Switch now or wait till next year?

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
We've decided to make the switch to chlorine and I've been reading many of the posts regarding the conversion process. I haven't added any baquacil recently and the sanitizer level is at 19. Should I write off the rest of this year -- about 4 or 5 weeks in NJ where I live -- or begin the conversion process outlined on this board? I really appreciate the feedback.
 

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Welcome to TFP!

The conversion process will be the same whether you do it now or next year. It's just a matter of choice on your part. Either way, we are here to help.
 

Samantha_in_AL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
242
Altoona, AL
I say go for it! I made the conversion about this time last summer. Once the process is complete, you will still have almost a month to enjoy the clearest pool you've ever seen. My startup was even alot easier and faster this spring than it ever was while using Baquacil.
 

arvil

Well-known member
Mar 7, 2010
50
Quakertown, PA
In eastern PA, I also switched last year about this time when I couldn't get rid of some green because I was on a di- and trichlor diet. CYA was up above 120. After finding this forum and just browsing a bit, I switched to 12.5% bleach, and Voila!! no more green. Over winter, CYA went to zero. A few pucks solved that. Then this spring was used to continue to the total conversion to BBB. Won't go back. I vote with Samantha_in_AL, go for it!
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Thanks for the feedback. We're going to get started today. I've used the pool calculator and it says I need 6 gallons of bleach to start. Based on what I've read here, it's probably going to take well over 100 to finish the job. My one big concern is the lack of time my wife and I have to oversee the process during the work week. Any thoughts or suggestions on this front are apprecaited.

Pool stats:

21 x 41 above ground oval with "deep end". Aprox 25,000 gallons; Sand filter; 1 1/2 h.p. pump (I think)
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,098
Houston, Texas
Sunlight burns off unprotected chlorine fairly quickly. Since you will be busy in the daytime bring the water back to your conversion level just before sundown so the chlorine can work more efficiently overnight. Bring it back up to level again in the morning before you leave so there is something in there during the day. It will be very low/0 by the time you get home. Hit it hard on the weekends too, and monitor the FC and top it off frequently during the day.
 

Jersey Devil

Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2007
61
Jackson, NJ
I encourage you to switch and wish you the best. It will work! An alternative method I used last year is as follows: Starting with a relatively algae-free pool, I stopped Baq additions about Aug. 15. Letting the Baq gradually decompose to zero level, we also stopped using the pool (no kids and my wife and I were OK with this). I added sodium monopersulfate oxidizer frequently (about 3-4 lb./week. in a 20,000 gal pool) until closing around Labor Day. When I opened in the Spring, my Baq reading was zero. I started the bleach additions per Pool School instructions and got no color change or muck. It did take about 2-3 days to pass the overnight chlorine loss test, but I used relatively little bleach (maybe 8-10 gallons of 6%) and was swimming in no time. I plan to use this method on my son's AGP this Fall. Downside is you don't swim from now until closing (persulfate is an oxidizer and is not approved as a sanitizer). On the other hand, if you live in NJ or north you only have about 2-3 weeks left anyway and the conversion will take the better part of that.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
A couple of more questions:

Should I run the filter 24/7 during the conversion process?
The total alkilinity is low (60), I think I read on the board that it's best to wait until after the conversion is complete before "fine-tuning" anything besides the FC and CC reading. Is that correct?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Yes, run the filter 24/7.

Generally there isn't any need to worry about anything besides PH before you start the conversion. On the other hand, it would help a little to raise TA to around 80. Make sure you get the PH to between 7.2 and 7.4 before you start.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Thanks Jason,

Ph was at 7.4 before the first bleach treatment. I'll add some total alkilinity to raise it the 20 points or so that we're low now. I ordered the recommended test kit, but it won't be here for a few days. Picked up one at Target in the meantime. The highest reading it will give for FC is 5ppm. Not sure how to keep the chlorine at 15. Any suggestions?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,997
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
joconnor316 said:
Thanks Jason,

Ph was at 7.4 before the first bleach treatment. I'll add some total alkilinity to raise it the 20 points or so that we're low now. I ordered the recommended test kit, but it won't be here for a few days. Picked up one at Target in the meantime. The highest reading it will give for FC is 5ppm. Not sure how to keep the chlorine at 15. Any suggestions?
Dilute the sample 1:3 or 1:4 with distilled water. Not ideal, but better than not knowing anything. What kit did you get? If the chlorine test is yellow, not pink, figure the sample will be orange when you're up at shock level.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Thanks Richard,

Great idea. I diluted my most recent sample (doing them hourly today) and the apparent reading was about 2. Was then able to calculate the next dose of chlorine for a target of 15 ppm.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
During a baquacil conversion, you don't have to use dilution, you can just wait a little longer, and the FC level will be below 5 and you can use the test normally.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Jason, thanks for the advice.

This morning's test showed a reading above 5 ppm, I added a bottle of bleach since I won't be home during the day and figured "it couldn't hurt."

Question: when can we expect to see you change in the water's appearance. It's pea soup green this morning. I'm telling myself "it takes as long as it takes", but I'm have no idea what that time frame is.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
How long the first stage takes depends a great deal on how frequently you add chlorine (and if you have any CYA in the water). Without any CYA and adding chlorine every hour it can be as short as two days. With CYA and only three of four chlorine additions a day it can take a week or two. During the second stage, when the water has cleared but the CC level is still substantial, things slow down and it just takes time, with the total amount of time depending more on how much baquacil residue there is in the plumbing rather than anything you do.
 

Samantha_in_AL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
242
Altoona, AL
joconnor, I'm glad you decided to go ahead with the conversion. If you guys are off work on weekends, try to test your water as often as possible and add bleach to keep it at shock level. That should speed up your conversion. By the way, we love pictures on this forum!
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Got my 'deluxe testing kit' yesterday. Yahoo!

Last night's readings were
FC: 5
CC: 2

Did the CYA test but was never able to make the dot disappear which, I assme, means the level is <20

This morning's readings were:
FC: 12
CC: 3

Think things are moving along.

(was unable to get a picture to post, got an error message)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
When you can still see the dot at the end of the CYA test, even when the tube is full of sample water, your CYA level is zero.

The easiest way to post photos is to get a free account at PhotoBucket.com and link to the photos there.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Last night's reading:

FC: 10
CC: 3

This Morning @ 8 a.m.
FC: 10
CC: 3.5

This morning @ 11 a.m. (after vacuuming and changing filter sand)
FC: 12
CC: 5

Don't think the filter has been doing much lately so we went ahead and changed the sand now. May have to change it one more time, but I anticipate this will help the pool begin to clear.
 

joconnor316

Active member
Aug 14, 2010
33
Okay, finally figured out how to post a picture (thanks for the advice, Jason)

Here's the pool prior to beginning the conversion process

As you can see, it had gotten really cloudy and we couldn't get it to clear.
 

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