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Thread: Constant Sand Problem

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    Constant Sand Problem

    Hi everyone, I'm at a complete loss on what steps to take next for this problem I've had since I bought my house last April.

    Everytime I run the pool I notice that I would get sand on the pool floor. I made sure it was coming out of the filter by tying a sock around the return and sure enough it was brown from the sand hitting it. Since I saw that the issue could be with the laterals and the pool's equipment was about 10 years old, I decided to take the next step. I took out 325 pounds of sand, replaced the laterals and the stand pipe for good measure. I'm already in there, I might as well do it. Upon inspecting each original lateral including the stand pipe everything looked fine. I didn't see any cracks at all, but I went ahead with the new parts.

    I also went ahead and bought new sand. I made sure to cover the stand pipe with duct tape, fill half of the tank with water then slowly pour the bags of sand in. After reassembling everything sand continued to come out onto the pool floor. This was last June and it continued all summer long. I just dealt with it.

    Fast forward to this year and I decided to call a pool service company to look at it. Well they wanted 130.00 just to look at it. While this was going on, I noticed that my backwash pipe was leaking water even when the filter was set to filter. I'm assuming this was a bad gasket, but from my research you can not replace just the gasket. It has to the diverter piece instead.

    My frustration led me to just replace the entire filter...Yep...I did that...So I swapped out the filter and again took out all the sand and again inspected the laterals/stand pipe I replaced last summer. They looked fine.

    I hooked up the new filter, decided to buy new sand again ( I know I'm just throwing money everywhere at this point ) I get everything running, triple check the freeboard space because that is one thing I didn't really pay attention to last summer. Made sure to backwash first and then rinse. This was on Saturday and yet despite all of this...I'm still getting sand in the pool. I will run my dolphin to clean up the pool and then after one day of running the filter all the creases in the vinyl and around the returns show sand.

    I'm completely lost on what else to do, I just do not get it. I plan to take off the 6 way valve this weekend and double check to make sure the stand pipe is connected to the valve...but I'm sure it is. I can recheck the freeboard, but beyond that...I'm not sure what to do.

    Any ideas, I feel like I will just have to live with sand in my pool for the rest of my pool's life or my own...whichever ends first.
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Think positive!

    It could just be residual sand in the plumbing finding its way out.

    I'd prefer to catch it with socks than have to vacuum it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Think positive!

    It could just be residual sand in the plumbing finding its way out.

    I'd prefer to catch it with socks than have to vacuum it.

    That is what I'm hoping, just how long do you think it would take for the sand to leave the lines?
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek View Post
    That is what I'm hoping, just how long do you think it would take for the sand to leave the lines?
    No clue. I have a DE filter.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Have you looked at the multiport valve to the sand filter? If there is a leak or crack inside it could be diverting some of the water irregularly and causing some sand to get sent back out in the return water as well as explaining the water coming from the backwash pipe.
    30 year old, 17,000 gallon pool (w/spa), IG, Plaster, Pentair Triton II TR-100 600#Sand Filter, Pentair Superflo 340043 1.5 Hp pump

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Have you looked at the multiport valve to the sand filter? If there is a leak or crack inside it could be diverting some of the water irregularly and causing some sand to get sent back out in the return water as well as explaining the water coming from the backwash pipe.
    That ^^^ and the gasket under it.


    Now I also want to ask........are you SURE it is sand? I know you put a sock on the return. You state it "turned brown" from the sand passing through it. If at all possible use a turkey baster to collect some of the sand. Put a paper towel or two inside a colander to catch the stuff as you empty the baster. Take and share a picture of what you find.

    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: Constant Sand Problem

    Safe to say you have eliminated sand from the filter body as the source. Problem is, that the only place in the system where sand resides!! I trhink you must think of this as something other than sand. Got a pic? It should be lying on the pool floor in front of a return and it should fall QUICKLY bask to the pool floor when it is "whooshed up".
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Have you looked at the multiport valve to the sand filter? If there is a leak or crack inside it could be diverting some of the water irregularly and causing some sand to get sent back out in the return water as well as explaining the water coming from the backwash pipe.
    Right, I thought it could be that especially with the leaking backwash pipe which is why I went ahead and replaced the entire filter including the multi port. Everything on the filter side is brand new, new filter, new multi port, new sand. I think I need a new me at this point

    Here are some pics of the pool and the filter screens in my dolphin robot. I think you all will agree it is clearly sand. I also included a picture of my equipment setup.

    Sand Pics
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Next thing to do is Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) to see what is going on in the water. Lots of people mistake dead algae for sand.
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    I had the exact same problem!! I spent a fortune and TIME TIME TIME replacing sand, laterals, multiport etc. There were two problems I found. First, the basket (multiport valve cage) inside of the sand filter was not secured properly allowing sand to get through to pool. Now, I have discovered that my pump is too big for my sand filter (I'm thinking). I thought bigger was better on HP. So, when I bought a replacement pump I told them to upgrade me from a 1 or 1.5hp to a 2hp hi-flo by waterway. Of course the pool store was glad I offered up more money for a bigger pump. Now, after tons of research on here I think my pump is basically so forceful that it's literally blasting the sand through the filter. Maybe I'm wrong, but I am thinking that is what the problem is.
    33 ft round 28,800 gallons-Vinyl liner-AGP-buried with concrete deck around it. 2hp -single speed-hi-flo pump with sand filter. On acreage-no trees but gathers lots of dust and grass etc. BBB only way for me !! So happy for TFP site!!!

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Next thing to do is Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) to see what is going on in the water. Lots of people mistake dead algae for sand.
    My numbers all are good, pool has been crystal clear since I opened it in early April and if you look at the pictures of what my robot caught in the filter you can see it is definitely sand.


    I do wonder if my pump is too strong for it though, it states it is 1.25 HP, but I feel that it would be right for my size pool.
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    I don't see any pics posted. Please use photobucket (free), copy the IMG code to the right of the pic and paste it in your post. This will embed the pic in the thread for everyone to be able to see. Lots of folks can't, won't or don't want to click out of the forum to look at a pic. I don't know if the photo host you use supports this or not.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    You didn't answer if it falls rather quickly back to the pool floor when it is stirred up.

    There is a Service Factor on your pump nameplate.....what is that? (Like 1.1, 1.5, etc.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    I'm going through the same thing, about to buy a new sand filter as well as I'm out of ideas, heck I'm even contemplating going with a cartridge filter hope you figure out your issue and post the results.
    17,500 Gal IG Vinyl Pool ~Circa 1995
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    STILL, Over 10+ years, we find maybe 8 out of 10 of these issues are NOT sand.the first and foremost job is to absolutely identify it as sand.....not dead algae or debris from the pool floor. Make VERY certain.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I don't see any pics posted. Please use photobucket (free), copy the IMG code to the right of the pic and paste it in your post. This will embed the pic in the thread for everyone to be able to see. Lots of folks can't, won't or don't want to click out of the forum to look at a pic. I don't know if the photo host you use supports this or not.
    Here are the pics


















    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    You didn't answer if it falls rather quickly back to the pool floor when it is stirred up.

    There is a Service Factor on your pump nameplate.....what is that? (Like 1.1, 1.5, etc.
    When I brush it, it looks like a cloud of dust. It does not fall right back down. The service factor states 1.25
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    So multiply the rated HP x the SF which basically gives you about 1.5 HP....pretty big pump.

    Back to the "sand". I do not believe that is sand from your filter.....it is not uniform enough. It appears to me to be sand and dirt that has accumulated in your pool. How are you vacuuming that pool? Do you have a robot? Manual vac?

    Honestly it looks to me like it is random dirt that needs to be vacuumed out. I may very well be all wrong.....it's just what it looks like. How many hours a day are you running the Dolphin? How many hours a day are you running the pump?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Tek View Post
    When I brush it, it looks like a cloud of dust. It does not fall right back down. The service factor states 1.25
    That sounds more like dirt, pollen or algae than sand. Sand doesn't usually cloud and normally falls quickly. I get sand in my pool from the deck/coping joint above the skimmers, especially if some ants get in there and mess around. That stuff on that filter (robot?) looks like tree stuff, seed/pollen stuff.
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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    So multiply the rated HP x the SF which basically gives you about 1.5 HP....pretty big pump.

    Back to the "sand". I do not believe that is sand from your filter.....it is not uniform enough. It appears to me to be sand and dirt that has accumulated in your pool. How are you vacuuming that pool? Do you have a robot? Manual vac?

    Honestly it looks to me like it is random dirt that needs to be vacuumed out. I may very well be all wrong.....it's just what it looks like. How many hours a day are you running the Dolphin? How many hours a day are you running the pump?
    The pump runs the returns, buddy seats and four jets on each side of the pool. I'm going to assume that is why it is so large. My robot has a three hour cycle, I run it when I see dirt like this. I run the pump about four to six hours. If I clean the pool with the robot and dont run the filter. The pool floor will stay clear, but after one session of running the pump I start to see this stuff build up on the floor. Last year it did this constantly, every single time.
    18x36 Fox X-Brace 28,000 gallons Inground Pool, Pentair Sand Filter model TA60D, Whisperflo WF-24 pump, PoolFrog 5400

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    Re: Constant Sand Problem

    If I clean the pool with the robot and dont run the filter. The pool floor will stay clear, but after one session of running the pump I start to see this stuff build up on the floor. Last year it did this constantly, every single time.
    I think you are seeing the debris after running the pump because the pump creates a "flow" across the pool floor which starts the debris moving. That flow is not enough to get it up into the skimmers so it naturally collects along the seems and areas of low flow.

    I would increase both your pump run time and robot runtime.......8 hours on the pump and daily 3 hour cycles on the robot. I know it will increase your cost (not much with the robot) but a sparkly pool is really rewarding. You seem to have everything else in place.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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