Spring 2017 - Converting from Baquacil to Chlorine!

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
Today my pool is sparkling clear so I am hoping I will be passing the overnight 15ppm shortly and will be able to switch my sand and follow the remaining steps for balancing my chemicals. I did have my doubts I would ever see clear water again.

My question is about my pool steps. I was able to soak the riser and treads in bleach and clean them up but the railings can only be cleaned on the surfaces because they are too heavy to do much else. I am pretty sure there will be bacqua inside them because there was plenty in the risers and treads. When should I put the steps in? Now or after I have changed the sand in my filter?
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
I know I don't have the option of giving up, but I am getting discouraged in passing the OCLT. My pool has been crystal clear (actually I don't recall seeing it this clear in the past several years.) I sweep and vacuum during the day, change out my skimmer sock, and backwash my filter around 5P even though there isn't much fluctuation in the pressure gauge nor any obvious bacqua goo being expelled. I start dosing/testing every half hour around 5:30P when the pool is in shadows. I have the FC up to 15 ppm by 9:00P when it is getting dark. Below are the early morning readings (before the sun is on the pool) and I dose it back up to FC 15 for an hour or so - before the sun actually hits the pool.

6/16 FC 7
6/17 FC 7
6/18 FC 13
6/19 FC 13
6/20 FC 12

I have scrubbed the eyeball and the opening, and same with the skimmer so I am not sure where the bacqua is still lurking. Should I be testing for anything else that would help this along? Any other suggestions?

Thank you,
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,894
Tucson, AZ
Take apart the sand filter and deep clean it. That's the last thing you can do. Other than that, it's just a waiting game.

You are not alone as hundreds of baquacil conversion threads have landed exactly where you are now - the slow recovery phase. You are simply waiting at this point for the chlorine to destroy the last remnants of baquacil AND any CDX you may have used. This is the hardest part of the conversion, the waiting.

But here's how they all go - one day you'll wake up and your OCLT will be 0.5ppm or less. You'll doubt it and you'll be surprised. It's like someone turned on a light switch - one day you're losing chlorine like crazy and the next day, BAM!, you're not. It's weird but that just about how every one of these ends.

Keep going. It's all you can do....
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
Thanks for the suggestion on deep cleaning my filter and the reassurance on getting to the next stage of my conversion. I have been reading all of the TFP posts about deep cleaning and it seems like something I could do. I can detach the filter hoses from the pump and pool heater, then do the deep cleaning. I was a little confused on what I need to do to make sure when I am working on it or starting it up after everything is reconnected to avoid having any gunk go back into the pool. I read where someone suggested putting duct tape over the standpipe but I wasn't sure about the purpose.

Not sure if this should be a new posting or kept with this thread.

Thanks!!
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
Finally - I passed my first OCLT with zero loss of FC overnight! Hopefully I will be changing out my sand tomorrow morning and moving on to pool chemistry. That will put me from start to finish at exactly 3 weeks, converting a CDX pool. I didn't end up doing a deep cleaning of my filter.

Once I get to the point that I have changed my sand, I will come back and explain my experiences for others.

I couldn't have done this without the help of TFP!!!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,894
Tucson, AZ
3 weeks seems to be the norm for a CDX/Baquacil pool. Good job on the conversion and good luck with the sand change. Once you get it all swapped out and running with a clean filter, you'll be very pleased with the results. Just remember to get the right kind of filter sand (seems there's a lot of cheap stuff around these days that's the wrong mesh size) and to rinse and backwash the sand several times to get all the dust out of it.

Look forward to your conversion write-up/wrap-up post.
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
Today I change out my sand and then will start adding CYA to get to 30 while keeping my FC at 15 ppm. I have read on the site where CYA can take a week to get to that level? The final part being I have to test CC to be<=.5 two days in a row? If it is correct that I will have to wait a week to test CYA, does that mean I wait to test CC?

In Pool math it shows I need to add 55 oz (3.4 lbs) of CYA to get from 0 to 30 and was wondering if someone could double check me since I am a newbie to all of this I don't want to make a mistake and then have to deal with too much CYA.

Thanks for the suggestion to rinse and backwash the new sand several times.

Sorry for all of the questions but I don't want to goof up all of the hard work I have completed so far to get to this point.

After this I will move on to balancing the water. If I have a question about this topic should I start a new thread or stay with this one?

Thanks!
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
I always dread changing the sand because it is such dirty/heavy work but I kept telling myself this is the last time I should have to do this for a long long time. I managed to get everything hooked back up without any leaks and hung a sock with CYA over the inlet. I decided to start with 2/3 of the amount calculated in pool math and then will test and add more until I get to 30.

I will test FC to make sure I am staying at 15 ppm and then test CC the next two evenings and hopefully pass.

Thanks for the the info on CC/CYA. Sometimes this can be a bit overwhelming and guidance is always appreciated.
 

jessica0917

Silver Supporter
Jun 8, 2014
26
Central Iowa
OK - my conversion, from start to finish started on 6/9/17 with testing and adjusting my pH and ended by passing the OCLT on 6/24. I used the 8.25% bleach from Sam's Club and went through 93 bottles. I had added CDX for the past five years so mine seemed to take a little longer than other conversions I was following on this site. I read and reread the conversion instructions and other conversion threads. I ordered the TF100 test kit along with the Speed Stirrer, XL Options, and the Sample Sizer so I would have everything well before I started the conversion.

- I had to keep reminding myself, each pool and pool owner are unique, especially as others were completing their conversions quicker than I was. I also learned from other postings - don't mention this to anyone at the pool store - just stick with this site and you won't go wrong.

- I kept my pool steps out of the pool until the conversion was completed and separately cleaned them with bleach before they were placed in the pool.

- I made the decision to only add bleach when the sun was not on the pool (early morning and late afternoon.) At first I wasn't aggressive enough in adding bleach (so it was being "eaten" very quickly by the bacquacil) so I started adding/testing every half hour.

- I followed the hint to put a skimmer sock in my skimmer and keep the filter on circulate while there was bacqua goo floating on the top.

- I didn't see the pea green colors until the 2nd day and then the bacqua goo started appearing. I kept an eye on my pressure gauge and waited to start sweeping/vacuuming until I could "see" the bottom and sides of the pool. Pump was running 24/7.

- By 6/17 my pool was crystal clear. Vacuuming and sweeping continued along with testing/adding chlorine to keep at 15 ppm.

- I took the return eyeball and skimmer weir apart and cleaned both to help get me through the OCLT test. Once I passed, I changed out my sand (ugh!) and followed the remaining steps to add CYA and pass the CC test. Then I moved on to the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine /CYA Chart, and Recommended Pool Chemicals.

My pool is the clearest I can ever remember and I am glad I went through all of the work and effort to convert it. With all of the experts and other postings I never felt alone in the process. I decided to cut up a new solar cover to make it easier for me to get it in and out of the pool. I only take it off when the pool is being used and it has helped retain the heat and the chlorine. I test pH and FC daily in the morning, because that works best for me, (weekly for testing the other chemicals) and keep on top of the other pool maintenance - sweeping and vacuuming. Once I got the hang of the testing, etc the process is fairly simple.

Good luck to future "converters" - you won't regret it!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,661
Evans, Georgia
Excellent news! You did a great job!! :goodjob:

I priced out the bleach and suspect that you'll recoup that cost by NOT buying Bacqua products within a year or less. AND your water is pristine clean!!

Congratulations!!

Maddie :flower:
 

Husky25

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 1, 2015
515
"East of the River" CT
Excellent news, Jessica.

If you don't in the meantime, come back in a month or even at the end of your swim season, and compare your pool care experience (and results) with chlorine with how you used to do with BQ. I think people would be interested to know.