For anyone wanting to successfully use baquacil....

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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,226
Pacific NW
The biggest problem with baquicil if I recall correctly, is that there is no precise testing kit available for home use. So using strips aka guess strips, you really never get a grasp on what it's true needs are. So it ends up as other pools do that use imprecise testing...cloudy water & issues to deal with.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
TT - not so much heartburn but rather requiring alot more 'elbow grease' and time than is undoubtedly the case with TFP. You need the fortitude and determination (and a bit of craziness?) to stay with it. When I least feel like taking the filter all apart is likely to be the time when it needs it most. The pool dictates that part of the schedule, not I. .You also need a willingness to invest a good amount of money at the beginning of the season to stock up on everything that might be needed. I keep a spreadsheet on all this, and figure everything out as spring approaches based on what I have left over and how much new stuff is needed. I typically wind up with overlap and don't use everything I buy, so then mark everything with the year number so I know to use all that up first next season, although probably wouldn't need to since I imagine the shelf life is at least a year on everything. I also created spreadsheets to record virtually everything that is done to the pool including how much of every product is added, and when. Someone here a few years ago advised me to try doing this rather than the 'guesstimating' I was doing before - especially when it comes to the peroxide and biguanide levels. I had gotten into the habit of - if the water looks clear - fine, and no need to add anything. That approach won't work with baquacil, at least it doesn't for me. My water can be clear and still be low in oxidizer or biguanide.
 
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anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
The biggest problem with baquicil if I recall correctly, is that there is no precise testing kit available for home use.
Not totally true. The Taylor kit (1725) that accurately tests for peroxide and biguanide levels is pretty much all you need in addition to the usual pH, TA, and CH testing. My problem, as I mentioned in one of the replies, is that the biguanide side of the Taylor kit doesn't work due to the interference of the quarternary ammonium compounds present in some of the products I use, which prevent the color change from occurring when trying to determine a reading. I learned here that an excess of quaternary ammonium algaecide will interfere with the nickel-nioxime colorimetric titration associated with the reagent in the Taylor kit. If the titration didn't involve the color blue, perhaps it'd work - I don't recall all the details. Had several interesting exchanges here with chem geek as to the technical facets of all that. But the end result is that you could wind up adding as much reagent as you want and still not achieve the color change. So it was a bit discouraging since the kit was quite expensive; however, I then searched and came across the LaMotte kit which presents at least a reasonably accurate reading of biguanide. Apparently that kit is not as sensitive to the same issues. I don't let the level get too low and so check it every few days.
 
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Pool-Dad

Member
Oct 6, 2019
12
Connecticut
Pool-Dad....glad it's going well. Wish I could say the same. All of a sudden my pool is a disaster - looks more like milk than pool water. I think that, since it came on so quickly, it's due to the farmer doing major cutting in the fields on all sides of us. It went from nearly crystal clear to major accumulation of white water mold within 24 hours. So it's going to be a battle until they are done raking and bailing. Plus the bugs that came out of the fields are swarming around me all the time I'm working out there of late. Gotta say, there are times I could walk away from ALL of this - the pool, the big lawn, all the mowing, trimming, etc. and downsize into a nice 55+ community where I don't have to do any of the maintenance!!! It all ain't getting any easier. Good luck...hope yours stays clear for you. Don't be hesitant to use the Oxidizer. I looked back through my records and notice that last year generally every 4-5 days I added 2 quarts. Do you have any Ahhsome or the Aqua Finesse tablets? I truly think that with just the Bio-Guard products, etc. it wouldn't be enough - at least that was my experience over the years since the product called "Assist" was eliminated.

Regarding test kits - I use 2 Taylor kits: K-2006 and K-1725 (but only use the Peroxide side of the kit as explained previously). Then the other one I use is the LaMotte kit for Biguanide and pH (but only use that one for biguanide - it's ok but likely not as accurate as the 1725 would be IF I could get past the quotes issue that interferes with the color change.
Thanks for the advice on testing kits AP. I’ll look into those. Also started using Ahh-some after seeing some small bits of pink slime I think. Looks like tiny pieces of chewed bubble gum. Found a tiny bit several days ago, but haven’t seen it since I put the ahsome in. I’ve been running the robot daily and manually brushing a couple times a week.

This is my first time with a pool, so maybe it could be clearer. I though it was pretty good.

Sorry to hear you’re struggling with mold. Even when doing everything right it seems there are other factors (farmers, etc) that are outside our control.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
I only use the Ahhsome once a month as instructions recommend. Mine is starting to clear again after the unusually bad situation following the field cutting / raking / baling. I've been keeping the oxidizer level higher than usual. Pool partially cleared, then added the weekly aqua finesse today - big difference by tonight. I expect by Sunday it'll be as clear as it was before the haymaking work started. Next week I'm due for Ahhsome. That noticeably gives the water a very silky and smooth appearance, I think anyway. The Aqua Finesse tablets do jack up the pH, so have to keep knocking that down with Lo N slo (or equivalent). And, you might find the AF also temporarily raises filter pressure a few pounds - usually goes back down again. I absolutely killed my back 2 weeks ago (not with the pool) and so am hoping for a break on filter cleaning at least for a week or so.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
Thanks for the advice on testing kits AP. I’ll look into those. Also started using Ahh-some after seeing some small bits of pink slime I think. Looks like tiny pieces of chewed bubble gum. Found a tiny bit several days ago, but haven’t seen it since I put the ahsome in. I’ve been running the robot daily and manually brushing a couple times a week.

This is my first time with a pool, so maybe it could be clearer. I though it was pretty good.

Sorry to hear you’re struggling with mold. Even when doing everything right it seems there are other factors (farmers, etc) that are outside our control.
Was wondering how things are going for you??? I think you're doing a good thing with frequent brushing. This is admittedly something I've probably not done enough. Worth a try to do it more often and see how the season progresses.
 

Pool-Dad

Member
Oct 6, 2019
12
Connecticut
Thanks AP.
Things are going very well. My weekly routine consists of running the robot every day or every other day, depending upon how much dirt, etc. is in the pool (I also brush the walls and push any dirt into the middle). I follow it up with the normal 1/2/3 Baquacil protocol (and monthly ahh-some).
I found the test strips to be too inaccurate for my liking and purchased the LaMotte ColorQ Pro5. This test kit is much more accurate than the strips (got into a little trouble when the strips told me my pH was low). Got the pH, TA, and CH under control now. Have not found the ColorQ to be off on any of the factors yet and checked it against my local pool store to confirm.
Next task is chemically cleaning the filter which I’ll tackle next weekend (recommended twice per year).
 

Pool-Dad

Member
Oct 6, 2019
12
Connecticut
Sadly @Pool-Dad doesn't realize that his water isn't clear like chlorine could give him. Its like pool stores have y'all over a barrel buying these expensive chems. Go TFPC, Pool-Dad!! You won't regret it!

maddie
Wow! Tough crowd. I appreciate and welcome all the advice and if you think I can help me get my pool water more clear than this (see image) then I’m all for it. But for the sake of argument I think my photography skills might be the weaker point than my water clarity.
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,788
Evans, Georgia
Careful with the ColorQ Calcium Hardness test....apparently ColorQ doesn't do that one too well. If you get some wonky readings for CH consider a different CH test.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
Getting off the beaten track here for a moment - I just noticed my filter pressure is higher if running solely from the skimmer (which is typically how I have the diverter valve set), and nearly a pound lower if running solely from the drain. Obviously the drain is a much smaller (grate) opening and you're adding additional piping, so is it a case of back pressure being generated as the water's momentum gets slowed by either additional piping, or the curve that it makes on the way up, or the rise in elevation? Never noticed this before, but for this season I put on one of these glycerin-filled pressure valves that shows 1/2 lb. increments and so am able to track more detailed changes. The drain line comes up and then there is a "t" (directly below the skimmer pot) where the line diverts over towards the pump. I only have one skimmer. My water level has been very low of late (not enough rain here - terribly dry) and so I've been running the diverter valve much closer to the drain side. Just added more water from the well though so I can use more skimming.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
Wow! Tough crowd.
In some cases, I have to agree.. TFP is very passionate about chlorine being the favored sanitizing system as well as using household products as a substitution for store chemicals. I'd like to explore that further - at least as far as it goes relative to how I'm currently treating the pool. What I've always wondered about is that there simply have to be people out there who successfully use baquacil (albeit admittedly with more work and expense involved than chlorine), and have never heard of this website. I'd love to find a few of them for further input other than the focus being on just converting back to chlorine. If time and effort and cost is not a primary consideration, there has to be a way to make this (biguanide) system work with relatively few problems, or at least ones that can't be dealt with. Though, I may be wrong. The focus here, and hence the negative views towards biguanide, is the idea that chlorine and TFP methodology is purported to entail the least amount of work, least chemical treatment, and least cost. There is indeed much appeal in all three of those, although the cost factor - relative to baquacil, is not something I'm that concerned about. I'll make a determination by the end of the season.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,735
I knew someone with a baquacil pool and it had a weird smell and the water tasted funny. Have you noticed that at all or has anyone told you that? It's a soapy, chemical smell and taste. It was originally developed as a surgical disinfectant. So, it makes sense that it might be unpleasant for some people who are sensitive to the smell and taste.
 
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pookiesunshine

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2016
573
Cincinnati, OH
@anthony, my initial decision to use baq was based on less work involved. test/treat once a week vs daily chlorine (SWCG's were not common at that time). I still dont have SWCG but might before too long. Baq is definitely more expensive. I had no problem with water feel/smell....until wmd/pink slime kept getting worse.
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
James....I had the same reaction as PS relative to not tasting the pool water! But, I know what you mean - the inevitable mouthful happens at times - just did recently as a matter of fact. So, I can safely say that...no...did not notice any particularly bad taste. Plus, I always think the water smells fine - very fresh. The only time it doesn't is, understandably, 4 days to a week after opening. But once it seems to reach the point where everything's pretty well balanced, I recognize the usual smell and overall feel. I'm always astounded how this stinky, green, worm-infested swamp somehow transforms itself into a clear body of water that you can actually swim in. Have to wonder about what sort of stuff still remains in there even after it clears up!
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
@anthony, my initial decision to use baq was based on less work involved. test/treat once a week vs daily chlorine (SWCG's were not common at that time). I still dont have SWCG but might before too long. Baq is definitely more expensive. I had no problem with water feel/smell....until wmd/pink slime kept getting worse.
PS - While still under baquacil, did you use any other chemicals besides the regular 3-part (ABC) program?
 

anthonypool89

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2016
440
Berks County, PA
Is it because there’s anyone there with bad reactions to chlorine?
As I said, we both didn't care for it. Most of the 'bad reactions' have to do with using it as a sanitizing system. Don't get me wrong, I'd actually be curious to say what it'd be like going back to it. Might find out yet!!!! I will determine after this season. As has been suggested, probably best to not do a conversion till opening next year.
 
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pookiesunshine

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2016
573
Cincinnati, OH
PS - While still under baquacil, did you use any other chemicals besides the regular 3-part (ABC) program?
I started under the old, pre-CDX system and switched to CDX when i started having mold/slime problems. I used their basic algicide, filter cleaner, floc (i added some to the skimmer after backwashing as it seemed to help, or at least didn't hurt), Line Clean for mold/slime. By the time i became aware of AF and ahhsome, i had already switched to chlorine. That's about it other than pH, Alk, CH chemicals (I had a gas heater at one time but no more).
 
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