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Thread: New to pools and in need of help...please and thank you :(

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    Aug 2010
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    New to pools and in need of help...please and thank you :(

    Hi, I am a complete newbie to pools, never had one before in my life. Bought a foreclosure last summer and this summer have been trying to open an inground pool that has sat for at least 3 years. Luckily it had a Loop-Loc mesh safety cover, so there was little actual debris, just lots of algae, and nice dark green/black colored water. I replaced the non-working pressure gauge on filter.

    I had been shocking it plenty, having samples tested at pool store, and adjusting ph, alkalinity, calcium, etc. as advised. I will be buying my own test kit as well, since I've read that is what's best. With running the pump 24hrs a day, brushing the sides & bottom, skimming, it was showing very little improvement (just a slightly different color, dark brownish). After reading many articles on here, and again at the advice of the pool store, it was determined that the sand must need changed in the filter.

    So a couple days ago I tackled that one...scraped out 300 pounds of very smelly, greyish/black sand (more like sludge) and replaced it with fresh new sand. Now I've put it back together and running (and am shocking again), but I have a couple of questions: I put the V-clamp back on the filter exactly the way I took it off, and tightened it down, but when turned on there is a little water dribbling out from under it in a couple of spots. Does this mean I still don't have it tight enough? Or is there some sort of gasket/seal that I didn't notice that may need replaced? (forgive me, I am not the most mechanical person).

    My other question is: How much movement should I be seeing in the water? Even before I changed the sand it seemed like I did not see much movement from the returns...right after I would turn it on to filter, or after backwash/rinse/filter I would see a jet of water out of each of the two returns. But then it would go away and the water seems to be almost still. Now that I've changed the sand it appears the same way. Is this normal, or does this indicate another problem?

    Thank you in advance for any guidance you may offer!
    18x36 inground vinyl, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo T-240 BP-1 sand filter, Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: How much movement should I see? And other questions...

    Hey, gpg,

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds like your filter is almost instantly clogging up with all the junk it is taking from the pool.

    Have you backwashed? Did you notice the pressure when the sand was clean and brand new? What is the pressure now?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: How much movement should I see? And other questions...

    Before changing the sand it was always around 16psi. After new sand it was at 13psi. Is this normal? How often should I be backwashing while it is in this state?
    18x36 inground vinyl, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo T-240 BP-1 sand filter, Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How much movement should I see? And other questions...

    While the pool is full of algae, you should backwash any time the PSI goes up by 6 (ie when it gets to 19), or once a week even if it hasn't gone up that much.

    You should look in the skimmer or feel a return jet by hand to get a sense of how much water flow there is, rather than watching for water movement. Water movement isn't always clearly visible other than in the skimmer(s), even when the water is moving well.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: How much movement should I see? And other questions...

    Hi Jason, thank you for replying. I felt the water coming out of return and you were right, it felt like a good flow even though I couldn't see much from the surface. So I've been shocking and filtering and brushing and the water had lightened up some (murky brown color). But then I came home from work tonight, it was at 20psi so I backwashed, rinsed, turned to filter. I noticed the water was turning a rusty color. Then I saw that it looks like it is shooting some sort of dirt out the returns?? I quick shut it off, backwashed again, rinsed, then let it sit for a minute (since I had read that rinsing helps the sand in filter to settle down, and thought maybe for some reason it wasn't settled all the way). Then I turned on filter again but it still looked like a stream of dirt was coming out of returns. What would cause this, or is it just dirt in the pool being stirred up that looks like that? I feel like I am not making headway here
    18x36 inground vinyl, Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo T-240 BP-1 sand filter, Pentair SuperFlo pump

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