Started my conversion today!

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
I just started my conversion this evening. My pH level was at 7.2, so I figured I'd get a jump start on the impending rain we're supposed to have later tomorrow night. I plan to check and adjust the FC level a couple times before going to bed.

Any advice on how the rain will affect the conversion?

I'll try to get a picture posted in the morning!
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
20,815
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
It won't, unless you get so much that the pool overflows. It's adding neither Chlorine nor Baquagoo. If you get a bunch of leaves and debris in the pool, get it out, it will use your precious Chlorine.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks!

Is it normal for the FC to test really low after only an hour? I ordered one of the recommended test kits, but it's not here yet, and for now, I'm using the cheap Walmart test.
 

Barbara C

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 2, 2010
124
Southern Indiana
Yes it's normal for the FC to be low after an hour. I'm new too but this one I can answer! Mine was gone almost immediately it seemed. It will start to hold better for you though. Hang in there!!!
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
So far, I've added a total of 708 oz of 6% bleach... not much of a color change yet.... just a kind of greenish blue, foggy hue (rhyming unintended!). I'm going to check it every hour this morning. I also need to go buy more bleach. Lucky for me that Family Dollar is only 2 minutes away!

Sorry the picture isn't the greatest... too much of a shadow hitting the pool at 6:00 AM!
 

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JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
Keep it up! You are doing fine. A baquacil conversion can use up a tremendous amount of bleach, especially the first day or two of the conversion. As long as the chlorine continues to be used up very quickly you can keep adding chlorine every hour. When there starts being an FC level after an hour you need to slow down a little.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for the tip. I think I just reached that point. I'm going to clean out the cartridge before the rain hits. The foam already seems to be dying down. My baqua level was near zero when I started, so I'm hoping this is going to be a quick conversion.

I went from being a totally stressed out pool owner to being confident and excited about it... all in one week, and ALL thanks to this website!
 

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cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
When we came home this afternoon, the foam was gone and we could see the bottom of the pool. The FC level read at .5, so we added the bleach to bring it back up to 15. We also cleaned the baquagoo from our filter cartridge. There wasn't a lot... I'm guessing because we didn't have a lot of baqua in the pool to start with.

I did not anticipate this all happening so quickly. I haven't received my new test kit yet, so I am unable to test FC levels above 5 with my Walmart test.

I know that we're not in the clear until the FC level holds at 15 overnight. I thought I read somewhere on here that there is a way to dilute the water sample so that it can be used with the Walmart kit to read levels above 5. Does anyone know how to do this?
 

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JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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There is a way to get approximate readings of high FC levels with a standard OTO chlorine test, but it isn't very useful when doing a conversion. In the earlier stages of the conversion all you do is wait for the FC level to get low and then add more chlorine. And in the later stages of the conversion you really need the precision of the FAS-DPD chlorine test to know what to do.

For an approximate guess at higher FC levels: mix one part of pool water with two equal parts of chlorine free water (typically distilled water), test that, and multiply the result by 3.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
The last time I added bleach was 5:00. It's 9:00 now, and as far as I can tell... the FC is at (or near) 15. I had to mix the pool water with distilled water to get an approximate reading with my Walmart test... but the test results appeared identical at 6:00 and at 9:00. The last time I saw my water look this clear, was the first time it was filled 4 years ago!

I am hesitant to proceed without more exact test results (and I may wake up tomorrow to find significant FC loss anyway), but in the event that I do get similar test results in the morning... is it safe for me to get into the water to vacuum and clean the walls?

And.... if I would happen to jump the gun a little and change my cartridge and begin balancing the CYU...even without precise test results... is this the worst idea ever?

I just want to get in that beautiful water! :-D
 

JasonLion

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Don't get in the water when FC is anywhere near 15. FC will fall very rapidly during the day, you can get in the water when FC is between 0.5 and 5 if you need to clean, but no real swimming.

I would be surprised of the FC level was even close to holding overnight tonight, tomorrow night maybe. However, assuming that it does hold within your ability to test, I'd go at least another day & night, maybe two, only adding chlorine in the evening (it will all vanish during the day), before replacing the filter and adding CYA. If you change the filter too soon you risk getting the new filter clogged with congealed baqgoo, and adding CYA too soon means a longer time before you are actually done.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
Well, the FC definitely held overnight. As far as I can tell, it's near or around 15.

I will take your advice and hold off on changing the filter cartridge right now. It's supposed to be raining for the next few days here anyway, so there won't be any pool use in Pittsburgh!

And of course, I'll wait for the FC to drop before I get in to clean.

I cannot believe I was thinking about emptying/refilling the pool a week ago! What a waste of water that would have been!

Thank you so much for your help!
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
I will be seeing if my FC level holds up at 15 again overnight today and tomorrow. I wish I knew when my new test was coming.

Once CYA is added, is it safe to start using the pool?
 

JasonLion

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It varies. Sometimes the CC level is down to 0.5 or lower by then and swimming is fine, other times it takes a couple more days for the CC level to come down and be ready for swimming.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
Still no test! I'm getting a little frustrated. I called Leslie's and left a message, but never heard back from anyone. The test is supposedly shipping directly from the manufacturer, and there's no way to track it.... :cry:

My FC held (or appeared to hold) overnight again. We just boosted it back up to 15 after the sun went down. I'm positive it's going to hold again tonight. I think we're going to change the filter and begin to add some CYA tomorrow using the sock in the skimmer method. It may be a little risky, but I've waited and watched the FC hold for the past 2 nights. The FAS-DPD testing kit may not arrive for another week for all I know, and I certainly don't want to continue adding ridiculous amounts of bleach every night until that happens. The water has looked beautiful since Saturday night... no Baquagoo, no colors, just sparkling water.

The walmart test shows FC for the first few seconds, and then switches to showing TC (which I understand to be FC + CC) right?
If that's the case, then when I test my water, if the TC reading appears to be the same as the FC reading... is it pretty safe to assume that my CC is approximately at .5 or less? Every time I test the water, there is no color change between FC and TC.

Maybe I should hold off just one more day? Any thoughts???
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Anything you do will depend on guess work until the test kit comes.

Chances are you are fine to change the cartridge(s) and add CYA. However, worst case would be that there is still too much baq and it will coat the new filter cartridge, ruining the cartridge. That doesn't seem at all likely, but we can't rule it out.

Your call.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
As it turns out, the test came today! I felt like a kid in a candy store doing all the tests! :-D

My numbers as of 2PM:
FC- 4.2
CC- .4
TA-70
pH-7.2
CH-100

Those numbers are all pretty good, right? The pH may be a little low, but won't that come up a little with the addition of CYA?

I will do the overnight test to be sure that my FC is holding. If it does, I'll be replacing the cartridge and adding CYA. I took out my cartridge to look at it today. Not a bit of Baquagoo in sight. And I haven't cleaned it since Saturday. I think it's safe to say this conversion is almost done!
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Yes, your numbers look wonderful. :)

You actually want the PH around 7.2 for the moment.

By the by, it looks like you were doing the FAS-DPD test where each drop is 0.2. There isn't really any need to do the test that way, and it can get very tedious and error prone to be putting in 75+ drops one at a time when FC is up around 15+, and it uses up the reagent more quickly. None of the common swimming pool situations require testing FC or CC by 0.2s.
 

cinnay

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2010
21
Pittsburgh, PA
Duly noted. I went with the .2's because I figured they'd be the most accurate. I did have a hard time keeping count when I did the FC test! I can't imagine doing that tonight when I'm half asleep and the FC is high!
 

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