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Converting from Baquacil® to Chlorine or Bromine

Remember to keep your filter running while adding any chemicals and for at least four to six hours after, in order to circulate the chemicals. Even better, run 24/7 until you’re done.  Since the process can easily take two or three weeks (or more), it is a better idea to do it in spring or fall; not July!

  1. If possible, allow Baquacil Sanitizer level to naturally drop to 30 ppm or partially drain and refill to dilute the Baquacil Sanitizer concentration in the pool. This will quicken the conversion time. For best results, let it drop during the winter, and convert the following spring.
  2. Adjust the pH to 6.8 to 7.0. In pools with a high total alkalinity, try to get the pH as close to 7.0 as possible, avoiding excessive acid additions. Try using pH Increaser at the rate of one pound per 10,000 gallons, with six hours between additions, until you get there.
  3. No matter how low the Baquacil Sanitizer level may appear, you must do this step: Add ________pounds of Target Shock & Swim (at 4 pounds per 10,000 gallons) to neutralize the live and dead Baquacil Sanitizer. Water may become a clear green.
  4. Filter continuously for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. Test the Baquacil Sanitizer level using your left-over Baquacil test strips. Continue to repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 until the Baquacil Sanitizer level is below 10 ppm. Once this level has been achieved, continue the conversion procedure: Go to Step 6.
  6. Adjust pH to 7.2 to 7.8. Either use Baquacil or Chlorine compatible pH adjusters, at one pound per 10,000 gallons, with six hours between additions, until you get there.
  7. Shock-chlorinate daily (preferably in the evening) with ____________ gallons of Target Super Shock (at 1 gallon per 15,000 gallons). Do not keep coming back for a computerized water balance during this process. Wait until you reach the end. Save your time and money; and our computer will get the test wrong during the process.
    a) Because of a likely high chlorine demand, shocking may be required for 7 to 10 days in some cases to restore a blue color. A high Baquacil Oxidizer level in the water will result in a higher chlorine demand.
    b) If a significant amount of precipitate forms, brush the pool regularly and filter continuously to remove. Do not allow the precipitate to settle. Extended contact with the pool surface may result in staining.
    c)  Obtain a test kit such as Aquacheck Select or Bioguard Water Chex that tests for total chlorine or Bromine, plus free chlorine. Test daily. You will be testing daily for the rest of the summer. You are waiting for three things to happen: the water stops turning green right after you shock it, you can actually hold a free chlorine reading at the end of the following day (before you shock it again) of at least 1.0 ppm, and the total chlorine reading is the same as the free chlorine reading. Until then, the total chlorine may be higher than the free chlorine. Whenever all three have happened, you are done.
  8. Subtracting the free chlorine reading from the total chlorine reading will give you the combined chlorine. You can also estimate the total chlorine reading by dividing the Total Bromine reading by two: so 2.0 total Bromine = 1.0 total chlorine.  Do not use an OTO test kit, as it may give you false readings due to interference from residual Baquacil oxidizer. Look for a combined chlorine reading of less than 0.2 ppm while you have a free chlorine reading of 1.0 ppm or higher (which means they are almost the same on your strip). Once a free available chlorine residual has been established with a combined chlorine level of less than 0.2 ppm, you are ready to begin a routine chlorination schedule. Do not bother with a computerized water balance test until you get to step 10; otherwise, you will waste time and money. The dead Baquacil will show up as high levels of combined chlorine that actually cannot be cured until the process is complete. And, the process interferes with the test.
  9. Begin a new routine chlorine-based or bromine-based 3-step system. Pick a brand and system and follow it for the rest of the season.  After you have started on your new system, and you can get proper free chlorine and pH readings you can resume swimming in the pool.
  10. Test for water balance (we can do that) in that brand’s program. Fix any balance problems, add chlorine stabilizer (you will probably need it) and add one bottle of Target Super Mineral Control or Bioguard Metal Magnet Plus. The print-out from that test will give you the directions and order of chemical additions.


Revised:  8/2/16

Please let us help you, anytime.


Pool Size: ___________ Gallons Technician: ___________
Date: ________________

We write Pool Tips for the exclusive use of our own local customers. They are meant as a summary of general information, to be discussed in our store, with our staff, to determine which items are best for specific pools. Pool Tips are a trademark of Gull Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Our suggestions assume that you have given us a proper description of your pool’s size, history and symptoms. Sometimes we can figure it out, sometimes we can’t. Your doctor has years more training, far better diagnostic tools, and makes way more money—and sometimes he or she gets it wrong, too.

  1. Read all labels carefully, and only use chemicals exactly as described on the label. Never mix chemicals together outside of the pool. Some of them can cause a fire or explosion.
  2. Do Not follow any advice or suggestions here without coming into the store, customizing them to your specifics, and receiving them in writing.
  3. Do Not print these out or reproduce for any purpose whatever. They are all copyrighted, and we take our copyrights very seriously.
  4. Don’t Blame Us for anything. It’s free advice, and worth the price paid. We’re trying to help, but pools are complex, and chemicals and electricity are dangerous.
  5. Our Best Advice: Go find a local pool dealer who knows what they are doing, become a steady customer, and give them a chance to learn about you and your pool. Pick a brand, pick a store, and stay with them.