Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. Pool School
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

  1. #1
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Recently, we moved to a new home and brought along with us our spa and our AGP equipment. We trashed our old pool walls and liner, and bought new walls and liner to use with our old equipment at the new house. We've been busy setting both the spa and the new pool up, and not everything has gone smoothly as another recent thread of mine details. When we filled the spa the first time, it was right after a heavy rain (4 inches fell in an hour) and the freshly filled water in the spa looked filthy. We were not sure what was causing the dirty water, and decided to check in with our city water department in the morning for advice. Rather than drain the dirty water, we thought we'd leave it in the tub overnight incase the city wanted to see it or test it. Well, the next morning the spa was crystal clear with no sign of any discoloration in the spa. I took a peek at the filter and found it to be rusty orange colored. After cleaning the filter we've had no more trace of what we now believed to be an obvious iron precipitate, and we've been able to enjoy our tub.

    The next week we finally were able to finish filling our pool. Since we'd had so much trouble getting the liner to stretch in properly, the pool had spent a good week or so with a foot of stagnant water in it. That water got pretty skanky over that week, so I was anxious to get some bleach into the water right away. I figured I should go to a full shock level on the chlorine and carefully calculated my dose and added it. Within moments, the pool water turned an ugly, rusty orange. It was then that it dawned on me that I was dealing with a metal precipitate, most likely from iron in the municipal water. Sure enough, a few phone calls confirmed that our city has high iron levels naturally in the water. The addition of the chlorine caused a reaction that formed iron oxide in the water (basically, rust). Well, I wasn't worried as the spa filter had cleaned up the iron right away, so I was confidant that our trusty sand filter would do the same thing.

    Boy, was I wrong! The next day the water was just as ugly as it had been the evening before, and the sand filter appeared to have done nothing to remove the precipitate. Now, almost a week later, the water is still ugly orange/brown and I can only barely make out the bottom of the pool. I have used 2 quart bottles of Jack's Magic: The Magenta Stuff, and 1 quart of a metal sequestrant the pool store sold me. At $30 to $40 per bottle, I've got $100 into chemicals so far to correct the problem, but they have done nothing that I can see. I keep thinking about how the spa filter made short work out of clearing away the precipitate in the spa. And I'm starting to think that it might make sense for us to buy a new DE or Cartridge filter to deal with the problem for us in the pool. Remember, this is our municipal water supply that has such a heavy iron load. That is going to be our source water for our pool as long as we live in this house, and we intend to live here for a very long time.

    So I am looking for advice on 2 points please:
    • 1 Does a new filter make sense? And if so, should we go DE or Cartridge?

    • 2 If a new filter isn't the answer to our problem, then what else can I be doing to clear up my pool?


    As always, I appreciate any and all advice!
    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  2. #2
    Senior Member wetchem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska
    Posts
    208

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    ... I took a peek at the filter and found it to be rusty orange colored. After cleaning the filter we've had no more trace of what we now believed to be an obvious iron precipitate, and we've been able to enjoy our tub.
    ....
    most likely from iron in the municipal water. Sure enough, a few phone calls confirmed that our city has high iron levels naturally in the water. The addition of the chlorine caused a reaction that formed iron oxide in the water (basically, rust). Well, I wasn't worried as the spa filter had cleaned up the iron right away, so I was confidant that our trusty sand filter would do the same thing.
    ....
    Laenini, wow I feel for you and we're in the same situation as you are with the city water being our only source!

    I was just where you are now just this past two weeks with our AGP.

    I am extremely new to this forum; however, while you're waiting for help from those that know a lot more than I about this, might I offer the paper towel and t-shirt method I used http://www.troublefreepool.com/i-may...am-t44884.html This method was well on its way to clearing the water from poop-soup to tea over a weeks time frame and I continued to use the method once we installed the sand filter as a pre-filter and it only took another day or two to clear the water. The first (actually the second if you count the setup) backwash was still very dark, I drained about four inches of rain water out of the pool - and it took most of that , and the one I did this afternoon was dark rust/brown for about a minute before the water cleared.

    I used a couple of rolls, well several, of the cheapest, white, generic paper towels I could find (think off brand dollar store). The t-shirt was an old white one that was on its way to the recycling center. You might be able to use an old sock around the return to the pool filled with something, maybe paper towels, instead of how I wrapped the t-shirt. Main thing is to have a catch bucket to keep the junk from pouring back into the pool or your filter when you're changing them out. The t-shirt material I rinsed under the hose-end sprayer... the weeds didn't care for the high iron!

    best of luck!

    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  3. #3
    Senior Member In the Industry

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21,905

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Leanne,

    How often are you backwashing? Is your pump running 24/7?
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. #4
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    34,818

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Please post a complete set of water test results.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. #5
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,976

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    My solution would be to buy a small DE filter and install it in a bypass loop in series after the sand filter. That way you could put it in series with the sand filter when you needed to filter out the iron and bypass it for normal filtering. It should work pretty well since you have a 2-speed pump.

    If you don't want the expense of the extra filter you could get a "slime bag" polishing filter bag. And put it over the return whenever you need to filter out the iron. It filters down to 1 micron.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  6. #6
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    The pump has been running 24/7 on high speed ever since the precipitate formed. I slept really late this morning, but I'm up and at 'em finally and will go get a set of numbers now.

    Thanks!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  7. #7
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Ok, here are numbers from just now:
    pH = 7.2
    TC = 5.0
    FC = 4.5
    CC = 0.5
    TA = 250 (I haven't even tried to adjust this yet)
    CH = 250
    CYA = 0 (haven't added any knowingly yet, checked it anyway since there was no ingredient list on the pool store product I used).
    Temp = 80 degrees F

    I have been backwashing about twice per day even though the pressure gauge hasn't indicated a need for it. We put fresh sand in the sand filter when we hooked it up last week. The filter has blown some sand into the pool (it did that right away the first day). I guess we were supposed to backwash the filter first before setting the pump to filter and turning it on. Yesterday I did an extra long backwash per the recommendation of the pool store, and I got more sand dumped out at the end of the backwash hose. I'm not sure if that sand loss is of significance or not?

    Last Thursday I went to the pool store to pick up some DE to add to the sand filter. Instead, they convinced me to buy some filter fiber product made by Jack's Magic. The fiber sure picked up some of the ppt, but honestly, it would take a dump truck full of that fiber to actually clear the whole pool of the ppt.

    The slimebag polishing filter sounds like something easy and inexpensive to try. Where would I find one to buy? Is that the same thing as a skimmer sock? Or something different?

    Thanks for all the help so far!
    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  8. #8
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,976

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    It's different than the skimmer sock. Amazon has them. I'm sure a lot of other places do to
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  9. #9
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    I found the Slime Bags on Ebay for a good price with free shipping from SPP pool products. I ended up adding to my cart a few other things I needed (well, wanted at least! I keep trying to remind myself of the difference between need and want. I supposed an underwater pool light is really a want when I haven't needed one before in the 4 years I've owned a pool, right?) So that all worked out well. I'm excited to try them. I bought the bag intended to fit on the return, and then I also bought the bag intended to be used when adding water to the pool. I figured it couldn't hurt to be more careful with the water I am putting in as this community's water seems to be quite different than what I have had experience with.

    It could take up to a week for these items to come. Is there anything else I could or should be doing before then? I'm concerned that the longer this stuff sits in my pool, the more likely I will have rust stains that are difficult or impossible to remove from my liner. Plus, we are missing out on swimming time. Summers here in Minnesota are so short, I hate to miss swim time.
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  10. #10
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,976

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Except for the paper towel trick there's not much you can be doing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wetchem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska
    Posts
    208

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    ... It could take up to a week for these items to come. Is there anything else I could or should be doing before then? ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Except for the paper towel trick there's not much you can be doing.
    Seriously... this was working for me! Trust me... I'm a Chemist... What could go wrong?!
    No, seriously, this was and still is working. I am however, going to look at that slime bag too... can't hurt!

    I let the kids swim tonight... glorious, watching their lips turn that wonderful shade of blue; however, they were having a blast... they didn't even balk about rinsing the feet off before climbing into the pool. When they were done, no rust to wash off them... just the Cl- !

    Now I've got to go in and make sure they didn't kick the drain valve cover in the pool off as we've a leak around the over-cap on the outside of the pool.... wow that water is cold!

    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  12. #12
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Quote Originally Posted by wetchem
    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    ... It could take up to a week for these items to come. Is there anything else I could or should be doing before then? ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Except for the paper towel trick there's not much you can be doing.
    Seriously... this was working for me! Trust me... I'm a Chemist... What could go wrong?!
    No, seriously, this was and still is working. I am however, going to look at that slime bag too... can't hurt!

    I let the kids swim tonight... glorious, watching their lips turn that wonderful shade of blue; however, they were having a blast... they didn't even balk about rinsing the feet off before climbing into the pool. When they were done, no rust to wash off them... just the Cl- !

    Now I've got to go in and make sure they didn't kick the drain valve cover in the pool off as we've a leak around the over-cap on the outside of the pool.... wow that water is cold!

    -wc
    Hey Wetchem, I wasn't trying to dis you by any means. I actually love chemists as my father was one, my daughter is one, and I'm sorta-almost one (I'm a pharmacist, which in my mind at least, is just a special sort of chemist). So just mentioning you are a chemist really does inspire a certain amount of trust and respect in me for you. The only reason I didn't jump right on your idea was that it sounded like it would be a lot of work for my pool. You see my pool is 13,500 gallons which makes it about 3 times the volume that your pool is. So I kind of assumed it would be overwhelming to attempt the paper towel method. But maybe I'm wrong? It won't hurt me to give it a try tomorrow, so maybe I'll do that and see how it goes. I've got nothing to lose! I really do appreciate your concern and willingness to be helpful. You are going to be a great asset to this board I think, Wetchem!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  13. #13
    Senior Member wetchem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska
    Posts
    208

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    Hey Wetchem, I wasn't trying to dis you by any means.
    My bad... I thought the and "what could go wrong" would convey a sense of humor... Sorry.
    Really, I didn't take it badly. My sense of humor is so dry that even the Brits groan... I know, my Dad was USN and they would do this NATO exchange thingy... met several Brits, wonderful people, and they (without fail) told me that I have a very dry sense of humor. But I love Monty Python! Think I'd learn how to tell better jokes.. sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    I actually love chemists as my father was one, my daughter is one, and I'm sorta-almost one (I'm a pharmacist, which in my mind at least, is just a special sort of chemist).
    Oh wow... super cool! Old Chemists never retire or die... we go into consulting! Remember, the old school pharmacist did a lot of compounding back in the day (hence why they are stilled called "chemists" in a lot of places in Europe)... so, yes, I consider pharmacists to be, at the very least, cousins to the trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    You see my pool is 13,500 gallons which makes it about 3 times the volume that your pool is.
    OK... maybe you'll need a case... or three! It will be a mess I am sure... Sounds like a lot of work ...
    watch that humor of mine dry out the oceans... salt every where!

    In my "small scale" ( :ROTFL: ) setup, I would stuff that intex strainer basket fairly full of paper in the morning, let it run, then change it out when I got home from work and then at least every couple of hours until I went to bed. Over the weekend, I changed stuff out every two or three hours and it was a mess. So to scale this up... maybe the 5gal bucket drilled full of 1/4 to 1" holes loosely (moderately?) stuffed full of paper towels that is then attached to the suction thru the strainer? There might be a need to put a gap between the towels and the suction... old suction fitting with screen? AND it'll probably need to be weighted down as I bet that sucker ( I did a funny ) will float! The rate of change out would be a trial and error; however, I would still suspect every two to three hours and looking at an extra backwash at that point might not hurt either.... but I'm still very new to this so I'm swiming in the deep-end without my floaties (oh yes... pool humor, the mods are just going to love me)
    BTW: Where I work, we use huge strainer socks that filter to the same micron as the slime-bag (probably the same material), we can isolate and drain to waste when changing out the sock... something always seems to bleed thru... thus, I suggest that you have a catch bucket for either the bag or the towels when changing them out; maybe a second 5gal if you go with that approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    I really do appreciate your concern and willingness to be helpful.
    I just hope not to lead someone down the wrong pipe... hate to get vacuumed to waste... bad bad bad bad pool humor

    I'm off to bed... good night.
    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  14. #14
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Well, the Paper Towel Method is now officially the "Amazing and Magical Paper Towel Method" in my book! Just by crumpling up 3 or 4 sheets of Costco's Kirkland paper towels and placing them in the skimmer basket I was able to get rid of a lot of the precipitate, far more than I imagined I could! Take a look at my paper towel waste bucket:



    I would switch paper towels every hour or so during the day yesterday, and by evening I could see down to the bottom of the pool pretty easily. I really was quite impressed. Also, by finally seeing down to the bottom, I was able to see that the pool bottom was covered with sand from our sandfilter. There was obviously something very wrong with the sand filter for it to be dumping out so much sand. So when my hubby got home last night he opened up the filter and we took a look inside. Most of the sand was gone from the filter, and the laterals instead of being in the "down" position, were still bent upwards from inserting the laterals into the tank. The plumber who had plumbed the pool last week had never plumbed one before, so when he put the filter together he must not have known to lower the laterals once he had assembled the filter unit. He was such a nice guy, and he fully warned me that he was flying by the seat of his pants a bit, so I am not unhappy with him at all. My husband easily put the laterals down and put the filter back together. I assume that when I vacuum the pool, I can vacuum up the sand and have it go right back inside the filter? So all is well there too I think?

    Now today, my Slime Bag arrived! I hooked it up to the return in the pool about noon today, and the precipitate is really on the run now! I think by this time tomorrow I might actually have a clean pool!

    Thank you to everyone who offered advice! I don't know what I would do without you guys sometimes, you are all the best!

    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

  15. #15
    Senior Member wetchem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska
    Posts
    208

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.


    -wc
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - Poolcalculator.com :lookhere: TestKits

  16. #16
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    20,976

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    I'm really glad you posted this and especially the pictures.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  17. #17
    Member Laenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn Center, MN
    Posts
    90

    Re: A Tale of Two Filters... and Ugly, Rusty Water.

    Well, I'm really glad you helped me! So we are even, Bama?
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •