Rough Baquacil to Chlorine Conversion

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
18,000 gallon pool inground
Sand Filter
Pebble Tec
Arizona

I wanted to share my story on converting back to chlorine after the terrible Baquacil product! I switched to Baq because of my itching problem after swimming in a chlorine pool. I did not experience too many issues with baq at first. Within a few years my pool developed a nasty white ring around the tile and I started noticing that the water was really never crystal clear. New water was put in before starting up baq. Not being happy with the way my pool was looking and considering the high cost of this JUNK, I decided to make the switch this past January. I drained my pool and I was able to remove the white build up around my tile using my cordless drill with a 3M paint stripper abrasive wheel. Worked fantastic and save me $400 on the glass bead blasting cost they wanted. Filled my pool and started the process with adding bleach. I ended up putting in about 20 gallons even though the water was fresh. After the water stopped turning the milky white color and baq tested zero, I balanced the water but could not keep the chlorine level up. It would get eaten up within a day or two. I was going to be trying a solar powered copper system (Floatron) for algea contol so went ahead and started that up. The idea with that thing is you can keep your chorine level very low like .5 or 1ppm. Everything stayed nice throughout the winter months but could not keep any level of chlorine. I DID NOT change my sand in my filter because I had an expert tell me it was not necessary. Well when the summer started I developed mustard algea. I googled my problem with not holding chlorine and basically understood I needed to put tons of chlorine in. I removed the Floatron but I still kept loosing 3ppm per day. After tons of shock and liquid chlorine I was getting fed up. I finally realized the only variable still in this mix was the sand. I had put in new sand prior to baq. $200 worth of Zeolite. I was very resistant in wanting to change this out so soon. So I finally did 3 days ago. What a surprise! The sand was so gunked up I could not believe it. I was pulling out pieces fused together the size of very large rocks. It was a mess. Took me awhile to get it all out but I did. I acid washed the filter and refilled with regular pool sand for $75. After one day, I only lost .5ppm of chlorine and my pool is so clear I cannot believe it. After 3 days everything is perfect! NOTE: Before my conversion off of baq, I never read anything that indicated WHY you should change your sand. This coupled with an expert telling me it was not necessary gave me what I thought was enough to not do it. Well as far as I am concerned it is probably the most important thing to do! I am wondering if you should do it first? Anyway, will be trying the copper system again soon with reducing the chorine level and see what happens. Good test with the hot summer in Arizona. Anyway, hope this story has enough information it it that may help someone with something in the future. Good luck and thank you for all the information here.
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,677
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :lol: Thanks for sharing your story. It points up an imprtant aspect of the conversion process we have in Pool School.

On a side note, I would suggest you search "copper" on this forum before you re-introduce it in your pool. Metals are generally not a good algaecide.
 

lovingHDTV

LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2007
529
Round Rock, TX
interesting that you tried Zeo and a floatron also. I tried those together before finding TFP and working with the guy that builds the floatrons we figured out that the zeo actually captures the residual copper from the water, binding it so that the floatron could not produce enough copper to maintain a residual in the water.

At that point the suggestion was to get a copper based algacide to "load" the zio with copper, hopefully allowing the floatron to maintain the proper residual amount.

I then found TFP and the floatron is now only used as a weight to support my sock of CYA as it hangs in front of a return jet :)
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
I have been wondering myself how well this floatron thing is going to be. Since I have replaced my sand with regular pool sand and not zeo, it sounds to me like I won't have any issues there. However, the first reply to this thread indicated that metals are not a good algeaside. I have virtually no experience with this other than the reviews I read which were good. Several people in Arizona indicated it works well for them. I also talked with one guy who has the copper system you hook up to the pool equipment and they have been in business for 15 years. So it all sounded like a possible good way to go. What is TFP? Also, what are the risks of copper in your pool water? I have not had any problems keeping a .3 level of copper even when I had the gunked up zeo in my filter.
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
TFP - Trouble Free Pool. Never mind on that one, duh! I thought when I first read that it was some kind of magic chemical or something...
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
The biggest problems with copper is that it stains pool surfaces, turns hair green, and lulls you into a false sense of security thinking that you have a sanitary pool with a very low FC.

The issue with a FC of .5 is that it's only effective with no CYA in the water and it'll be burned off as soon as you put it in with no CYA. Another issue is that with a FC that low, almost anything that gets in your pool that consumes FC will take your FC to zero very quickly.

Your itching problem was most likely not from chlorine but from a pool that was not properly maintained. I say ditch the copper and read Pool School to learn to maintain your pool properly and you'll have no more issues.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP

I agree with Bama...you're itching issue was most likely a reaction to a high CC level. My pool has an FC of around 7-8ppm with CC around 0-0.5ppm and you can barely smell chlorine. Easy on the eyes too :goodjob:

How are you testing your water? Have you been able to read through pool school?
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
I am using a LaMotte ColorQ Pro11 for testing my water. I am tending to agree with all of you about the copper thing. Let me add something to this mix though and any thoughts are well appreciated. In Arizona we have very hard water and high in Calcium. The local Leslie Pool store says a calcium reading in our pool water of 600-800 is about right. Normally high anywhere else. Since I have been floating the Floatron my calcium readings are under 300. I had read that was one of the benefits is that calcium will be attracted to it. When I first started it up the calcium build up on the spring was thick. Now it is barely visible. So this appears to be a benefit in the area I live.

Now that my pool is under control after changing out my sand I went swimming with a chlorine level around 4ppm. I experienced some minor itching a day after for a couple days. I went swimming yesterday with the Chlorine at 1ppm and hardly had any issues. I have since then added chlorine to raise to 2ppm which is where the local Leslie's says is about right. From what I am reading here it sounds like I should keep it more around 4ppm. By the way, my water is so clear I am amazed. Even at 1ppm no algea anywhere and crystal clear water. So my thoughts were to go swimming when my chorline is at a lower level. All the other water readings I can test for with my kit are in the normal range. Cya is a bit high at 75 but according to my kit it says anything under 100 is acceptable. Leslie's indicates 30-50. Before I changed my sand I was getting readings of 49. Other than liquid chlorine I have added nothing else. Any thoughts on anything I have mentioned here is appreciated once again.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
The ColorQ is not a good choice for a pool with very high CH levels. Several of their tests can be thrown off when the CH level is very high. If I am following your description correctly, the CYA level jumped up from 49 to 75, that is very suggestive of testing problems. CYA doesn't just jump up like that unless you added some. Likewise, CH can't just drop from 600-800 down to 300 without either a huge amount of water replacement or a dramatic amount of calcium scaling.
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
I have to disagree about my testing equipment. A few times through the process I brought my water sample to the local pool store and their readings basically matched mine. Some numbers were right on and others just slightly off. I did not go from 600-800 in the calcium down to 300. What I had said is that a high calcium reading is normal in our water but since I have been using the floatron it is much lower. I started testing that AFTER I put new water in my pool and AFTER the floatron was in my pool for about one month. My local pool store tested my calcium at 800 before I put in new water and indicated a drop down to 400 and above would be expected. My calcium readings have not increased at all in 6 months and actually have went down slightly. My last reading was 238 last week. My CYA was testing consistently at 49 so I cannot explain the sudden jump either. Maybe because my old sand was so messed up it skewed the number? I just don't know. In any event, right now at least I cannot argue about what is going on. I can swim in my water without too much difficulty and water has never looked better. No algea is present even with the lower chlorine level and at this time of year in Arizona too. By the way, I am now dropping only .25ppm per day on chlorine. What an improvement from the 3ppm per day nonsense. Thanks again for all the input.
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Well.......... After using the Nature 2 commercial canister with large cartridges and having several of the canisters freeze, even with water running through, I switched to the Floatron. I used the Nature 2 since it came on the market. I didn't test for copper then. I was also running the pump virtually 24/7 year round so I changed out the cartridge 3-4 times a year. i wasn't on top of chem levels because I didn't know about the importance of such.

Granted, I never had any algae, but I certainly wasn't on top of chlorine so I guess we are lucky no one got ill.

I had to do several acid washes due to scale and copper staining.

Three summers ago I switched to the Floatron. The whole time using, copper test never read over 0.1. Much cheaper in the long run. Again, no algae, and still wasn't' on top of the chlorine and other chems. In 2007 we had a bad leak (behind the light). So I let the pool go down for the winter without circulation. It remained like that, filled with the whole "forest" of leaves, tadpoles, and much gunk. After the tadpoles matured and left the pool drained for an acid wash. Floatron had been in pool all winter and spring. Acid washing did not remove all the copper stains.

Last summer, when I found TFP I took the Floatron out and began BBB. Perfect water but still had loads of calcium scale, iron staining (not from fill water but our sand, silt, dust) and much copper staining. So in the fall I did a two week AA treatment. (Water was pretty cool so it took longer than usual.)

BTW..... iron mostly stains the scale, while copper stains the plaster. It's easy to see the difference in my pool as the plaster is blue and the scale it white.

I did not know about sequestrant agents and the importance of using until last summer.

I don't know if using sequestrants in high enough amounts would affect the action of the copper from Floatron or not.

My plaster is 14 years old and cannot take another acid wash. So I'm using sequestrant, HTH, Metal Control, at double to 3X the maintenance dose, with an addition of 32 oz every month in addition to maintenance and keeping the pH below 7.5.

The scale is slowly releasing, don't have the iron staining, and the copper stain might be lightening a bit.

It's really a bummer to have the copper staining on my otherwise beautiful blue plaster. :rant:

I will never let copper products get anywhere near my pool, ever again. :hammer:

gg=alice
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
I understand and appreciate everyones feedback about the floatron. I will certainly keep a look out for any of the staining conditions. I could be wrong but it seems the staining issues people have had are with plaster pools. I am wondering if pebble tec may be more resistent to that issue or at least not very noticable. It has been in my pool for 6 months now and nothing noticable to report. I also do not have any issues getting the right copper reading. I easily get to .3 and when it gets to .4 I remove for 2, sometimes 3 weeks. So right now at least I see no need for concern but like I said, I will keep a close eye and report back here if something changes. BTW, for the last two weeks I raise my Chlorine to 2ppm on the weekend, and by the following weekend it is sitting around 1 or just under. I raised back to 2 and this is where I sit right now ready to do again this weekend. Floatron was removed last week as I got a reading of .4. Water is still very clear and absolutely no algea and everything else is within normal ranges, except the CYA but it went down 5 points since I last tested. Our weather has hit the 110 and above mark so this is a really good test. If I can keep my water looking good during this weather with what I have been doing, I am happy.
 

sjminaz

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Hello All,

Just wanted to update you as I said I would back in June. I have since removed the Floatron not due to any staining issues but because it just cannot handle algea. If I keep my chlorine low like it says you should two things happen; I can't maintain the chlorine level and then mustard algea appears. The water would also not be very clear. After two bouts of this I decided it was time to forget it. Each time I had to use about 10 -12 gallons of chlorine over a period of about two weeks before the chlorine level would finally stabilize. For the last two weeks my pool is finally acting like a normal pool. I am using normal amounts of chlorine and the water is absolutely beautiful! I am maintaining my chlorine level right around the 4-5 ppm level. When it hits 4, I put in half a gallon of chlorine. So I am using about 1 gallon per week along with 2-3 pucks. CYA is still high but I will drain some pool water in October to lower that. Most important though is that I reported having a problem with itching using chlorine. I have used my pool a few times during this process and the itching is very minor. I will get a few problems on my skin but it is tolerable. So thanks to all who have had feedback about all my issues. You guys and gals are so smart. This has been a fantastic place to help me deal with my issues when no one else could help me. There should be an award for this web site. I hope anything I have written here will help someone in the future.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Happy to hear you are on your way to maintaining a trouble free pool. I'm sure it feels good to have things under control now with a tried and proven method :goodjob:
 

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