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Thread: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

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    Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Hi. This is my first post on TFP, although I've been a member for 5 years. My pool has been a Baquacil pool since we installed it 15 years ago, and I'm one of the rare ones who never had any problems with maintaining a clear pool with Baquacil. The only complaint I've ever had with Baquacil has been the expense. The chemicals have been costing me about $800 per season (and in Michigan, the season is only May - September!). I've been half-heartedly considering switching over to chlorine and using a SWG for several years now due to the expense, but never got up the courage to do it.

    I finally got the motivation to do the switch, though, because my pool place (the only Baquacil dealer in the county) went out of business last fall (the owner wanted to retire and couldn't find a buyer, so he just closed down). Rather than having to order the Baquacil online, I decided it was time to convert to chlorine.

    I read every post on TFP about the conversion, printed out the instructions, laid in a HUGE supply of chlorine bleach, got the Taylor TF-100 test kit, and got started last Sunday. Unfortunately, I'm working really long hours right now, so I can't put bleach in very frequently. My husband puts it in first thing in the morning, and then I put more in when I get home from work, so it's only getting topped back up twice per day.

    The water has gone from green to murky brown. It had a weird scum on top for a few days, but the scum seems to be gone. The color has stabilized at the murky brown color for the last 4 days without changing, which is why I知 concerned. From reading the other posts, it seemed like the color kept changing (and lightening) almost daily, but my pool seems to have stalled. Maybe I知 just too impatient, since it痴 only been 6 days, but I知 beginning to wish I had just stayed with Baquacil, since my pool looked beautiful with it.

    Here are my current test results, but I知 new at using this test kit, so I知 not sure how accurate the results are:
    FC 13
    CC 27
    pH 6.8
    TA 60-80 (not sure)
    CH 300
    CYA 0 (I think, because the water I poured into the CYA viewing tube was clear)


    I guess I just need some reassurance that I didn稚 do something wrong, since my pool seems to have stalled at the murky brown cesspool stage!

    Thank you. TFP has been very helpful in getting me started on the conversion.

    P.S. I have pictures and tried to upload them (both as an image and as an attachment), but it wouldn't let me. I just got an error message. Any advice about that?
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsklement View Post
    Hi. This is my first post on TFP, although I've been a member for 5 years. My pool has been a Baquacil pool since we installed it 15 years ago, and I'm one of the rare ones who never had any problems with maintaining a clear pool with Baquacil. The only complaint I've ever had with Baquacil has been the expense. The chemicals have been costing me about $800 per season (and in Michigan, the season is only May - September!). I've been half-heartedly considering switching over to chlorine and using a SWG for several years now due to the expense, but never got up the courage to do it.

    I finally got the motivation to do the switch, though, because my pool place (the only Baquacil dealer in the county) went out of business last fall (the owner wanted to retire and couldn't find a buyer, so he just closed down). Rather than having to order the Baquacil online, I decided it was time to convert to chlorine.

    I read every post on TFP about the conversion, printed out the instructions, laid in a HUGE supply of chlorine bleach, got the Taylor TF-100 test kit, and got started last Sunday. Unfortunately, I'm working really long hours right now, so I can't put bleach in very frequently. My husband puts it in first thing in the morning, and then I put more in when I get home from work, so it's only getting topped back up twice per day.

    The water has gone from green to murky brown. It had a weird scum on top for a few days, but the scum seems to be gone. The color has stabilized at the murky brown color for the last 4 days without changing, which is why I’m concerned. From reading the other posts, it seemed like the color kept changing (and lightening) almost daily, but my pool seems to have stalled. Maybe I’m just too impatient, since it’s only been 6 days, but I’m beginning to wish I had just stayed with Baquacil, since my pool looked beautiful with it.

    Here are my current test results, but I’m new at using this test kit, so I’m not sure how accurate the results are:
    FC 13
    CC 27
    pH 6.8
    TA 60-80 (not sure)
    CH 300
    CYA 0 (I think, because the water I poured into the CYA viewing tube was clear)


    I guess I just need some reassurance that I didn’t do something wrong, since my pool seems to have stalled at the murky brown cesspool stage!

    Thank you. TFP has been very helpful in getting me started on the conversion.

    P.S. I have pictures and tried to upload them (both as an image and as an attachment), but it wouldn't let me. I just got an error message. Any advice about that?
    I can only help with pictures. Generally, they're too big when you get the error.

    Best bet is to upload to some other site and post links. Tutorial
    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.
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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Thanks for the picture upload advice. I reduced them, so I'm hoping it works this time. The first picture was last Sunday. The second picture is today.


    Pool 1.jpg


    Pool 2.jpg
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Welcome to TFP

    I wish I could help with conversion advise. I'll be following this thread though. And we like progress pictures here
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Thanks for the welcome! I'll post new pictures every time the color changes. It's been the same color (picture 2 - murky brown cesspool) with no change for four days now, so I'm getting worried, although from other posts it sounds like maybe murky brown is a good sign. That's what I'm hoping, anyway!
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Staying brown for several days does not indicate a problem. That happens sometimes.

    I am a little concerned about your PH being only 6.8. The next time the FC level is below 10, test and adjust the PH to between 7.2 and 7.4.

    Have you done an overnight FC loss test? That is a good way to measure your progress.
    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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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if I should raise the pH some. It was way high before I started the conversion process, but I guess I brought it down a little too much. I had read that pH readings might be off once you start the conversion process, so I wasn't sure if I should do anything about it. I'll bring it up some ASAP.

    I have not done the overnight FC loss test yet (during the week I leave the house at 5 a.m., so no time until the weekend). I'll do it tomorrow morning, though, and post the results.

    Is this the right process for that test: Add enough bleach to bring the FC back up to 15 this evening, test it again tonight a few hours later, and then test tomorrow morning first thing?
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    That sounds right for OCLT. Since I can't comment with any knowledge on what your FC should be during a conversion......not sure about 15.

    The goal of the OCLT is to test after sun sets on the pool and before sun rises. Because organics being killed and sunlight consume the chlorine. By testing after dark and before sunlight you get an idea of how much chlorine the organics are consuming since your taking sunlight out of the equation.

    Hope that helps.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    FC of 15 is indeed the correct level for a baqua conversion.
    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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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    So I should actually test AFTER dark and BEFORE daylight, or can I do it at dusk and dawn?
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    I test early after dark. 8:30ish for me and try to test again befor full sunrise. Definitely before full sun is on the pool. 6:30ish for me.

    The goal is to take sunlight out of the equation for chlorine consumption.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Just finished conversion. It took me about 2 weeks. I followed the advice I found here. And all is well. I dont know alot about pools but I would agree to balance that Ph. As for the brown water thats when My pool started to turn the corner for the positive. Keep pounding the bleach,Back washing filter and sweeping to waste. Get rid of the baquacil slim. If you are not seeing a color change as you add bleach. That is a good thing. It took me about 40 gal. Of 8.5%. Now im using bulk 15% which is a little cheaper then what i was buying at walmart. Kids went swimming today although it was cold it is crystal clear with spot on numbers. Keep at it and you will be happy. Ill post pics when i get a chance.
    17k,24' round Ag, Hayward w/Sand filter, LaMotte 2056 colorQ Pro7, city water

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    And admittedly I'm guilty of dysfunctionally slamming my pool because I can't keep up with FC during a work week and I can't get up early enough for a good overnight free chlorine test on the weekends.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! I was feeling very discouraged. I had a dream last night that the pool finally turned blue but then caved in, so I'm even worrying about it in my sleep.

    Cpower - did you get your 15% bulk bleach at a pool store or at someplace like Home Depot or Lowes? I have run all the local grocery stores out of bleach, so I might have to find someplace else to get it. I'm hoping they restock their shelves soon, because I'm almost out again. I've put 55 gallons of 8.5% bleach in so far - yikes! I've only been adding for 6 days, too, so it sounds like I have at least another week to go. Time to go stock up on more bleach.

    AimeeH - thanks for the comment about dysfunctionally slamming - LOL. It makes me feel better, because I'm in the same boat during the week - putting the bleach in twice daily is all I can do. It's been cloudy and rainy here in Michigan for the last several days, so there isn't any sunlight to eat up the chlorine right now anyway. Hopefully that will help.
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsklement View Post
    I have run all the local grocery stores out of bleach, so I might have to find someplace else to get it.
    LOL! So you're the reason an entire county in Michigan has whites that aren't as bright as they could be! I love it!
    Pool: 40x15ft "Mt. Lake" shaped plaster IG (30k gallons with Borates)
    SWG: Circupool Si-45
    Pumps: Hayward MaxFlo VS (SP2302VSP) + Booster Pump for Polaris 180
    Filter: Pentair Tagelus TA-60D (Sand)
    Test Kit: TF-100 (with Speed Stir)

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Yes, employees in charge of product ordering are probably wondering what in the world is going on with the bleach disappearing so fast! I've completely cleaned out 8 different grocery stores in the last week! And I'm already down to just 9 gallons left, which probaby won't even last me until Monday (sigh). Buying bleach is turning into a full-time job!
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    I have a test kit question that hopefully someone can answer. Once I'm done with each test, can I just dump the water samples down the kitchen sink or should I dispose of them in another way? I don't know how hazardous the drops of whatever I'm putting in the water to test it are I've been washing it down the sink, but I don't want to mess up our septic tank. Can anyone advise me how to dispose of the already-tested water when I'm done with it?
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    I did the overnight FC loss test last night. Here are the results:

    FC level at 9:30 p.m. 13 (it was about 2 hours after I had added bleach)
    FC level at 6 a.m. this morning 7

    I don't know what this says about where I am in the conversion process - just that I'm no where near done (sigh). Time for another bleach run - I hope the grocery stores have restocked!

    CC level was 30 last night and 27 this morning. Should I be worried about this?

    pH is back to 7.0. I didn't want to bring it too high, so I'll bring it back to 7.2 today.
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    Another question - my pool hasn't really had huge any Baquagoo I've had to scoop out (like DonewithBaq's scary picture from yesterday!). All I've had is the color change, and a weird scum layer on the surface a few days ago that went away by itself. Should I be worried that I have NOT had any goop to scoop out? It could be that I hadn't added any Baquacil since last September, so it had gone 8 months without any chemicals added. Or could it be that it just hasn't gotten to the goop stage yet because it had been a Baquacil pool for 15 years and is going to take longer? Any opinions about that?
    28,000 gallon Doughboy AG vinyl pool (21' x 40' w/7 ft deep end), installed in 1999
    Hayward Super Pump (2 HP, 1 speed), Hayward Star Clear Plus Filter (120 sq. ft.)
    Aquabot Turbo and Aquabot Turbo T-jet cleaners, Saltron Retro XL SWG
    Well water, Taylor TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion - need reassurance!

    MrsKlement,

    As someone who was in your very same position not all that long ago, I can tell you STAY THE COURSE!
    It was a journey well worth making.

    Best of luck with your conversion!
    20K gal, IG vinyl, Waterfall on 2nd pump (1HP US Motor), Dolphin cleaning system, Central Arkansas, installed 1999
    1HP Emerson (main pump), Purex Triton II (TR 60) Sand Filter (replaced original 2016), Purex Triton Mini Max Plus 250 Heater (unused for several years)

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