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Thread: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

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    Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    I've used Baquacil since 2003. The first 3 years it was wonderful and the water was clear and soft and didn't turn my blonde hair green. The next year, however, I ran into algae problems and ever since then it's been an incredibly expensive headache to battle rust colored algae that turns green when exposed to the air. So, I am reluctantly considering converting to chlorine, but I am scared to death. I've read the posts and saw the horrifying photos. Since this is just early March and not yet swimming weather, I figured it would be a good time to "ruin" the pool so that by May maybe it will it will be clear, blue and beautiful. Right now, since it's cool, the pool is clear and blue, but once it warms up I'll be throwing money at the algae problem again. I can't afford that.

    I'm encouraged by reading the "best thing I ever did" posts, but I'm very nervous about it.

    My pool is 20,000 gal
    above ground
    vinyl liner
    sand filter
    1.5 Heywood pump

    Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    Doing a conversion isn't really that difficult. It takes several days, and the water turns some interesting colors, but there is nothing to be worried about. You can't really do anything wrong. Even if you make a major mistake, the worst that can happen is that the conversion will take a little longer than it otherwise would.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by LIZDECKER
    didn't turn my blonde hair green.
    Chlorine won't turn your hair green either. It's copper algaecides that turn your hair and nails green.

    A chlorine pool, done right, is all but indistinguishable from rain water. No smell. No eye irritation. No hassles. Doing it right isn't hard, but you can't believe the pool store method or you'll be spending money and fighting algae again.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Okay, how do I start? Getting the test kit first, then dumping in several bottles of Clorox or what? I am so scared!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Follow the Conversion article in Pool School to the tee.

    First things first, order the test kit, then go stock up on bleach.

    You'll likely go thru dozens of jugs during the conversion, so do some comparison shopping before you buy - if you have a pool store that sells liquid chlorine 10-12.5% for a decent price this will mean much less jugs to haul around.

    While you are waiting for your test kit to arrive, learn how to use the Pool Calculator - as this will determine how much bleach/chlorine you'll need to add each time.

    You'll do fine, and you won't regret it!!!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine



    Glad you're here!
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    Baq conversions are dramatic in appearance and always appreciated in the end by those who undertake them.

    You've gotten great advice. Get your test kit, stock up on bleach, and read the recommended information. Post questions (and pictures if you have them) along the way. We're here to help.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Welcome !!!!

    Once your conversion is completed and you see how easy tending a BBB pool you will scratch your head and ask why you were debating switching.

    You wont be disappointed you switched to chlorine ! Post pics if your able. the color show is fantastic !

    Good Luck !
    Les
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    You're going to use a lot of testing reagents - order the super kit from TFtestkits.
    And if you don't have a digital camera, get one of those too - I just love looking at the pictures! I actually got excited when I saw there was a new thread in this subforum! I was hoping it would be full of pictures.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Welcome, Liz!
    I have NEVER heard of one person who converted from Baqua and regretted it later! Most wondered why they had not done it earlier!
    You can do it; we can help!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Alright, I drained the pool down to 2 feet and refilled with hose water. It tested @ 9 ppm of Baquacil after re-filling - leeching from the liner, no doubt. I adjusted the ph, added 3 sticks of chlorine in a bag in the skimmer, an entire bottle of stabilizer and 3 bags of shock and ran the pump for 4 days straight. It never did turn green or any other color. No jelly in the pool. Didn't change the look at all. It started out clear, blue and beautiful and remains clear, blue and beautiful. Alkalinity is good, ph is good, stabilizer level is good, but the test isn't reflecting ANY free chlorine. The sticks in the skimmer are dissolving, so I am confused. Do I shock it again? Will that raise my chlorine level at all?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    You should read the Pool School article on doing a Baquacil conversion. It goes through all the steps for doing a conversion.

    You need to add dramatically more chlorine than you have added so far, and make sure that you don't add any more stabilizer. Because you already added some stabilizer, instead of waiting till later, the whole process is going to go much more slowly than it otherwise would.

    Right now, all the chlorine you add is going almost instantly to break down baquacil. The FC level will remain near zero for some time, until you add enough chlorine to finish breaking down almost all of the baquacil.
    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: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Chlorine is constantly being consumed in your pool....either from sunlight or organics in the water. Therefore you must constantly replenish it as fast as it is being consumed. You are not doing that so you have no FC.

    A full set of test results would be most helpful. Simply saying the results are "good" is, honestly, not very helpful. Are you using strips or a test kit?
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    I used liquid chlorine when I converted last year and it took about a week. I ended up using between 40 to 50 gallons of bleach before all was said and done. It really takes A LOT of chlorine to convert. Keep the FC level at 15 for as long as possible until the pool clears up and the FC holds overnight and the CC is at .5 or less, then you can start to balance everything else.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by TravisD
    I used liquid chlorine when I converted last year and it took about a week. I ended up using between 40 to 50 gallons of bleach before all was said and done. It really takes A LOT of chlorine to convert. Keep the FC level at 15 for as long as possible until the pool clears up and the FC holds overnight and the CC is at .5 or less, then you can start to balance everything else.
    Their chlorine demand may be different dependent on how much stabilizer was added and the volume of their pool.

    Lizdecker, you need a good test kit, either the TF100 or one of the Taylor kits recommended on this site. If the whole kit is too expensive, at least get the FAS-DPD chlorine test kit so the conversion will be easier and more precise. It would be helpful for you to post a list of current test results so we can steer you in the right direction. We need FC (free chlorine), CC (combined chlorine), pH, TA (total alkalinity), CH (calcium), and CYA (cyuranic acid a.k.a stabilizer) You don't need to test CYA every time, but we do need the current level to determine how much chlorine to use. Calcium is not part of the conversion process but we will need to know the level to see if it needs any adjustment after the conversion is completed.
    TFP Moderator
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You should read the Pool School article on doing a Baquacil conversion. It goes through all the steps for doing a conversion.

    You need to add dramatically more chlorine than you have added so far, and make sure that you don't add any more stabilizer. Because you already added some stabilizer, instead of waiting till later, the whole process is going to go much more slowly than it otherwise would.

    Right now, all the chlorine you add is going almost instantly to break down baquacil. The FC level will remain near zero for some time, until you add enough chlorine to finish breaking down almost all of the baquacil.
    I just want to re-emphasize Jason's advice - you made a few errors here and you need to take a step back, read the article/instructions again, and stock up on jugs and jugs of bleach. This process will likely take you a week or two to complete now that you have added stabilizer.

    Take the sticks out of the skimmer. Do not use "bags of shock". You need liquid chlorine, and a lot of it.

    Do you have a test kit? IF so, what kind?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Their chlorine demand may be different dependent on how much stabilizer was added and the volume of their pool.
    I understand that all conversions have a different demand. I was using my conversion experience as an example to reiterate the fact that it will certainly take more than 3 sticks of chlorine and 4 bags of shock to convert the pool, especially after adding stabilizer.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by TravisD
    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Their chlorine demand may be different dependent on how much stabilizer was added and the volume of their pool.
    I understand that all conversions have a different demand. I was using my conversion experience as an example to reiterate the fact that it will certainly take more than 3 sticks of chlorine and 4 bags of shock to convert the pool, especially after adding stabilizer.
    I apologize for misunderstanding your post . I just wanted to reiterate that they need to follow the conversion process as outlined in the baquacil conversion thread. Do you have any photos of your conversion to share?
    TFP Moderator
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: Reluctantly considering converting to chlorine

    No problems. Sorry if my post was unclear.
    My conversion thread is here.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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