Am ready to convert…
First, sorry for the long post but I feel I need to provide history in case others have experienced similar.
I am in my second year of a Baquacil, in-ground 18x36 liner pool. I think about 27,000 gallons of water (18x36 - 42 inch shallow, 100 inch deep). I use a sand filter. Built and opened in July 2007. Water was crystal clear for about 6 weeks back then and then turned hazy. Fought with it most of the end of August and into September and October. At the advice of my pool specialists, I used Floc a few times, added 2 gallons of Oxider every 3 or 4 days, did an initial dosing of Algecide, etc to try to get it clear. Didn’t come close and ended up closing the pool for the winter mid October (live in Grand Rapids, Michigan).
Opened the pool this year Memorial Day weekend. Water was a medium green color and could not see my drains in the deep end. Had water tested. Total Alkalinity is 125, Calcium Hardness is 225, PH 7.6, Copper 0, Iron 0. Pool specialist told me all levels were good so I added startup dose of Algecide, Oxidizer. After a three or four days, pool went from Green to Grayish to Very Hazy. Filter runs 24x7, backwashed when pressure in return lines was minimal. After 9 days pool got to Slightly Hazy (meaning I could see the drains now but barely). I was told to Floc it - which I did and vacuumed to waste. That seemed to make it more clearer but it was still very hazy. After about 2 weeks since opening I was told to add DE to the skimmer (??? – don’t remember if this is what is was but it was a white powder and I was told it was a filter aid). I did this. Here is where it gets weird and ended up clearing up very nicely. I am not sure what did it but it cleared up. The day I added the DE (or whatever it was) the pressure in the sand filter went up from about 16 PSI (where it normally runs) to about 22 PSI. Pool specialist told me this was normal and to not backwash for 12 hours unless pressure goes up further when at that point to “bump” the filter lever to relieve a little bit of the pressure. That evening we had a tremendous downpour of rain, actually had 4+ inches in just over 2 hours. Needless to say, my water level rose up so I went to check the filter PSI. I was at 24 PSI so I decided to backwash: one - to relieve the pressure, two – to drain some water. I backwashed for about 3 or 4 minutes until water level was just over half way up the skimmer. Turned to filter and went back inside. I happened to look out at the pool about 4 hours later and noticed the water level way below the skimmer! Yikes! I went outside (mind you it was pouring rain again) and couldn’t see much since it was dark and decided to just shut the filter off for the night. The next day I went out and tried turning on the filter again. I had it set to Filter but could hear and see a trickle of water coming out of the backwash/waste line. I tried different filter settings and the Recirculate setting also had a trickle. I determined that the night before, while the setting was on Filter that the water slowly drained out to below the skimmer. I researched online and took the top off the Sandfilter and found that a rubber gasket was dislodged and not lined up. I lined it up and put it back together and turned it back on and voila, no leaks! In the meantime, I put my house hose into the pool to get water level back up. When I looked at the pool low-and-behold the water was crystal clear! So, a weird sequence of events but I was happy I got to clear water! That was about June 8th or so, 3 weeks after opening the pool.
Fast forward now to July 20th. Since June 8th I’d been maintaining Baqua Sanitizer level (between 40 and 50 ppm). I did weekly maintenance of 8 oz of Algecide and a ½ gallon of Oxidizer. Water temperature was between 78 and 81. Never needed to vacuum much as water was crystal clear. Two weeks ago we had air temperatures in the upper 80s, low 90s, high humidity for about a week straight. Pool water temperature went up to 86 or 87 (I stopped using the solar cover when the water temp hit 83). About 10 days ago the water started to get a wee bit hazy. I’d add a ½ gallon of Oxidizer and the next day no reading on my test strip. I added the full start up dose of 2 gallons, again, less than 24 hours and the reading was nothing. For the past 10 days I’ve been adding 2 gallons of Oxidizer every other day and always the next day when I took a reading it showed zero. Keeping in mind that every day the water was getting more and more hazy. Baqua Sanitizer still between 40 and 50 ppm. About a week ago I did an initial start up dose of Algaecide even though there was no visible signs of algae growth. Yesterday I went to my pool specialist to get more Oxidizer and we got to talking about my scenario. He told me to add 3 pounds of a non-chlorine granular shock (from Poollife) before I add the Baquacil Oxidizer. I did that last night and this morning when I woke up, BAM – pool is no longer hazy but light GREEN! I just went out this morning and added another full initial start-up dose of Algaecide and dumped in the two gallons of Oxidizer to see if that will do anything.
Here is my question and dilemma. I have a party on August 16th, 3 weeks from now. I am leaving for a 10-day vacation 9 days from now. I’ll return to my home on August 10th or 11th. I am ready and willing and want to convert to Chlorine. Should I do it now knowing I have to leave for vacation on July 19th (9 days from now)? Should I wait and keep throwing Oxidizer and Algeacide (and money) at the pool hoping it clears? Should I wait and convert on August 10th when I return?
Baquacil: 40 ppm
Total Alkalinity: 120
Calcium Hardness: 225
Do I need to adjust any levels above before starting?
From reading the posts I think I need to maintain 10 ppm of Free Chlorine (FC). Should/can I do 15 ppm with a liner pool?
I think I have 27000 gallons of water so I will start out with 560 oz of bleach (6%) - unless I can do 15 ppm then I need to add 840 oz. How often do I add this amount, about every hour depending on the FC level? I work during the day but my wife can add as necessary.
I think I need to add it to the skimmer directly, run filter 24x7, backwash when pressure is high enough to impead circulation.
Anything else I am forgetting?
The direction I am looking for is whether my thoughts on Conversion Process are correct, and WHEN should I start - now or on August 10th?
Shallow - Day 0
Deep - Day 0