View Full Version : Is Soft-Swim really that bad???

06-16-2006, 11:36 AM
I just had my pool opened a month ago, new to me in a new house.

We found out it was a baquacil pool as the 1st drop of chlorine made a pretty color.

I'm seeing lot's of complaints about baquacil in this forum and I'm curious. Barring any problems that could occur, like algae and mold, what is a typical monthly cost comparison for a baquacil pool vs a chlorine pool, about 15000 gallons.

We can only have the pool open from May - October. I was told baquacil is a little more expensive, but I'm wondering what the reality is because I always question what the pool store tells me.

So far, it's clear and the kids love it. We went to a health club last summer for swim certification and they hated the chlorine in that pool.

06-16-2006, 11:47 AM
We went to a health club last summer for swim certification and they hated the chlorine in that pool.

Any public pool is going to have higher chlorine. I take the kids to local sportsplexes during the winter, and their pool water is HORRIBLE!

Do you have any friends who have chlorine pools? How does their water "feel" to you? That might be a better comparison.

Good luck.

Go 'Canes!!!

06-16-2006, 12:03 PM
So far, it's clear and the kids love it. We went to a health club last summer for swim certification and they hated the chlorine in that pool.

I have not used Baquacil so I can't give you any first hand experience, just some general comments. How good a chlorine pool is depends on how well it is maintained. In a public pool with high usage, there will like be a lot of "used up" chlorine called combined chlorine or chloramines which cause the chlorine smell, eye irritation etc. If the pH is not in the right range that will also cause problems. It is much harder to maintain a public pool than your own pool.

I would say for now, if it works, don't fix it. If the Baquacil is working for you and you don't have any problems with it then continue on but read up on the other threads here so that if things start to go south, you know what to do and what to expect. It only takes 3 or 4 days to convert to chlorine if you should decide to do so at some point.

The general consensus here is that Baquacil is considerably more expensive than chlorine but I can't give you numbers. A co-worker of mine uses Baquacil because his son has an allergy to chlorine so he had no choice. He said it took him about 4 years to get a good handle on how to keep his pool in balance. He also confirmed that it was a more expensive route. Chlorine is cheap and easy. I would say that a ballpark estimate per month for a chlorine pool is $50.00 or less and that would include the one-time purchases of stabilizer etc. It took me less than a month of reading through the material on this website (and the poolsolutions site) to keep a chlorine pool in balance.


06-16-2006, 12:18 PM
I haven't used it in a long time and don't remember the exact prices, but if you would like a good idea ask the pool store the price for a case of sanitizer and a case of shock. Get ready for your jaw to drop. :)

I stayed on it though because of the no chlorine! sales pitch. I thought I didn't like chlorine either, because of public pools. Turns out you don't have any of those problems when you maintain your own pool correctly.

I switched when my pool always had problems and then turned in to a deep green swamp and the dealer just kept having me pump tons of money into the pool. I switched to chlorine using really bad instructions on HTH's website (long since removed), it took about 5 days but everything was great... not one big problem since.

FYI - As far as I know a true chlorine alergy is VERY rare. You would also have an immune system reaction to drinking or bathing in tap water.
A more common reaction would be general chemical sensativity, if the reaction has only occured in commerical pools there is a good chance you would be just fine in a decently maintained chlorinated private pool.

06-16-2006, 12:20 PM
Oh, and as far as my current cost goes, I installed a salt water chrloine generator which ran me around $600.

I now spend between $1-$5/mo on pool chemicals. :)

06-30-2006, 10:22 AM
When you pool store says Baqua is a little more expensive, they are comparing it to the chlorine supplies they sell.

When you compare it to generics as recommended on this forum, the cost is MUCH higher.

Jeff - former Baqua user

06-30-2006, 11:08 AM
I'm in the 3rd day of my conversion. We had our pool installed last year and fell hook, line and sinker for the Baqua sales pitch.

Worked great for half the summer. Then the cloudyness started. We spent hundreds of dollars last year trying to clear it up., Shock, clarifiers, floccs you name it. NOTHING.

This year - opened the pool. You guessed it CLOUDY. The pool place told me the water was perfectly balanced. So why is it cloudy??? After being told to buy over $400 more in stuff, I said forget it.

After 3 days of pumping bleach, the edges of my pool are crystal clear. It's working and I can't wait.

As for the baqua chems - ebay will probably be the cheapest you find. The sanitizer at the store is $30 a bottle , the shock was $15 a bottle.

Way too expensive for me. And I was always aggravated and apologizing for how my water looked.

07-05-2006, 01:29 PM
I just don't see why everyone is having problems.

Granted, I've only had this pool going on 2 months now and even after some torrential downpours, it's been great. Clear and not really that demanding. The only regular maintenance I need to do is power wash the filter cartridges every couple of days to maintain good pressure. That takes all of 15 minutes.

If I do get into a jam like most have in this forum, I'll probably make the switch, but as long as it stays like this, steady as she goes...

07-05-2006, 02:13 PM
That's because conversion is for people who ARE having problems. You aren't. That means you are either doing everything right or you are just lucky. One month isn't a lot, though. If you STILL are fine at the end of the season, you'll know you've managed it correctly.

SO many people complain that June and July they are fine, but in August they get algae blooms.

As for chlorine bothering you, you should take a look at the stickied threads in the Chlorine and Testing topics. Mostly, chlorine gets a bad rap when a badly maintained pool should get the blame. Contaminants, Combined Chloramines and out of whack pH are the cause of smell, and skin and eye irritation, but Free Chlorine gets the blame.

07-05-2006, 02:43 PM
I have the same outlook on chlorine from public pools, I think they give it a 20-30 ppm concentration so anything will get killed immediately, you get out of that water and smell like chlorine for several days, it dries out your skin and is just plain horrible, another thing they do in public pools - maybe better said as "don't do" is keep the Ph in check, this is what adds to the burning eyes you experience etc.
Our pool is kept in check and rarely has more than 2-3 ppm of chlorine, you can dive with your eyes open for ever and they don't get sore/itch, your skin stays perfectly normal, and tehre is NO SMELL of chlorine.
Another thing I should tell you is:
even a high concentration of chlorine in a pool will not smell, chlorine smells when, and only when tehre is organic matter being killed off, that's when the chlorine changes state to a gas and you smell it as it is gassing off the water.
Sooo, what's that tell you about public toilets - I mean pools.

07-06-2006, 01:04 PM
My experiences with chlorine pools have all been public, but from what I've read here in the past month, it's proof positive that there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.

I'll be watching August to see how things go and crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath....

07-06-2006, 01:18 PM
It might not be so much of a "wrong way" as "the best you can do" as far as a public pool goes. In a residential pool, you have a pretty regular bathing load and (hopefully) control of kids urintaing in the pool. Also you can test anytime you want and treat the water as necessary any time you want.

In a public pool, I would guess you can only treat the pool in the off hours then that has to last the whole time the pool is open regardless of how many people are in it so you end up having to overchlorinate to keep things safe.

At any rate, for that reason I wouldn't use a public pool as experience for using chlorine.


07-06-2006, 02:49 PM
I no longer like to get into public pools. Over Memorial day, my BH and I went from the right coast to the left coast to the San Diego area. I was stiff and sore from a day's walking around, and my back and knees were killing me. It was a REALLY nice hotel, so I got into the hot tub, then the pool, then the hot tub....and came home with SUCH a bad cold they thought it might be strep.

I did go into the Hilton Airport pool in Philly just to get some exercise and didn't get sick, but I would NOT go it their H/T--it was truly gross and something fluid was floating on the surface like an oil slick:eek:

I SO like our pool...It's always clean and sweet...

07-06-2006, 03:39 PM
but I would NOT go it their H/T--it was truly gross and something fluid was floating on the surface like an oil slick

Ewwww, just Ewwww

07-07-2006, 11:07 AM
I 2nd the eWWW...

Unfortunately, I've seen many hotel facilities like that too. I just don't take a suit when I travel on business because I know I'll regret any attempts at swimming or soaking in a hot tub.

Owning your own tub and pool really makes you think about what goes on out there....

07-12-2006, 12:29 PM
Is Softswim/Baquacil really that bad? Well...yes and no. It has a lot of disadvantages, and to the best of my knowledge, only one advantage.

1. It's very expensive if you keep the water sanitized and shocked to their recommendations.

2. You'll probably need to shock the water more than the official recommendation of once per week at a gallon per time. I was going through 2 to 3 gallons per week - $35 to $40 every time I shocked the pool.

3. Baquacil gums up your filter. You'll need to change your sand every year, or at the very minimum every other year. No pool dealer will admit to this.

4. Baquacil is a reasonably effective sanitizer. It is not an oxidizer or an algaecide. Chlorine does all three, is more effective, and is much cheaper.

5. Once you start having problems -- and you will start having problems eventually -- get ready to empty the contents of your wallet at the pool dealer each week. All of the floc, filter cleaner agents, Baquashock, Algaecide....the pool dealer laughs all the way to the bank.

6. You will eventually get "pink algae", which is actually a fungus, not an algae, and it is resistant to Baquacil. Good luck once you get that.

The only advantage:

Baquacil will not fade your vinyl pool liner.

We installed our inground pool in 2004. Like a fool, I listened to the dealer without investigating on my own, and went with Baquacil. I ended up having nothing but problems, and we could rarely see the deep end - it was always cloudy. I ended up converting to chlorine just 2 months later. But just in that short time, I spend hundreds of dollars trying various Baquacil crap to get the water clear.

Since we've been using just plain old bleach to chlorinate with, our water is always 100% crystal clear, and I spend maybe $100 to $150 for chemicals for the entire season.

07-21-2006, 01:12 PM
Oh, and as far as my current cost goes, I installed a salt water chrloine generator which ran me around $600.

I now spend between $1-$5/mo on pool chemicals. :)

Same here. Picked up a new SWG last year on Ebay for $425.00. I keep FC at about 2-2.5 PPM. You can't smell it yet the pool stays crystal clear. I have zero CC and water is soft. Only chemical cost is a weekly addition of muriatic acid. That's it.

07-21-2006, 05:33 PM
I'm new to this sight. However I am not new to baquacil.

We used Baquacil at our old house w/new 24' AG 13500. Lived there for 2 yrs without problems. When we moved, Our new house also had a 24' AG 13500, we took water in to the pool store to check chemicals. The tests showed no signs of chemicals. So at that time since we had had no problems with baqua before we went with it again:(. year 1 fine, year 2 pink algae. $400 in Baqua chem. and a new$100 cartridge for filter. White mold came next. $400-500 in chemicals another new cartridge all of this on top of regular maintance costs
$75-100 a month (shock, sanitizer, algaeside) unable to use our pool for 2 months last year.Closed the pool for winter. Open spring year 3 water always cloudy, a lot of green algae vaccuuming every other day. White mold again, burned out pump from trying to filter out white mold last year and this year.
Bought new pump and filter.$400-500. Once you develope a problem with Baqua It is almost impossible to fix it. We are now switching to CL. We refuse to battle the Baquabeast again!


07-21-2006, 06:24 PM
Can someone please tell me how to post a question?

07-21-2006, 09:02 PM
Click on New Thread at the top of the correct forum. (back one level)