When you think about the supplies needed to keep your pool clean, chances are you are going to think about chlorine. Chlorine is an essential ingredient in keeping a pool clean. Or is it? Have you ever wondered if there are alternatives to chlorine? Could your pool stay clean without the chlorine being dumped in each weekend?
The truth is that there are alternatives, and it pays to understand what they are. People that have sensitivities to chlorine should be considering other options. Let’s take a look at Baquacil Pool Chemicals and how it could potentially change your opinions on what it takes to keep a pool clean.
What Is Baquacil?
Baquacil is a brand name for pool products. The brand is known for its use of polyhexamethylene biguanide or PHMB. This may seem like a bit more chemistry than you need to know, and it likely is. What your takeaway should be is that Baquacil makes a chlorine-free pool sanitizer.
Although the chlorine-free pool sanitizer is not all that Baquacil can create, it is the thing that it is most well known for. Baquacil sanitizer is the best-selling product for the company. However, all of the chemicals they create work together to keep a pool clean, without chlorine.
What Does Baquacil Do?
As we mentioned, the Baquacil product is designed to keep the pool clean and remove contaminants in the water. The product helps with this because it takes any of the particles or debris in the water and makes them stick together. When the products are sticking together, it is easier for the filter to clean them out.
Think of this kind of like sending sugar through a pasta strainer or sending spaghetti through a pasta strainer. Clearly, the sugar is going to pass right through without much impact on the particles. Therefore they would return directly to the water.
What Is Baquacil Made Of?
The most important ingredient in the Baquacil is the Biguanide. This is the chemical component that will bind the contaminants together and send them through the filter media. The Biguanide was discovered back in the 1970s, and it is used in several pool companies’ products.
Baquacil is not the only company that makes a Biguanide pool sanitizer; however, it is the most well known.
Does Baquacil Treat Cloudy Pool Water?
Cloudy pool water is a common problem for many pool owners. Cloudy pool water can be frustrating because various reasons or issues will cause the pool to cloud up. If you have a Baquacil treated pool and you find the water is cloudy, there are a few things that you can do to fix it.
First, you will want to check your water chemistry. Sometimes if the calcium hardness or total alkalinity levels are off, it can cause cloudy water. If they are, you can simply adjust the number of chemicals you put in the water to fix the issue.
Of course, you will also want to check the Baquacil sanitizer level to ensure the water is as clean as it can be. Then we recommend using an oxidizer to shock the pool. This should take care of any extra bacteria in the water that could be causing the cloudiness.
As always, it is essential to keep your filter clean when you use Baquacil sanitizer. Remember, all of those clumps of contaminants will need to be cleaned out at some point. Clean your filter, and then let it run for a good 24 hours to see what that does.
Can I Use Baquacil in a Hot Tub?
Luckily, the Baquacil company decided that you may like a sanitizer for your spa that is also chlorine-free in addition to your pool water. Baquacil is available for spas, but they have a complete line of chemicals that make up their spa products. You won’t be using the same things you use in your pool water, yet you will still have a chlorine-free solution.
Remember that when you purchase the Baquacil spa sanitizer, you will need some other chemicals to keep the spa functioning at all times. Traditionally it is a three-part system that keeps the spa algae and bacteria-free.
Many people struggle with the harsh bromine smell that traditional hot tubs and spas have. Switching to a Baquacil hot tub could be well worth the change in routine.
What Products Does Baquacil Make?
As we mentioned, Baquacil is just a name brand for some pool and spa products. The thing that sets this brand apart is its use of chlorine-free components. Essentially if you want your pool water to stay clean, but you need a break from chlorine, this is the way to do it.
When you are using these unique products, the pool chemistry is likely to change a bit. You can forget what you know about what your pool needs and doesn’t need and familiarize yourself with the Baquacil system. Here are some of the most important products offered by this company.
The oxidizer is again a chlorine-free product that uses hydrogen peroxide to clarify pool water. If you have never used hydrogen peroxide around your home, you may be unaware of the powerful cleaning benefits. The next time you want to clear your kitchen or bathroom, take a look at some hacks for using hydrogen peroxide.
This is something that you will use weekly in your pool to help clarity the pool water and remove swimmer waste and contaminants. The Oxidizer is one of the more important stems in the pool water cleaning system.
Just as a pool needs a stabilizer to keep the chlorine levels where they should be, there are products in the Baquacil pool sanitizer system that will help keep the sanitizer levels where they need to be. The CDX is a product that helps maintain a residual oxidizer level in the pool.
This is part of the weekly process of keeping the sanitizer and oxidizer in check.
What most people think of when they consider the Bacquacil products is the sanitizer. The sanitizer is the basis of the entire pool care system. This is a chlorine-free product that will work on getting both bacteria and algae out of the pool.
People love the Baquacil product because it is easy on the eyes and skin, and yet it does a great job of keeping pools clean and swimmable. This sanitizer has a long shelf life, and it stays in the water longer than chlorine will.
Algaecides are designed to protect your pool water from algae growth. Regardless of how you maintain and treat your pool, you won’t want green, yellow or black algae in the pool. People can use an algaecide to clear algae that are currently growing. You can also use it to prevent algae from starting.
The Baquacil algaecide is a fairly safe product that you can use even if you have algae starting to grow on some of your pool surfaces like the stairs or the pool’s walls.
Balancers are designed to help you keep your pool water balanced. One of the most important levels in the pool is the pH level. The pH can be difficult to keep balanced, and the pH increase and pH decrease are helpful. These products make it easier to quickly move the levels around and get the pool water balanced yet again.
In addition, Baquacil sells a total alkalinity increase and a calcium hardness increase. These two products combined with the pH balancers will ensure that you never have trouble getting your pool chemicals balanced to exactly what they need to be.
As we have mentioned, the Baquacil products are different than other pool products. This, in turn, means that the balancing and maintaining of these chemicals will be a bit different. If you use the Baquacil brand test strips, you may have an easier time seeing exactly what your pool needs and where the sanitizer levels stand.
Baquacil makes two types of flocculants. The idea with a flocculant is that you put it in the water, and it takes all of the other debris in the water and clumps it into one pile. You will then have to vacuum the pool to remove all of this debris. Flocculant is typically only used when there are issues with the pool that need attention. Most of the time, a properly maintained pool should not need flocculant.
The only real downside of the Baquacil system is that it tends to make debris a bit thicker and harder to move through the filter and the lines. This means that you will have to keep your filter extra clean and make sure that it is not clogged or filled with debris.
There are a few cleaners that Baquacil makes to ensure this process is a bit easier on you. The cleaners will take care of filters, lines, and surfaces that make up your pool system. Overall, these cleaners are important to have on hand as they don’t interfere with the other chemicals in the pool.
How to Use the Baquacil Pool Chemical System
The Baquacil products work as a system. The system is a three-step process, and must be followed exactly. Pools can stay clean without chlorine, yet the other steps need to be followed to ensure that this does not cause other issues to come up in the pool.
Step 1: Purchase the Baquacil Pool Chemical System Kit
The easiest way to start this process is to purchase the pool chemical kit. In this kit, you will get the sanitizer, oxidizer, test strips, CDX product, and instructions on how to convert your pool. You will need to purchase more of these chemicals at some point, but this will get you started with converting your pool.
Step 2: Sanitize the Pool
The first step is to ensure that you are using the proper amount of Baquacil sanitizer in your pool. The sanitizer helps to ensure that you are keeping bacteria and algae out of the water. The sanitizer is what you can think of as a replacement for chlorine.
Step 3: Oxidize
The oxidizer has to work alongside the sanitizer to keep the pool as clean and clear as possible. The oxidizer is similar to the way a stabilizer works in a chlorine pool.
Step 4: CDX
The CDX product from Baquacil is a unique option that ensures that the oxidizer and sanitizer levels stay in good shape. The CDX also helps water clarity issues if you should struggle with keeping the pool water clear enough for swimming.
Pool owners need to understand that the Baquacil pool system is an entire system. If you want to remove all contaminants and keep your cartridge filter functioning as it should, you need to use all of the products.
Baquacil vs. Chlorine: Is Baquacil Better Than Chlorine?
There are many great benefits to Baquacil, but like all things, the system is not without flaws. Overall we think that the majority of pool owners will find that chlorine is a better solution for them. However, there are some situations where Baquacil can make more sense to use. Mostly, if you are sensitive to chlorine, this is a good switch to make.
Here are a few of the things to consider before making the switch in your pool.
- Does not irritate skin or eyes as much as chlorine does
- The system is not hard to master once you understand it
- Products being sold as a kit can help new pool owners understand what is necessary to get the pool in great condition
- Does not have chloramines that will irritate lungs
- It is easy to find information on the product and ways to balance your pool chemicals and pool water properly
- Sunlight will not deteriorate sanitizer levels as quickly as it does in a chlorine pool
- The Baquacil products are more expensive than traditional chlorine
- You will have to use the entire system to clean the pool, not just chlorine
- If you don’t use the oxidizer, there could be harmful bacteria in the pool water
- Some pools become resistant to Baquacil over time
- You will have to purchase more than one chemical to keep the sanitizer levels where they need to be
- Some pool owners have struggled with cloudy water since introducing this pool system
- Since the contaminants will clump together prior to heading through the filter, they can clog the filter from time to time
How to Convert to Baquacil
Now that you have a better understanding of the Baquacil products, it’s important to know what will be involved in the conversion process. If you think this chemical could be the best choice for your pool, then you need to be careful in how you introduce it. Here are some of the steps you should follow to ensure that your pool water is ready to be switched to a Baquacil treated pool.
Step 1: Clean the Filter
Since the Baquacil system puts a bit of extra stress on your pool filter, it’s a smart idea to start with a clean and contaminant-free pool filter. The best way to do this is to use a filter cleaner like the one Bacquacil sells. This does a better job than just a simple rinse, and it will make sure there is no extra debris or byproducts in the way. If you have a sand filter, you will have to replace all of the sand in the filter prior to moving to the next steps.
Step 2: Test the Water
The next thing you will want to do is take a sample of your water to a place that sells the Baquacil products. These pool stores will understand what it takes to transform your pool over, and they can check other things in the water that you won’t be able to check at home.
When it comes to things like alkalinity, calcium hardness, chlorine levels, and more, you will want a professional opinion before moving to the next steps in the process. There are some products for adjusting the metals in your pool that could help you ensure your transition goes well.
Step 3: Add Sanitizer
Once you get the go-ahead from the pool experts, you can start adding the Baquacil to the pool. The first product to use is going to be the sanitizer. You will want to ensure that you use enough sanitizer that it is going to get to a level of 50ppm in your pool.
Most pools will need about a half-gallon of the sanitizer for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
Step 4: Add Oxidizer and CDX
Next, you will need to follow the other steps in the Baquacil sanitizer system. These include adding the oxidizer and the CDX. These products help ensure that the bacteria in the pool do not get to dangerous levels and that the sanitizer is stabilized.
Although the weekly process includes three steps, it is not difficult to get this system in place.
How to Change From Baquacil to Chlorine
If you have found that Baquacil is not ideal for your pool, then it may be time to convert it back to chlorine. Most people don’t have issues keeping their pool clean using Baquacil; the problems usually come up with the expense. If you have a large pool and a large swimmer load, the price to keep a Baquacil pool clean is a bit high. Here are the steps to get your Baquacil pool back to chlorine.
The first thing you must do is stop adding any Baquacil products t your pool. You will need to get the levels in the pool down to zero before you can start putting chlorine in the pool. Sometimes when you stop using the Baquacil products, you can end up with the pool turning green. Use an algaecide (not a Baquacil algaecide) to ensure that algae growth is kept in check.
Next, you are going to want to balance the alkalinity and then the pH. Once your chemicals are balanced, you can shock the pool with a non-chlorine shock. SOmetimes after shocking the pool with the non-chlorine shock, your pH levels could be off again. Ensure your pH is in range before adding chlorine.
Lastly, you will have to balance the chlorine and get your pool back up to its original levels. The process may take a few days to ensure that everything is working again. Some people struggle to get the alkalinity to balance properly.
How to Winterize & Close a Baquacil Pool
It’s a sad day when we have to close the pool for the year. Winterizing the pool and closing it for the season certainly mean the end of summer fun. Luckily the process of winterizing your Baquacil pool is almost exactly the same as it is when you are closing a chlorine pool.
The most important thing to remember is that the chemicals in the pool need to be balanced before you shut it down. Work on your water chemistry and add Baquacil sanitizer and oxidizer until the range is perfect and your pool is exactly as it should be.
Once your chemicals are in place, you will follow all of the recommended processes of closing your pool according to your pool equipment guidelines. You will want to make sure that you use winterizing chemicals that don’t add chlorine to your pool.
Certain winterization products will work specifically for a Baquacil pool. These are the ones that you should try and use. Your local pool supply warehouse can guide you in your purchase, as long as you share with them the fact that your pool is indeed treated with the Baquacil line of chemicals all year.
Where Can I Buy Baquacil Pool Chemicals?
One of the great things about the Baquacil pool chemicals is that they can be purchased in various locations. Your local pool supply warehouse should have the chemicals in stock; however, you can buy them from an online dealer as well. Even Amazon sells Baquacil pool chemicals.
Try to compare pricing before you make your purchase; as you may have remembered, the cost of Baquacil products can get quite high. Although you will enjoy the benefits of the product, it won’t be quite as cheap as using chlorine.
Does Baquacil Have Good Reviews?
When you read reviews for Baquacil, you will notice that people are often more upset with the price than with the product’s functionality. Most do not have an issue with how the products take care of their pool; however, it can get quite expensive to use this form of sanitizer in your pool.
In general, it is difficult to compare what people have to say about the product because the pools and the people differ from each other. However, overall there is no questioning that Baquacil works; it just costs quite a bit.
Sometimes it is also hard to keep the pool water from getting cloudy while using Baquacil, yet most pool owners will eventually figure out the proper chemical balance. If you follow the plan accordingly and continually check sanitizer levels, the cloudy pool issue shouldn’t be too bad.
That wraps our guide to Baquacil; like almost everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using Baquacil. Now you can make an informed decision on whether Baquacil is the right pool chemical system for you.
If you have an issue with how chlorine is impacting your lungs, skin, or eyes, then the Baquacil chemicals are a great choice to switch to. If you are worried more about your budget, this is not the route to take for your pool. The most important takeaway is that there are a number of different ways for you to clean your pool. Find something that works for your family and your budget.
Don’t assume that you are stuck with chlorine just because it has been the recommended system for so many years. We are likely going to see things continue to change and evolve in the pool industry.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.