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Thread: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

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    Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Last year I bought a 24' above ground pool and on the recommendation of the pool store went with Baquacil. All was good for the first half of last year until the algae started. I had a hard time getting rid of it and keeping it gone. I dumped a whole pint of algicide in the pool and had 1 month of algae free water but then it came back again with a vengeance! I opened the pool up this year and continued using Baquacil and was fine for a few weeks. But the algae came back again..already! I started looking on the net and found this site and others bashing Baquacil and it's time for me to make the switch! I wouldn't mind the cost if I didn't have the problems along with it. But to pay the high costs of these crappy chemicals and still have a dirty pool is ridiculous.

    I will be buying a better pool test kit asap along with boatloads of bleach and starting this weekend! All I have are test strips now and do not have current test results. I will get them before I start the conversion.

    Will a cheap walmart test kit work until I can get a good one?

    Do I need to get rid of the algae in the pool before I start?

    Do I have to replace my sand in the filter now or can it wait till the end of the season? I just don't want to have to drain my pool down to change the sand.

    How long after putting Bleach in the pool can you swim in it?

    Here's to looking at clear sparkling water with less work AND money!
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Right at the start of a conversion you only need a PH test and a simple chlorine test, but after a couple of chlorine additions the CC level will start to rise and you will need the full FAS-DPD chlorine test fairly quickly.

    You can mostly ignore the algae, the conversion process will kill it off. Because of the algae you will want to do you first several chlorine additions fairly close together, say one an hour.

    It will speed everything up significantly if you replace your sand at the correct point in the conversion. Baqgoo can accumulate in the filter and take some time to oxidize out. If you don't replace the sand you might be sitting there waiting for the CC level to come down for weeks. You might get luck and it might not be an issue, but it usually is. The filter will also run less efficiently until you replace the sand.

    You can't swim during the conversion. Once the conversion is over you can swim 30 minutes after adding bleach.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Ok, so I bought a test kit from Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...7&ddkey=Search and after I got home it appears it can only test FC levels up to 5ppm! Now what do I do? I'm not sure if I can find another kit that can test higher than that without ordering one and it won't get here in time for me to start this conversion this weekend?
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    you can start your conversion with that test kit...but you will be guessing on the amount of bleach you need.

    I started with my Baquacrap test strips and Walmart AquaChem test strips and just watched the color.

    You can order the test kit (look under Jasons signature at the link) you will get the kit quickley... I ordered on a Sunday and had the kit by Thursday when I really needed it.

    Be prepared for the wonderful color changes in your water and stock up on LOTS of bleach. I have a 18' round above ground pool and I used 30-40 gallons of bleach and only had 15ppm of Baquacil and no algea or anything in my water.

    GOOD LUCK
    Susan
    Above Ground Pool
    18'x52" round
    vinyl liner
    7500 gallons
    Cartridge Filter
    2 cycle pump
    First season, new pool, Baquacil for 3weeks

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    I'm going to order my test kit today or tomorrow and hopefully get it soon. In the meantime I will use what I have and hope for the best.

    I tested my PH this morning and wow it was way off compared to my test strips! It was at about 8.2 so I put some muriatic acid according to the pool calculator to lower it. How long after I put that in can I start dumping the bleach?
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Wait 30 minutes with the pump running for the acid to mix in and then retest the PH. You want PH between 7.2 and 7.4 before you start.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Ok. I didn't trust my test results so I went to a pool store to have them tested as well.

    Baquacrap sanitizer-20
    TA-117
    pH-7.4
    Calcium-178
    Baquacrap Oxidizer-0

    I was close on everything but the TA. The test was giving me funky results like it was off the charts and the color would never change no matter how many drops I put in it. So this was my starting point. I dumped 2 1/2-174oz Bleach ultra bottles into the pool and wammo...the colors started immedietly. My big problem now is that I can't really test beyond the 5ppm on my FC test. I ordered the kit though so hopefully it shows up soon.

    At 10:30 I dumped the first batch of bleach and tested 1 hour later and the FC was about 2.5 with my test. Can that be accurate? Could I lose all that in only one hour? Anyway, I added another container and a half, waited about 30 minutes and backwashed as the pressure was building and cleaned the skimmer. There is lots of little particles floating int he pool and getting caught in the skimmer. Gonna go test it again here now and see what the FC level is at. It also started to rain a little. How does that affect this process??

    I did go out and buy pool filter sand to replace the sand in my filter. Is there anyway to change the sand without draining the pool to the fill lines? If I close my multiport valve and close the valve from the skimmer will that stop ALL water from flowing through the multiport?? I just don't want to have to drain the pool THAT much.

    I'm trying not to panic here and so far so good...I think. :P
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Still going. Dumping in about 2 containers every hour or 2. Whenever I test the FC level is still very low. Between 2-4ppm. I'm running out of bleach and need to go out and get more. The bleach is not as cheap as I thought it was. I've been to walmart where it is $2.24 for 174oz blottles, dollar general where it is $1.74 for 3qt bottles and Kroger where it is like $2.45 for the 174oz bottles. Not sure where else I can find it any cheaper but I will check to see if Fred's has it there and what it costs.

    I've backwashed several times as well and I guess I will start having to put more water in the pool...how does that affect this? I am not seeing as much of a color change so far..still the same light green..I've been taking picuters and will try to post them here soon as well.
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Your chlorine can definitely go down quickly, between the algae you have in the pool and the remaining baquacil.

    You can effectively use your present test kit to check for higher levels of Chlorine. Dilute the pool water half and half with water that you know contains no chlorine (you may have to purchase this; tap water, of course, normally contains chlorine). Then test the mixed water. Double the reading to get the Cl in your pool - so if the test reads 2.0, you have about 4ppm Cl in the pool water; if the test reads 5, you have about 10ppm Cl in the pool water.

    If you like, you can dilute the pool water more to attempt to get higher readings though you'll lose some additional precision.

    Of course, this is nowhere near as accurate as the FAS test you'll get with the kit, but it's a lot better than nothing.

    If you have an Aldi's or a Big Lots somewhere nearby, they normally have cheap bleach.

    Adding water during the conversion process is fine.

    Coty
    22,000 gal, IG vinyl, 3/4 hp pump, 300lb sand filter (switched from DE), converted from baquacil (thanks to Ben), BBB since 2004

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    It takes lots of chlorine, and it goes quickly at first. After several rounds it will slow down.

    The simple chlorine test is testing total chlorine (TC), which is free chlorine (FC) + combined chlorine (CC). As long as TC is low you know that FC is low and can add more chlorine. Eventually the CC level will get high and it will be impossible to use the simple chlorine test.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Thanks for the advice on the test to use some other non-chlorinated water to dilute the pool water and get up to 10ppm. Even if it's not all that accurate. For the first time when I tested it was darker than the 5ppm test so I diluted with distilled water and got about 6ppm. So far this is going better than expected. The water is actually starting to clear up already. I went out around 7pm and I could just about see the bottom for the first time since I started and saw there was some accumulation of **** in the center. I vacuumed it up and backwashed and tested and added more chlorine. The water got even clearer before it got too dark to see it anymore. I know I am not out of the water yet, excuse the pun, but it's going very well. There was some fun colors but not as bad as I've seen on here.

    Jason, you said the simple chlorine test is testing TC but the test kit I have calls it Free chlorine. Then it says to wait 2 minutes and then check it again to get the CC. Is that still just a simple chlorine test?
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    For some perspectve, I added about 2 gallons of bleach every hour for the first 5 hours when I did my conversion. And, I kick started everything with about 2 lbs of cal hypo... After the first day or so bleach additions should start to go down as long as you are diligent at maintaining FC at 15 ppm.

    Here was my pool after day one...



    My only real advice at this point is to make sure you maintain chlorine levels until you have 0 ppm CC. I stopped a litle early and ended up having to maintain shock levels for a few extra days. Also, get a fas-dpd chlorine test kit. Diluting samples gets really tiring after a while.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    As for your chlorine test kit...

    OTO test kits do test for free and total chlorine. The problem is the initial reaction with FC happens so fast that you can not reliably read the color before some CC interferes with the test. Essentially, the "within two minutes" isn't really reliable. Once you get the better chlorine test kit (fas-dpd or even dpd), test with both kits and you will see what I mean.

    The one thing an OTO test kit is good for is qualitative analysis to determine in you have ANY chlorine in the pool. While the actual numbers aren't necessarily reliable, if it turns color, you have chlorine. Because of this, I use my OTO test kit on days when I don;t do a full water analysis just to make sure everything is ok.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Here are some photos of my progress in order from start to finish.











    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Woke up this morning and wow my water was pretty darn clear. Vacuumed some baguascum from the bottom, brushed it, backwashed and added some more bleach. I tested it and it was sitting around 5ppm before I added the bleach. I'm not axactly sure what I need to do now. I don't have a good test kit yet (ordered it yesterday so I imagine I won't get it till mid week at the earliest) so I really can't tell if it's holding it's 15ppm onvernight.

    Should I just continue all day today dumping more bleach in every few hours?

    Is it time to change the sand in the filter? Is there anything else I can do with the crappy test kit I have?

    I guess I will test for pH and TA after the bleach has had a while to circulate but can't those numbers still be skewed because of the high chlorine count?

    Anyway, pictures coming soon as they are uploaded. After I cleaned the pool the water is about as clean as I've ever had it with the baquashmeg. Can it possibly get clearer?!?! :P
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Well I know I am not done yet but here are some very nice pictures of a clean pool! Thanks for all the help. This site really has a lot of good information and I'm sure I will continue using it for a long time.









    And here is a picture of my new picnic table I built a few weeks ago! :P

    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    You are moving along quickly, but you still have the slower second phase to get through before changing the sand or adding CYA. The second phase will take a minimum of two days, probably longer. In the second phase the FC will not drop nearly as quickly and the CC level will start to build up. You start losing more chlorine to sunlight than to cleaning up the baquacil.

    If the chlorine reading is below 5 after one hour then add more chlorine during the day. If the chlorine reading stays above 5 it is probably better to only add chlorine in the evening, so you aren't losing most of your chlorine to sunlight. You will need to good test kit to measure overnight FC loss precisely enough to know that you are done.

    If you are in a hurry and don't mind carrying bleach you can go ahead and add chlorine all day. It is less efficient, but will speed the process up.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Thanks for the quick response! I am not really in a hurry although I would like to be swimming by next weekend. If I'm reading that right I can just keep the chlorine level above 5 during the day and then add more at night to bring it to 15ppm? I know I won't really be able to test the loss overnight till my kit arrives so hopefully by then I will be already holding my chlorine overnight!
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    Howdy neighbor!

    Thought I'd chime in on changing the sand in your filter. If you have no valves other than the one on top of the filter, then you can get some rubber pipe plugs and use them to plug off the line coming from your skimmer and the ones coming from your returns. Then it's just a matter of draining your filter, cleaning it, adding new sand, etc. The one I've got is conical in shape. I don't know if Lowe's or HD will have that particular variety or not, but it's worth a shot to look.

    HTH,
    Mike
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Starting my Baqucrap conversion this weekend!

    MikeInTN...hehe...my name is also Mike!

    Thanks for the tip. I remember the pool place saying something about plugs for the returns now that you mention it. I will get me some of them and I do have the valve coming from the skimmer so that should be good for that side. This is the part I look forward to doing the least!
    Nashville, TN, 24' above ground 13,500 gallons, 300lb sand filter

    My Baqucrap conversion!
    starting-my-baqucrap-conversion-this-weekend-t7122.html

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