Baquacil vs chlorine

Baquacil, SoftSwim, Revacil, Splashes, Poly Clear. Using these
non-chlorine products and converting from biguanides back to chlorine.
pooldude
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Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby pooldude » Sat 28 Feb, 2009 11:54

Why do I keep reading about people going from Baquacil back to chlorine, bur never a mention of moving to Baquacil in the first place?

Does anyone out there advocate using Baquacil?


chem geek
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Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby chem geek » Sat 28 Feb, 2009 13:42

Baquacil is more expensive. It is also harder to keep a Baqua pool clear, especially after several years since white water mold can develop since it can be resistant to Baqua (PHMB). There are ways to work around this using powerful oxidizing products, but this is easier to do in a spa where you can do a drain/refill more readily. It's harder to manage with a pool.

Why are you asking about these chlorine alternative systems in several threads? Unless you have a specific chemical reaction to chlorine, why do you not want to use it? If it is due to the publicity of respiratory (including asthma) and ocular problems in chlorine pools, you need to understand that virtually all of these are with indoor pools and these pools do not use Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in them so the active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) level in such pools is 10-30 times higher than in outdoor pools with CYA. Yes, the air circulation is worse and there is no sunlight (UV) exposure to help breakdown or remove disinfection by-products (DPBs), but some of these DPBs may be produced at 10-30 times the rate due to the higher active chlorine levels. This effect is well-known in the water treatment industry where it is better to expose water to a lower chlorine level over a longer period of time to reduce the amount of DPBs that are produced. All of this comes from fundamental known science of the chlorine/CYA relationship as described in the paper linked to in this post plus looking at various breakpoint chlorination models all of which show more nitrogen trichloride (the most irritating DPB) produced at higher active chlorine levels.

Richard
goran

Baquacil problems

Postby goran » Tue 03 Mar, 2009 09:46

Stay away from BAQUA :thumbdown: at all costs. You will have a great first year and then start pulling yr hair out untill you go back again to chlorine.

DON'T DO IT!!
Ray1031
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Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby Ray1031 » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 17:58

pooldude wrote:Why do I keep reading about people going from Baquacil back to chlorine, bur never a mention of moving to Baquacil in the first place?

Does anyone out there advocate using Baquacil?


"Advocate using Baquacil over Chlorine"? ... I would have to qualify my response to that ... overall I would say that I do not Advocate using Baquacil over Chlorine - However!!! There are instances when I would recommend it.

Allergies and resperatory problems mostly. Baquacil has three things going for it ...

First, if there is chlorine sensitivity problems the Baquacil can be a solution.

Second, as I have stated elsewhere, Baquacil is a very hardy chemical system. It is not sensitive to dissipation by the sun as Chlorine is.

Third, it can be a much simpler chemical system for some pool owners to use, since the majority of the chemicals in Baquacil are entirely ph negative (meaning that adding them to your pool does not affect the ph readings of the pool the way many Chlorine based chemicals will.

Now for the Howevers: First, I do not agree with the method Baquacil recommends for adding/maintaining the shock levels in a Baquacil pool. Let me side-step for a moment and put the baqua chemicals in somewhat clearer language for you:

Baquacil itself: Is the pool maintainer ... This is what tends to hold things in balance, helps maintain clearer water and "forces" contaminents out. (If you are in an area where pools must be closed for the winter, look at a chlorine and baquacil pool in the spring. The contaminents in a chlorine pool pretty much stay suspended in the water. In a Baquacil pool they are forced out and mostly settle onto the floor and walls.)

Baquacil Algaecides: Like with the majority of algaecides used in chlorine pools, these are not really algae "killers" ... they are Algae "preventers" and cleaners and there presence in the water helps "prevent" algae from getting a toe-hold in the first place. Most algaes are "oily" or "greasy" on thier surface and this protects them somewhat from the active killing chemicals in pools. Algaecides break down these oils and let the real killers do their work.

Baqua Shock: In the Baquacil family, this is the real "Killer" and maintaining a Baqua Shock level in the pool is essential to keeping the water molds and other problems from developing in the first place. - Which is why I disagree with Baquacil's instructions for adding their pool shock.

Where most Baquacil pools seem to develop their problems (in my experience) is because before the month ends, they have -0- (zero) shock left in their pool. As I mentioned, Baqua Shock is the real Killer in the Baquacil family. But as such, it is constantly working to attack everything that invades the pool. Dust and dirt on the winds bring contaminents that the Baqua shock fights ... Rains, Leaves, dead skin cells from swimmers ... it if touches your pool it adds contaminents which Baqua shock is fighting. Every such "fight", sunlight and constant filtering dissipates the amount of Baqua shock that is in the water.

It is my belief that a Pool owner, who uses Baquacil, should do the following ...

First, buy the Baqua Shock test strips in addition to the Baquacil and test the water regularly (It always surprises me how many Baquacil users have never heard of these strips.) - Word of caution here ... these strips DO NOT really tell you a good level of shock in the pool. They only detect it's presence not its quantity.

Second, When opening the pool, Start with the recommended start up dosage and THEN, after the first week - once the pool is clear and everything is balanced - Add a half-dose. Most of the shock you first added to the pool will have burned itself out by them.

Third, Once everything is up and running properly - everything is clean and balanced and pretty - divide your Monthly maintenance dosage by four and add that weekly, rather than waiting a month an adding it all at once.

Four, After every good sotrm or heavy rainfall - add a "weekly" dosage to the pool to make up for what the rain will have leeched out.

Five, Once each month take a water sample into the pool house where they can give you an 'accurate' measure of the ammount of shock in your pool. If it is low, add enough to top it up. If it is high, skip a week. Adding Baqua Shock weekly is not a hazardous thing to do ... even if your levels get a little high, swimmers will not be affected since the recommended running levels are around 100 ppm for the normal dosages and the shock levels can easily go up to 200 ppm and still be safe (Note: if you end up on their "Plus" program, then you are expected to maintain at 200 ppm shock reading)

My reasoning for this method is that most people develop their mold and other problems "because" their pool ran out of a "shock" level.

That is my recommendation for maintaining shock levels - all else should be as the manufacturer prescribes.

My final recommendation for people considering a switch to Baquacil: Once every five years, convert to Chlorine for one season. It is either that or completely empty and refill the pool with fresh water and start over again. The switch to and from chlorine is usually cheaper for most people. (ie: Five or six cases of liquid chlorine vs thousands of gallons of water)

Before anyone asks - it was actually someone at Baquacil who "recommended" the one season chlorine thing to me a few years back.
Ray10311 is an experienced pool professional with 25 years experience
Pattie

Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby Pattie » Tue 14 Jul, 2009 18:12

We've used baquacil successfully for 8 years now. I prefer it for a few reasons not given yet - your eyes will not burn, your swimsuits will last longer, and should you have to drain the pool into your yard - your grass is not harmed.

Like any pool maintenance - simply know how many gallons your pool has and follow directions.
The only catch is to try to keep it from going green - I suspect it takes a little longer to get it back than it does with chlorine.
chem geek
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Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby chem geek » Tue 14 Jul, 2009 23:23

If one properly manages a chlorine pool maintaining a sufficient Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level, then one does not need to use any supplemental algaecide or phosphate remover, does not need to shock the pool on a regular basis, has crystal clear water and with proper adjustment of TA one can have very stable pH as well. In my 16,000 gallon pool (16'x32' with a 6' deep end) shown at day (ripples are from wind) and night , I only use 12.5% chlorinating liquid at around 1 ppm FC per day costing me $15 per month. That's it. I add it twice a week. I have a pool cover which helps to minimize chlorine loss and water loss. The pH is very stable where I add a small amount of acid every month or two (if I got the TA lower, it would be an even slower pH rise). I have an oversized cartridge filter (with 340 square feet of surface area) so only clean it once per season and the pressure never rises a noticeable amount. Maintenance of the pool is very easy.

Eyes will only burn if the pH is off or if there are combined chlorines (CC) in the water and this doesn't happen in my pool. My CC reading is almost always < 0.2 ppm, the lowest measurable in my FAS-DPD chlorine test kit. The pool is used every day for 1-2 hours and more on weekends. There are thousands of pool users doing pretty much the same sort of pool maintenance using chlorinating liquid or bleach and having truly Trouble Free Pools . As for swimsuits, my wife has to replace them every winter season because of having to swim in an indoor community center pool where they do not use CYA. In our own pool during the summer, the swimsuits last for many seasons because the active chlorine level in our pool is 10-20 times lower than in the indoor pool -- all due to the CYA in the water in our pool. FC alone is NOT a measure of active chlorine. The FC/CYA ratio is a closer proxy to that.

Richard
JimK

Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby JimK » Mon 05 Apr, 2010 15:40

I was a chlorine user for about 9 years. That was the old days of chlorine though (see later). I actually ended up working at the plant that blended and packages the main product - diluted hydrogen peroxide (13%). This was the least expensive chemical of the product line though and the only one I could get at work. Under-chlorinate = green algae or cloudy water. Over-chlorinate = burning eyes, itchy skin and destroyed swim suits. I switched to Baquacil. It worked for about 2 years and then I had this brown algae develop. Nothing got rid of it so I had to empty and refill the pool. Because of Baqucil's cost (6x more than chlorine) I switched back to the chlorine and the Frog mineral system. I can keep the chlorine levels lower now so no nasty chlorine side affects and my pool has been crystal clear for the last 9 years! It got green once but a shock took care of it. Baquacil is just too costly. The hydrogen peroxide part does not last for more than a year. There are some people though that are allergic to chlorine (skin or eyes) so this may be the only option for now.
pjs518

Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby pjs518 » Mon 16 Aug, 2010 13:30

This is my second year with bacquacil; I had a cloudy water problem this season but a chemcial named floccoulant cleared it up. Water is crystal clear and no problems (knock on wood). I find the advice of increasing shock good advice because usually it is always the lowest level on a monthly biasis.
marwar

Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby marwar » Mon 06 Jun, 2011 11:31

This is our second year with a 25' above ground pool. Last season we used chlorine, and this year we are going to go with Baquacil. I have heard many positives and negatives but I have to be honest, I've heard more positives toward using Baquicil. Besides all the aforementioned reasons against chlorine we want to be sure we can adequately judge either system to see which best suits our needs. We are also going with a 600lb sand filter instead of the paper cartridge. We had an unusually big problem with algae last season with this filtering system and chlorine and never could get it right....hopefully we dont have the same issue this season.
chem geek
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Baquacil vs chlorine

Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Jun, 2011 12:55

Any system used improperly is going to be a problem. There is no reason to get algae in a properly chlorinated pool, but you need to understand the relationship between Free Chlorine (FC) and Cyanuric Acid (CYA). If you use stabilized chlorine products (Trichlor or Dichlor) then the CYA builds up making the chlorine less effective and allowing algae to grow unless you proportionately raise the FC to keep the FC/CYA ratio constant. I know you are switching to Baquacil so it is too late, but if you come back to chlorine then use it properly by reading the Pool School .

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