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Thread: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

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    Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Hello, All-

    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.

    First Questions:
    What's better to use at the outset, bleach from the grocery store or liquid shock from Namco?

    Thanks.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Hi Husky,
    Welcome to TFP!

    Sounds like you have a grip on the conversion. I dont know anything about baquil or converting to it, so apologies that I dont have any useful in put on that.

    As for using bleach or liquid pool shock, use whichever one you thing proivdes the best value. If you were to look at the ingredients or the MSDS sheet, you will find they ingredients are identical. The only difference is teh concentration of Sodium Hypochlorite. Concentrated bleach is 8.25%. liquid shock is usually either 10% or 12%.

    to figure out the best value, here is a handy little calculator that will tell you the price per oz of chlorine.
    Chlorine Price Per Ounce Calculator
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Thank you Divin Dave

    I'm converting away from Baquacil and to Chlorine. My only fear so far, seeing as I haven't started yet, is getting discouraged early in the process or even before I get started. I can't do a ton right now except buy bleach and/or liquid chlorine. It rained all day today in Eastern CT and will probably do the same tomorrow. Water was above the skimmer opening so I backwashed it back down. That should also get rid of some treated water. I'm not testing for BQ chemicals because, frankly, I don't care about those levels anymore. I'm sure with the rain, I'm going to have to adjust the pH up a bit come mid week. At least the remaining BQ test strips will be good for something.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    I bought 16 gallons of bleach and liquid shock at my lunch hour. The bleach is 8.25% store brand from Stop & Shop (4 gal. @ $3.99-$1.00 S&S rewards card) and Wal-Mart (8 gal. @ $2.94). The Liquid shock is 12.5% from Ocean State Job Lot (4 gal. @ $2.99). No discounts for buying a case, but even if the shock concentration is actually 10%, I still only paid 23 cents per active ounce. There is an Ocean State across from my office and if I need any over the weekend, there is an Ocean State a couple towns over.

    It's rained for the last two days, so I used my Baqua strips to test pH. It was right around 6.8 so I threw in 24 oz. of pH+. I plan to go back out in about an hour and test again and add in another 25 or so oz. (as directed by Pool Math). Other readings are: 0 Oxidizer, 30 ppm of Sanitizer, TA seemed to hover toward the low end of acceptable. Below are a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure. This is how the water has looked for the better part of the last 14 months.

    Shallow end with brush


    Deep end with Skimmer


    Deep End with Ladder


    I know it's generally not exciting until the multi-color light show starts, I'm just reassuring myself that I am making the correct decision.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    wow.
    Well if thats how your pool has looked for the last 14 months, then there is no doubt in my mind that you're making the right decision!

    Good Luck Husky!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    wow.
    Well if thats how your pool has looked for the last 14 months, then there is no doubt in my mind that you're making the right decision!

    Good Luck Husky!
    Thanks, Dave. pH still seems low, so that leaves me two choices. Wait for my test kit or add more pH+ tomorrow. I'm leaning towards the former because I've pretty much lost all faith in the Baqua-system, which absolutely includes accuracy of the test strips.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    I here you Husky!
    Here on the forum, we've seen lots of folks get hosed by test strips. Not necessarily baqua ones, but I think the tecnology of them are about the same.

    You'll love the test kit. Its very comforting knowing what your water parmaters actually are and that you can trust it.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Hello, and welcome to TFP!

    At this point I would hold off adjusting the pH as the strips are horrid on a good day. A high pH isn't a major concern at this point anyways. Wait until you get your kit, then test and adjust.

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    As I wait for my TF-100 to arrive (Due in on Friday), I continue to read success stories of Baqua -> Chlorine conversions in order to prop up my confidence heading into the weekend. It looks like the kits comes with .75 oz. bottles of reagent. A quick Internet search shows that a 2 oz. bottle is good for about 100 tests, which leads me to believe a 0.75 ouncer goes for about 40. Given that I will be testing like I'm getting paid for it over the weekend, it occurs to me that I should order more so I have it in time my original bottle runs out. My questions are these?

    1. Is there a half life on the reagent (i.e. I can use anything left over next year with the same accuracy)?
    2. Can it be found in brick & mortar stores or only on-line?
    3. What other reagents would you suggest preemptively re-ordering?

    Any advice is appreciated.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Sorry about all the questions before I start the process and before my previous questions are answered, but 1) I want to ask before I forget, 2) I assume you all have day jobs, and 3) I don't want to assume you all just hang around the computer on the weekends merely to answer everyone elses' questions about their pools. Why have your own pool in the first place, right?

    Anyways, Not that I will be vacuuming until early next week (I anticipate the bottom of the pool being blocked by the goo floating to the surface), but when the time comes, wouldn't it be a good idea to vacuum the to waste instead of forcing gunk through the filter and having to backwash it out later anyway?

    Also, my waste pipe leads out to an unlandscaped embankment behind my shed and I believe biquanide systems are supposed to be environmentally friendly. That said, how do I dispose of the goo? Can it just dissolve into my lawn? Is that okay given that it is basically mixing with bleach?
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Without a doubt you likely will need to order extra reagents for the FAS/DPD chlorine test. You will be using alot of these reagents during a Baqua conversion. They can be bought on Amazon or in some Pool Stores (not many however). To know however fresh reagents I'd suggest however ordering from TfTestkits. I've got some reagent that I purchased several years ago, and still works just fine. Stored in a cool/dry place it lasts for some while. The only reagent you'll likely to use up is the CYA reagent (R-0013) as the CYA test is tricky to do at first. Likely, you'll play with this test alot "teaching" yourself to make sure you get the right reading.

    As for vacuuming........without a doubt vacuuming to waste will help a good bit. The more fresh water you can add, the faster the process will go. During the start of the conversion I'd recommend that you bypass the skimmer all together and set your valves to "recirculate." The pressure will quickly go up, and at the start you aren't doing much good trying to filter the BaquaGoo out of the water. By setting the filter to recirculate it keeps the water moving, which is what is needed at the start. As the process goes on you'll want to switch to filter the water........but at first water circulation is key.

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Without a doubt you likely will need to order extra reagents for the FAS/DPD chlorine test. You will be using alot of these reagents during a Baqua conversion. They can be bought on Amazon or in some Pool Stores (not many however). To know however fresh reagents I'd suggest however ordering from TfTestkits. I've got some reagent that I purchased several years ago, and still works just fine. Stored in a cool/dry place it lasts for some while. The only reagent you'll likely to use up is the CYA reagent (R-0013) as the CYA test is tricky to do at first. Likely, you'll play with this test alot "teaching" yourself to make sure you get the right reading.

    As for vacuuming........without a doubt vacuuming to waste will help a good bit. The more fresh water you can add, the faster the process will go. During the start of the conversion I'd recommend that you bypass the skimmer all together and set your valves to "recirculate." The pressure will quickly go up, and at the start you aren't doing much good trying to filter the BaquaGoo out of the water. By setting the filter to recirculate it keeps the water moving, which is what is needed at the start. As the process goes on you'll want to switch to filter the water........but at first water circulation is key.
    Good idea to recirculate, but do you also mean to say to set my intake to Main Drain only and by pass the basket? If the goo floats that seems to make sense.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    I can't wait for Saturday Morning. It's almost like I'm 8 years old on Christmas Eve again. I'm pretty certain the conversion will take me passed next weekend, because there still seems to be a fair amount of organic matter suspended in the water. (trees pollinating in the far rear of my property isn't helping on that front. My back yard looks like it snowed and I scooped two handfuls of seeds out of my skimmer before I even got to the basket last night.). On the other hand, I'm up for a pleasant surprise.

    Yesterday, I bought two more cases of Mega-Shock (12.5%) from Ocean State Job Lot. That makes 24 gallons with an average of 10.375% active ounces. I think I have enough bleach to at least get me through this weekend, but I certainly foresee another trip or four to OSJL and/or Home Depot in the near future. Luckily, because of where I work, I have a place to recycle the empty jugs. I also placed a refill order for the XL Option and R-0013 CYA reagent. Seems a little strange, seeing as I don't have my main kit and don't have a complete understanding of how it works yet, but based your advice and results of others, I'm not take a chance. Especially if I'll eventually use it. I'm going to test and adjust my pH tomorrow night so I can hit the ground running in the morning and I'll publish a panel of results as well. My son has a soccer class at the Y at 9:00 (can't really call it practice because he turns 3 y.o. in August), but other than that, my day is pretty much pool time all the time.

    Finally, I've gone from reading Conversion threads to the "Just Getting Started" board and all I can say is, Holy Cow. If the TFPC process works for some of those sewage treatment plants, I have NOTHING to worry about.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    The ladder is a no brainer. It is coming out of water and being cleaned. But I also have a light (see pic 2 above). Would it be advisable to take that out and let it lie on my cement (canvas drop cloth buffer b/t hardware and cement) while I go through the conversion process?

    Or is it better to go through the conversion and take the light it apart later to clean out the cavity?
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Husky,
    I pretty sure Lee meant bypass the filter, not the skimmer. Putting the filter on recirculate will bypass it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Husky25 View Post
    Good idea to recirculate, but do you also mean to say to set my intake to Main Drain only and by pass the basket? If the goo floats that seems to make sense.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Go ahead and take the light out...if you can find it!
    the light niche will be full of baquil and you'll need to remove the light to let the chlorine in behing there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Husky25 View Post
    The ladder is a no brainer. It is coming out of water and being cleaned. But I also have a light (see pic 2 above). Would it be advisable to take that out and let it lie on my cement (canvas drop cloth buffer b/t hardware and cement) while I go through the conversion process?

    Or is it better to go through the conversion and take the light it apart later to clean out the cavity?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Thanks, Dave. That's what I thought at first, then I started to overthink it.

    Be that as it may I got my test kit today. First thing I thought was Walter White's got nothing on me now. Oh, and It seems the baqua test strips are not particularly accurate and could be why I've been having so much trouble (see what I did there? )

    Anyway here are my initial test results

    FC-0
    CC-0
    CYA - Am I wrong to assume this is zero for a BQ conversion?
    pH-8.2
    TA - 110

    I have some pH minus in my shed, but it's a powder and all indications on here say it will probably take too long to dissolve. I just got back from Home Depot, but the concentration was not on the bottle. ChemGeek had a post on here a while back indicating that Kleen Strip was 22%, so I just put about a 1/3 gallon in front of my jet right across from my skimmer and I'll test pH in an hour (If I'm still awake) or first thing in the morning.

    Comments are much appreciated.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    pH still at 8.2 I added more MA and will check in the morning. Since I decided to convert, I have been running my pump at night because the Baqua-algaecide causes foam. I'm no chemist but it stands to reason that the suns' rays can't naturally oxidize the water through the foam (Plus it looks awful). If I understand what I've been reading, the pump will be running for about the next two weeks or so.

    I'll have pictures at some point tomorrow.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    S1ngram's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Best of luck to you! I'll be watching your progress. I'm looking forward to the pictures.
    27' round Seaspray Evolution, AG, 17,100 gallons, Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Dual Speed 1.5 hp, Filter: Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, June 18, 2014, Kreepy Krauley Lil Shark, TF-100 test kit, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    Good luck my friend. I am about 80 hours in and the pool has turned the corner.

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    Re: Yet another Baquacil Conversion

    I'm having a hard time with my pool light. I'm already way behind my schedule and I don't want to waste any more time, especially under cloudy skies. If I need to take the light out later, so be it. Plus the water should be warmer in a week.


    And away we go!!


    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm having a hard time with my pool light. I'm already way behind my schedule and I don't want to waste any more time, especially under cloudy skies. If I need to take the light out later, so be it. Plus the water should be warmer in a week.


    And away we go!!
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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