Got the Baquacil Blues?

Rob Coxworth

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The easy way to change back to chlorine in your pool.

Baquacil was a huge hit when introduced to the pool market in the late 1980's. While pricey, it gave pool owners the convenience and confidence of a “cook book" solution to the hit or miss job of pool care. If you followed the Baquacil recipe your time invested in keeping your pool water clean and ready was drastically reduced and water quality was rarely a problem. Sound too good to be true?

After a time word began to circulate that it was too good to be true. Too often after two or three years of using the product not only did water quality decline but some weird and unusual infestations took hold in pools on the Baquacil program. Don't misunderstand, Baquacil is safe and has all the proper approvals but as with other sanitizing systems things can go wrong. Unfortunately with the Baquacil system putting things right again usually involves draining the pool and starting fresh.

If this has happened to you and you've decided you want to switch back to good ole chlorine here's the simplest recipe I know to do it.

1. Shut off your pump and shock your pool with 2 lbs. of granular dichlor per 10,000 gallons. Prepare for a jolt because the pool will almost instantly develop a heavy and unsightly surface scum. This is supposed to happen.

2. Let the scum sit overnight. Next day the scum should be sitting on the bottom of the pool in a fine layer. At this point turn on your pump and set the filter to waste and vacuum the scum out of the pool. You will lose some water during this process.

3. Shut down the pump again and test your water with the Baquacil test kit. If it shows Baquacil still present shock the pool again as in step 1 but use 1 lb dichlor per 10,000 gallons. The scum may reappear but should be much lighter and easier to remove. Let the pool sit overnight, vacuum and retest.

4. If your test kit shows no Baquacil present you can refill the pool and restart on a chlorine program right away.

This program is virtually foolproof and is what the pool chemical manufacturers actually recommend. Instead of having your pool drained and out of service, not to mention the expense of refilling, you're up and swimming again in a couple of days.

VITALLY IMPORTANT-Never vacuum the scum into your filter or you will have to change your sand or replace your cartridge. Always vacuume to waste during this process. Baquacil is NOT compatible with chlorine products (that's why it scums up) and is extremely difficult to remove once introduced into a filter.

Rob Coxworth


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