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Thread: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

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    Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    *Dear Forum: Please jump down to my "Conclusions" post and skip the boo-hoo back-story in this first post. Long story short: I'm converting from baqua, I'm temporarily out of funds for 'extras' like all the pool supplies required, most of my equipment is broken and/or inadequate, and I'm trying to figure my next best move out of this green pea soup mess I'm in!! *
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have so many pool issues going on I don't know where to begin. I've learned just enough so far on this forum to realize I'm totally lost. Because I don't have unlimited money and time this year, and with the season slipping away, plus everything being broken or not working properly ... I really need help sorting it out.

    I had a trouble-free baquacil pool since 2004 (maybe I was happy because I was ignorant). My motor was likely oversized, 2.0 or 2.5 hp with a sand filter. I hated cleaning out the sand because everything was hard to remove and access.

    How I opened in previous years was this: Simply run the turbo turtle for a few hours to get the winter junk out of the bottom, then put in about 2 baqua shock gallons and algicide and algistat, then things were pretty much good to go. Occasional strip readings (i know, they're garbage - but I didn't know that then) - and a monthly pool store reading kept the water blue and the good times rolling.

    This year everything, and I do mean everything, has hit the fan. My motor died late last season, so I decided to switch to a cartridge filter and smaller motor (1.0 hp) on advice of the store. I can't run it for more than a few minutes because it clogs with algae. No gate valves came on this motor - or even an on/off switch - so water control is a problem for taking out the filter and washing it constantly. I have the gate valves on backorder and managed to rig annoying and time-consuming temp plugs, but the algae is so heavy, the filter won't run for more than 15 minutes. I hadn't vac'd in 3 or 4 years because the polaris did all that for me! This year the polaris is not working and the replaced new parts aren't working. Plus the pool vac hose is now cracked over time so I can't vac. I just bought a used vac hose at a yard sale that needs new cuffs, which I will buy this upcoming week. The online company I bought the motor from has said they will replace the motor with a bigger one - or even another sand one - depending. (In the meantime, I had geven away and threw away my old pool motor and sand filter parts - so there is no recovery.) *What filter do I need??*

    Here are all the conflicting messages which have me stuck at zero:

    1) The cartridge filter will get immediately clogged with algae, but without running the motor and filter, you can't clean out the algae. Huh?!??

    2) Baquacil will ruin the cart filter, I find out now. (I used 2 shocks a month ago; those are the only baqua products I've used. Is my filter ruined just that fast? Since, I've put about 10 gals of bleach which weren't enough so probably were a waste.) Nothing on the pool supply company's website warned me for THAT, until I got here, which was after I had used the shock.

    3) 1.0 hp might be enough power, but the cart filter is probably too small. So it won't run well enough to power the pool cleaner or have enough water flow. At $45 a pop on those cartridges, I didn't expect to need more than one a season, but now I'm not so sure. And I don't know if I've killed mine with those 2 gals of baqua shock or not. Removing the cart filter as an experiment, there is plenty of pressure *with no filter*.

    4) I don't know now if I made a mistake with a cart filter or not - I was wanting something simpler than cleaning out the sand and all those tentacles inside the filter that have to be put back 'just so'.

    5) I'm confused about the warnings not to mix baqua with chlorine shock which can explode, so after putting in the baqua shock a month ago, is it safe to do a chlorine shock to kill the algae, then vac it out after it has sunk to the bottom?

    6) The useless polaris 65/turbo turtle doesn't work with the new parts (Wolfmarsh has tried to help with that on another post) - so this year I can't rely on help from that score. I haven't had enough time to study up on pool cleaners on this forum yet, but I know the polaris has had 'constant' problems from the beginning, so buying another new one would be a mistake. I now would just be happy to get my money back for the bad parts, but that's in question.

    7) When I get new cuffs for my vac hose, I saw a video on ehow reminding me how to vac the pool. But first - KEY: How do I kill the algae first so it will sink - what is cheapest and safe or are those 2 baqua shocks long gone, so not to worry. Plus: Running the motor is useless. *SO: without a sand filter 'waste' setting to use, how do I vac and not run the junk back into the pool? I can't quite conceptualize which hose(s) to block off or undo?*

    8) I know I must buy the test kit for around $75, but right now I don't have it to spend, as I'm self employed and the economy is just too tight now for my clients, hence for me as well. The nearest pool store is over 40 miles away, and after reading this forum, I'm completely wary of trusting any pool store readings or managers or employees any more, so that option is now cut off. So now what in the meantime?

    9) Everybody here seems to agree that baquacil is garbage and overpriced, and I am willing to learn how to do chlorine, but from what I've read it sounds extremely complicated with so many readings to have to understand - it sounds so complicated, it's overwhelming.

    SO - Here I sit with a new motor I can't use which may be undersized, a cart filter that may be ruined, a vac hose that's broken, a pool cleaner with new parts that still won't run, a pitifully low budget, and a GREEN pool. It's usually too chilly here after early September for me to enjoy the water, so I'm running out of time. Like I said, everything was golden up to this year, perhaps because I was blissfully ignorant - but at least I was swimming.

    Is my path out of this mess easier than it feels right now?

    Thank you from Catherine.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    Can you afford to dump the water and start over?

    Are those cartridges washable? If so can you rotate between two, using one as you clean the other?

    I know nothing about AG pools, so let's wait for someone who does, but they may ask this as well.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    PS - I forgot to add - I put in a whole bottle of some kind of blue algicide from home depot. It did zero on the algae - and they were kind enough to take it back. *However* - there was a warning on the bottle (which I read 'after' using it!) that it is very toxic to your skin (i had my arms in it messing with that awful polaris cleaner over and over - and more importantly, it warns that it is highly toxic to fish and animals. My pool is only about 30 feet from a wonderful mountain creek, so I don't know how long it will stay dangerous and therefore cannot risk dumping it.

    Environmental safety is something else very real to consider when vac'ing out the waste. Up to a point - the waste water would stay in the side yard, but I need to move quickly and efficiently when vac'ing out the gunk.

    They always said the baqua was safe to backwash out; I wonder now if that was true.

    Until I saw some incredible before and after pix on this forum, I would have believed it was hopeless. Now I think if I get the right mix of equipment and technique, it may be curable. My problem is - I'm virtually starting over, but worse, because everything I thought I knew that worked is now apparently wrong.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I have one of these petal fountains attached to the return jet on my above ground pool. The part at the bottom left hand side stays attached to the return and the fountain slips on/off the nipple of the return at the elbow. The elbow is held onto the fountain with a large threaded nut (for want of a better term). I also do not have a waste setting on my filter, so what I have done is to take this elbow off the fountain and use a metal band clamp to attach a backwash hose. I turn on my pump and slide the elbow on to the nipple. The hose is draped over the top of the pool and I put the hose where ever my yard needs water. I have used this method to vacuum to waste and to drain the pool a bit for water replacement. It is relatively inexpensive and the part that stays attached to the pool has an adjustable opening on the side and helps with aerating the water.
    I don't know if you can run a cartridge filter without the cartridge in it, but if you can it may be a way to save some wear and tear on the cartridge while vacuuming to waste.
    If your filter has a drain plug you may be able to attach a backwash hose there as well. If you can post the brand and model number of the filter I'll see if I can dig up some information for you.

    PS: There is a topic in the forums dedicated to Baquil conversions that you may want to read if you haven't read it already.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    OK - I've looked at the petal fountain; pretty neat idea. So - what you're saying is you put a hose to your 'return' to keep the old water out at that point. If I just undid the hose on the return side of the filter, or undid the hose on the outside of the return, would that be the same thing?

    My pool setup pix are on another post here:

    new-cartridge-undersized-polaris-65-repairs-more-t14994.html

    and online here:

    http://catherinescornucopia.com/POOL/PoolPix.htm
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    Catherine,

    Convert that pool to chlorine. There are lots and lots of people here to help.

    You'll need a good test kit..........only the ones with the FAS/DPD chlorine test will do.....that accurate test is critical as you near the end of the process.


    You'll also need a ton of bleach 30-40 gallons would be a good start.

    If you get those two things in hand, you simply check your pH, calc your first bleach dose, and then start the process. You will be stunned at the results. It'll take more time than you like and you will be equally stunned by the amount of bleach but you will have a crystal clear pool like you probably haven't had since you started.

    You've listed many. many reasons why you can't do this but how much enjoyment is the pool giving you now? Your alternative is to continue the way things are.....doesn't sound like you are very happy about that.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I looked at your pictures. You could take the hose off the return where it attaches to the pool, but you would still need a plug for that opening to keep the water from rushing out of your pool. Will the hose come off the filter end? You could attach a backwash hose there and leave end that is attached to the return attached and elevate it so it doesn't suck all the water out of your pool. Some duct tape could be useful for that purpose! Your cartridge does look awfully small. I wonder if the pool store thought you had an 18' Intex pop up. That looks like the same size cartridge I used to use for my big bag of water!
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    To Dave - Yes, I had decided after landing here to listen to the forum experts and switch to chlorine. My question post is so rambling, it's probably hard to narrow down what I'm even asking.

    In a nutshell: I'm off track because everything that used to work - or I 'thought' I knew - is wrong and/or not working any longer. I find it's harder undoing all the misinformation than starting from scratch with the proper tools and equipment, which I'm trying to assemble as I can.

    First problem: How to clean up the algae cheap and safe (no chemical explosions due to the 2 gals baqua shock a month ago) - when the filter and motor won't stay running. And: How can I clean up the algae without an expensive test kit first. I'll have more $$ in August for extras, but right now I'm in between checks.

    Then - should I take the company up on their offer to exchange UP to a bigger motor (1.5) and cartridge size. I'm guessing the answer is yes. I don't want to go back to sand, having just given away my sand stuff. Another reason to switch to chlorine from baqua, since baqua ruins cart filters.

    To Zea - I know, this filter & 1hp motor set looks SMALL. It's rated up to 10,000 gals, and mine is around 8,000 gals (18' x 48" high water). Some other people on this forum posted back on my other thread that they are using that size on pools even bigger than mine. The algae must be throwing a huge wrinkle into the mix. Yes, I have figured how to use a quart ziplock over the eye hole and block the water that way on the return, and/or use bungees (my favorite do-it-yourself equipment) to hold the hose up high. And I have a couple of extra 4' long hoses, and I can use one for a backwash hose. Thanks for helping me picture how to create a workable 'backwash to waste' setup.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    Personally, I'd go back to a sand filter. I don't understand why you've had to deal with the sand in your old sand filter so frequently. Is that a baquacil need to change it out frequently? I've known sand filters to go 8 years or more without a change in sand or any particular maintenance on them.

    How much is water in your area? It could be better for you to drain and refill. You can rent a sump pump for a small sum.

    I would think a 1 hp motor would be plenty for a smaller pool and filter.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I'm referring to having to clean the brand new cartridge filter every 15 minutes of use because the pool is so full of algae. I thought cartridge filters were supposed to be easy to maintain. The sand filter is gone. This is the new replacement.

    My issue is that apparently cartridge filters can't clean a heavy load of algae, which I have. Is that correct?
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I'm referring to your statement in your OP that you hated dealing with the sand. Also, you said you may be able to return your pump and filter for something else. I would go back to a sand filter, if they will let you. That's all.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    catridge filters aren't hard to maintain per se, but you have to maintain your pool first. it's just something you're going to have to work through. if you have to clean every 15 minutes than you have to clean every 15 minutes. cartridge filters are a bit more difficult since you don't backwash I suppose, but under normal water conditions they don't have to be cleaned too often. a skimmer sock will help a lot as well (under normal water conditions). sorry
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I'm confused because the filter/motor seller said it won't run unless I kill the algae 'first'. But how do I kill the algae when the filter won't stay running?? Somewhere else I read that the algae won't sink to the bottom to be vac'd up unless it is 'dead' first. So I need to kill it. And I just cannot buy an expensive test kit at this moment.

    Please - is there an interim algae fix I can use while I wait for funds to arrive?

    I am reading and trying to find out if it is SAFE to mix a heavy-duty chlorine shock in with the 2 gals of baqua shock I put in a month ago and it not be dangerous. Reading labels in the home depot store has me cautious. They do sell some super-shock powdered products there in the pool department; there is nothing else remotely close by to shop for pool supplies at.

    I'm re-reading the articles on this forum in the meantime, but I don't see the answers to my questions.
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I found a material safety data sheet for Baqua shock. It looks like you should be o.k., but someone with more knowledge than I can review the info and give you a more definitive answer.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    Well, all this is helpful and plenty to think about, thank you everybody for your kind help.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    After reading more since I posted this topic, here's what I've concluded. ANYONE please correct me:

    1) There are no shortcuts to shock cleaning up the algae. And there's no point in trying until I have enough chlorine (i.e. bleach, though liquid chlorine would work but would cost more) to do it sufficiently without losing ground. So for about 8000 gallons - should I buy 50 gallons ahead?? or have ____X bottles of 6% bleach ready to see it through?? (Lordy)

    1a) - Just bear with it until I have all supplies and equipment in place ahead of time, even if that means mid-August. (Q: If this is true, then 'to what point' would anyone recommend I go to for virtually no swimming season left, once it's clean? Do I still need to get it completely perfect just in time to close it down?? That's a heck of a note!

    2) A cheaper test may get me by, but the chlorine levels MUST stay at 15, testing several times a day and keeping it at 15. Dose in other than bright sun, if possible.

    3) Get the expensive test and get advice on what refills I'll need soon to save on shipping by getting them at one pop.

    4) Have the pool vac hose cuffs repaired and ready to use. There won't be a need for the polaris right away; give up on it.

    5) The cartridge filter 'would' work - if I was killing the algae completely. (Q: Will only dead algae sink to the bottom and so can be vac'd up??). Be prepared to wash the cartfilter constantly for a few days. Get those backordered gate valves first before this project.

    6) Reevaluate the 1.0 hp motor and cart filter after the pool is finally clean or is at least partially clean. Always better to get a larger motor and especially cart filter (therefore, must get a larger motor to match) than a smaller one, and since 8000 is close to the 10,000 specs limit on mine, plan to upgrade to a 1.5. (Q: Perhaps there is a 2-speed cartridge filter anyone can recommend? Or is that just for sand.)

    7) The baqua shock (2 gals) from a month ago should not interfere with the conversion.

    8) Don't worry about anything but chlorine levels right now. Don't use algicide, chlorine will kill it all. Once the chlorine has killed all the algae, then worry about the cya and other chemicals.

    9) Do NOT put any funky stuff in the pool. Just bleach/chlorine. (Q: Will the algicide I just used slow things up??)

    10) Cart filter: It does not appear gummy (baqua goo) - but gets full of green and blackish dirty stuff right away. (Q: Might it be ok, having only used those 2 shocks?)
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I agree with buggs that a drain may be a better option for you. have you considered that?
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    If you drain the pool, you should try to pump it into a sewer rather than onto the ground to avoid messing up the nearby creek you mentioned.

    If you don't drain the pool, for now you can get by with just the FAS-DPD chlorine test, which you can get separately from tftestkits.net here. That will get you through the conversion process. When money is tight that's the most important one. After you're done with the conversion, you can slide by for the rest of the season testing for just chlorine and pH, plus making some educated guesses about CYA. Next season will be soon enough for the big test kit.

    I can't offer anything about the pump situation, sorry.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    whoops, sorry, I forgot you already answered that part about draining.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    Well guess what, there's no sewer. I'm out in the woods here and on septic!

    I checked out that test, thanks very much. One thing I learned today is that refills will be a fact of life when converting. Can anyone recommend how much refill product I should plan to order? No point in skimping and running out partway through - like the bleach I've already wasted starting and stopping this season. (Or I can ask the company at ordering time.)

    If I had a choice - I'd prefer to clean up the pool in August over dumping it, for the reasons already given. (Does anyone know if the algicide I used will slow up the conversion, please? It was about 16-20 ounces, dark blue, from home depot, and cost $18. A half bottle was supposed to clean up a 10,000 gal pool, and if not, the 2nd half promised to. [NOT])

    What is my best option for testing for ph? I'd be so glad if I could get converted for no more than $200 more this year, if anyone has an idea on how much bleach to plan for. Since I'll barely be able to swim, if at all! I'm already down about $400 (new motor/cart filter, stupid turbo turtle parts that don't work, bleach I wasted, 2 gals baqua shock, etc.). Painful!
    18' AG - 7600 Gals
    Intex Krystal ClearTM Sand Filter
    Pump 14 (360mm) & Saltwater System Model CS15110
    Polaris 65 Pool Cleaner
    AquaQuik 4512 Solar Heater (Round with Plastic Dome Cover)

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pls Help: Major Problems after 5 Yrs of a Trouble-Free Pool

    I have not followed very many conversion stories but based on my own usage of FAS-DPD and assuming the conversion doesn't take more than a week, I would be astonished if you needed a refill before it was over.

    I don't think the algaecide would make any difference.

    Once you get started you would be better off posting in the "Baquacil - Use and Conversion" forum.

    As for pH testing, as long as you're using the red drops and not strips you should be okay, all the red drops are based on the same stuff and the differences are basically in the quality control. Usually any place that has pool stuff (check Home-Depot type places, walmart, near me there's even one grocery store that carries pool stuff) will likely have a basic "2-way" or "3-way" kit for pH and chlorine.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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