test, for example the TF100 or K-2006, are only available over the Internet. I suggest you get one of those ordered, preferably with extra reagent for the FAS-DPD test.

    It is easy to replace the filter gauge. Any pool store should have a replacement gauge for around $10. You just unscrew the old one, wrap a few wraps of teflon plumbers tape around the new threads and screw in the new one.

    You want the PH around 7.2 to 7.4 to start, so that is great. In the early phase the only other number you need to worry about is FC high or low, add more chlorine when it is low (as frequently as once an hour). Towards the middle stage you start worrying about CC much more, as the CC level is a good indicator of your progress through the middle stage. Essentially everything else can wait until the end, though it is a good idea to make sure TA isn't wildly out of range, ie adjust TA if below 50 or over 200 and otherwise ignore it for now.
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The FC level will go down very quickly during the initial phases of a baqua conversion, typically down to 1 in under an hour.

    The colors, foams, and goo that appears during a conversion are somewhat different for every pool and change as you go through the various stages. I wouldn't worry about colors or films on the surface until right near the end.

    You are really going to want a FAS-DPD chlorine test a bit later in the process. For right at the moment you can get away with using strips because you just need an FC high or FC low indication. But later on you will want precise measurements of overnight FC loss, which require the FAS-DPD test. In most areas test kits which include that test, for example the TF100 or K-2006, are only available over the Internet. I suggest you get one of those ordered, preferably with extra reagent for the FAS-DPD test.

    It is easy to replace the filter gauge. Any pool store should have a replacement gauge for around $10. You just unscrew the old one, wrap a few wraps of teflon plumbers tape around the new threads and screw in the new one.

    You want the PH around 7.2 to 7.4 to start, so that is great. In the early phase the only other number you need to worry about is FC high or low, add more chlorine when it is low (as frequently as once an hour). Towards the middle stage you start worrying about CC much more, as the CC level is a good indicator of your progress through the middle stage. Essentially everything else can wait until the end, though it is a good idea to make sure TA isn't wildly out of range, ie adjust TA if below 50 or over 200 and otherwise ignore it for now.
    Great! Thanks for the info. Since my pH was correct to begin, should I just kind of ignore it for the time being and focus on the FC or should I also keep and eye on the pH and keep it between 7.2 and 7.4 for the entire process?
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    East Tennessee
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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    welcome, sounds like you did what i did, drain a lot of water, refill, hit it wth lots of bleach ah 44 gal so far, i started shocking last saturday 9:30 am, sunday morning i woke to a clean clear pool, FC holding CC=0, water sparkles, support here is great, good test kit is a must !!!
    24' 13,500 gal round AG 06/01/2012
    hayward 1.5 dream line sand filter
    TF 100 !

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    Quote Originally Posted by jackd
    welcome, sounds like you did what i did, drain a lot of water, refill, hit it wth lots of bleach ah 44 gal so far, i started shocking last saturday 9:30 am, sunday morning i woke to a clean clear pool, FC holding CC=0, water sparkles, support here is great, good test kit is a must !!!
    Thanks for the welcome. Glad to hear your pool is doing well. I am excited to get to swim in a week or so. I am definitely going to get a test kit soon.
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    I wouldn't worry about the PH much. It should remain reasonable for some time. The "official" advise is that you don't need to bother with PH again until the conversion is complete. However, it is easy enough to test PH so you might as well check now and then, perhaps every other day, when the FC level happens to be below 5. Still, the odds are that PH will remain in the low 7s and you won't need to adjust it.
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I wouldn't worry about the PH much. It should remain reasonable for some time. The "official" advise is that you don't need to bother with PH again until the conversion is complete. However, it is easy enough to test PH so you might as well check now and then, perhaps every other day, when the FC level happens to be below 5. Still, the odds are that PH will remain in the low 7s and you won't need to adjust it.
    Ok. From the way I had read the conversion write-up and other posts, I had a feeling that this was the case, but I wanted to be sure. Like I said, I want this to be as painless as possible, so I want to go "by the book" and follow through on expert advice. I appreciate the help. Can't wait to post up some sparkling water pics soon.
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    So just a quick update. My wife went out to skim the film off the top and she tested the water at about 10:50 am and she said the strip went to 10 ppm on the FC. There probably was not much sunlight on it then as our pool is shaded most of the day. So I would guess it has not lost 5 ppm for 3 hours. She is going to test a couple more times until I get home around 5 and I will try to test hourly after that.
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Started My Conversion Last Night

    Sorry it has been a few days since I last updated you guys on my progress. I had a minor setback because we had to go out of town for a couple of nights, so I didn't get to pay as much attention to it as I should have. We have, however, got a TF100, and I conducted an OCLT last night. Since it was my first test, I think I may have botched it last night (adding R0871 too quickly and not swirling well between drops), but I came up with FC of 13 and CC of 1.5. This morning the test read 10.5 FCs and 1.5 CCs. I am going to perform an OCLT again tonight and see how it goes. I am hoping to get to replace the sand very soon. The pool is sparkling BTW. I have been vacuuming as much as possible so almost everything is off the bottom now. Here is a pic of the pool the morning after I first started the conversion. This is about as bad as she got for me. My wife says there was some film she skimmed off later that day, but I never saw it and she didn't get a pic of it.



    Thanks everyone for your input throughout this process.
    18k Gallon In-ground, vinyl liner
    Sand filter
    1hp one-speed pump

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