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Thread: Removing DE From Pool

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    Removing DE From Pool

    Hi everyone! Let me start out by saying that I am new to pools and have been researching as much as I can. I've reached the point where I feel like I've learned a lot but need to ask for some help regarding an issue I'm having.

    A little background: I "inherited" the maintenance of my in-laws neglected pool. They have been opening, treating, and closing it every year, but have paid little attention to ongoing maintenance or proper procedures.

    Long story short, the grids on the DE filter were damaged and I have a lot of DE in our pool water. If I run the automatic vacuum it stirs it up and makes the water extremely cloudy. If I let it settle for a day or so the water clears but there is a large amount settled on the bottom of the pool. My water tests show that all of my chemical levels are fine, the only problem I have is the sediment in the pool.

    Yesterday (6/21) I had the grids of the DE filter professionally replaced and charged and now I am wondering what is the best way to go about getting the sediment out of the pool? Brushing? Vacuuming? Or do I need to drain the pool completely? (<--I really don't want to do this).

    If it's helpful, here are a few pictures and stats:

    Wide View of the Pool


    Sediment on the Bottom 1



    Sediment on the Bottom 2


    Filter (FNS 60 Plus)



    Returns



    Thanks in advance for any and all help. Also, if I posted this in the wrong section of the forum I apologize.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    It would be helpful to post the photo links so they automatically show up instead of requiring people to click links to outside sites. See: How To Post Pictures
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Done! Sorry about that...

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    That automatic vacuum I saw in your picture won't do the trick (as you've stated).... get a pool pole with a vacuum head and vacuum the bottom directly out to waste. Here's the steps:
    1. Turn everything off and let D.E. settle at the bottom
    2. With the system still off, gently put your manual vacuum head (that is attached to the pole) and vacuum hose into the pool (make sure all air is out of the vac hose)... plug the other end of your hose into your skimmer.
    here's a pic of the type of vacuum you should use:
    poolvac.jpg
    3. Set your multiport to the "waste" position (if you do not have a multiport, take a picture of your equipment).
    4. Isolate your skimmer (do this by turning all the intake valves to the 'off position' except for the skimmer valve - it should be open all the way).
    5. Make sure your pump basket is clean and the turn your pump on.
    6. Slowly vacuum the bottom of your pool ... this will suck all the D.E. up and blast it out to waste.


    Isoloate your skimmer


    Quote Originally Posted by BadFriend View Post
    Hi everyone! Let me start out by saying that I am new to pools and have been researching as much as I can. I've reached the point where I feel like I've learned a lot but need to ask for some help regarding an issue I'm having.

    A little background: I "inherited" the maintenance of my in-laws neglected pool. They have been opening, treating, and closing it every year, but have paid little attention to ongoing maintenance or proper procedures.

    Long story short, the grids on the DE filter were damaged and I have a lot of DE in our pool water. If I run the automatic vacuum it stirs it up and makes the water extremely cloudy. If I let it settle for a day or so the water clears but there is a large amount settled on the bottom of the pool. My water tests show that all of my chemical levels are fine, the only problem I have is the sediment in the pool.

    Yesterday (6/21) I had the grids of the DE filter professionally replaced and charged and now I am wondering what is the best way to go about getting the sediment out of the pool? Brushing? Vacuuming? Or do I need to drain the pool completely? (<--I really don't want to do this).

    If it's helpful, here are a few pictures and stats:

    Wide View of the Pool
    Sediment on the Bottom 1
    Sediment on the Bottom 2
    Filter (FNS 60 Plus)
    Returns

    Thanks in advance for any and all help. Also, if I posted this in the wrong section of the forum I apologize.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Thanks!

    So to remove the DE, you are just going to have to vacuum it either to "waste" or into the filter and then do a backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure ... and then recharge the filter with DE.
    Check out: Use and Care of DE Filters

    Another note, your chemistry is certainly not "fine" because I can see algae on the walls.

    What test kit are you using?

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Thanks!

    So to remove the DE, you are just going to have to vacuum it either to "waste" or into the filter and then do a backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure ... and then recharge the filter with DE.
    Check out: Use and Care of DE Filters

    Another note, your chemistry is certainly not "fine" because I can see algae on the walls.

    What test kit are you using?

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
    Thanks for the reply!

    I'm ordering a test kit and it's on the way, so in the meantime I've been taking a sample to my local pool store. Here's my report:

    FAC - 5ppm
    TAC - 5
    Cal Hardness - 390
    CYA - 35
    TA - 80
    pH - 7.4
    TDS - 700
    Phosphates - 300

    I saw the algae "ring" around the pool, I'm waiting on the pool brush to arrive so I can scrub it off. But I thought my numbers looked solid for the most part. Where am I going wrong?

    I've edited my signature with the information that I know as of right now. I'll update it when I gather more info.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Viking, thanks for the reply. I definitely have one of those vacuums so later today I'll get it hooked up and try to vacuum to waste as you and jblizzle have suggested.
    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Where am I going wrong?
    Found it:
    I've been taking a sample to my local pool store.
    Let us know when your test kit arrives. Until then add 1/2 bottle of 8.25% bleach everyday with the pump running. Don't add anything else.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    That snap shot of numbers looks fine, but historically it must not have been since algae started.

    Once you have the kit, post up real numbers and then you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    That snap shot of numbers looks fine, but historically it must not have been since algae started.
    That algae right has been there since the pool was opened. I just assumed it was a stain when I saw my test numbers

    Once you have the kit, post up real numbers and then you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process.
    Will do.

    Follow up question: Should I wait to vacuum the DE off the bottom until after I've scrubbed the algae and/or run an at home test? Or does it matter? I ask because I'm assuming I'm going to lose a decent amount of water during the vacuum to waste process and figured I would need to add fresh water (city water) and adjust my levels from there. My plan was to scrub the algae, vacuum the DE, refill the pool, test, adjust as necessary. Am I far off?
    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    I would get the DE and any other debris out and the filter clean and ready for when you start the SLAM.

    I think your plan sounds good, but you could just vacuum to the filter and then backwash and recharge to lose less water.
    Also, add SLAM after the "adjust as necessary"
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Thanks to all for the suggestions! For the anyone still around, I've got some further questions and an update to the situation.

    Questions first -

    1. I have some questions about water testing and pool chemistry. Should I create a seperate post for that in the appropriate subsection of the TFP forum or should I ask them here?

    2. I still have "something" on the plaster of the pool. It looks like sediment, but I can't brush it away. I'm using a nylon/stainless steel hybrid brush. Should I get an all SS brush and try that? Or is it something else? Here's a picture of the steps to show what I'm talking about. You can see the top step looks "normal" whereas all the other steps have some sort of issue.


    Here's a picture of the bench, if that's any help.



    Update - I vacuumed the pool on Wednesday and brushed the pool and cleaned the filter yesterday. For anyone interested, here is comparison:

    Before


    After



    You can see how in the Before photo the drains in the deep end are barely visible, due to the murky water filled with DE. The bottom of the pool was also completely filled with settled DE. Although the shadows make the After photos look a little wonky, now there isn't any visible sediment on the bottom (at least not much) and you can see all the way to the bottom.

    I plan to vacuum again today.


    Thanks again!
    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Are the stained areas rough?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Are the stained areas rough?
    Yes, I would say it is
    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Could be calcium scaling then.

    What are you test results?
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Could be calcium scaling then.

    What are you test results?
    I'm still waiting for my kit to arrive, so I'll have to give you test result from my pool store (Leslie's):

    FC: 1
    CH: 200
    CYA: 55
    TA: 120
    pH: 7.4

    Some additional information: I just vacuumed the pool to waste a few days ago and refilled with tap water. I don't know how much water was lost, but the level dropped by at least 3 inches, maybe more.

    Also, my father in law has been taking care of this pool for the past 20 years, until I took over recently. He's never measured or tested anything. He basically pours in a ton of CalHypo at the beginning of the season and then throws in more CalHypo or scoops of dichlor whenever he feels like it.


    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    I would not be surprised if your CH is actually much higher when you get your test kit. High CH and high pH can lead to scale very quickly. Was the pH high when you opened the pool?
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    Removing DE From Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    I would not be surprised if your CH is actually much higher when you get your test kit. High CH and high pH can lead to scale very quickly. Was the pH high when you opened the pool?
    My FIL opened the pool and he never tested anything, so I'm not sure. The pool was opened 6/1. Before I vacuumed recently I had the water tested on 6/11 and the CH was 390. pH was the same.


    ~35,000gal, IG Plaster, FNS 60 Plus DE Filter

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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    May I ask a dumb question? I am new to pool ownership (2nd season) so I'm still pretty naive (this site it teaching me quickly ). Why/how could the pool store's readings be off when done digitally (at least on a computer) vs. when done using a test kit? Is that a comment on just Leslie's, or pool stores' testing methods in general?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    I would not be surprised if your CH is actually much higher when you get your test kit.
    20,000 Gallon Gunite Saltwater Inground Pool
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    Because the computer calibration was never done or done incorrectly. The vials were not properly cleaned. The operator had no idea what he is doing. Etc etc
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Removing DE From Pool

    That makes sense! I guess that is why my local pool store's salt readings are always about 300 ppm lower than what my SWG's display reads.
    20,000 Gallon Gunite Saltwater Inground Pool
    Hayward Super II Pump (model # SP3007X10AZ) | Hayward 48 Sq. Ft. Pro-Grid D.E. Filter (model # DE4820) | Hayward AquaRite SWG (model # AQR15) | Hayward 400,000 BTU Natural Gas Heater (model # H400FDN) | Polaris PB4-60 Vacuum Booster Pump (model # PB4-60) | Polaris P39 Pressure Pool Cleaner (model # P39) | Hayward Vari-Flo Valve (model # SP715XR50)

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