Add me to the long line of Baquacil (BQ) converting to chlorine. First a little about my situation...My wife and I bought a house with a pool about 8 years ago in eastern Connecticut. I had a pool growing up, so the prospect of taking care of my own was not really a concern, until I learned the previous owner used a BQ system. That basically meant I couldn't lean on my father's 30+ years of expertise. It worked fine enough the first 5 years or so. I did notice the chemicals were a bit expensive compared to chlorine, but I read up on maintenance, managed to keep the water clear, and BQ obviously doesn't have the associated odor, which made my wife happy.
Two seasons ago, my liner separated itself from the coping. I also changed out the media in my sand filter at the beginning of last season, which is when my issues started. In hindsight, I should have converted then. Getting my water the correct shade was easy enough, but I could not get it clear to save my life. At first I thought fine particulates from the new sand were getting through to the returns, so I vacuumed more often and to waste. Alas, it is tough to vacuum what you cannot see, so I took the vacuum head off the pole and dove down and vacuumed by hand. In terms of chemicals, I tried everything and in seemingly every combination. Over/under/normalized-shock, over/under/normalized sanitizer & algaestat (which is approaching $40 per 1/2 gallon this season), alkaline, acidic, normalized pH, mustard algaecide, Baquacil brand algaecide, numerous flocs (which not only didn't help much, but also dirtied up the surface because I couldn't run the filter.). You name it. Finally, around early August, I could make out the outline of the main drain (still no liner pattern), but only after I added a cup of Diatomaceous Earth to the sand after back washing and only after a few weeks.
I was thinking of making the conversation last year, but I didn't want to waste 3 weeks of prime swimming season without central A/C. The last straw came this spring. I opened my pool in mid-May in hopes it would be up to temp by Memorial Day. I was hoping that 2 months of inactivity would allow whatever was suspended in the water to settle. A week before I opened, I added starter doses of Oxidizer and Sanitizer. The water was dark under the cover but I thought I could see it was sort of clear. Well it wasn't. I've flocced twice so far this season, but I can still barely see 5 feet down in the deep end. After extensive Internet searches and reading, I believe my issue is white mold, which apparently is quite common in BQ pools and spas, but not chlorine. I'm sure with 24/7 attention and effort, I could eventually get my water clear, but I don't have that kind of time or money. So to cut down on my frustration, I decided about a week ago to spend the money I would have wasted on BQ chemicals, without a guarantee they will work, on a conversion and save money in the long run.
So far I've gained a ton of knowledge here just by lurking. My TF-100 test kit is due to arrive on Friday and I plan on starting this weekend, when I can test more often. There is still some BQ in the water and I've read that I should let it dissipate out completely, but the levels are somewhat low and I don't want to waste any more time than absolutely necessary. Honestly, I'm pretty nervous so any advice/support/confidence-building you all can provide is much appreciated in advance. I'll try to post pictures throughout the process.
What's better to use at the outset, bleach from the grocery store or liquid shock from Namco?