I've been a Baquacil user for a little over 4 years. (wow, that's sounds like I'm in group therapy) I have fought the constant battle of trying to keep the pool clear and algae free since day one. It was always a losing, frustrating battle, and an expensive one. I would guess that I spent upwards of $100 or more a month at times, especially during rainy periods, and still never had great results. After I opened the pool this year, I worked hard and spent loads of money to get the pool clear. It looked better than it ever had, but the algae quickly returned.
I had been reading about converting to bleach and after seeing so many success stories and reading about others frustrations with Baquacil, I decided to make the jump. I knew I would have the long weekend for the July 4th holiday, so I bought all the goodies and waited for the chance to start. I stopped adding any chemicals to the pool the week before and we had a couple of days of rain, so I knew the remaining Baq would start to get used up.
Instead of starting with standard bleach, I found bottles of 10% liquid chlorine at my local pool store. I started the pour bright and early the morning of July 4th. As expected, the pool immediately started to turn some ugly, funky colors. Instead of going through all the numbers and such, I thought I would show in photos what I experienced and what others might expect who decide to make the switch. Even after hearing about all the nasty shades of green and crud that forms, you are still never really prepared for the ugliness, but patience and persistence pays off. After 4 days, the water is amazingly clear blue and beautiful. For the first time in forever, the water doesn't have an algae smell. I have a new TF Test kit on the way and plenty of bleach in reserve. I also loaded up on Borax and Baking Soda, so I feel that I'm probably good to go as far as chemicals for the rest of the season. In all, even with all the liquid chlorine used for the conversion, I've only spent about $40. That's barely one bottle of Baquacil Sanitizer and Algistat, which wouldn't get me through a months. Enjoy the show. Thanks for all those who went before me and shared their experiences.
Here's the link to the entire show on my Flickr account. Click on the big 'i' in the middle if you want to follow along with my descriptions.
Here's a before shot,
An ugly shot right after the first pour,
And an after photo I took this evening after we went for a quick swim. It was awesome.