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Thread: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    I have a friend with a Baqua pool. We've been talking about the problems she will eventually run into and I've encouraged her to convert to chlorine. Pointed her to TFP and the many excellent real life stories of conversions with happy endings. I offered to help and stand by while she and her husband tackle this task.

    Yesterday I had an e-mail from her saying she was going to visit the nice lady at the pool store, the one who had suggested she add Pristine Blue to her Baqua pool because it works so well in her spa, to find out how to do the conversion.

    I guess some horses you can't even lead to water . . .

    So now I'm wondering, what advice do pool stores give when asked about converting? I have visions of her being told that this is not a job for homeowners, that it requires professional intervention and treatment, and it'll cost $1,000 or whatever.

    Have any of you ever asked a pool store about converting?

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Good morning, Anna,

    That's a really good question. I have certainly never heard of it. For the most part, I suppose a "goo" seller doesn't want you to convert in the first place so I wonder if they suggest a drain and refill and then keep on pushing the "goo".

    You have experienced what many of us have. You suggest putting bleach in someone's pool and you get this glazed-over look in their eyes and "I'll have to look into that" response.

    I tell folks about the site, tell them I use clorox, and let them ask the questions if they want to....most don't!
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Drain and refill. Yep, that's what her neighbours down the road did when their water turned pink with white streamers in it. Of course, they can afford it. Big money there. And they want back to Baqua.

    My friends had a chlorine pool to start with and used an auto-chlorinator with trichlor tabs. That was four or five years ago, long before we had our pool, before I know anything She went to Baquacil because, as she put it, "I'm not a chemist and I don't want to be one." She was using test strips at the time and never could get the water right. Her husband's job takes him away from home three weeks at a time, then home for a month, and the testing and balancing was too much for her. So they got sold on Baquacil.

    She liked it the first year. The second year the water was just minutely cloudy. Not bad, really, but not sparkling, either. I know nothing about dosing with Baqua, the process of it, but it must have been automated to such an extent that she never did anything other than throw the robot in for vacuuming. Then, in 2007, the water became downright murky and foamed whenever somedoggy jumped in. It felt soapy on my skin and I stopped getting in it, and wouldn't let my dog in, either. That's the year her neighbours had the pink pool and I was running my sparkly chlorine pool with water made silky soft using salt (yeah, just a little personal brag - Thank-You TFP!!!) and I started talking to her about converting.

    Glazed over. You got that soooooo right! I said, you'll buy your treatments at the grocery store: bleach, baking soda, 20 Mule Team borax. A small bucket of stabilizer, maybe, and you already have the muriatic acid in the shop. I said, you'll do a 1-minute test each day while you're cleaning up after the dogs and while Robie is sucking up silt. No big deal, let's get on it. I showed her the pool calculator, bookmarked it and TFP for her, showed her how easy it is to use (the calc and BBB). Got the million yard stare.

    Sigh.

    It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    At this point, you have done what you can by introducing her to the "dark side". Now all you can do is sit back and watch her think about it. Just keep your pool clean and sparkly, maybe even offer to show her your daily testing so that she can see how easy it is. I'm afraid if you keep pushing it, she'll just push back harder. Kinda like raising kids.

    Good luck,


    P.S. I don't talk to my neighbor about it anymore either. He asked once, but was not really interested.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    When I went into the pool store after my conversion last year, they had a fit when I told them how I converted from Baquacil to chlorine. They swore up and down I still had Baquacil in my water and that I was going to have to drain and refill. This was not even the store I used to buy Baquacil supplies from. I haven't been back in that place.

    Now my sister has been having trouble with her AG Baquacil pool for several years. At the end of last year she was on-board to convert at the opening of this season. But now they are super tight on money so she doesn't think they can afford to do the conversion--she told me they're thinking of taking the pool down instead.

    I told her she might as well leave it up and let it turn green and then convert whenever they can afford it. Seems like it would be no different doing it that way as opposed to doing it now. What do you think?
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingHDTV
    I'm afraid if you keep pushing it, she'll just push back harder. Kinda like raising kids.


    You're right. Any more talk on my part would put a kink in the friendship. It's just really hard to stand by and watch people make a mistake that's so easily avoidable. But it is kind of like raising kids. It's our job to give them the confidence to face challenges and if their way doesn't work out then it's our job to be there and explore alternatives.

    Thanks for helping me see that.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  7. Back To Top    #7
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    Some pool stores recommend sodium percarbonate, some monopersulfate and then a lot of cal hpo, some just a lot of cal hypo or liquid shock!!!!!(How about that!)
    It really is NOT necessisary to drain and refill, if they say that then they really don't know what they are talking about. (Imagine that, a pool store not knowing what they are talking about, who'd believe that! )

    Perhaps you can direct her to the FAQ on the Baquacil website where it say that you do NOT need to drain the pool to convert from baqua to chlorine.

    I tell my customers to use the sodium percarbonate (Proteam System Support) because it really speeds up the conversion! After the initial 48 hours I have them start shocking with unstabilized chlorine, usually liquid because it's the most ecomonical (we sell 2.5 gal or $3.99 plut a ONE TIME $6 charge for the carboy.) Most conversions are complete in less than a week, depending on initial biguanide levels. After that I have them change their filter media and then shock until there is NO CC.
    If they opt out of using the sodium percarbonate then I have them hitting it with liquid chlorine AT LEAST 3 times a day. It's a bit slower but it also works as evidences by the number of people here or at PF who have successfully converted using only bleach. Some poolstores suggest a large dose of monopersulfate (non chlorine) shock. I have never tried this and have no idea if this works. After the shock they then have them adding the chlorine until the pool clears so this might just be a way to sell monopersulfate. Sodium Percarbonate does work, I have seen it myself.

    Perhaps if you have her read my post here and let her know that I am a 'pool store guy' it might carry some weight. Also let her know that I think biguanide sanitizers like Baqua are one of the biggest ripoffs going! (Canada does not allow them, what do they know that we don't?) They are HUGE profit makers for the dealers but after a few years almost EVERY biguanide pool develops problems like pink slime and white water mold. It's also the MOST EXPENSIVE sanitizer you can use and it really is not easier than using a chlorine regime!

    I won't even comment on the pool store suggesting she add copper sulfate (Pristine Blue, another ripoff) to a biguanide pool. ANY Baquacil dealer that knows their product KNOWS that copper based agaecides are NOT compatible with biguanide, only linear quat (foamng) algaecides. Pristine Blue is just chelated copper sulfate, in other words, your standard copper algaecide!

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input, waterbear.

    The pool store told them not to agitate the water too much, to backwash the filter, to shock the [bleep] out of it, and to get the chlorinator hooked up.

    I asked my friend if she has a good test kit and learned that she doesn't but will get one. I had previously suggested the TF100 but I suspect that fell on deaf ears.

    She said they added some shock today and will "dump in some more tomorrow maybe". I again mentioned using Clorox or liqid chlorine from a pool store and she said she didn't think you could put bleach in a vinyl pool.

    I find all of this hugely frustrating.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  9. Back To Top    #9
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    AnnaK,
    Show here my post above. Also tell her that bleach or liquid chloirne is actually BETTER for a vinyl pool than powdered chlorine shock and THAT adive does come from a pool store---the one I work at in N. Florida!
    Tell her that if she doesn't want to get a TF100 then the ONLY kit she should consider is a Taylor K-2006 and to not waste money getting a K-2005. There really isn't any other test kit out there that will give consistant, easily read results for the money. There are cheaper kits but they are not reliable and difficult to use. There are more expensive kits but they really are not needed for home use. Bottom line K-2006 or TF100. Perhaps you could have her read some of the stickes on here.

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    I've copied both of your posts to my friend and gave her links to the two test kits. I've also mentioned the Liquidator as an option for chlorine dispersement. She said she'll give liquid chlorine some thought when "this stuff is gone" - - - meaning the bucket of trichlor she bought.

    We've sown the seeds, let's see what sprouts.

    AnnaK
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    MeSue,

    She might as well let it go... that way the baqua levels will drop way down, and she will have less of a conversion and more of a big clean-up job. Probably will take similar amounts of bleach either way!

    JMHO!

    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    MeSue,

    She might as well let it go... that way the baqua levels will drop way down, and she will have less of a conversion and more of a big clean-up job. Probably will take similar amounts of bleach either way!

    JMHO!
    I talked to her yesterday and showed her my test kit. Now she is saying she wants to drain and refill and start back up with chlorine. She said she was going to post here, so we'll see...
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    I cannot imagine that a complete drain and refill would be cheaper than bleach...

    In any case, we will help her through it!

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    I cannot imagine that a complete drain and refill would be cheaper than bleach...

    In any case, we will help her through it!
    A. At least she has seen the light and is moving toward bleach
    B. Depending on whether or not someone has to actually pay for water, it might actually be less expensive to start with fresh water. We don't pay for extra water and I'm not so sure I would not have been better off draining, at least partially, to dilute and drop the levels of baquagoo I had to fight.
    C. If she drains and starts with fresh water, the rainbow of colors will also be less dramatic. She sounds like someone who might very easily panic once the myriad of colors begin to show :P

    Yes - the experts here will help every step of the way

    Back to the original question - with the exception of a few here (Waterbear?) - I doubt anyone at a pool store has a clue. When I spoke to our local pool store about converting....they sold me some "non-chlorine" shock (I think it was sodium percarbonate), said "throw this in and come back in a week". At that pace I'd be waiting forever.
    Mark A. Wolf
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    Re: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    I have a friend with a Baqua pool. We've been talking about the problems she will eventually run into and I've encouraged her to convert to chlorine. Pointed her to TFP and the many excellent real life stories of conversions with happy endings. I offered to help and stand by while she and her husband tackle this task.

    Yesterday I had an e-mail from her saying she was going to visit the nice lady at the pool store, the one who had suggested she add Pristine Blue to her Baqua pool because it works so well in her spa, to find out how to do the conversion.

    I guess some horses you can't even lead to water . . .

    So now I'm wondering, what advice do pool stores give when asked about converting? I have visions of her being told that this is not a job for homeowners, that it requires professional intervention and treatment, and it'll cost $1,000 or whatever.

    Have any of you ever asked a pool store about converting?

    AnnaK
    Our Baquagoo dealer in Saginaw questioned "why in the world would I want to do something like that". We hemoraged money for the two summers. At one point they told us we were leaving our solar cover on too much. We have just started the conversion. Have shocked the pool. Has anyone had any success getting any money back on this ****?

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    Re: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SBosha
    Our Baquagoo dealer in Saginaw questioned "why in the world would I want to do something like that". We hemoraged money for the two summers. At one point they told us we were leaving our solar cover on too much. We have just started the conversion. Have shocked the pool. Has anyone had any success getting any money back on this ****?
    Just be glad you're going to be free from it. Your story is the same as many others who have learned the expensive lesson.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    So now I'm wondering, what advice do pool stores give when asked about converting? I have visions of her being told that this is not a job for homeowners, that it requires professional intervention and treatment, and it'll cost $1,000 or whatever.

    Have any of you ever asked a pool store about converting?

    AnnaK
    I was told at a local Leslie's to add 2 - 1lb bags of chlorine shock. If that doesn't work, add another 2 bags a few days later until the Baq is gone.

    I had a Rec Warehouse (I was there to get a refund on an ionizer that I didn't install, thanks TFP) tell me to use 2 - 1lb bags of non-chlorine shock weekly until the Baq was gone.

    Just for grins, I wanted to know my FC level during the day. I was at work and had the wife take a water sample to Leslie's. They said they couldn't test it because the FC was too high (it was at 15). My wife told them we were converting to chlorine and the FC should be around 15. He said that we need to lower it as soon as possible, it was way too high (duh...). He also said he couldn't test anything over 5.

    I was actually kinda annoyed by their inability to test high FC. Pools are their trade and they should have comparable or better tools than I do. I have the K-2006, btw.

    Anyway, I found two stores that were useless in their conversion knowledge.
    10k gallon, round, vinyl AG; 2HP pump; Pro Clean 125 sq ft cartridge | Baqua to Chlorine Convert
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  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by blx286
    I was told at a local Leslie's to add 2 - 1lb bags of chlorine shock. If that doesn't work, add another 2 bags a few days later until the Baq is gone.

    I had a Rec Warehouse (I was there to get a refund on an ionizer that I didn't install, thanks TFP) tell me to use 2 - 1lb bags of non-chlorine shock weekly until the Baq was gone.

    Just for grins, I wanted to know my FC level during the day. I was at work and had the wife take a water sample to Leslie's. They said they couldn't test it because the FC was too high (it was at 15). My wife told them we were converting to chlorine and the FC should be around 15. He said that we need to lower it as soon as possible, it was way too high (duh...). He also said he couldn't test anything over 5.

    I was actually kinda annoyed by their inability to test high FC. Pools are their trade and they should have comparable or better tools than I do. I have the K-2006, btw.

    Anyway, I found two stores that were useless in their conversion knowledge.
    It's really a shame if you think about it, because so many trusting people just follow their lousy advice blindly, without question.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Conversion - how do pool stores do it?

    This is what my pool store told me:

    The gave me some kind of bottle of exchange or something like that and told me to come back in a few days. Then she sold me a big bucket of tabs and told me to drop one in a floater and come back every week to get my chlorine levels tested. She said it would take all summer, but we'd get it done.

    That's when I went online and found this site, started the process with bleach, ordered the tf-100 test kit and never looked back My conversion took about a week. Just for giggles I took a water sample back after the conversion and she was amazed. She said she never had a conversion go so quickly...lol

    I just smiled, knowing my little secret and haven't had to go back to the pool store for any reason yet!
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
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