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Thread: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

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    Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    I keep finding these in the basket that is just before the pump (not the skimmer basket). I have found about three of them. They appear to be made of graphite and have a white residue on both sides that I'm not sure what is made of (epoxy maybe?). They break very easily, are very light, but they do not float. They are slightly rounded. I haven't found them anywhere else. I can't for the life of me think what this came from. Anyone know what this is or if I should be concerned? Thanks in advance!

    pool mystery.jpg
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    I have no idea what it is.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    No idea either
    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: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Are they always the same size? How far from the pool is the equipment pad?

    NOT in skimmer basket (which is right by the pool correct?) but in the pump basket (sitting on the equipment pad)...........how may have you found?

    How big is your pipe? 1.5", 2.0" ???

    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: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Do you use an automatic pool cleaner?
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    looks like half an oreo! if it breaks easily, it is not likely epoxy. my first thought was some kind of debris left over from installation but i see this is not new. how recently did you start finding them? i'm guessing recently since you just asked. nothing upstream of the basket but pipes from skimmer and/or bottom drains? and these could not get through any bottom drain openings, correct? If that is the case, i'm pretty sure your concern is that something underground is deteriorating but i also have no idea what those could be.
    30000 gal inground vinyl liner;sand filter w/glass media, nuvo uv, TF-100 test kit; 25 years on Baquacil, converted to TFP chlorine in 2016

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Are they always the same size? How far from the pool is the equipment pad?

    NOT in skimmer basket (which is right by the pool correct?) but in the pump basket (sitting on the equipment pad)...........how may have you found?

    How big is your pipe? 1.5", 2.0" ???

    Kim
    Correct: skimmer basket is by pool, but they haven't been found there. In pump basket on equipment pad; yes. I have found about three (some were broken into pieces so I am estimating). Pipe is 2" I think. Equipment pad is about 20 feet from pool. They are always the same size; I think. As I mentioned, some of them have been found in pieces but the pieces appear to fit together to be about the same size and shape as the one I have in the pic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Do you use an automatic pool cleaner?
    They are definitely made of either graphite or carbon. They streak and feel just like pencil lead or charcoal.

    I do use an automatic cleaner, yes. But they have been found when that wasn't running.
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    How do you clean the pool? Vacuum, cleaner etc.?
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Toys???? Children??? Look at your cleaner REAL good to make sure it is not getting stuck in the pipes. Oh wait back to what kind of cleaner do you have?

    Love me some mystery and puzzle solving!

    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: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Toys???? Children??? Look at your cleaner REAL good to make sure it is not getting stuck in the pipes. Oh wait back to what kind of cleaner do you have?

    Love me some mystery and puzzle solving!

    Kim
    I use a hayward automatic pool cleaner.
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    I looked at the pool cleaner and the intake hole is too small to suck these up without crushing them, so I don't think it is coming from there.
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    S it HAS to be getting in from the pipes between the skimmer and pump basket! That does not leave much to work with. How far between finding them has it been? All together? Several days? How many have you found?

    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: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    I have found about three. This first time I found two at once. This last time I found 1 and it was about a week after the first find.
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Must have been left in the pipe from the pool builder is my guess. Why it shows up now is weird. Did you just get a new pump with better flow?
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by wjr75 View Post
    Must have been left in the pipe from the pool builder is my guess. Why it shows up now is weird. Did you just get a new pump with better flow?
    The only changes I have recently before this occured was I put in new cartridge filters, so yes; the flow probably improved some. I also added borates to the pool. Maybe the acid I added to counter the borates knocked them loose? Maybe the borates somehow knocked them loose? I followed the instructions on this board precisely when adding the borates and acid (poured in half the acid very, very slowly in front of a jet, put in half the borates, brush, repeat, etc.). Everything went picture perfect; PH came out perfect, TA, borates, all perfect.
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    No idea what they could be. Here are a few tests that might be helpful:
    1) Soak a piece in acetone or MEK to see if it dissolves.
    2) Soak a piece in muriatic acid to see if it dissolves.
    3) Try a magnet to see if they are attracted by a magnet.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    My only idea as to what they could be is an old piece of cushioning foam from something that sits outside. That stuff gets a crumbly, dusty consistency after years of sun damage. Stil doesn't explain how they got into the plumbing.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Just a wild guess: electrical box watertight knockout plugs (or something like it). The rubber decomposes from the chlorine and becomes like graphite, and it leaves a black mark. The white on both sides is what is left of zinc washers, again what is left after being eaten by chlorine. Can you tell if there may have been a post in the center? May have been in the return lines a very long time, and your increased flow was just enough to get them to move out of the return lines. Again, just a wild guess.
    18' X 36' X 4.5' vinyl oval in-ground 17K gallons, 250K BTU Pentair Master Temp NG heater, 1HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S200 sand filter, Hayward Pool Vac, Extreme mesh safety cover, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    Well, and update; if it will help at all. Look how many I found today!
    http://watercolortutor.com/wp-conten...ry-bunches.jpg
    Test Kit: Taylor K-2006
    Pool:In ground/Pebble/16,000 gal/Cartridge Filter/Pool Built appr. 1995-2000

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    Re: Mystery object found in pre-pump basket: Any ideas what this is?

    That’s weird. It looks like the black pieces were glued to something. Try the solvent tests.

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