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Thread: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

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    Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    I had to replace my pool liner for our 18,000 gallon above ground pool. We had been using Baquacil products since we purchased the pool 3 years ago. The pool place at that time sold us on Baquacil as being a superior chemical system that among other things would give us a 10 year life on our pool liner. Unfortunately, that turns out to be untrue. Well $1200 later (pool liner) and a considerable sum for the Baquacil products, we now have an opportunity to start fresh with a chlorine chemical system.

    I read through several of the posts here and think its all fairly straight forward. However, all the posts pretty much deal with converting "full" pools. Since we are now as we speak filling the pool with clear/clean water, is there any short cuts I can take? I assume that since the new water is chemical free, there is no real need to go through the chemical conversion processes described in other threads. Is my thinking correct here, can I jump right to a chlorine chemical startup?

    I recognize there may be a glitch in my thinking above, in that I have a sand filter which likely still has Baquacil chemical residue. I would really rather not change out the sand this close to the end of the pool season. Reading on line there appears to be some products that might remove Baquacil from the filter sand such as "FlipOut" or "SoftSwim Filter Cleaner". Would these effectively clean the sand filter negating the need to change the filter sand?

    Any other thoughts or suggestions. We have another day or 2 until the pool water is up to the required level. We are hoping to use our solar blanket to extend our pool season (North Carolina) into November.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Changing out the sand is the most reliable and cost effective option you have at this point. Much simpler than using some product that may or may not remove all the Baq chemicals from the sand.

    If you open the sand filter and let it dry for a day, it's very easy to change out sand when it's dry. Shop-vac it out and put in the new. In your case, after vacuuming it out, I'd rinse the inside of the filter, laterals and stand pipe with a dilute bleach solution, then water as well before adding new sand.
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    +1 ^^ with Joel's recommendations.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Also... I'm terrible at this and it's a little late but

    Welcome to TFP!
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Welcome!! You have good advice above.

    I'm going to bet that you will still have some bacqua in the plumbing even after the sand change and flushing as much as you can. You will probably have a higher chlorine demand when you start it up again, so test and adjust until things settle down. I guess that would be a SLAM
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Would a deep clean of the sand get rid of most of it?
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    Would a deep clean of the sand get rid of most of it?
    A Baqua conversion is one of the few times a sand replacement is recommended.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    I'm going to offer a contrary opinion, based on my intuition as a chemist, but having no experience with Baquacil except reading about the conversions here. The reason a sand change is needed for a conversion is because you add a ton of chlorine to thousands of gallons of pool water, which oxidizes the baquacil and produces a bunch of goopy precipitate that the filter removes, but which gunks up the filter in the process. Since you have new water, you will have MUCH less of this goopy precipitate than someone with a pool full of baqua-water would have. The baquacil in your filter sand is soluble and can be almost entirely washed away with water, as long as you do this before adding any chlorine. What I would do is to fill the pool, then run your pump direct to waste for a while to clear the plumbing, then backwash for a while to wash the dissolved baquacil out of the sand. At this point, the only place the baquacil would remain would be in the return lines. This is maybe about 1/1000th of the pool volume, so you would expect about 1/1000th the goop once you add chlorine. If you have a main drain and are confident with your plumbing controls, you could even run some water from MD to returns before the pool is filled above the returns, and catch that water with a bucket or something, minimizing the goop even more. Of course, you can still change your sand after all this if it is still ruined, but it might not be.

    If I'm missing something that the more experienced posters are aware of, please correct me. But it seems to me that this is very different from a typical Baquacil conversion, as almost all of the Baquacil can be washed away.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    I think I agree with you. Certainly easy enough to start up the pool normally and just check the sand a little later ... maybe just deep clean instead of replace.
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    Re: Opportunity to Convert Baquacil to Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I think I agree with you. Certainly easy enough to start up the pool normally and just check the sand a little later ... maybe just deep clean instead of replace.
    . Was thinking if the Baquacil was rinsed out through the deep clean before the chlorine was introduced, it wouldn't be as bad. Sand is relatively cheap, but changing it could be a bit of a pain.
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