Day 5 of baquacil to chlorine conversion

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
I am so grateful for this site and all the information provided. You have saved me from turning the pool into a basketball court. I have used baquacil for almost 10 years (no CDX). For the first 5 years everything was great, but over the last few years it’s been increasingly difficult to maintain. Last year was the worst with white mold. I decided at the end of last summer that I would switch to chlorine and therefore I did not put any baquacil in the pool when I closed.

Fast forward to now. Following your instructions and using the Pool Math app, I got the pH to 7.2 by adding 10oz of soda ash. Moving forward I think I’ll use Borax instead. I have been testing and adding liquid chlorine 12.5% hourly to maintain the FC at 15. Once I hit midway I have only been doing it in the morning and evening. My pool is in direct sunlight all day. There was a few days of color change, some baqua goo that settled on the floor but by day 4 the pool was crystal clear. I have been vacuuming daily (sometimes twice daily) and brushing the walls daily. I did have to backwash the filter on day 2 and added more DE because it was so clogged up.

This morning my FC was 12.5. I think I’m getting close. It is still crystal clear. I don’t see any goo deposits on the floor. My plan today is to get the ladders and stairs in. I usually power wash them with just water, but should I use diluted chlorine instead? I don’t want to introduce anything into the water that might cause a setback.

Also, I have only been testing the FC and nothing else (other than the pH) at this point. Am I correct in just running that test for now until I pass the OCLT? Thank you all for your expertise! I never would have felt confident in doing this conversion if not for this site- Danielle.
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
You’re doing great. That last picture is wonderful. Just keep measuring FC and dosing with liquid chlorine. You can just do morning and evening doses, don’t bother trying to hold 15ppm FC with direct sunlight, it’s impossible. Keep cleaning your filter to get as much junk out of it as you can as it can cause an overnight decline in FC if it’s a reservoir of baquagoop. Your going to change the sand anyway so it doesn’t need to do any superfine filtration. It'll be slow going to get the overnight loss to 1ppm or less but, as you can see, it will be totally worth it.

Good luck and keep up the progress posts. Let us know if you have any other questions.
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
You’re doing great. That last picture is wonderful. Just keep measuring FC and dosing with liquid chlorine. You can just do morning and evening doses, don’t bother trying to hold 15ppm FC with direct sunlight, it’s impossible. Keep cleaning your filter to get as much junk out of it as you can as it can cause an overnight decline in FC if it’s a reservoir of baquagoop. Your going to change the sand anyway so it doesn’t need to do any superfine filtration. It'll be slow going to get the overnight loss to 1ppm or less but, as you can see, it will be totally worth it.

Good luck and keep up the progress posts. Let us know if you have any other questions.
I just backwashed the filter again. It was pretty gross. I took a look at the pump basket and saw some residual goo trapped in the pump so I'll be sure to clean that thoroughly today as well. I'll keep at it. Thank you!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
I just backwashed the filter again. It was pretty gross. I took a look at the pump basket and saw some residual goo trapped in the pump so I'll be sure to clean that thoroughly today as well. I'll keep at it. Thank you!
Yep, at this point, getting everything as cleaned out as possible will help greatly. If you have a light in the pool, you need to pull the light out of the niche and clean out anything inside the light niche.

I think power washing the ladders and stuff is fine, no need to go at them with heavy amounts of chlorine. Just make sure you can open them up to clean out any hidden spaces and let them dry in the sun for a few days. That should take care of anything in or on them.
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Yep, at this point, getting everything as cleaned out as possible will help greatly. If you have a light in the pool, you need to pull the light out of the niche and clean out anything inside the light niche.

I think power washing the ladders and stuff is fine, no need to go at them with heavy amounts of chlorine. Just make sure you can open them up to clean out any hidden spaces and let them dry in the sun for a few days. That should take care of anything in or on them.
No light, but I took a closer look at the skimmer and that was pretty dirty. Cleaned the stairs and ladder and will let that sit in the sun for the next few days. Vacuumed and brushed the walls again- saw some residual goo come up. I tested again at 5p and got 1 FC. Added 3 gal per Pool Math and re-tested at 6p and got 18 FC. That's a first for me to get anything over 15. I just checked again, 7:30p, and it's down to 17. Maybe I botched the 5p test? Will this higher reading effect the conversion? Thank you!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
Nope. You’re good. It’s going to take time. The baquagoop is only a portion of what the chlorine has to work on. There’s now a load of dissolved organic chemicals in your pool that the chlorine will spend lots of time oxidizing. That and the sunlight are going to be your biggest chlorine killers. If this were a smaller pool one could tarp it during the day to block out UV but I suspect your pool is way too big for that.
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Nope. You’re good. It’s going to take time. The baquagoop is only a portion of what the chlorine has to work on. There’s now a load of dissolved organic chemicals in your pool that the chlorine will spend lots of time oxidizing. That and the sunlight are going to be your biggest chlorine killers. If this were a smaller pool one could tarp it during the day to block out UV but I suspect your pool is way too big for that.
I'm going to try the tarp today. Last nights final FC reading was 17.5 and this morning 14. I seemed to lose some water overnight so I topped it off. Hopefully this doesn't effect the process much. Thanks for the tarp tip!
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
Just make sure you pull the tarp off and let the sun hit the water every few days. The tarp will greatly slow evaporation but also keep the UV from breaking down chloramine compounds and letting them outgas. The pool does occasionally need to “breathe” ... and be careful. Large tarps can be a tripping hazard and a safety hazard - if someone can be with you and help you with the tarp, that would be better. They also get a lot heavier when they are wet.
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Just make sure you pull the tarp off and let the sun hit the water every few days. The tarp will greatly slow evaporation but also keep the UV from breaking down chloramine compounds and letting them outgas. The pool does occasionally need to “breathe” ... and be careful. Large tarps can be a tripping hazard and a safety hazard - if someone can be with you and help you with the tarp, that would be better. They also get a lot heavier when they are wet.
All good advice. I was going to take it off in the evening. Should I not bother and just keep it covered until tomorrow?
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
Unless @Leebo disagrees (he's our master baquacil expert), then I would say that you have passed the 1ppm or less overnight loss criterion and you are ready to change out the sand in your filter and add CYA up to 30ppm while maintaining 15ppm FC. If you pass the remaining criteria in the conversion article, then you are good to go...Be sure to post some final pictures and make sure you get your final chemical levels balanced according to our recommended levels page.
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Unless @Leebo disagrees (he's our master baquacil expert), then I would say that you have passed the 1ppm or less overnight loss criterion and you are ready to change out the sand in your filter and add CYA up to 30ppm while maintaining 15ppm FC. If you pass the remaining criteria in the conversion article, then you are good to go...Be sure to post some final pictures and make sure you get your final chemical levels balanced according to our recommended levels page.
I just removed the tarp and rechecked the FC is 15 and CC is .5. I’m going to vacuum again and then dump the DE and clean the filter unless advised otherwise. I have my CYA and pantyhose ready to go. I’m bound to lose some FC with the sun while I’m vacuuming but as long as I get it back to 15 and then get two consecutive days of CC <.5 I’m good to go? Thanks for all the support!
 
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Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Perfect, thanks. I hung the pantyhose with the CYA in front of both returns and have been massaging them every 15 mins or so. It’s dissolving nicely but I noticed the wall in the deep end seems to be collecting what’s breaking down from the stocking. Same with the shallow end- floor is loaded with it. Is it just a matter of brushing or have I been too aggressive with the massaging?
 

Driley

Member
May 27, 2020
10
Massachusetts
Passed the 2 consecutive days of CC< .5! Successful conversion in 9 days. Thank you for all the help @JoyfulNoise .The pool has never looked so good! One final question: my understanding is I should recheck the pH once the FC <10 to ensure accuracy, is this correct? This mornings readings:
FC: 15
CC: .5
CYA: 30-40 (appears right at 35)
CH: 125
TA: 60
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,972
Tucson, AZ
Just brush/sweep any granules on the bottom. No need to massage the sock ever 15mins...a couple of times per day is fine.

Yes, wait to test the pH until your FC is under 10ppm. It shouldn’t take long. Keep testing your pool water daily to get a feel for the chemical usage. Once you get good at knowing what your pool needs each, you can back off on testing to just a few times per week. I only spot check during the week and then do mire detailed testing on Saturday mornings.
 
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