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Thread: Conversion Questions

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    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Conversion Questions

    The house I bought last year came with a round 18" AG pool, a big round blue sand filter (that requires 200lbs of sand), and a two-speed pump.

    I started my conversion on the evening of Thursday, July 3rd. I didn't take any pictures because I had just flocked the pool to get rid of a green haze, so the water started fairly clear.

    Today is day #6. The water's been blue for about two days, but it's got a cloudy white haze and doesn't seem to be really clearing much.

    Questions:

    I've been running the pump on the high-speed setting 24/7. Is it OK to run it on the low-speed during the conversion, or am I better off leaving it on high?

    Do I have to worry about backflushing too much? The pressure thing on my pump doesn't work. I had been gauging pressure by feeling the jet that returns water to the pool. With Baquagoo, every 4 or 5 days, you could definitely notice that the pressure had dropped. Backflushing would always return the pressure back to normal. Since I've been adding the bleach, the pressure of the jet has always stayed high. Regardless, I've been backflushing a little every day. The discharge (after a few seconds) turns to cloudy white for 10-15 seconds and then clears up. I stop after the water turns clear again, rinse (which also sends out more cloudy stuff for a few seconds), then go back to filter.

    The return jet on my pool makes a current that goes counter-clockwise. The dog loves this because he can drop his toy in, wait 30 seconds, and it's on the other side of the pool. I visited a neighbor who basically has the same pool as I and noticed his pools return jet sent the water straight into the center of the pool ... no current. Is there a proper way for the return jet to be pointed?

    Could the sand in my filter be so bad that it's not capable of taking out the white haze? I replaced the sand at the beginning of last season, but accidentally only put 100lbs in. Towards the end of the season, I realized my mistake and added another 100lbs. It was chemically cleaned at the end of the season.

    I just got my "big boy" testing kit yesterday, but it was storming pretty much all night, so I didn't get to play. I'll post some numbers when I get home tonight.

    Thanks for any advice. As the one who's been paying for the Baquagoo and doing all of the physical work (seems like I had to flock every 6-8 weeks), I'm excited about this conversion. My roommates are dead set that their hair will turn green and their swimsuits will rot out from the 'evil chlorine'. I can't wait to prove them wrong!
    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    No need to use high speed, low speed is fine. You just want to keep the water circulating at all times, low speed is good enough for that.

    You don't need to backwash the filter, but backwashing frequently will speed up the conversion. The more baq-goo you can get out of the filter the less total chlorine you will need to finish the conversion.

    You want the return positioned so the water goes around in circles. That helps the skimmer skim and improves circulation.

    Don't worry about the haze right now. There are many curious effects during a conversion. If the haze is still there when the conversion is complete you can look into it then.

    I would love to see your numbers. At this point the most interesting one is how does your FC level change overnight. Test in the evening and again first thing in the morning. If the numbers are the same, or really close, than you are nearly done.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Sorry about the delay in getting back here. I have weird work hours, so I was trying to get an earlier AM reading, but 8:00AM is the earliest I have been able to finagle.

    The pool has gone from ~70% clear a few days ago (I couldn't clearly see the bottom anywhere through the white haze) to about 90% clear now (I can see the bottom clearly when I look straight down to almost the center of the pool, but not all of the way across).

    FC last night (10 pm): 17
    FC this morning (8 am): 13
    TC: .5
    I know from testing (when my FC has dropped low during the day) that my pH is kind of low at 6.8.

    So I guess I keep at it until the difference in FC is closer and the pool is totally sparkling clear.

    How much does me being able to only test the morning FC at 8:00AM affect the reading? The pool is not in direct sun until 11AM or so, although it is plenty bright in the back yard before the direct sun hits. I'm not too worried about this now as I can visually see the pool has a bit more left to do, but after that, I'm kinda worried that I'd keep shocking it too long because of the difference between FC being too off because my AM reading might be too late.

    If I'm not able to closely monitor the FC during the workdays, is it OK to overshoot the level of 15 for FC in hopes that it will last a little longer (do some more good) before the sun kills it?

    With TC at .5 or less, is it OK to change the sand in my filter now? I'm wondering if that will help to speed up the last bit of the conversion.

    In regards to the pH, I turned my return jet upwards, but the best it does is make a wide ripple on the pool surface. Does that count as aeration? Should it be more like a fountain that shoots water into the air?

    Thanks again for any advice. The amount of support on this forum is simply amazing!!!
    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by aristobrat
    Sorry about the delay in getting back here. I have weird work hours, so I was trying to get an earlier AM reading, but 8:00AM is the earliest I have been able to finagle.

    The pool has gone from ~70% clear a few days ago (I couldn't clearly see the bottom anywhere through the white haze) to about 90% clear now (I can see the bottom clearly when I look straight down to almost the center of the pool, but not all of the way across).

    FC last night (10 pm): 17
    FC this morning (8 am): 13
    TC: .5
    I know from testing (when my FC has dropped low during the day) that my pH is kind of low at 6.8.

    So I guess I keep at it until the difference in FC is closer and the pool is totally sparkling clear.

    How much does me being able to only test the morning FC at 8:00AM affect the reading? The pool is not in direct sun until 11AM or so, although it is plenty bright in the back yard before the direct sun hits. I'm not too worried about this now as I can visually see the pool has a bit more left to do, but after that, I'm kinda worried that I'd keep shocking it too long because of the difference between FC being too off because my AM reading might be too late.

    If I'm not able to closely monitor the FC during the workdays, is it OK to overshoot the level of 15 for FC in hopes that it will last a little longer (do some more good) before the sun kills it?

    With TC at .5 or less, is it OK to change the sand in my filter now? I'm wondering if that will help to speed up the last bit of the conversion.

    In regards to the pH, I turned my return jet upwards, but the best it does is make a wide ripple on the pool surface. Does that count as aeration? Should it be more like a fountain that shoots water into the air?

    Thanks again for any advice. The amount of support on this forum is simply amazing!!!
    Hi there....(tell your roommates green hair is not caused by chlorine it's caused by copper. Copper used in various algaecides and pool products is causing the hair to turn green; it's a common misconception that it's from chlorine. And there are solutions to it, inexpensive ones, if ones hair were to turn green, fyi.)

    I would use your same gauge that you used before, feeling the pressure from the return, when its time to backwash you'll feel the flowrate drop. Sometimes, slightly "dirty" sand filters better. So maybe you are backwashing too often, which I know sounds strange. I would not change your sand yet, just cause your cc is .5 is not the only indicator. You need to wait till your FC holds overnight before you change out the sand.

    Now that you have your kit you'll get a handle on it. It is a good idea to test as early as you can and if 8am is it, then that's fine, I think direct sun is more of an issue. I don't think you will lose that much to sun by 8am.

    I don't think it's a good idea to overshoot your shock level. Over chlorination can risk damage to your pool. Having more in there doesn't mean it will last longer it just means you will lose more faster when the sun hits it.

    Your return - it's up as far as it will go? It must be lower on the wall than mine, even with my pump on low it makes an ok aerator source. What about when you run the filter on high? Does it make more bubles that way? (The more like a fountain it is the faster the ph will rise, but whatever you have is better than nothing.)

    Have another dose of POP!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Would adding CYA at this point help with the rest of the conversion process, or is that best left to when the FC is at a normal level and I've changed the sand?

    I guess I'm being overly anxious to get this done so we can all swim again. I'm jealous of the folks with larger pools that pulled the conversion process off in a shorter amount of time than mine's taking.
    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Here's an interesting thread on baq conversion....

    baquacil-to-cholorine-conversion-t6151.html

    I had suggested on there to add the CYA and the guru's said wait. I think till you change the sand. So maybe there's some hints in there that will help or maybe it's just reassuring that others have been in your shoes (flip-flops).
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    No, adding CYA right now is not a good idea. Wait till the FC remains nearly the same overnight.

    You are getting into the later stages of the conversion, so it is probably best to only add chlorine one to three times in the evenings. During the day you will lose most of your chlorine to sunlight.

    If your PH is low when FC is below 5, as it probably is each day when you get home from work, then you should raise the PH to between 7.2 and 7.4 with borax or washing soda or PH Increaser. Aeration will take too long, you don't want the PH to stay that low for very long.
    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

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    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    If your PH is low when FC is below 5, as it probably is each day when you get home from work, then you should raise the PH to between 7.2 and 7.4 with borax or washing soda or PH Increaser. Aeration will take too long, you don't want the PH to stay that low for very long.
    Thanks. Picked up some Borax at lunch and will add it tonight.

    Can I add Borax at the same time I'm adding Clorox, or do I have to do one first, wait for it to stabilize, and then add the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Here's an interesting thread on baq conversion....
    Gesh, point me to another thread where the person got it done in 1/2 the time mine's taking. J/K .. great thread -- lots of good information. Thank you!
    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    The borax and bleach can be added one right after the other without any significant pause. But not both at the very same instant
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10
    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    I feel like I might be holding a winning lottery ticket or something...

    My FC only dropped .5 (if that) last night, and my CC is .5 or less (I swear half of a drop would have turned it clear), and the water has been amazingly clear for the last two days.

    So I guess the next steps are to replace the sand in the filter and to add CYA (and resist the urge to backflush for several days)?

    I overdid it with the pH the other day. I read in the pool school that adding CYA will lower pH. Is it OK to run with 7.8 pH while the CYA is dissolving to see where the pH ends up, or should I lower the pH now and then bump it up some when the CYA is all done?

    One last question. When I adjusted my return jet upward for aeration, it started to leak (dribble) on the outside. Looks like there is a black gasket between the outside of the pool and the return plumbing that's sort of rotted away. I'm guessing I can find a new gasket at Leslies or RecWarehouse, but was just wondering if there were any words of wisdom on how to approach this issue?



    Thanks for all of the great help. I've never run into a forum as friendly as this one! Made it a no-brainer to become a supporter!!
    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Great! Go ahead and replace the sand and add CYA. Keep raising the FC level to 15 each evening for a couple of days. If you are adding CYA very soon, I would only lower the PH a little, to say 7.5-7.6.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    My return looks just like that. The outer part is actually 2 sections and you may have just loosened one of the threaded parts by accident (I've done that). Try turning the outer sections it to see if the leak stops, otherwise, yes, those gaskets are sold at the PS but you might lose quite alot water trying to replace it now. YOu could shove a plug of some kind inside the pool water side to stop the water flow out of the return when changing it out.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    aristobrat's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Howdy!

    My CYA level is still low and I wanted to make sure I was simply underdosing and not missing something "big picture" wise. Last Wednesday I added my first CYA. I was shooting for 40 to start (didn't want to overshoot), but ended up only adding what fit into a small sock (about half the amount the Pool Calculator recommended). I measured the results Sunday afternoon (yesterday) expecting to see a CYA of about 20 but the TF-100 kit didn't register anything ... the black dot in the tester tube never went away. The test strips I have barely turned color on the CYA pad, so I assumed the level to be 10 and added more last night based on the Pool Calculator.

    Another question. This morning I noticed some black spots on the bottom of the pool and I'm not sure if its something growing or something that fell in overnight and dissolved (if that is such a thing .. I think I'm just being wishful). If you touch these black things, they "erase" vs. scoot (like solid debris does). I've been keeping my FC at about 5 (assuming my CYA was between 10 and 20), but there have been times I've come home from work on sunny days and found it at barely 1. When I brushed the spots this morning, they went away.

    Is this algae, and if so, is it a result of my FC dropping during the day because my CYA is still so low? If so, once my CYA is up there and my FC doesn't drop as much during the day, should I not see this happen much? With baquagoo, this would happen frequently, but never this black color.

    Thanks again for all of the expert advice.

    7600 AGP, 200 lb/26" sand filter, 2-speed 2.5 HP pump
    (and two border collies that would swim in it 24x7 if allowed)

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Conversion Questions

    CYA levels of 20 or less are usually quite difficult to read. I would trust the calculated dosage and put in enought to get to 40. Your testing should become fairly accurate.

    Cannot tell from your picture about the black spots. Trust in your ability (and your tests) to keep the FC in your pool at a level that will prevent algae (3-6ppm with a CYA of 40) and algae will not be an issue.

    I'm not sure what the black is but your description doesn't sound like algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Conversion Questions

    Sounds like your FC loss is sunlight....to be sure you can compare test numbers overnight to rule out algae. IF you run a test after sunset and again first thing in the morning and compare the two tests, if you lose less than 1ppm it's likely due to sunlight and not algae. IF you lose more than that in the darkness you can suspect that it is algae and shock your pool accordingly.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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