Biguanide-based pool chemical systems, such as Baquacil and Soft Swim, may be great at first, but they can become cumbersome and expensive the longer you use them. I personally don’t recommend using them unless you or someone in your family has issues with other types of pool sanitizers – this may be your only choice.
However, if you currently use a biguanide-based sanitizer, and feel the need to switch back to using chlorine, we have the step by step solution.
[NOTE: The best time to do this conversion is in the spring when you open up your pool.]
1. Stop adding Biguanide-based chemicals
When you’re getting ready to do the conversion, stop adding any more biguaride-based chemicals and let the levels drop to 0. If you are worried about the water growing algae, you can add a non-biguanide based algaecide while brushing the walls, and keeping the pool as clean as possible until the levels have dropped.
2. Clean your filter
Biguanide chemicals can build up inside your filter system. If you have a sand filter, I recommend changing out the sand completely.
If you have a cartridge filter, either replace the cartridge with a new one, or clean it using the chemical rinse or the chemical soak methods you can watch on our hot tub filter cleaning video (works for pool filters too).
For D.E. filters, make sure you clean out the tank, remove all the D.E. powdered, and soak your grids or fingers in a filter cleaning solution.
3. Adjust the pH
Before you add any chemicals to your pool, you’ll need to adjust your pH to 7.4 – 7.6. Use pH increaser to do this. If both your pH and alkalinity are low, you can just add alkalinity to see if you can increase both levels. Make sure you just a reliable test kit or test strips, or bring you water sample into your local pool dealer.
4. Add Non-chlorine shock
You’ll want to purchase non-chlorine shock for this. DO NOT use any other type of shock during this method. Add 4 pounds of non-chlorine shock per 10,000 gallons of water. That means, if your pool holds 20,000 gallons, you’ll be adding 8 pounds and so on. Filter continuously for 48 hours.
[NOTE: water may become clear green.]
5. Re-adjust pH
After 48 hours, check your pH levels and adjust them back to the proper levels if need be (7.4 – 7.6).
6. Add Chlorine
Now we are going to slowly introduce chlorine into your water. Start by adding one 3” chlorine tablet into your skimmer or chlorinator until it completely dissolves. If everything seems OK with the water, add two chlorine tablets and let them completely dissolve as well. Continue to increase the tablet count until you are able to achieve a chlorine reading of 1 ppm (part per million).
Once you’ve gotten a chlorine reading, you can now continue on a chlorine maintenance schedule. It’s best to also re-balance the water if need be.
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