Hello everyone. I'm seeking the help of the TFP masses and I'm hoping you can provide some answers.
I just had the pool opened 3 days ago and I'm having filter issues. The pool in in-ground about 27,000 gallons with a DE Hayward 60 cu filter. I have a loop-lock pool cover that is porous so when the cover is removed the water is very swampy and it takes a good 5-7 days to gain clarity. The process involves a lot of DE and a lot of backwashing because of all the junk in the pool. Its very high-maintenance.
I have been dealing with this for 5 summers now since I bought the house. This summer I decided to switch to Fiber Clear and stop dealing with DE. I took the filter apart and hosed the fins down pretty good. I didn't clean the inside floor of the filter though but there wasn't that much DE in there so I'm not sure if that is causing my issues (which I will get to in a min I promise!). I had local pool guys open the pool on Thursday morning. They were aware of the Fiber Clear product and it seemed that they have used it before. They added the suggested 2.5 bags to the skimmer after the opening. They also added algaecide to the pool because it was so green. (I'm not sure if this is what is causing my issues)
Here is the problem. I didn't realize how much more efficient Fiber Clear was vs DE. and when I went to check on the pool for the first time after the opening the pressure gauge on the filter was at 25psi and there was almost no water flowing through the returns. I'm going to imagine that because of all the **** in the pool water that the Fiber Clear clogged really quickly and required a thorough backwashing very early in the cycle (short-cycle?).
So I started backwashing early and often which is something I am accustomed to during the first week every year.
Here is what is different this year from the previous openings.
About 5 minutes after a back-wash the pressure jumps from 14psi to 21psi. While the pressure is at 14 all the returns are running great. The waterfall flow is really strong and the spa spills over vigorously. When the pressure jumps to 21 the waterfall stops and spa spill slows to a trickle. The rest of the returns in the pool feel OK but not great. The other puzzling thing is that the water line in the skimmer attached to the pump dropes about 3 inches. It starts out great with the water level pressed up against the inside of the clear plastic lid but when the pressure jumps to 21 the I can see the water flowing into the pump-skimmer from the pool. I have tried doing really long backwash cycles to clear as much of the Fiber Clear from the filter as possible and then running the filter WITHOUT recharging with Fiber Clear and this pressure jump and skimmer level drop still happens!! As of right now I haven't added any Fiber Clear to the filter after the last 3 LONG backwashes!!!
I don't remember this happening in previous years. The pool is always high maintenance during the first week of opening but I don't remember these wild swings in pressure and the changes in the strength of the water running thru the returns. I also don't ever remember the water level changing in the pump-skimmer. (that is not to say it wasn't happening its just that I might not have noticed it!! I learn new stuff about my pool every year!!!)
Is this happening because the Fiber Clear is still in the filter even after a few long backwashes with no recharges. Does it settle at the bottom of the filter and take a few minutes to coat the fins and that is why the pressure changes 5 minutes after the cycle is re-started. Is the algaecide causing a reaction with the Fiber Clear inside my filter that the backwash will not fix? Or am I just being impatient and everything will start working normal again as the water clears? (it is now just cloudy and no longer green. i have added about 10 pounds of shock over the last 3 days!!)
I am about to take the filter apart and clean the fins again to remove all the Fiber Clear and then start over. Depending on the answers I get from TFP masses I might go back to DE for one more summer.
Thanks in advance