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Thread: Dirt in the pool

  1. #1

    Dirt in the pool

    So, I'm getting the water balanced but I have this other nagging problem that won't go away.

    Our backyard is adjacent to a Nature Area. We get a LOT of debris in our pool from the trees and meadows behind us. Every time there's anything more than a slight breeze we get dust and leaves blown into the pool. Getting the leaves out is no problem. The dirt/dust is a different story.

    So this fine dust/grit settles to the bottom of the pool and just will not go away. I can't vacumn it up because it's so fine. I'll get the pool clear finally by running the pump and sweep to keep the water stirred up when, wham, another dust storm and voila - bottom covered with dirt again.

    It's not cheap to keep running the pump/sweep so much. Anyone have any suggestions on a better way to manage this problem?

    I also now have several handsfuls of gravel at the bottom of my pool courtesy of a visiting child who I would love to dump in the pool to fish it all out . Apparently at least one of my own 13 yo children stood there and watched this younger child do it and didn't stop him right away! . So I guess I'm going to have to wait for the pool to warm up and then make my kids pick it all up.

    In the meantime, it's a real pain to vacumn the bottom of the pool. Any suggestions on that little problem would also be welcome.

    Patricia
    17,000 gal IGP, White plaster, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter system, Sta-Rite Max-e-pro 1/2 hp pump; 3/4 hp booster pump

    Sacramento, CA

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    For the dust, how about a solar cover? Mine is acquiring a yellowish tinge from all the pollen it isn't letting into the water. I figure some weekend I'll finally get a round tuit, pull it out and hose it off.
    Quote Originally Posted by rlsnights
    I also now have several handsfuls of gravel at the bottom of my pool courtesy of a visiting child who I would love to dump in the pool to fish it all out . Apparently at least one of my own 13 yo children stood there and watched this younger child do it and didn't stop him right away! . So I guess I'm going to have to wait for the pool to warm up and then make my kids pick it all up.
    Why wait? In Sacto it's gotta be warmer than Cupertino, and my pool is in the mid-70s. They won't freeze, and if they don't like it, that will help drive the lesson home.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  3. #3

    Re: Dirt in the pool

    Our pool is only in the mid-60's - doesn't get full day sun until later in the year. The child of mine who I know for sure was present during the gravel incident has bad asthma and I'd be calling 911 if I made him get in the pool now. Cold is one of his triggers.

    I know this from a previous incident 2 years ago when he left some stuff out in the yard that he was supposed to put away and the wind blew it into the pool. I made him get in to retrieve it and saw him stop breathing right before my eyes. We haven't done that again (and he hasn't made that mistake again).

    So, I will have to wait.

    We haven't had the $$ for a solar cover (or any other kind of cover). Plus, in the winter, we get tons of debris blown into the pool every storm. We are pretty sure that we'd have problems if we tried to cover the pool in the winter - either it would get punctured by the branches that sometimes get tossed in by the wind or it would get so much debris on top it would sink if we didn't clean it off. This is the first house we've had with a pool and don't know much about using a cover but the info we looked at suggested it might be more trouble than it was worth to put on a winter cover.

    I'd welcome some feedback on the subject of a winter cover.

    Patricia
    17,000 gal IGP, White plaster, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter system, Sta-Rite Max-e-pro 1/2 hp pump; 3/4 hp booster pump

    Sacramento, CA

  4. #4
    Senior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    I can't vacumn it up because it's so fine.
    Any vacuum should pick up any type dirt. Perhaps you are going over it too quickly and stirring it up. If that's the case, try vacuuming very slowly so the dirt remains undisturbed as you pass over it.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. #5

    Re: Dirt in the pool

    The net on the vacumn that we have is not superfine. I haven't seen one available for it that is. The wholes in the netting are just too big.

    You have to understand that we live in Sacramento, CA. We get peat dust - not just regular dust. It gets in around closed windows, doors. When I run the vacumn even very slowly, it just puffs right up through the net and settles back down to the bottom. It is very, very fine. Just goes right through the netting.

    I suppose I could buy some very tightly woven cotton material and make my own bag but I figured if it was dense enough to catch the fine dust it wouldn't let the water flow through fast enough and it would be very difficult to use or it might break the vacumn.

    Patricia
    17,000 gal IGP, White plaster, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter system, Sta-Rite Max-e-pro 1/2 hp pump; 3/4 hp booster pump

    Sacramento, CA

  6. #6
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    When I vacuum, I vacuum to waste. One end of the hose is attached to the sweeper brush and the other is plugged into the skimmer. I then close the other skimmer to increase suction on the hose. Then I switch the valve to waste and suck out the debris. The downside is that you're also sucking water to waste that will have to be replaced.

    One thing I've found to help get rid of the small amounts of debris is to encourage to kids to go play in the pool. When they jump in and jump around, it stirs up the water, thereby stirring up the debris so that it gets sucked through the filter.

    I don't know about everyone else, but I almost always have at least a small amount of debris on the bottom of the pool. I think you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep it perfectly clean. At a certain point, you just have to accept that there will always be some debris on the bottom and just try to live with it.
    Andrew - Virginia Beach, VA
    22,000 gallons; 16x32 rectangle; 3.5Ft-8Ft Depth; Pentair Whisper Flow 2 speed Pump 1.5/.5HP; Pentair FNSP60 DE Filter; Aqua Rite SWG. Polaris 180 cleaner.

  7. #7
    Senior Member amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    "I don't know about everyone else, but I almost always have at least a small amount of debris on the bottom of the pool. I think you can drive yourself crazy trying to keep it perfectly clean. At a certain point, you just have to accept that there will always be some debris on the bottom and just try to live with it."
    I second that . I like in Texas on black clay and get dust storms. The clay is a very fine powder when it is dry and blows when the wind blows, which is all the time. OR if it is raining, the clay suspended in the air gets dropped down into my pool, and then mud is everywhere and everything that gets near the ground gets muddy which somehow ends up in my pool.
    And Texas has BUGS!
    Anyways, I have decided that if my test numbers are good and my water is so clear that I can see the clay on the bottom, then that is a good thing and it sure beats the disgusting ponds, lakes, rivers, or just as bad, the YMCA. I just pretend I am in the Caribbean on a black sand beach looking down through azure waters at the bottom of the ocean.
    28 foot round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, installed Aug 2008
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  8. #8
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    The net on the vacumn that we have is not superfine. I haven't seen one available for it that is. The wholes in the netting are just too big.
    are you talking about an automatic vacuum? If so, you can get the rest of the dirt out by using a standard suction vacuum head attached to a suction hose.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  9. #9

    Re: Dirt in the pool

    Well I guess it's time for me to once again display my ignorance here.

    The vacuum we have runs off the booster pump. I attach the vacuum head (w/attached netting) to the pole we use to brush the pool (in place of the brush). Then I attach the line that normally runs the sweep to the vacuum. With both pumps running, I slowly run the vacuum head over the bottom of the pool. It's very broad and round and has several water jets inside the rim that create a sort of internal whirlpool.

    Whatever debris gets swirled up from the bottom gets caught in the netting if it's big enough. If it's not big enough it just goes right through.

    That's what I have. I don't have anything that empties to a "waste" line or out of the pool. Nothing that's "automatic" or a true vacuum in the usual sense of that word.

    When we first moved into this house the husband of a friend (he does some pool repairs and maintenance) went and bought the sweep and equipment we have for me because I knew absolutely nothing and was completely overwhelmed with remodeling the kitchen and master bath while moving and dealing with a very sick child who ended up being in the hospital about 6 times that year. I paid him and he got me what he thought we needed to take care of the pool because there was nothing here when we moved in except a broken sweep.

    It sounds like there are some other kinds of vacuums out there that might work better for us. I'm open to suggestions but have very little $$ to spend.

    Patricia
    17,000 gal IGP, White plaster, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter system, Sta-Rite Max-e-pro 1/2 hp pump; 3/4 hp booster pump

    Sacramento, CA

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    I have a vacume head, and a long hose. The hose attaches at one end to the head, and the other end to a special plate that goes over the skimmer basket. I fill the hose with water by holding it to the return, and the vacume head lifts out of the water a bit, I see bubbles breaking the surface and then the head drops back down. I keep the hose under water and then attach it to the special attachment in the skimmer. All the dirt goes into the filter, so there is no netting-bag like you describe. It's very basic but it if I take the time to move slowly it's very effective.

    This is what the skimmer vac plate looks like:
    http://aquanet.net/pool-vacuum-plates.htm
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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  11. #11
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    What you describe is what I call a pool leaf bagger or leaf eater. It is designed to pick up leaves.

    What everyone else is talking about is slightly different, much smaller, and hook up to a skimmer with a hose. You can look at some pictures of the various kinds here. These are designed to pick up dirt, dead algae, and dust.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  12. #12
    Senior Member In the Industry

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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    It sounds as though you may not have a vacuum which is pretty essential for pool maintenance.

    Then I attach the line that normally runs the sweep to the vacuum.
    Describe the sweep....I'm not sure what you mean.

    In addition to those Jason had linked for you, there are some very inexpensive ones available that will do a good job in your pool. The true vacuum work much like the vacuum in your house except they suck the dirt thru a hose into your filter.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  13. #13

    Re: Dirt in the pool

    We have a Jet Vac sweep. It is run by the booster pump. The sweep is connected to a special valve in the side of the pool that pumps water to the sweep at a higher level of force than through the regular returns. One end of the vinyl water line connects to the valve in the side of the pool and the other end to the sweep.

    To run the "vacuum" that I have, you connect that same line to the vacuum head instead of to the sweep.

    So it sounds like I need to invest in one of the other types of vacuums.

    Patricia
    17,000 gal IGP, White plaster, Hayward Swimclear Cartridge Filter system, Sta-Rite Max-e-pro 1/2 hp pump; 3/4 hp booster pump

    Sacramento, CA

  14. #14
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the pool

    We have a lot of trees, and also live on a dirt road. During the winter the pool is covered (and I highly recommend a winter cover if you don’t use your pool in the winter). During the summer, we use a solar cover which keeps a lot of the dust and dirt out of the pool. The solar cover is on a reel, and when we reel up the cover, we use a garden hose with sprayer to spray the dirt off the solar cover so when we cover the pool again, the dirt doesn’t go back in.

    For a vacuum/cleaner, we have a Dolphin automatic cleaner, although I would like to get a smaller vacuum for quick clean ups. We get tons of leaves the pool and there’s not much you can do, that I know of, other than using a leaf skimmer/rake to remove them.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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