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Thread: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

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    First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Hi everyone. I've been spending the last week on the forums reading just a ton of information about pool care and have learned quite a bit. Near the end of last summer I bought a home with a pool and it was being treated (or mistreated) with Baquacil. After running into a water haze problem that just would not clear towards the end of summer, and no help from the local pool store, I decided over the winter to convert to a chlorinated water treatment system. So needless to say, most of my reading has been pertaining to that. I spent last year learning about the pool basics, and learning about water treatment (using Baquacil) and now I'm basically starting all over again. So wish me some luck.

    I'm about a week away from opening the pool for the season. I have peeked under the cover and have a little bit of green algae starting in a couple spots on some walls, pretty clear water (minus the algae), and some debris I'll have to remove before my conversion. So far my plan will be to normalize (de-winterize?) the pool and raise my water level up. Then I will be vacuuming up the debris to waste that is settled at the bottom. I will test my pH and adjust as needed, and then start my conversion process. I don't know what is the better route to use as far as the walls though. Do you think it would be a better idea to just start the conversion and brush the walls and floor, or should I raise my water level, suck out the debris, then give my robot a few hours to play around? Advice?

    Anyways, I plan on being available to test and dose as often as possible for the first week as I'll be off of work. I have bought in preparation about 76 gallons of 12.5% Liquid Chlorine, so I'm hoping that will get me through, or close to the end of the conversion. I have read some conflicting information on my filter (sand) though. I have read on another site that once the conversion is completed, you should replace the sand in the filter. (I understand that I also have to backwash my filter during the conversion after 4-6lb rise in pressure.) However today I read another thread that mentioned you shouldn't have to replace your sand ever. It may have been meant to say that for chlorine pools you don't have to change the sand, but not accounting for if someone is converting. Just a clarification on this would be good if anyone knows.

    Anyways, I'll end my long story here. Expect some pictures, and information to follow starting next Tuesday/Wednesday in this thread. I appreciate all you have to offer. Thank you.

    -Joe
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Welcome!

    First please post lots of pictures....we all love a good conversion thread.

    As to sand, yes, for a normally chlorinated pool, you should never need to change the sand. A baquacil conversion, however, is one of the few situations where a sand change is necessary.

    I wouldn't worry about the algae. You will have so much chlorine working on the baqua goo, anything else living in the pool will die in the process.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Welcome Joe! Hope you ordered the TF100 test kit for your conversion.

    As Symkowski posted, mainly baq conversions change their sand towards the end.

    You're going to love your new chlorine pool and the TFPC. Please do post lots of pics and any questions you may have. We'll be here to help you along the way! Good luck!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Thank you for the confirmation on the sand filter.

    Casey - I had ordered the Taylor K-2006 test kit. While scanning another forum online, they mentioned that was the one needed to get reliable results. Of course, now that I've found TFP, I see there is another option with the same results. I'll keep it in mind for when I have to order again. In reading further, I believe I'll have to order some more FAS-DPD reagent because it looks like with the constant testing during the conversion, you go through quite a bit.

    I'm trying to be prepared the best I can to make the conversion process go as smoothly as possible. And yes, I will be sure to take many pictures for everyones enjoyment.

    -Joe
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Welcome!

    Sounds like you have things figured out. I suspect the conversion will go quickly, since you're prepared.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Thank you all for the nice welcome.


    Removed the cover on the pool yesterday. Everything was normalized and water level raised. I did some minor vac-to-waste to get rid of a bunch of worms and some leaves that got in. I let the water filter/circulate for a couple hours yesterday, and checked my pH which was reading at 7.2. This morning with the pump running I added some borax and did a full test just to familiarize myself with the new test kit.

    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.7/7.8
    TA - 150
    CH - 0? When I tested, the sample never turned red (or even pink), and remained a blue color.
    CYA - 0

    Obviously I wasn't going to have any chlorine or cya present as this pool has yet to be converted. But, tomorrow is the day I get to begin all the fun. I'll be sure to snap a picture before I begin and during the process. Should be interesting.
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    I would suggest ordering a refill for your Fas/Dpd if you haven't already. You will use a lot of this test in the early stages as you stated.

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Leebo - Yes I did order refills for my chlorine tests. Luckily while reading over some threads here on the forums, a post was made warning someone doing the conversion to order more before they ran out. I expect the refills to be here by the end of the week.

    Now for some pictures...

    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    A picture from yesterday evening...


    This morning...




    Current water readings this morning...

    FC - 8 (added chlorine back up to 15ppm)
    CC - 3.5
    pH - 8.0 (slightly higher from when I started)
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Well, after yesterday checking my FC levels almost every hour only to find I needed to add minimal chlorine, today I figured I would check less frequently and it bit me in the butt a little. At 9:30 I raised my chlorine level up from the overnight loss, and I didn't check it again until 13:00. FC dropped all the way down to 1.5ppm. Ouch. Anyways, a lot of the baquacil is being attacked and of course is leaving behind white specs in the water. Some of them are coagulating together and making ping pong ball sized groupings, while some is actually settling out on the bottom of the pool. It also appears that either tiny bubbles, or tiny specs are making it through the filter and out the returns.

    For the stuff that is settling at the bottom, do you think it would be a wise move to just vac-to-waste? Or should I just keep brushing it up and letting my sand filter take care of it?

    A note on the sand filter...I had read somewhere that when using baquacil water treatment, they recommend changing out the sand every year. (of course for chlorine thats not true) However knowing I was going to convert over to chlorine, I saw no sense it changing it just to convert over, and have to change it again. So it is last years baquagooped up sand if that makes any difference.
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    In all honesty your filter is making a VERY small difference in the conversion at this point. The fact that you've still got the Baqua in the filter is almost meaningless at this point. Keep an eye on your OCLT (not sure you'll pass yet) and once you lose less than 1FC overnight then worry about the sand. The sand in the filter is consuming some of the chlorine, and causing some of the CC's. Once you change the media then you should see a small improvement. No need to rush to this step however, as changing too early will only contaminate the sand with the goo. The chlorine will continue to break down the Baqua-Goo in time. If you wish to vac-to-waste it will help speed up a bit, but if water's expensive then just let the chlorine do it's job. Keep in mind some of your chlorine lose at this point is also due to the sun eating away as you've got no CYA to protect it. Once you come towards the end point of the conversion it will be in your best interest money wise to slow down the addition of chlorine to after the sun sets and early morning. Of coarse this will extend how long the conversion takes.......

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Sounds good Leebo. I vac-to-waste a bunch of the settled crud at the bottom of the pool. My home is served by my well (through a softener) so I'm not so concerned about water costs. I guess as long as it doesn't kill my pH that is. I just started yesterday with my conversion so a long ways to go. I have to admit I'm sort of disappointed with the lack of chlorine I've had to add to maintain shock level so far. I guess the fact that the sun has shown through for about an hour or two since yesterday is helping to not burn off my chlorine so quickly. Time to scrub and dose!
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Day 3. Sun finally has come out after morning showers. Water is mostly clear, it needs some more clearing up in the deep in though. You can see some of the 'white' substance that was floating around the pool which has settled. As well as some worms. I keep brushing it up and it settles shortly afterwards. So far I've used about 18 gallons of 12.5%. I've used up only about a quarter of my supply (over bought much?). Anyways, I think I'm going to hook up the vac line today, and at least suck up the last of the worms I missed upon pool opening. Those are always fun dumping out of the pump strainer.

    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Wow! Your pool is looking great after only 3 days. Guess I need to add ALOT more bleach to mine. Unfortunately, I can only treat it in the mid-late afternoon and early morn. How often did you have to add bleach to get that result?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also have full sun from 7 AM to 8 PM, so that doesn't help!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Where did you find 12.5% bleach for $1.99? I've been paying $2.99 for 8.5%!!

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    I planned my conversion around my rotation at work, so I'm in the middle of a 6 day off period. So luckily I've been able to check, my FC level anywhere from every hour to every 3 hours. It varies how often I check it. If I wait say, 2 hours, and my FC drops only 1 or 2 ppm, I will wait a little longer before I check it again. If I have more sun, I'll check it more often. The past 3 days it has been mostly overcast so I haven't lost too much chlorine to the sun.

    In these 3 days, I want to say my FC level dropped below 10 ppm twice. Always topped off at 15 ppm.

    Up here In Wisconsin we have Menards. It's a Home Depot or Lowe's type home improvement store. They had a buy one, get one sale going on for their liquid chlorine. 3.99 for one, but get one free. (1.99 each)
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Thanks, Joe. I guess mine is just gonna take alot longer. Especially with all the sun hitting it before I can get home and do anything about it.

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Day 4 Pictures






    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Alright my pool water is clear. My last 2 tests show my CC at 0.5 ppm. OF course my FC drops steadily with no stabilizer. However my pH has gone from 7.8 at the beginning of the conversion, (it was also 7.8 yesterday) to 7.2 today. I tested it twice to be sure. I've had a little more sunlight today and have done more scrubbing today (3x today so far vs 1-2x a day the past 3). Any ideas? I guess I'll go out and get all my numbers in about 10-15 minutes...I just added some chlorine so I want to let that get circulated around a bit.
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Hold off on adding more chlorine until tonight after the sun sets. Try an OCLT tonight and see what your results are.

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    Re: First post - Opening, Converting, Enjoying

    Ok. How about my pH? Recommended level says 7.5-7.8. In a matter of a day it went from 7.8 to 7.2.
    IG Vinyl - 18x36 - 21,800 gal. // Hayward C17502 Filter
    1.5 HP Mustang Single Speed Pump
    notes: SE Wisconsin Pool / No main drain in pool / Dolphin Advantage Cleaner

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