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Thread: Darn Swimmers!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Darn Swimmers!

    Well, the sun came out. And then the swimmers decided to use the pool.

    Every time they play, the water gets cloudy. It's frustrating the **** out of me. I maintain min/target religiously, full time double 1000gph pumps, skimmer cleaned regularly, and I vacuum nearly every day. The only thing I can think of is the tiny particles of dirt that seem to re-settle after vacuuming.

    Just for kicks, here's my test results:

    TC - between 3 and 7+ daily. Today in the am it was 7.5, tonight I expect to see 3 or 4 as expected.
    FC - See above
    CC - 0 (although after adding pre-algaed tap water the other day I did see a trace of CC, which was gone at end of day)
    PH - 7.7
    TA- 85
    CH- 50
    CYA - 38'ish

    Borates - 40-45 (ordered test strips from TFTestkits, not here yet. As such this # is an assumption)

    I'll be adding some acid today to bring PH back down to 7.5 and alkalinity closer to 75 because H dumped in the rest of the 20/20 he found in the garage last night (to get rid of the nearly empty box). We'd added some borax earlier this weekend assuming we'd lost at least 25% since last year although the amount added to the pool wasn't nearly enough to replace 25% of the borates (due to lack of borax on hand). Kinda hard to convince H not to just dump stuff in, he already thinks I overthink this pool thing so I told him go ahead and fling the +/- 1c in if he must, I'll check ph in the am and adjust it with acid today. ph went from 7.5 to 7.7 with this addition, alkalinity was raised +/- 10ppm.

    I like my pool without swimmers. I think they should be banned. It's perfect till somebody gets in it, and then it takes most of a day of no swimmers to clear up crystal again. It occurs with or without sunscreen, and I usually make them take a shower before getting in as well, feet are pre-sanitized and rinsed in a kiddie pool chlorinated with a trichlor puck and floater. I let the kids test the foot water for fun, it's always crazy orange high (OTO).

    Now I may be a little picky, H says it looks great but I expect crystal clear water. While it's clear, it's not crystal and sparkling till no one swims for about 18 hours. As soon as they swim again, back to funky.

    Is my issue tiny particles that are un-filterable with crummy Intex type filters, or something else? Maybe H was right about trying floc? Will that make the particles larger so the vacuum filter will catch them?

    Or does everyone's pool look a little cloudy after a lot of use? Nah... someone would have noted this if so.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Do you have the cartridge filter or the sand filter? It would seam the filter is your primary issue. Dirt and waste settle to the bottom and are not getting filtered out. When everything settles the water is clear. When they swim they stir things up and the dirt is back in suspension and some is filtered out. If you have a sand filter you can add a little DE and see if that helps clear things up. Otherwise, that is life with stock intex equipment.
    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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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Swimmers aren't your pool's worst enemy. It's water first and then the Sun. People are a distant 3rd.

    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.

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    I'm trying out this Fiber Clear stuff. Basically, wood cellulose that catches finer particles. Fairly cheap, I bought a bag for $6, about the size of a medium bag of chips. I put 2 cups into the strainer, looks like I will be able to get 6-8 doses from the bag. Supposed to catch oils and bits down to 2 microns.

    Just put it in today, we'll see what it looks like tomorrow.

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    I'm three days into running my Hayward sand filter (50 bucks, craigslist!). I can already appreciate its benefits over the intex cartridge. If that's what you're running, I'd replace it, FAST! I'm so estatic at how maintenance free, yet clean my pool is already (and no more daily filter cleanings/swaps). And I'm only running an intex 2100 gph pump!

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    What are you using to test your pool?
    27K gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP pump, 24" sand filter, Goldline Aqua Plus SWG

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    LauleaHere&There's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    I have the same issue. I attribute it to the dust here, which is extremely fine, like silt. Even with skimmer socks, which catch a lot of it, I'm never entirely clear, even after vacuuming.
    12' round above ground pool. 3,500 gal. Vinyl liner. Waterway Supreme Hi-Flo 48 frame pump. 1.5 hp. SWG. Sand filter with Zeobrite.

    Thanks, members of Trouble Free Pool, for being so friendly and informative!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Mah test kit...

    Pieced together frogabogish copy of K-2006/TF100 plus leftover HTH 6-Way for the OTO, alkalinity and calcium hardness. I've got new K-2006 style alkalinity reagents on order from TFTestkits at the moment (and new R-0070 powder cuz I spilled it). CH, I am distinctly not worried about with a tap CH of about 2ppm and an Intex pool w/o heater... I don't bother testing that regularly. It's 50 right now, and that's only because I added some last year before I found BBB and it's slowly going down. The HTH CH reagents won't run out any time soon.

    I gave dad my R-0001 and R-0002 last week, I don't need them (they were new last summer, 2oz bottles) and the Master Tech test block seems to have faded over time or something, it isn't inaccurate but the colors don't exactly match... I also have a 2oz Taylor Phenol Red to use with the K-2006 Taylor test block and I usually double check PH with that before trusting the OTO. CYA is from a massively large Master Tech K-2005 style kit that has to be about 15 years old but has two huge bottles of reagent left. It works fine, I get the same reading from the HTH CYA test that I do from the ancient CYA reagent. I don't use pucks so the only change in CYA comes when I drain or add water. I do not use the hose to vacuum with.

    I also have a Hannah test meter available and I've been using that to verify ph when I'm feeling color blind. It doesn't test FC above 2.5ppm or TC above 3.0ppm but last year I was able to use it at minimum (CYA was lower last year) and get a good CC reading with the meter that I used to verify the K-2005 style FC/TC readings. It tests CH and total hardness as well as iron in a convoluted way with three vials/reagents to give a final hardness count. It was used to test salt water chlorinator systems (drinking water) that H represented at one point.

    More than you wanted to know? Basic answer would have been that I've got all the stuff I need plus some I don't, even if it's not all from one source or in a pretty box... Although if I had to do it all over I'd have ordered the TF100 last year and then H would never have brought home the HTH 6-Way and we'd be about $50 richer not piecing it together. At least the Hannah meter didn't cost anything...
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Glad your not using strips!

    This might be worth a try if you think your filter is letting the small stuff go by:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/slime...an-t32951.html
    27K gal, IG vinyl, 1.5 HP pump, 24" sand filter, Goldline Aqua Plus SWG

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Frog, this cracks me up, because, if I don't have swimmers, my water gets bad? Idk why, but I think they stir lots of the junk into my skimmer??? We just filled like over a week ago, so, that may be why, but, even with our intex pools, when we didn't swim, the water was bad! I have only had to add bleach, little borax and little baking soda. I am surprised to see someone that swimmers seem to make chemicals worse. My cousin had an in ground and loved for swimmers. She said it helped stir up debris and easier to clean??? Idk, I'm still new at figuring all this out since this will be our first year with a pool we leave water in year round! Good luck!
    SW, Virginia
    16,400 Gallons AGP
    27'x52" Esther Williams
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Dynamo pump
    Solar Cover

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    frogabog... I seem to have the same issue as you this season. Last year it didn't matter whether we had swimmers or not it was always clear -except for the time I failed a day or two to double check my FC when the weather took a turn for a heat wave...oopsie!

    This year I'm constantly vacuuming the silt off the bottom and if people get in it it stirs up anything remaining. I always go into hyper mode after everyone gets out to double check my chlorine levels and they're always fine but still the cloudiness.

    I see we're in very different parts of the country... guess we can't blame our climates.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Along with proper sanitation, good flow and filtration are key to clear water in your pool. Unfortunately with stock intex equipment you will not have good flow or filtration. Intex does offer somewhat of a solution with their sand filter/pump combo unit, but overall the happiest folks are the ones who upgrade to standard above ground pool equipment for pumps and filters.

    I had an the 18 foot intex "big bag of water" pop up for one season. It was terrible. I had constant leaves dropping in that had to be scooped out and the pump/filter was a joke. At that time they did not offer the pump/sand filter combo and I had not found TFP (where they around 7 years ago?) It turned green in two weeks and I could never get it clear. I was looking into buying a better pump and filter at the end of the season. When spring rolled around the ring would not hold air, so we cut it up and hauled it to the curb. Didn't get my current pool for another year. The difference caring for it has been night and day, even with my frequent algae blooms before I found TFP in 2009. Without good equipment, you are just beating your head against the wall.

    Pool care is like a 3 legged stool. Sanitation, flow, and filtration make up the legs. If one is insufficient or missing, your going to fall over. That's just how it is.
    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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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    I know my situation isn't due to my system... I have a sand filter and we have a main drain along w/our skimmer in our abg. We use the skimmer and main drain 50/50 so we get constant turnover. We also have been running the pump 24/7 lately ... still sediment in the bottom with great test numbers all along.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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  14. Back To Top    #14
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    While I agree that the stock equipment that comes with the Intex pools isn't the best, we are however running two Intex style 1000gph pump/filters on the pool and for the most part they work just fine.

    The fine particles are new this year, and H blames my lack of draining and refilling for it saying that he wanted to drain and refill because the equipment isn't good enough to filter a winter's worth of sediment (mostly, but not always covered all the rainy winter). Since I didn't do this and instead just cleaned it for 3 hours, most of which was spent battling currently falling hawthorne petals and stamens, and then filled it up cuz all the kids who were helping that day simply wanted to swim. Call me a weak mom... but they all worked hard to help and the water wasn't really even that bad to start with, numbers were fine so I gave in and let it fill to the top. I guess the fines got me though.

    I'm going to look into the sack, but have also looked at the Unicel cartridge filter replacements for Intex equipment. My question on those is whether or not they are better than the Intex filters, i.e. will they catch the fines. If these filters aren't going to do the job, I'd rather not bother trying them and look to the bag or something else to handle them.

    I have more than enough flow with two pumps, and I've got suction at the water line with the skimmer and at the floor with the second pump (bat weighted down). I don't mind running the pumps full time, the water is always swirling, the skimmer catches lots of surface debris, the floor is slightly dished (by design), and most of the junk actually ends up in the center of the pool even without the kids swirling it after the last swim. The water is crystal clear once the sediment falls.

    Would floc increase the particle size at all so that the vacuum filter (with skimmer sock inside) would work better?
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Investing in a Intex Sand filter was the best thing i ever done after using the stock cartridge filter all last summer and trying to convince myself that it had plenty of circulation as soon as i started the sand filter up i realized i had just thought i had circulation .

    I have heard people say oh but sand filters don't catch the small stuff while that might be somewhat true it catches far more than my 1000 gpm cartridge filter ever thought of and my pool is sparkling clean !
    Steve Frakes
    15' X 48'' Intex Metal Frame
    Intex Sand Filter 16'' 2650 GPH
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit
    BBB and Borated

  16. Back To Top    #16
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Dad has offered me a sand filter he has sitting around doing nothing and a pump with a broken seal that pump hubby has to repair... so far I choose not to mess with it. I'm not sure I have the room, it's a much larger filter than the Intex model. We can't even mow around the widest part of the pool closest to the flower beds and garden. Pretty maxed out space wise with this large pool.

    I am ordering some 1 micron bags from Duda Diesel as was suggested in the link to the slime bag thread to put on the return of the second pump that draws from the floor. I also am interested in the Unicel filters although I don't know if they're enough better to bother with or not.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    Wallmart has a 1600 GPH 1/2 HP 55 lb intex sand filter for $150, Free shipping to pick up at local store. I think this is smaller than your dads pump but would work wonders on your pool. This is the pump that Wallmart includes with your rectanular pool that holds 9000 or so gallons.

    I just bought this pump for my tiny 2000 gal pool, will be upsizeing with my 3 y/o daughter. $150 is a bargain when you consider the performance and fact that you don't have to buy/clean the filters as much. I plan to run the sand pump 4 to 6 hours a day and keep the 1000 gph intex over the side like you do. It will kind of be my 2 speed pump set up. That sand filter will clear the water while the intex pump will keep constant circulation going. just a thought that might eliminate you frustration with those darn swimmers.
    3500 gallon 14x42 Intex Ultra Frame
    1/2 HP Intex 1600 sand filter/pump - Intex SWCG
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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Darn Swimmers!

    So tempting... But I have to pay for tile (new bathroom) and my chiropractor continually refuses to pay his website bills citing forgetfulness... all the while asking for this or that and hoping I'll someday be in enough pain to tip the scales with treatment bartering. So far he owes me about 3K in treatments. grumble grumble...

    Been slummin it here instead of working for him lately waiting for payment although apparently he hasn't noticed I've done nothing for three weeks in protest. He doesn't notice much when I do work either. His 15 minutes of treatment costs me 3.5 hours of work on my part cuz I'm cutting him a deal. Not trading anymore, suffering instead and sending bills. At this point it's a "Mexican Standoff" to see who gives first. And then he tells me he forgot and went camping for a week. SMACK! Good thing we have a 30 year relationship behind us or I'd have fired myself long ago.

    I do admit the sand filter at that price is very tempting but I think I'll try the biodiesel bags first. Once I remove the fines I'm hoping to return to sparkly even with the dreaded swimmers. Maybe walmart will put the sand filters on clearance again at the end of the season, or perhaps even Dr. Wants A Lot For Nothing will pay a bill...

    I complain a lot don't I? :~}
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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