How to Switch From Baquacil to Chlorine

Written by Michael Dean
February 7, 2024

switching from biguanide to chlorine pool system

Are you looking to jump ship from Baquacil to a chlorine pool? I’m here to help. Switching pool systems can be a challenge for any pool owner, but it is rocket science. This article is an overview and step-by-step guide of the whole process of how to switch from Baquacil to chlorine from beginning to end. So strap in, and let’s get started!

Main Takeaways

  • The conversion process from Baquacil to chlorine can take anywhere between a few days to several weeks.
  • Baquacil and chlorine should never be mixed directly.
  • Patience and careful monitoring are the keys to a successful transition from Baquacil to chlorine.

Supplies Needed to Switch From Baquacil to Chlorine

To switch from Baquacil to chlorine for your pool, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Chlorine: There are several types of chlorine, and what you choose is entirely up to you and the type of pool you have.
  • Pool shock: Shock is needed to eliminate any remaining Baquacil residue in the water.
  • Pool water testing kit: It’s important to keep an eye on the chemical levels of your pool, especially when switching systems.
  • Alkalinity increaser and/or reducer: Depending on your pool’s alkalinity levels, you may need to adjust them using either an alkalinity increaser or reducer.
  • Cyanuric acid: This is only needed if you have an outdoor pool and opt for unstabilized chlorine.
  • Pool brush and vacuum: Cleaning the pool is absolutely necessary as Baquacil and chlorine shouldn’t mix.

Step-By-Step: How to Switch From Baquacil to Chlorine

Changing from Baquacil to chlorine is a pretty slow process that typically takes at least several days. Patience is key here! You have to give it time to allow for the natural degradation of Baquacil and the gradual introduction of chlorine to ensure a smooth transition. Below is my handy step-by-step guide on how to switch from Baquacil to chlorine in your pool.

Step One: Stop Adding Baquacil

The first and most obvious step is to stop using Baquacil products in your pool water. Once you do this, you must work carefully but consistently to allow the Baquacil levels to decrease over time while preventing the pool from turning green or collecting too much debris. So, prepare yourself to be more hands-on in the coming days and weeks!

Step Two: Allow for Natural Degradation

Give it a few days for the Baquacil levels to decrease naturally. During this time, maintain stringent pool maintenance, including filtration and circulation. This is also the perfect time to brush and vacuum your pool more than usual to pick up the slack! Remember: this is when your pool is most vulnerable to algae or other nasty contaminants setting in, so you need to be extra vigilant.

Step Three: Check the Bacquacil Levels

During the first few days and weeks, use a pool testing kit to check the Baquacil levels to help you determine the starting point for chlorine conversion.

Step Four: Clean the Filter and Pool

Once your Baquacil tests reach 0, thoroughly clean your filter and general pool equipment. Pay particular attention in cleaning your filter, as Bacquacil tends to clog filters and leave a chemical residue – a huge no-no when it comes time to finally add the chlorine! Rinse out your pool pump and any other systems that might have come into contact with the Baquacil.

Step Five: Adjust pH and Alkalinity

Test the pH and alkalinity levels of your pool. The ideal pH range is typically between 7.2 and 7.6, while alkalinity should be within 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million). If necessary, adjust them before moving on to the next step.

Step Six: Shock the Pool

Now that your Baquacil levels are 0 and the pH and alkalinity levels are adjusted accordingly, it’s time to shock your pool. Make sure you use a non-chlorine shock – this is important! There might still be small amounts of Bacquacil in the water, so you don’t want to use chlorine shock just yet.

You might notice the water turning a funky shade of green. But don’t panic; this is absolutely normal.

Add around 4 to 5 pounds of non-chlorine shock per 10,000 gallons of water. So, for example, if your pool is 20,000 gallons, add 8 to 10 pounds.

Step Seven: Run Filter and Adjust pH

Run your filter for 2 days. And after this time, readjust your pH levels. Make sure it’s between the ideal levels.

Step Eight: Start Adding Chlorine

Now, it’s time to convert! Once the shock has dissipated and you’ve readjusted any errant pH levels, you can (very gradually) begin introducing chlorine to your pool water. If you’re using a chlorinator, start by just adding one tablet. You can add more tablets if the water remains clear once it dissolves.

Continue to add more chlorine day-to-day until your chlorine levels reach 1 ppm. Once your chlorine levels reach 1 ppm, you can add chlorine to the pool as you would normally. Add cyanuric acid if needed.

Step Nine: Test, Test, Test!

Monitor and maintain the chlorine concentration within the recommended range (1-3 ppm) for safe and effective sanitization, and regularly test and adjust other water parameters, including chlorine, pH, and alkalinity.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully converted your Baquacil pool to a chlorine pool!

Baquacil vs. Chlorine

Baquacil and chlorine are two different types of pool sanitizers with distinct characteristics. Let’s compare these two sanitizers.


Baquacil is the brand name for a chlorine-free pool sanitizer system that uses a chemical called polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) as the primary sanitizing agent. The upsides are that it’s known for being gentle on the skin and eyes, longer-lasting, and is marketed as an alternative to chlorine for folks sensitive to chlorine. However, on the flip side, it’s not as available as chlorine and is a bit more expensive.


Chlorine is your friendly neighborhood pool sanitizer, widely available in different forms, including tablets, granules, and liquid. The advantage of chlorine is that it’s a powerful disinfectant that is more affordable and easy to find in any store. However, it can be harsh on your hair and skin and has a pretty stubborn and unpleasant odor.

How Long Does it Take to Switch From Baquacil to Chlorine?

Switching from Baquacil to chlorine typically can take anywhere between a few days to even a couple of weeks to complete. There is patience and time needed for Baquacil to naturally dissipate out of the water and for the non-chlorine shock treatment to eliminate any remaining residue. Plus, eventually introducing chlorine is a long process as well.

Can You Mix Baquacil and Chlorine?

Absolutely not! The first rule of pool safety is to never mix any chemicals unless you’ve checked it’s safe to do so. And in this case, Baquacil and chlorine should not be mixed directly since they comprise different chemical compounds. Mixing them can result in drastic chemical reactions such as extreme cloudiness, “curdled” pink water, drastically reduced water clarity, and potential damage to pool surfaces and equipment. Baquacil is designed to work independently of chlorine, and combining them can be disastrous for your water and pool. 

In short, don’t combine the two unless you want to spend the next few weeks on the phone with a pool company trying to sort the mess out.

Tips When Converting From Baquacil to Chlorine

Here are my top tips when converting your Bacquacil pool to a chlorine pool.

Be Patient

First and foremost, patience is key. Switching from one pool system to another takes more than a few hours! Give enough time for the Baquacil levels to naturally decrease in the pool water, and be patient. It may take longer than you think. In some cases, converting can take even weeks!

Even when you start introducing chlorine to the pool water, do so gradually, beginning with a lower chlorine concentration before slowly increasing it over time. Being slow and steady allows for a smoother transition overall.

Maintain Proper pH and Alkalinity Levels

You might be tempted to skip out on adjusting pool chemicals since you might think to just adjust and balance it at the end. But don’t make that mistake. Throughout the conversion process, monitor the pH and alkalinity levels and make any necessary adjustments. Proper pH and alkalinity levels are required to introduce chlorine to be stable and effective.

Be Diligent With Maintenance

Keep up with regular pool maintenance tasks during the switch, such as filtration, skimming, brushing, and vacuuming. This helps a lot in maintaining water clarity and preventing the buildup of debris and contaminants during the delicate transition phase.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

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Bottom Line

Switching sanitization systems can be a challenge for even a seasoned pool owner. If you feel stuck at any point, don’t hesitate to seek help from an expert who can provide personalized guidance based on your pool’s specific needs.

If you’re still confused about how to switch from Baquacil to chlorine, drop me a message. I’ll be happy to have a chat.

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