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Thread: Cleaning out a mucky pool

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    Cleaning out a mucky pool

    I do not have test results yet. Stuff is on order, such as test kits etc. I do know that PH is 6.5 and TDS is about 7500 .

    Just starting to get the gunk out of the pool, chlorinating to keep it from going green (the chlorinator is inoperative). It's so full of stuff that this is my main worry at present.

    I can scoop some of the gunk, but a lot just breaks up and gets through the scoop. So I stir it up and use the filter. However there is a lot of the stuff, and the filter gets up in pressure pretty fast. So I am back-washing a lot. Lots of water going away

    Will changing the sand help here? Pool shop sez yes, but the more I read here the more I worry. Why do you change the sand? I want to get this right, but don;t want to blow money for nothing.

    I had the idea of a settling tank, that can be used later for other things, so that I can flush the filter into that, let it settle, and decant the water back into the pool. I was thinking of a poly rain water tank. The stuff seems to settle pretty fast in the pool, certainly within a couple of hours. Thoughts? Other suggestions?

    Are cartridge filters better in this regard?

    Any help appreciated. Trying not to throw thousands of litres of water away.

    Nick
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    So I am back-washing a lot. Lots of water going away
    Somehow, with the condition of your water, I don't think this is such a bad thing.

    Others will comment with specifics about your sand filter and use of a settling tank. From what I've read on this forum, a change of sand is not usually called for. I use a cartridge filter and am happy with its performance, but I don't know that a cartridge is necessarily superior to any other kind of filter.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Yeah you may be right. I just feel bad about wasting so much water. I feel that if I can get rid of the muck, It should be doable to get the water right, although the TDS really bothers me. I think the people who had the pool before had even less idea than i about pools, and could care less. they may have just throwing in salt and chlorine in the vain hope of keeping it going.

    Question. I have a TDS meter, which I am happy is accurate, but TDS is not necessarily all salt. Are the test strips for salt any use? Do they actually test for NaCl only?

    Nick
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    I have a TDS meter, which I am happy is accurate, but TDS is not necessarily all salt. Are the test strips for salt any use? Do they actually test for NaCl only?
    Hi Nick,

    The TDS for this pool is pretty high and I can understand how you would want to be able to isolate NaCl from other, possibly less desirable components. If your fill water is good, partially draining and refilling should reduce your TDS. It will remove salt as well... but salt is cheap.

    The accuracy of salt test strips is controversial. It is my opinion that for water with a high TDS level, salt test strips (I've only tried the AquaChek brand) are not sufficiently accurate for the purpose of comparison with the conductivity test readout of a salt water chlorine generator. Here too, my experience is limited -- to Hayward/Goldline's Aqua-Cell. Concerned this fall that my salt test strips were reporting 800 ppm over the salt cell, I purchased a Taylor K-1766 sodium chloride drop test kit. (It's inexpensive -- about US$ 24.00; see here.) The Taylor drop test consistently reports NaCl within 100 ppm of the Aqua cell's readout. So, for me this was a good purchase.

    Greg
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Thanks very much for that. 800ppm OVER! Ecch! That's the last thing I need.

    Our water runs at about 200ppm, so it's not too bad.

    I will definitely try to locate a dropper test in Oz, or even import (but I want to get on with this). If that shows a much lower reading, I need to find out what else is lurking

    Good news! The filter came on this evening, and I went out and stirred up the pool and a LOT less gunk floated up. I may be gradually winning the muck war.

    Nick
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    Good news! The filter came on this evening, and I went out and stirred up the pool and a LOT less gunk floated up. I may be gradually winning the muck war.

    Nick
    With gunk like this, shouldn't the filter run 24/7?
    How about some filter socks, also?
    With frquent backwashing & refilling with fresh water, your numbers should improve, too.
    (Don't think that cartridge filters can be backwahed)

    Keep adding chlorine!!!
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by heikejohn
    With gunk like this, shouldn't the filter run 24/7?
    How about some filter socks, also?
    Depends on how fast the filter gets up to backwash pressure. If it takes only an hour or two, then you don't want to leave it on unattended.

    Skimmer socks similar deal, they will help keep gunk out of the filter but have to be kept clear enough not to overly restrict the water flow.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick

    Good news! The filter came on this evening,
    Nick
    I interpreted it as: filter is on a timer, only running in the evening.

    To me this meant: filter is not running long enough every day to make any significant head-way to filter out enough gunk.

    But you are right, with this much stuff, definitly keep an eye on the pressure & backwash as soon as it builds up too high.

    When I had a bunch of leaves in the spring, I ran my cleaner with a skimmer sock. The big chunks never made it into my filter. I stopped every 10 min, changed filter sock and kept on vacuming. I did not have to backwash more than 1 time.
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    I tried the 24/7 idea, but yes, it just ran up into clog mode and that's not good for anything, so I am running it for 8 hours and then backwashing.

    Also the gunk settles even when the pump is running, so I am wasting a lot of power as far as the really bad stuff is concerned, if I just let the pump run (can't be there _all_ the time )

    I am thinking of putting a length of 3/4[' hose into one of the outlets: let it stir up the bottom stuff a bit.

    As things are easing a bit (the filter pressure is high but not in the red) I will probably run longer, keeping an eye on things, stirring up the sediment and flushing as needed.

    I agree that dumping water and refilling can only help with the cruddy stuff that's in there. Given the awful readings, better to get rid of it. I just _hate_ dumping water.

    It's a pity the ionisers get a bad wrap, because at least you could use the dump water to water the garden!

    Appreciate being able to talk through this, guys. I was walking out into the garden and just shaking my head for a while.
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Unless your chlorine is sky-high, which it probably is not considering the condition of your water, or your plants are very sensitive, you CAN use your backwash for watering purposes.

    Are you vacuuming? Let the stuff settle and then vac it up, really slowly so you don't stir it up too much.

    Are you adding bleach? Unless you get ahead of the gunk, it will just keep growing!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Trouble is it's salty. TDS 7800. Not many plants are going to like that beyond seaweed..... Water that lies on the blanket dries out and there is an enormous amount of crust.

    Hehe another part to the story. the backwash pipe is blocked solid (as I explosively discovered when I tried to back wash the first time ) So "they" were dumping onto the ground, and it just killed everything and left a white desert. I simply used Agricultural pipe above ground to replace it.

    I tried vacuuming, but the suction tube is split all over. As you can tell this system was not very well kept. I am working on getting bits and pieces as I learn and discover the next broken thing.

    What I have done is to put the refill hose into the pool with its nozzle on and it's screaming around the pool stirring up the gunk all the time (and amusing the heck out of me, my wife and the dog ...I have to get _some_ fun from all this). This is making a huge difference to the effectiveness of filtering, but is also back to clogging the filter very fast (the pool was not as clean as I had hoped). Since the vacuum goes to the filter anyway, this will fill in until I get organised, and it kills two birds with one stone.

    Given the number of chlorine pails about the place, apart from the leaf gunk, I reckon they were just throwing in powdered chlorine (35% Calcium) and not filtering. I was using powdered chlorine, not realising that it will cause cloudiness and precipitate. So I am going to grab some liquid chlorine and a test kit.
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    I cannot be sure, since I am not the chemistry student I once was, but I would say salt plays less a role in your TDS number (and the white crusty stuff) that calcium might....

    SOunds like you are slowly but surely getting on top of things... Make sure you get a GOOD test kit, like the TF100... I think Dave can ship down under...

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Yeah, Calcium certainly can play a role in TDS.

    I will look at getting the TDS 100, but I might try to get something locally first. Even if it's not dead accurate, it will let me start to get a handle on exactly what is happening.

    I may well grab some flocculant as well. See what that does.
    Nick
    Perth Western Australia
    ~20,000 US liquid Gal (~80000 L) inground concrete, pretty much oblong roughly 11m * 8m and 1.2 - 1.8+ m deep SWCG, 24" Sand filter, Hurlcon 1hp pump

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning out a mucky pool

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    I will look at getting the TDS 100, but I might try to get something locally first.

    I may well grab some flocculant as well. See what that does.
    Oh, you can try to get TDS 100, but you may have a hard time acquiring it. However, I've got an unending supply of TDS 6000 that I'll sell you for only $1000.00 a gallon, post paid.

    Ahem. Seriously, try to get a test kit that at least features a FAS-DPD Chlorine test. Here are links to two stand-alone FAS-DPD kits:

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/produ ... KitID=2185
    http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?act ... oductId=23

    Recommend caution in what you add to the pool in your attempt to clean up. Here's a thread that may cover some of what you're going through:

    turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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