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Thread: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

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    Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    There is probably human error in here somewhere, but I'm hoping that telling my story that one of you may be able to help me. I just bought a house several months back that has a pool. I have been working up to winterizing the pool, and a part of that was the clean the filter with StripQuik as recommended by my pool shop. They printed out instructions for me, so I went right to work.

    I added the product to my filter, turned on backwash for a few seconds to get it in the filter, and left overnight. about 30 hours later, I came in and continued following the instructions. Backwash for three minutes, rinse for 30 seconds, done.

    When I did the backwash I thought it was strange that no water seemed to be entering the pump, but I thought to myself that because the pump had been off for a few days, maybe this was normal.

    When I was rinsing, I noticed a thick white foam enter the pump because it started dripping out of the view hole. I opened the filter to see what it looked like. Lots of foam. I added water to the filter and tried running it again, no water flow for a couple of minutes so I turned it off.

    Now, before I do anything else, I am seeking help. My gut was telling me to rinse more because that could get the foam out, but I have no idea what I am doing so I decided to stop.

    Help?

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    I'm not familiar with Stripquik. How do you get it in the filter? Do you add it to the pump basket or something? It sounds like your pump lost prime if I'm understanding the situation correctly.
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Maybe a dumb question, but when you backwashed after the cleaning, did you see water come out of the hose?

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    If it makes any difference the product is actually called stripkwik, I spelled it wrong.

    It's a red liquid you add to the pump basket.

    An update, I went back and turned on backwash again after and things seemed a little better, foam came out of the view port for a second then visible, clear water. I left it on for a few minutes and rinsed again. Then tried the regular filter setting, but quickly turned it off when I got the feeling there was still something wrong, and fear of getting the product in the pool.


    Portland, OR - In Ground 25,000 Gallon Pool - Vinyl Lining - Sand Filter - Solar Heating - I'd Tell You More But I'm Still Learning

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    I am not liking that things are still not good.

    If it were me I would take the sand out and replace with new sand. Better safe than sorry.

    Until now I had never heard of this stuff and what I see you saying it is not good stuff to use.

    Please let us know what you decide to do and what happens.

    IF you do replace the sand let us know so we can walk you through the proper way to do it. There are a couple of tricks we can share.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Sand filters do not need anything added to them to back wash. This product sounds like something used in DE filters. Actually, it sounds to me like it is some sort of snake oil. IN the pool school section I think there is a lesson on how to deep clean a sand filter if it really needs a deep cleaning. For the most part though, sand filters can be back washed using the traditional method of setting the selector to back wash and running the pump. You may need to pull the top off of the filter and do a cleaning that way to remove what ever it is that is in there.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    You do not need to descale or degrease sand filters. I concur with danpik, this sounds like snake oil. It appears that the only thing you can do is leave the valve in the backwash position until the product is flushed from the filter.

    Strip-kwik is a Bioguard product that seems to be discontinued... the link is a 404 on their website.

    More instructions:

    http://www.familypoolsandspas.com/upload/images/SAND_CLEANING_with_STRIP_KWIK__KLEEN_IT.pdf

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by maggletooth View Post
    If it makes any difference the product is actually called stripkwik, I spelled it wrong.

    It's a red liquid you add to the pump basket.

    An update, I went back and turned on backwash again after and things seemed a little better, foam came out of the view port for a second then visible, clear water. I left it on for a few minutes and rinsed again. Then tried the regular filter setting, but quickly turned it off when I got the feeling there was still something wrong, and fear of getting the product in the pool.


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    As long as your pump has prime (is moving water and water coming out of the backwash hose), I would just cycle back and forth between backwash (minute-90 secs) and rinse (10/15 secs) until the water coming out the backwash port is completely clear and free of foam/suds/bubbles/etc.

    If you put the valve on filter before you have cleaned all that stuff out of the filter, it's going to go back to the pool. You want to avoid that... if it has already happened, I would call the manufacturer of that product to ask what to do.

    If your pump lost prime (it's not moving water), then you need to remove the lid to the pump basket, add water w/ hose, reseal, and start the pump. Unless something else is wrong, it should be able to catch prime and start pumping water. Then you can do the backwash/rinse thing.
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Hello maggletooth, and welcome

    I see you've gotten great advice already. I personally would take the top off and do the deep cleaning with a hose to save on pool water and wear and tear on pump and valve. If it's as foamy as you describe, you could be doing a lot of cycling as MSL has explained. just remember to turn off pump when cycling between backwash and rinse
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Here is the MSDS and although I can comment on some of it, like: "Who in their right mind would engineer a product that would introduce lye into a pool?".... Chemgeek is the best resource to decode this.

    http://www.hydropool.com/downloads/M...-kwik-msds.pdf

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Thank you all for the quick, thorough advice. Tonight when I get home I am going to take a look and see if I can get to clear, running water by cycling the backwash and rinse a few times.

    I wish I was more comfortable with doing the cleaning myself by removing the top, etc, I am very worried because I am far from a handyman and the process seems to be somewhat technical. For a person with little to no experience, that worries me quite a bit.

    I will hop back on here tonight to let you all know how it goes.
    Portland, OR - In Ground 25,000 Gallon Pool - Vinyl Lining - Sand Filter - Solar Heating - I'd Tell You More But I'm Still Learning

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    The instructions sound like they intended for the product to go from your pump basket through the pump into the bottom of your sand filter and out the top in a backwash cycle. The Strip Kwik product is a combination of chemicals:

    • sodium hydroxide -- this is lye and raises the pH at least in part to compensate for some other low pH components in this product but also to have a net higher pH
    • (2-methoxymethylethoxy)propanol -- this is also known as diproylene glycol methyl ester (DPGME) -- it's a powerful solvent for organic compounds so is used in cleaning compounds
    • .alpha.-(Nonylphenyl)-.omega.-hydroxypoly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl)phosphate -- this ian anionic surfactant that is low in pH and is stable in high pH systems and can couple nonionic surfactants
    • diammonium dodecyl(sulphonatophenoxy)benzenesulphonate -- another anionic surfactant
    • tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate - this is the sodium salt of EDTA and is a metal sequestrant used to bind metals so that they do not interfere with surfactants (i.e. it makes water softer so will suds more)

    So basically the product is a degreaser with detergents applied at higher pH. This will not harm the sand filter nor metal components. Though the higher pH works similar to the lye in Drano, the concentration is lower and other components in the product are acidic so the net pH is > 11.9 but not likely as high as Drano (that is mostly lye with some aluminum).

    The foaming is due to the soap-like surfactants in the product and is normal. You just need to continue to flush this product out of your filter by continuing to backwash it. You want to get rid of as much as you can in this way because once you reverse the flow to use the filter normally, these substances will get into your pool and you could have foaming there instead.

    If you do ever find in the future that your sand filter is getting clogged with greases or oils or even biofilm that are not getting removed through normal backwashing, then I'd suggest using Ahh-Some instead of Strip Kwik. It will be at least as effective but will be generally much easier to remove.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Mag, You can share a picture of your filter and the model and info. I bet we can walk you through the cleaning.

    It is NOT hard. Scary to even think of doing BUT we can walk you step by step on what to do.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    One thing that worries me is that Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) gets HOT when it mixes with water. It's Drano. I'm wondering if some plastic pieces got deformed by the heat.
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    It sounds like 1. you used too much stripkwik (you only need 1 or 2 cups according to the label) 2. left it in too long (only supposed to leave it in for 1 hour according to the label) and 3. did not backwash long enough (not for 3 minutes, but backwash till water comes out clear. it takes longer since there was so much product in the filter.). I have used it in the past and not had trouble with it. Since you are having trouble, it might be best to rinse it out of the sand easier, by taking off the top of the filter and put a garden hose in it to flow water thru the sand and get rid of the cleaner. You don't need to replace the sand.
    Maybe also, it sounds like the pool is older and maybe the sand has some channeling occurring which would also be a problem. just a thought.
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Hey All-

    Quick update. Last night I ran the backwash and rinse settings back and forth a few times. The foam was gone when I started, but I wanted to just make sure. I then turned the setting to filter (after filling filter basket with water) and after several seconds got prime.

    I can always tell when it is working, because after about 10 seconds the pool inlets bubble up for a few seconds before the full cycle gets going. This happened, but it didn't stop! Tons of air in the line.

    I then realize that (somehow) over the course of the past couple of days working on the pump/filter issue that I had lost a bunch of water and it was below the skimmers. If the skimmers are sucking in air, I'm probably going to have an endless flow of air bubbles in the line.

    So this morning I filled up the pool and tried again, all seems to be good to go. I am going to test the water today and hopefully add the winterization kit. It is my belief that no product got in to the pool, I feel lucky.

    My only question, is it normal to lose a good three inches of water in a 25,000 gallon pool when you are doing a bunch of backwashing/rinsing? My only concern, is where did that water go?

    For those of you who recommended opening up and cleaning the filter. I'm going to do that at the end of the winter for sure. My goal right now is making the pool as low maintenance as possible for the winter here in Oregon.

    For those who were wondering about the equipment, here are some pics.

    NFZx85jmf2BR5l1VF3IK8YEbvf5V3a3uob565bb_oMk by Jeff Bedford, on Flickr

    BUxSaCi0qtg4hg-L_2vUzWqz5zlhlColvtVSOex1oMk by Jeff Bedford, on Flickr
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Yep! During hurricane season and heavy rains, I can pump out about 1" of water in 10 minutes.

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by maggletooth View Post

    Quick update. Last night I ran the backwash and rinse settings back and forth a few times. The foam was gone when I started, but I wanted to just make sure. I then turned the setting to filter (after filling filter basket with water) and after several seconds got prime.
    I'm confused. Why do you need to fill the pump basket with water after you backwash? Is it losing prime every time you shut off the pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by maggletooth View Post
    My only question, is it normal to lose a good three inches of water in a 25,000 gallon pool when you are doing a bunch of backwashing/rinsing? My only concern, is where did that water go?
    Where does your backwash hose/pipe go? That is where the water went... Some people have a hose run out in to their yard and some people have it piped directly to the city drain.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    You sure can pump out that much doing as much backwashing and rinsing as you were doing!

    At the end of winter when you are ready to tackle the opening of the filter just give us a yell and we will walk you through it!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Did StripQuik just destroy my filter and pump?

    MSL that is TBD, it was a precaution if anything, I wouldn't have known what have happened if I didn't cause I didn't try.

    There was water in, I just added more. I essentially combined advice from this thread into one set of actions that didn't include removing the top of the filter.


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