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Thread: The blue lagoon turned green

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    The blue lagoon turned green

    I'm a new homeowner and totally new to pools. I've already learned a lot so here's the story so far.

    • Bought house. Had pool inspection before close, took note of a few things needing attention but nothing bad.
    • Called the pool company that has serviced the house for the last N years, no callback. My wife called, ditto.
    • Found a different pool guy. Signed up for chemical only service.
    • Started repairing pool sweep. Fix one thing, another breaks. Finally gets working well, for a few days. Pool nice and clear.
    • Noticed sweep no longer works. Check filter basket, check sweep. Puzzled.
    • Pool starts turning green. Pool guy notices, comes back later in the week to check on it and add algicide.
    • Investigate. Take apart the filter, remove cartridges. Whole thing is green, filled with pine needles, etc. Wash it all off well, dry filters in the sun a bit, put back in.
    • Realize that the system is not working and after reading, realize I need to bleed the system at the pressure valve. Manually start pump at its control panel (vs the compool system as this one is not responding. I bleed the air until a steady stream comes out. System still not working. Recheck - still have air. Repeat this for an hour then decide that air must be entering the system somewhere.


    So where I am at. Filed claim with home warranty company. They assigned to a pool company that is booking a week plus out.
    I would like to keep digging - my next guess is that I need to coat the filter orings with something as air may be entering? But I wonder if that were the case, wouldn't water be leaking out of the main filter?

    Suggestions welcome! And thanks for this forum, look forward to learning and possibly helping others one day.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Hi, welcome to TFP! If I am reading this correctly the pump works, but draws air into the system? Air leaks are usually on the suction side of the plumbing. You can use silicon pool lube on the o-rings to see if that helps. How high is the water level in the pool. It should be at least 1/2 way up the skimmer opening.
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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Hi, welcome to TFP! If I am reading this correctly the pump works, but draws air into the system? Air leaks are usually on the suction side of the plumbing. You can use silicon pool lube on the o-rings to see if that helps. How high is the water level in the pool. It should be at least 1/2 way up the skimmer opening.
    Update. Went to Leslie's (pool supply). Bought lube, gasket for the filter pump. They did not have a new gasket for the filter itself (the large one).
    I removed the old pump gasket, lubed the new one, and installed.
    Removed the clean and clear assembly cover, checked the gasket - it looks pretty new and is not flat.
    Cleaned up the seat, lubed the seat and gasket, reinstalled and tightened until the coils on the tightening band touch as shown in the diagram on the side.
    Repeated priming process, same thing.
    Air, air, a little water, a lot of water. Water gushing then spitting, then more air, then all air. Leave it for 2-3 mins and it repeats.
    Closing the valve and letting it run does the same thing.

    The only other oddity is I cannot get the compool panel to turn on the pump. It lights up, but does nothing. The only way to engage the pump is on its control panel, where it says it is priming (I guess it's smart enough to know that?)

    With the holiday weekend approaching, odds of getting someone to look at it are slim. I'd appreciate other suggestions.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Check your drain plugs and the inlet pipe on on your pump too. Check for cracked o-rings and make sure they are lubed up. If you have valves or unions elsewhere on the suction side, then there may be o-rings that could be failing on those.

    Shaving cream is a decent diagnostic tool for above ground air leaks. It can temporarily reduce or seal a suction side leak. Smear it on suspected places like unions, valves and pipe joints. To isolate a leak, do each test place one at a time and see if the air leak goes away. Once you are done with the shaving cream, it washes off with a hose and a bit of brushing.

    For more involved diagnostics, you can Pressure test it like described here: http://www.royalswimmingpools.com/bl...ssure-testing/ If it's loosing pressure with this test, blow out the suction lines to remove water like you would when winterizing them. Then seal off the skimmers with rubber plugs and pressurize the line from just before the inlet to the pump with 20psi of air from an air compressor. Now you can listen for leaking air.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Air, air, a little water, a lot of water. Water gushing then spitting, then more air, then all air. Leave it for 2-3 mins and it repeats.
    Another thought...do you have enough water in your pool? If the water level at the skimmer is much less than half way up the intake, then the pump can draw all of the water out of the skimmer box and then start drawing air in the skimmer. Once the pump looses prime, then the skimmer box refills and the cycle restarts. This 2-3 minute cycle time that you describe fits this scenario.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Quote Originally Posted by Davejavu View Post
    Another thought...do you have enough water in your pool? If the water level at the skimmer is much less than half way up the intake, then the pump can draw all of the water out of the skimmer box and then start drawing air in the skimmer. Once the pump looses prime, then the skimmer box refills and the cycle restarts. This 2-3 minute cycle time that you describe fits this scenario.
    The pool has an autofill valve (with a float). Checked and it seems to be working fine. Regardless, I'm adding some water to see if that helps.
    The water is about 1/3 up the skimmer and the skimmer baskets are filled with water so I don't think it's sucking air from there.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Quote Originally Posted by danix View Post
    The pool has an autofill valve (with a float). Checked and it seems to be working fine. Regardless, I'm adding some water to see if that helps.
    The water is about 1/3 up the skimmer and the skimmer baskets are filled with water so I don't think it's sucking air from there.
    Added a bunch more water, same thing. Arg.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    I still recommend that you watch your skimmers anyways to make sure the box does not go dry at the same time the pump sucks air. If all is good there, then you could try some of the diagnostic other tips.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Quote Originally Posted by Davejavu View Post
    I still recommend that you watch your skimmers anyways to make sure the box does not go dry at the same time the pump sucks air. If all is good there, then you could try some of the diagnostic other tips.
    Thanks. Box does not go dry. Will have to keep trying.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    A buddy of my pool inspector showed up (3 days late). He is certain there is a clog in the lines. He said the motor runs in spa mode but not in pool mode.
    He recommended I go to home depot and get a "backflow device" and use it to try to clear the lines. He said make sure I get a 2" to match the lines.
    I think he's talking about something that will allow me to attach a garden hose to reverse water flow towards the skimmers, and unclog the lines?
    He said the correct method is compressed air but that has to be a pro. When I asked if he could do it, he said yes, but only in 4 weeks.
    Every single pool person I have spoken to is swamped with business.

    So - what kind of device is he talking about?

    Lastly, he noticed the noise of the 2-3 year old pump and said the bearings are on the way out.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    If there is a clog, you could use a drain snake. But, you would want to buy something brand new and hand powered...something like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd/Cobra-1-2-in...uger/999908747
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    I think what he was talking about is a drain bladder like this: Medium Drain Bladder-BC00332 - The Home Depot
    There are a few youtube videos showing how to clear lines with it. Worth a shot.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Drain bladders can work, but a lot of times they do not. Depending on what is clogging the pipe, the water you inject into the pipe could easily flow through the clog and will have little effect on removing it. Other times, it works great. Drain snakes almost always work. However you attempt it, I wish you the best of luck.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Continuing the saga.
    Used drain bladder at the pump side. I get water flowing through to one of the skimmers, but none to the other.
    Ran it from the skimmer side, I get flow at the pump from one, none from the other and it pops itself out of the skimmer hole almost immediately on that one.

    Clearly we're dealing with a clogged line at the far side of the pool closest to several large evergreen/pines that drop needles. When I bought the house, I wondered why the far side skimmer basket had lots of needles but the one closer to the tree had none. Now I know - there was no flow there!

    Found that the skimmer holes are threaded and a 2" cap fits in there. Capped the skimmer hole on the one that was flowing to force more pressure to the other skimmer.
    This results in the bladder forcing itself out of the pump opening.

    Tried a leaf blower and blew at the skimmer side, nothing.

    Bought a drain snake and tried it on the plugged line, but can't get very far at all. I've read mixed opinions on whether snakes are safe to use with pool lines so I don't want to mess with it too much.

    My local pool store does line clearing with compressed air at $125 a line, but are booked for 4 weeks. I have a home warranty service call for July 5th but was hoping the poor kids could use this pool over the holiday weekend so I am not giving up.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    Call a plumber or drain cleaning service. They have long, powered drain snakes that can reach out a hundred feet or more. They also may have a sewer jet machine, basically a long, thin flexible hose with a spray nozzle mounted to a pressure washer. It sprays a powerful jet of water ahead and 2-3 jets to the rear to wash out the pipe. The forward spray nozzle clears the way and the rear nozzles wash out the debris. These companies are experts at cleaning clogs from pipes and maybe they can come up with an answer to your problem.

    Problem you run into is that pressurized water lines use tight, squared off 90 degree elbows instead of a long sweeping 90 like drains use. These are very difficult to get around with a rigid drain snake, depending on pipe size even the thin and flexible hose of the sewer jet machine may fail to get around one of these elbows. If the clog is stubborn enough you may have to dig the pipe up so the elbow can be removed and the long length of pipe itself can be accessed.

    You have to be very careful trying to use air pressure to clear lines, PVC piping can get brittle and blow out. It can be a very catastrophic failure. I once seen PVC installed in a shop for air lines burst and violently launch shards of plastic in all directions.
    AGP 24' x 54" approx 14000 gal Full sun all day, Hayward 1.5 HP and EC50 D.E. filter
    Stenner 45MPHP10 10 gal/day fixed rate with intermatic ET1125C timer
    Dolphin E10 robotic cleaner, 330 gallon Tiger River Spa, Taylor K-2006C test kit

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    Re: The blue lagoon turned green

    I finally got a hold of the pool company that had been servicing the pool for 20 years. They had a death in the family and simply shut down for a while.
    The owner came out with CO2 and cleared the line in a jiffy.
    He explained that the far side skimmer was closed for a reason (I forget why). Anyway, I resumed full service with him.

    I have other questions I will post in another thread. Thanks for the replies.
    ---
    pool size 38,000 gal. IG, plaster/pebble.
    control system: Compool C3800
    pump: pentair intelliflo vf3050. filter: pentair clean and clear plus 520 CCP-520
    sweep pump (booster): pentair LA01N. heater: Sta-Rite sr400NA. spa pump: americana 1081?

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