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Thread: Black stain on DE filter grids

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    8

    Black stain on DE filter grids

    I recently closed the pool after our first season with it. After closing, I broke down my DE filter to hose off the grids and give it a thorough cleaning. While cleaning the grids, I noticed a black stain on part of two adjacent grids that wouldn't come off with simple rinsing.

    Some relevant facts:
    • The pool was a green swamp when we moved in, so I completely drained it and pressure-washed the plaster and then refilled it using the built-in fill pipe (essentially house water, which is from a mutual system--effectively straight well water).[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • I took the water to Leslie's at the beginning of the season and they said I had some small amount of iron in the water (15 ppm?), but I skipped the metal treatment and had no problem with any staining when I did the initial shock after filling. The guy that tests the water for our mutual system said we have high manganese, but I haven't heard of that causing any problems in pools.[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • The pool plaster may be the original, 30 year old surface. It has pop-offs in several spots, and there is rust showing through in a couple places. We got a quote for resurfacing, but the guy didn't seem to think it was any kind of emergency. (No sign of leaks--the pool holds water extremely well.)[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • I installed the DE filter new before the season. It replaced a woefully undersized single cartridge filter. I have only ever used cellulose fiber in the filter (e.g., FiberClear, PuriFiber).[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • I fought a green algae bloom starting at the middle of the season and I may not have completely killed it off--we continued to fight it (brushing, elevated but not shock chlorine levels, short filter cycles, etc.) for the rest of the season. I used trichlor pucks as long as I could get away with it (4 months maybe?) but have switched over and am now using 10% bleach. CYA is probably around 30-40 but I need to re-check it.[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • There are (er... WERE ) live oak and maple(?) trees overhanging the pool and dropping junk in, especially in the spring. A lot may have gotten into the filter in the spring, before I put a skimmer sock on. I noticed some "tree junk" left on the grids when I cleaned it off. Some was bridging between some grids near the top, and that may be the source of the stain, but I'm not sure if the stain is where the bridging was. However, that same tree junk doesn't seem to be staining my skimmer sock, but maybe it just doesn't sit long enough, or the material's different and doesn't absorb the stain.[/*:m:zq1w42cb]
    • The grids were not pristine when I was finished hosing them off--there was an overall brownish tint which I suspect may come from the oak tannins (or iron/rust?)[/*:m:zq1w42cb]

    I don't have any pictures because it was late when I started and I finished reassembling everything in the dark. So what do the board experts think? Anyone have any idea what the stain might be, and should I be worried about it? I'd rather avoid acid washing on the filter's first season if I can help it.

    Thanks!
    17000(?) gal in-ground plaster freeform pool/spa combo
    Hayward H400 LP heater
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE4820 with cellulose fiber, 96 GPM design flow rate
    1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump plus 3/4 HP booster for Polaris 380 cleaner (named "Squirt")

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160

    Re: Black stain on DE filter grids

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Discolored grids aren't a problem It's grids that are congested with "stuff" that effect the filter's performance - which is when you'd need to do the chemical cleaning (described here)

    If you really want to get rid of the stains on the grids, you can always bleach them.
    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!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    8

    Re: Black stain on DE filter grids

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    Discolored grids aren't a problem It's grids that are congested with "stuff" that effect the filter's performance - which is when you'd need to do the chemical cleaning (described here)

    If you really want to get rid of the stains on the grids, you can always bleach them.
    Thanks! I'm not really concerned about the discoloration (can't see it when the filter's assembled!); I just wanted to confirm that it wasn't an indication of something nasty lurking in the filter. After the thorough spray cleaning, my starting pressure (after re-coating the grids) dropped by a couple psi, so I think I'm probably in good shape for now.
    17000(?) gal in-ground plaster freeform pool/spa combo
    Hayward H400 LP heater
    Hayward Pro-Grid DE4820 with cellulose fiber, 96 GPM design flow rate
    1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump plus 3/4 HP booster for Polaris 380 cleaner (named "Squirt")

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