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Thread: Need to change sand after conversion

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    Need to change sand after conversion

    We are getting ready to take the leap to convert from Baquacil to chlorine. We have a 19,300 gal above ground with sand filter. We've just opened and have put nothing in the pool yet but baking soda to raise the alkalinity. I'm waiting on our test kit to arrive later this week. As for current readings, my Baquacil test strips show non-existent reading of Oxidizer and Sanitizer/Algistat, so I'm hoping that will be helpful. We changed our sand and did a very thorough cleaning of our filter at the beginning of last year, so my question is do we HAVE to change it again after the conversion or is there a way to simply clean it? I've read examples of people doing both and was hoping since my Baquacil readings are so low that we could forgo this step. Thanks!

    Pcrider
    19,300AG, Sand, Millennium filter and hrpwr pump, TFTestkits TF-100 (waiting for delivery)

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Welcome to TFP! To the best of my knowledge you should not have to change the sand.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    The baquacil conversion to chlorine will inevitably create lots of Baquacil-goop. At the very least you will probably need to do a deep cleaning of the sand to remove the oxidized organics. It's a pain, but you'll benefit from knowing that your sand is cleared of the goop.

    Please, please, please post lots of pictures of the conversion. The color show in the beginning is often an impressive sight to see!
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Following the Baqua conversion you will VERY likely need to replace the sand. At the end of a conversion is about the only time we suggest replacing sand, but it's for a good reason. The conversion will create a TON of sticky "BaquaGoo" that will very likely make your current sand un-usable.

    It's worth it in the end however! We made the switch from Baqua a few years ago now, and have been amazed at the ease ever since.

    Welcome to TFP!

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    I learned something new today
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Following the Baqua conversion you will VERY likely need to replace the sand. At the end of a conversion is about the only time we suggest replacing sand, but it's for a good reason. The conversion will create a TON of sticky "BaquaGoo" that will very likely make your current sand un-usable.

    It's worth it in the end however! We made the switch from Baqua a few years ago now, and have been amazed at the ease ever since.

    Welcome to TFP!
    +1 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    And that's why @Leebo gets paid the big bucks.....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Happens a lot around here Az! It's why we're all here!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Yes very true Woody. The conversions still confuse me a bit, but I try to keep reading threads on them.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Azgirl71 View Post
    Yes very true Woody. The conversions still confuse me a bit, but I try to keep reading threads on them.
    I think of it as Baquacil being like a really bad algae bloom. You're basically just performing a SLAM at 0ppm CYA to destroy all the "junk" in the water. One key difference is the Baquacil gets oxidized by the chlorine but instead of being converted into a volatile halogenated organic compound, parts of it become a cross linked organic polymer (the Baquacil-goop) that gets caught up in your filter. The goop is not very water soluble so it's nearly impossible to wash it out of the filter medium. Therefore the last step is to clean out your filter and change the media. That's not too terribly expensive for sand but it would be super painful for DE or cartridge filters as the grids and cartridges would probably be totally shot.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Thanks! That helps.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Thank you all SOOO much. I'll go ahead and get new sand. I'm a bit nervous about the conversion, but feel much more confident now with TFP!! Now I just have to be patient until my test kit gets here From all of my studying (which has been in-depth, but helpful), I'm going to take the next couple of days to get my PH just perfect before the bleach bath begins Thanks again!

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    When is your test kit set to arrive? I maybe able to give some advice to preform the conversion without a test kit, however I wouldn't want to do the process without a kit for more than a day or two.

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    It is supposed to be delivered tomorrow (Thursday).

    Pcrider
    19,300AG, Sand, Millennium filter and hrpwr pump, TFTestkits TF-100 (waiting for delivery)

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    I went and purchased all my supplies for the baquacil to chlorine conversion in anticipation of my test kit being here tomorrow. I LOVED being able to get what I needed without having to take out a second mortgage I'm trying to get the PH level up with no success. The only testing I have available is my Baquacil test strips, which is showing it about 6.8, so PoolMath told me to add 3 boxes of BORAX, which I did this evening. I dissolved in a bucket with water and slowly added in front of the return. My pump is going full force and hasn't been turned off. I just retested and still getting the same reading. So, my first question is how long after adding something should you wait until testing, and secondly, what is the minimum my PH can be before starting the conversion? Thanks in advance for the help
    Pcrider
    19,300 AG, Sand, Millennium filter and hrpwr pump, TFTestkits TF-100

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    Need to change sand after conversion

    Typical wait times are 30-60mins for liquids. Powders need to dissolve and mix so brushing is really critical to get good distribution. The only chemical outlier is CYA which can up to a week to register.

    I would not trust your test strips. You need to wait for your test kit to get the right answer. You could go to the pool store and try to find a cheap phenol red pH test kit if shipping is going to hold you up. The strips are pretty worthless.

    If I were in your shoes, I would not add anymore chemicals until I had a reliable test method.

    Just my opinion, mileage may vary


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Not sure whether to start a new thread, but I have received my test kit and have results. I'm assuming some of my numbers are non-existent since it's baquacil water, but want to make sure I haven't done something wrong.

    FC-0
    PH-8.2
    TA-150
    CH-0

    Do I test Borate??

    So pool math says 114 oz of bleach, 47 oz of muriatic acid, and 743 oz of Calcium Chloride (which I don't have), and 103oz of stabilizer. What order do I do this and how long in between? I could kick myself for trying to raise the PH with Borax based on test strips!!!!
    Pcrider
    19,300 AG, Sand, Millennium filter and hrpwr pump, TFTestkits TF-100

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Go ahead and keep everything here, allows us more of a "picture."

    The first thing to do is lower the pH to 7.2 to 7.4. After that only worry about your FC levels. Raise them to 15 as frequently as possible using liquid chlorine. The other numbers you can work on once the conversion is complete.

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    That pH could be 8.2 or it could be a lot higher. 8.2 is the test's upper limit.

    You need to drop your pH but I would suggest you do it in steps. Add half the acid that poolmath says and then retest. Making very large pH changes all at once can have dramatic results because your TA is going to go down at the same time as your pH when you add acid. If your TA crashes too low, your pH can swing wildly down as the carbonate alkalinity (largest component of TA) is your primary acid buffer.

    Remember the tortoise and the hare - slow & steady wins the race.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    I added the muriatic acid as suggested; I did half then waited about an hour, retested and had another 8.2 reading, then the other half. I'm pouring slowing right in front of running return. That was last night. This morning I'm still getting a 8.2 reading. I guess I just keep adding the acid in increments of 1/2 of what is suggested? Pump is running continuously.
    Pcrider
    19,300 AG, Sand, Millennium filter and hrpwr pump, TFTestkits TF-100

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Need to change sand after conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcrider View Post
    I added the muriatic acid as suggested; I did half then waited about an hour, retested and had another 8.2 reading, then the other half. I'm pouring slowing right in front of running return. That was last night. This morning I'm still getting a 8.2 reading. I guess I just keep adding the acid in increments of 1/2 of what is suggested? Pump is running continuously.
    You're doing fine.

    Any idea how much borax you added to the water? Adding borates along with high TA will make it a lot harder to lower the pH. LaMotte has test strips on Amazon for $11 for a bottle of 25 strips. They are not very precise but if you dumped in a lot of Borax then you can figure out your borate level.

    Keep adding acid and if you have a wall brush you can use that to help mix it up a little faster.

    Keep reporting. I'm here all day and can keep an eye on your thread.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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