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Thread: So many problems I don't know what the title should be.....

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    So many problems I don't know what the title should be.....

    Hi,

    I'm a complete newb compared to most here, and I have been searching but haven't found anything that exactly matches my situation. Please bear with me.

    My pool is about 8 years old (specs in signature), and the last couple of years have been difficult to maintain it. The first problem I had started last year. Basically what happens is, the system works fine for a few hours, (sometimes even less than an hour), and then you start to see gradually more and more bubbles coming out of the return jets, and the pressure coming out of those jets gets lower and lower. At the same time, the pressure on the gauge at the filter, which normally reads 18psi when the pool jets are on, starts to rise and eventually gets up to 30psi. When it hits this mark, the pressure at the return jets is nothing more than a trickle of bubbles. Same thing when you switch over to the spa jets as well. There is just very little pressure coming out of the jets.

    When you look at the pump basket, it appears to only be about half full. You can see the water streaming into the pump basket through the intake pipe, that's how low the water gets. Yet even with this, the pressure at the filter is still around 30psi, nearly twice what it should be. You can also hear a "gurgling" sound coming from the top of the filter. It almost sounds like when you open the purge valve a little bit. I've tried purging it, but it has no effect.

    Now, if I run a backwash cycle, even for just a few seconds, everything goes back to normal for a while. Pressure is normal, and there is a good stream of pressure coming out of the return jets, with just a small stream of bubbles. It stays like this for a while, and then eventually it falls off again. Sometimes it goes away after a few hours, sometimes less than that.

    Other issues that I notice...after backwashing there are some bubbles and water swirling around the top of the pump basket. More than what I used to see back when the pool was working properly. I used to be able to see the bottom of the basket even when the pump was on, with maybe just a small bubble or two at the top, whereas now the bottom of the basket is blurred by the bubbles and water swirling. However, when you turn the pump off, the water stays in the basket and pump most of the time. Other times it will sounds like air is released inside the filter and the pump basket empties about half way. I had a bad o-ring a couple years ago and had the same symptoms but the pump lost pressure immediately and the water drained out of it when you shut it off.

    I'll tell you what I've done so far. Last year I was reading somewhere that it will have these symptoms with low jet pressure when the sand needs to be changed. So I found a guide on changing the sand, and I emptied the sand filter, and replaced the sand with a new batch of pool filter sand.

    The problem was still there. Then I started to slowly develop a problem with water seeping out of the backwash line. So I got tired of dealing with the hassle and just shut the pool down early last year, and haven't messed with it until this week.

    I had been doing some reading and realized the spider gasket on my multiport valve was probably the culprit for my leak in the backwash line. Upon inspecting the gasket, it was definitely bad, no doubt about it. Well, the base of my multiport was discontinued so yesterday I purchased a new multiport valve and installed it. This solved the problem with my leaky filter, and I was hoping that somehow it would magically correct the other problem but it didn't. At this point I don't see any leaks anywhere. My return line does have a corner it turns before entering the chlorine charger, and I will see a drop or two every few seconds coming from that fitting, but that's it.

    In addition to making sure the skimmer and pump baskets were clean, I also checked and lubed the pump basket lid o-ring, and also lubed the o-ring at the pump impeller. I inspected the big pump gasket that goes between the two halves and it looks fine. There are no cracks or crushed areas in any of the pump o-rings or gaskets that I've looked at.

    So at this point I'm kind of at a loss. I kind of limped along last year with it like this, and actually got the pool swimmable, but when the pressure starts going down, I notice it doesn't even fill up the canister with the chlorine tablets, so the water doesn't stay clean, and it becomes extraordinarily difficult to maintain. I really don't want to go through that again. Any advice or help you can offer would be appreciated more than words can ever convey. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Hi Greg, welcome to TFP!
    Have you checked the lines for obstructions? You can try blowing out the lines with compressed air or using a drain king and a water hose to flush the lines and see if anything comes out.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    High filter pressure normally comes from a dirty filter. Have you backwashed for a good five or ten minutes, until the water coming out runs completely clear? Backwashing for just a moment will shift everything around, but not remove much of it from the filter. It can then take a while for everything to settle down and pack in before the pressure goes back up.

    Also, can you describe what you water looks like currently?
    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: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Welcome to TFP!!

    My first surmise is that you have multiple issues that need to be addressed (like you already took care of the multiport and possible sand issues )

    It sounds like you've got an intermittent blockage in the filter or return lines - when the pressure builds up again, try putting the multi on 'recirc' and see how the jet flow is (this will take the filter out of the equation)

    Any visible drips should be remedied!

    We certainly don't mind lots of questions, but we've got to identify and deal with them one at a time

    A little POP (Pool Owner Patience) will help. As will answering our questions/ reporting the results of trying what we say.

    Again, I think there are a few different things going on - we can't be out there at your pool, so you have to be our 'eyes'. As long as you stick with us, we'll stick with you and get you to a Trouble Free Pool
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    High filter pressure normally comes from a dirty filter. Have you backwashed for a good five or ten minutes, until the water coming out runs completely clear? Backwashing for just a moment will shift everything around, but not remove much of it from the filter. It can then take a while for everything to settle down and pack in before the pressure goes back up.

    Also, can you describe what you water looks like currently?
    Well, right now the water is very green, because it has been shut down for so long. I'll try a long back wash and see what happens.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    My first surmise is that you have multiple issues that need to be addressed (like you already took care of the multiport and possible sand issues )

    It sounds like you've got an intermittent blockage in the filter or return lines - when the pressure builds up again, try putting the multi on 'recirc' and see how the jet flow is (this will take the filter out of the equation)

    Any visible drips should be remedied!

    We certainly don't mind lots of questions, but we've got to identify and deal with them one at a time

    A little POP (Pool Owner Patience) will help. As will answering our questions/ reporting the results of trying what we say.

    Again, I think there are a few different things going on - we can't be out there at your pool, so you have to be our 'eyes'. As long as you stick with us, we'll stick with you and get you to a Trouble Free Pool
    Thanks for the reply. I'm probably going to shoot some video and post it on YouTube as well, just so you can see what I'm talking about. I'll try to put it on recirc and see what happens. I'm patient, so don't worry about that.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    With it on Recirc the pressure went down to 10psi. Also when I shut the system down, the pump basket stayed full, it didn't lead any of the water out. When I turned it back on to filter, started it up, the pressure went back up. Also when I shut it down, the pump basket emptied about half way.

    I have to take my kids out for a little while, but I'll be back in this evening and will try to do a long back wash, or whatever else is suggested here. Thanks for all your help on this!!
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Thanks for the update

    The water draining when the multi is on filter (v.s. on recirc) indicates an air leak in the filter.

    The reduced pressure, when on recirc, indicates a filter blockage/ congestion.

    If you want a little help further identifying these issues, I probably can, but am not very familiar with your filter
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Ok here's the latest update. I tried doing an extended backwash. Interestingly, as soon as you switch over to backwash, it has a ton of pressure and stays that way. After a minute or so the pressure decreases, and continues to decrease. After another minute or so, there is only a trickle of pressure, about the equivalent of an open water hose. Most of the time the pump basket is still full, one one occasion I noticed that the pump basket would empty, the pressure would surge, and then go down again. Then the pump basket would try to refill but couldn't. Other times, the pump basket just stayed full and the water just trickled out of the backwash line.

    When you switch back over to "filter", the pressure is good again. Then we start the cycle all over again, pressure good, steadily declines at the return jets accompanied by bubbles. Then the filter pressure goes up and the return jets then have very little pressure.

    I know this is a mess. Thanks for taking time to respond.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    I went back and read this thread through again. It sounds like you still have a lot of algae. Is that correct?

    With a lot of algae your filter can clog very quickly. Since it runs fine on recirc and for a few minutes after a backwash, it sounds like that may be part of your problem.

    Can you provide us a full set of test results and how you got them?
    Especially:
    pH
    FC
    CC
    CYA

    And tell us what the water looks like today?
    That'll tell us where to start.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Ditto what bama said. You have to start solving the issue with test results. It sounds like you have had NO chlorine in the pool for a very long time.

    Answering the appearance of your water and posting the test results will get us started but I can almost bet you have not maintained adequate chlorine in the pool. In other words, the problem is in the water chemistry.....not a mechanical obstruction.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    The laterals on these filters may have the Clear Pro laterals. They look like white PVC pipe, not the slotted design normally associated with sand filter laterals. They are porous even though you can't see the holes. If someone vacuumed while in backwash, the micro pores in these can get clogged. You may have to pull the sand out and give them a bath in hot (not boiling!) water to loosen any stuck gook followed by a warm rinse.

    When re-adding the sand, first add about a foot of water to the tank and enough washed pea gravel to cover the laterals. A large collender is best for rinsing the gravel as it tends to be dirty when it comes out of the bag. It also prevents the addition of gravel at too fast a rate that the added water can't buffer it's landing. Add enough gravel to cover the the laterals plus an inch or two.. Then add the sand to about 10-12 inches from the rim.

    After buttoning thing up, the filter to waste setting should be used to both rinse and settle the sand. It only takes about 30 to 45 seconds. If there is a ton of gook in the bottom, turn off the drain and use the skimmers.

    I would vacuum the crud to waste but some see that as a waste of water. I see that as a waste of time and keeps the filter media from getting gooked up more than needed.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Well I just wanted to post another update on this. I definitely think the root of my pressure problems have been in the filter as some of you suggested. I had noticed that the system maintained better pressure when I had the return running through the spa jets. So I did a quick backwash which was very weak, and I left them on overnight just to see what would happen. I would imagine since the return is restricted down to two small jets it puts pressure on the rest of the system. Our spa waterfalls into the pool just so you know.

    The next morning the spa looked a little weak, but I was surprised that it was still had a decent amount of flow. I had filled up the pool, actually overfilled it, because I wanted to spend the day backwashing. So that's what I did. The first backwash of the day actually worked pretty good and then it slowed down like it had been doing, but I just let it go for a few minutes. I flipped it back to filter, and switched it back over to the pool return jets. Let them run for an hour and then backwashed again. It worked better still the second time before eventually slowing down to a weak trickle. I flipped it back to filter and ran it another hour. On the 3rd backwash it worked perfect, and I let it backwash for about 10 or 12 minutes, it seemed like forever. When I switched it back over to filter, the pool jets were strong for about 7 hours, and even then, they weren't horrible. I backwashed again and let them run during the day until I got home yesterday evening, and they still looked fine. I did another long backwash around 6pm yesterday, and this morning they still look perfect with good pressure and no air bubbles at all.

    The pool had been down since before the end of last summer so there was a lot of algae in it when I first started this process. I think everything may have snowballed last year, because I had leaks, and issues with my filter, and I just think I was behind the curve most of the swimming season. Now I've just been patient and trying to get this thing slowly but surely back into shape, and it appears to be working. The pool actually became very blue within just these 2 days of working on it. Now I just need to clear up the cloudiness which I'm sure will happen a little each day over the next week or so.

    One thing I noticed, is I think I was overwhelming my filter. When I first started trying to get the pool ready, and began chlorinating it, when I threw in the shock, after a few minutes the entire top of the pool would have what looked like a coating of dead algae floating on it. I tried to skim all I could but I couldn't get it before it went in the skimmer basket. I think this may have been the culprit of most of my problems. I believe this was getting pulled into the filter and clogging it up. Being that the chlorine is very high right now, I'm just letting it do it's job gradually, and the skimmer and filter are much cleaner as a result. When I do boost the chlorine, I just put a single bag in now, and after a few minutes I still get some algae floating to the top, but it's no where near as bad and it can easily be skimmed.

    Hopefully this does it, and I sincerely appreciate everyone's help here. THANK YOU!
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    You still haven't posted any numbers.
    How do you know you're shocking effectively?
    Throwing a single bag in isn't shocking! Plus you're adding CYA which you may or may not need, because the "shock" you're using is most likely Dichlor.

    Please do this correctly. Trust me, you'll be much happier if you do.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    I haven't been able to take a sample to the pool supply place yet to get the full numbers that were requested. I live way out in the country and the closest one is nearly an hour away. I plan on taking a sample either today or tomorrow and buying a good home test kit to help give me more detailed information, including CYA levels. The only thing I have had the ability to check for is chlorine and ph with a simple test kit, and I forgot to mention those numbers in my update. Chlorine appears to be a little over 5.0 and ph is about 6.5.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Don't waste your money on a home test kit. It won't give you what you need and you won't be any better off than you are now.

    Living out in the country is the very reason you need a good kit. You can do your own testing when you need to, not when it's convenient to go to the PS. Besides, the PS is notorious for being wrong in a lot of instances. Go ahead and order a TF-100 or a K-2006 and be done with it. You'll be surprised at how much easier it will be to maintain your pool when your tests are accurate.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Thanks for the advise.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    I went ahead an purchased a nice Taylor test kit, so that should help with getting accurate measurements. Here's what I have so far...

    ph - 6.5
    FC - 0.5
    TC - 4
    CC - 3.5
    CYA - 90

    The water is looking better and better. The jets have been working strong for nearly 24 hours. It needs to be backwashed again, but I just wanted to see if they would go back to low pressure and bubbles again. The water is blue and this evening is the first time I've been able to see the bottom of the deep end, even though it's still pretty cloudy.
    Greg
    ----------------------------
    Pool Specs: Inground, concrete, 16,500 gal
    Pump: Sta-Rite 1hp
    Filter: Tagelus Sand w/ Pentair 262506 Multiport Valve
    Sanitation: Chlorine
    Location: Central Texas
    ----------------------------

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Candidly, your numbers do not look very good. How did you test ph - 6.5? Most pool pH tests do not go below 6.8.

    Resolve your pH issue first and then I suggest you read ABC's of Pool water chemistry up in Pool School.......you've got some work ahead of you but take it one step at a time by answering the pH question.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: So many problems I don't know what the title should be..

    Greg, which Taylor kit did you get?

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