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Thread: Welcome to my nightmare

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
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    Welcome to my nightmare

    Here is my nightmare. My pool was built by the previous owners under a 82 year old California Pine that likes to shed these 2-3" needles year round. They drop into the pool and hang onto the side of the pool at the waterline until they get water logged, then they fall to the bottom. The ones that make it into the skimmer, generally get caught in the disposable debris shield that I have lining the basket, but the ones that make it through head straight to the pump and shut it down.
    I tried a suction side cleaner, but even with a leaf canister (with the debris shield in it), the needles weaseled their way through and jammed the pump. Also, the machine (the new Baracuda) got stuck on the steps about every 15 minutes, so it wasn't even doing that much cleaning. One other factor in the suction side failure was that my lame pool guy never showed me that there was actually a suction side input, I HAD TO SHOW IT TO HIM AND ASK WHAT IT WAS!!!! (yes, time for a new pool guy, but one thing at a time). Anyway, I had it attached to my skimmer input which meant that some of the needles we being sucked straight down that skimmer hole and into the pump, and jamming it up.
    I want to try a robotic cleaner, since the needles won't be headed to the pump, but I need one that can do two things. First, clean at the water line. Two, clear itself if it hits the steps. I have been looking at the Nitro Wall Climber, it's got pretty good reviews, but I read a review where it got hung up on the steps and the AquaJet, which looks pretty hokey, and I read a review where it didn't really clean at the water line.
    And just to confuse things, I'm wondering if I should try the Polaris ATV, and triple up on the debris shields to see if I can stop these needles before they hit the pump.
    I realize that no cleaner is gonna be perfect, but I'm just looking to get real close.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    My pool is sort of Kidney Shaped, about 40 X 20 or so. 2hp pump motor.
    Thanks.

    P.S. Did I mention that I have two homes being built adjacent to my property and they are pounding me with dirt and sand?
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    I wonder if a variable speed pump could also help you. You could filter longer at slower GPM's and maybe that will help the skimmer sock hold the needles it catches. Only problem is that's a big investment if it doesn't work, but at least you would save on your electricity bill. Just a thought.
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Is there a skimmer basket between your suction side pump and your cleaner?

    Up until this year, we ran ours directly connected to the pump, relying on only the pump basket to stop anything. However, this year I've been using the vacuum plate adapter for the skimmer, which allows you to keep your skimmer basket in with your suction side cleaner.

    You could also throw double skimmer socks in there as well which would help.
    Jim

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    I will tell you what I would do. Cut down the pine tree. Plant another tree somewhere else if the guilt of cutting down a tree gets to you.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Believe it or not the friggin' tree has some sort of historical significance and I have to get permission just to prune it back so it's not touching my roof. I'm telling you it's a nightmare. If the people who had built my pool just put it on the back of my property we wouldn't be having this conversation.
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by kathylee
    Believe it or not the friggin' tree has some sort of historical significance and I have to get permission just to prune it back so it's not touching my roof. I'm telling you it's a nightmare. If the people who had built my pool just put it on the back of my property we wouldn't be having this conversation.
    Well, shoot. That sucks.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by kathylee
    If the people who had built my pool just put it on the back of my property we wouldn't be having this conversation.
    Can you have the pool moved back? =>Just kidding

    I'm thinking religious use of skimmer socks is going to be your best bet, however you might look in to alternate skimmer attachments, like this one which connects to your return. I have no personal experience with any of these, so caveat emptor! I think there are a few different versions of things like this which might bring you some relief..

    http://www.intheswim.com/Pool-Equipment ... l-Skimmer/

    Good luck!
    28K IG Vinyl lined pool - 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    Hayward DE 60sqft filter; Polaris 280 vacuum with booster pump

  8. Back To Top    #8
    99ways2die's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    OP:
    Any returns near teh drop zone of your pine?

    Dunno if you can tell, but at the very far end of my pool I have a line of pine trees about 6 feet away from the pool, they're not causing too much trouble but I also end up with some pine **** in the water.
    Anway, I just purchased and installed the "poolskim" about 3 weeks ago.
    It catches 3-4 times as many leaves and other **** as my regular skimmer does!
    Now, if you only get pine needles many can simply escape the mesh catch bag, but I'd imagine that after a few get trapped they will start building up on each other and trapping more and more.
    Hard to tell.

    ...but I can do a pine test and throw a bunch at the poolskim to see how effective it really is on this stuff.

    PM me if interested, as I lose track of sub-forums and threads often.
    -99
    30K gal, in-ground/vinyl, S-270T filter, 1HP pump, H-300 gas heater, Liquidator,Blue Diamond robot, Poolskim

  9. Back To Top    #9
    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by 99ways2die
    OP:

    ...but I can do a pine test and throw a bunch at the poolskim to see how effective it really is on this stuff.

    PM me if interested, as I lose track of sub-forums and threads often.
    -99
    Not sure if you already know this, but their is a "View your own posts" button just under the POOL SCHOOL button at the top right. The amount of posts during the swim season can be a bit overwhelming to stay on top of, but just one hit of that button will bring up any thread that you have replied to.

    I have issues with pine needles too and would be interested in reading about any experiments and/or solutions.

    Thanks!
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

  10. Back To Top    #10
    99ways2die's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Alright. Just b/c of the smiley at teh end of your post I'll do the test and report back.
    I'll try to take a pix or two or even a video if it proves worthy.

    PS:
    I'm just lazy when it comes to the intertubes, and I spend 8hr per day in front of PCs/online (IT).
    I did subscribe to this thread.

    -99
    30K gal, in-ground/vinyl, S-270T filter, 1HP pump, H-300 gas heater, Liquidator,Blue Diamond robot, Poolskim

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Funny you guys should mention that pool skimmer deal, I was just looking at that one and the much cheaper version http://www.pooldevil.net/. Don't know if they both work as well. Do they hook up to the water return lines or the suction in lines?
    My needles get stuck to the side of my pool at the water line, so I don't know if these skimmers will be able to shake them loose.
    And with all the construction I was thinking that if I can get a good auto cleaner it would hit the water line and all the dirt and sand on the bottom of the pool.
    Anyone used a AquaJet?

    Love to know how your skimmer test goes.

    Thanks everyone for the responses, truly appreciated.
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  12. Back To Top    #12
    99ways2die's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    They (both products) hook up to the return lines.
    In general it looks like both do the same thing, however the Pooldevil may create unwanted water aeration (judging by the picktures on their web site).
    Neither has a force of a fire hose (as strong as teh return, and even weaker due to head loss on pipes/curves + the bag) and if your needles literaly get stuck everywhere on your waterline then they won't help in that respect.

    What these things do well (at least mine-Poolskim) is that they essentially serve as a second skimmer, which is driven by water and exposed/located right on the water. You also have the ability to extend them away/towards walls/water/etc as you please. All if takes is piping and angles. You may wish to have one a few inches away from the wall, or 2 weet away - up to you.

    I'll give you an example:
    My water hole has 2 returns. Deep end return 'eye' is pointed to the very right and it directs water flow along the edge, forcing as much surface junk as possible to my main skimmer, located half way to the shallow end. Now, before the Poolskim the shallow end return did nothing more than move water away fromt he wall, along the other side of the pool. Whatever wasn't caught by the main skimmer travelled aroudn teh pool (often not) and hopefully got caught the 2nd time around, etc.
    Well, I do have plenty of trees around and that line of pines (although not too troublesome) and it seemed that no matter how long the pump ran, we always had to manually skim the surface before swimming and any given time (if not used for a while).
    Once I added Poolskim to the shallow end return it pretty much catches everything the main skimmer misses; doesn't reduce water flow and direction). After a 2 day check point it usually has 3-4 or more times the junk the main skimmer deposited.
    I'm sold.
    I even leave it attached while the robot cleans the pool (only 4-5 times thus far)-no problems with either one yet.


    Again, this may not be of much use in your situation, but it sure is worth a consideration.
    -99
    30K gal, in-ground/vinyl, S-270T filter, 1HP pump, H-300 gas heater, Liquidator,Blue Diamond robot, Poolskim

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    I second the poolskim. I have one and it does catch quite a bit from all the junk my maple trees drop. I believe some pine needles may get through, but not as many as you are dealing with now. You could also put a stocking inside of the bag to catch the needles. It is the same concept as the ladies knee high for a skimmer sock, but get a full pair of pantyhose and use the leg.
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Thanks again, I'm gonna start with a good robotic cleaner, see if that helps, then if it's not dealing with the problem I'm gonna go all out and get a pool skimmer.
    One of you guys mentioned that you run the pool skimmer and your cleaner, don't they get tied up on each other?

    Lloyd
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    The poolskim actually comes with a little attachment that is supposed to prevent the hose getting tangled up. I don't have an automatic cleaner, so I can't profess to how well it actually works.
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    This being my first pool (any maybe my last), I find that my return lines don't really pump water out that strongly. Is that normal? Does the water pressure out of the return need to be strong for the pool skim to work?

    Thanks,

    Lloyd
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    "Debris shield"? Is that the same as a skimmer sock?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    I believe so, I get mine at Leslie's, http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...0:6000/I/20732 although if you have a better source that is cheaper I'd love to hear it. I run through these things pretty quick.

    Thanks.
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by kathylee
    I believe so, I get mine at Leslie's, http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...0:6000/I/20732 although if you have a better source that is cheaper I'd love to hear it. I run through these things pretty quick.

    Thanks.
    Knee-hi stockings.

    The stronger the return, the better the poolskim works. If your return is not strong, you may have another problem. How is the suction from the skimmer to the pump?
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Welcome to my nightmare

    the suction in the skimmer is pretty good. but the water out of the returns isn't what I would call strong. there are three of them and one is really weak, but honestly i don't think i could handle finding out I have something else to worry about, so just lie to me and tell me that's the way it's supposed to work.

    Lloyd
    Salt Water pool shaped like a dog's ear
    WhisperFlo 2Hp, Pentair 4000 series
    Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generator
    Turbo Cell T-Cell 15, Pentax Mini-Max NT

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