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Thread: Fine silt from return

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Fine silt from return

    I have been dealing with a fine silt problem for about two weeks... my water chemistry is fine, but every morning I am going out to a pool with fine silt spread out on the bottom. I vacuum it up quite easily and haven't seen anything coming from the return until this morning. I turned off the pump just long enough to pull a few leaves from the pump basket. When I turned it back on, there was a brief but pretty dark plume of yukky water coming from the return. I backwashed and the water remained relatively clear for backwash water, I rinsed and returned to filter at which time the water from the return was very clear.

    I have been reading up on Slime Bags, but my return fitting has a light in it and it will not accommodate one. I plan to change the return fitting at the end of the season as the light is no longer functional and I have installed an over-the-wall light fixture.

    Is there anything I can install between my sand filter and the return fitting to take care of this problem? My next step was to open the sand filter and run a hose down into it to see if that makes a difference. My water is clean. I have been using Fiber Clear as an additive to my sand filter, is it possible that this is what is blowing back into my pool?
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Bad news for me... I opened the filter this evening and found the bottom piece from my Vari-Flo valve had snapped off the valve and was firmly seated on the center pipe of the lateral assembly. I carefully tried to pry it off and ended up breaking the center pipe. I have found the replacement parts that I need on eBay but they will take several days to arrive.

    Now I am trying to figure out the best way to keep my pool from turning into a swamp in the meantime. My CYA is at 30 right now and I have a bucket of 3" tablets that I use if I am going to be away for a few days. I typically run my filter 24/7. Should I use the pucks now since they will float and disperse gradually since there will be no real circulation other than me getting in with the brush to move things around until the parts arrive. I could go to the local pool store tomorrow and pay more than double for the parts I need, assuming they have them in stock, but am willing to wait for the other parts if it is reasonable for me to think I can manage my pool for a few days without a filter.

    Thoughts?
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    if it is reasonable for me to think I can manage my pool for a few days without a filter.
    I think you can keep it chlorinated pretty easily a couple of ways (I would use bleach and get in and stir it up)

    I am not sure how dirty your conditions are and how long you can reasonable go without vacuuming.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    I just ordered a whole new filter system for little more than the valve price alone at my local pool store (which would take a week to ship). I am getting the same system I had before since I am very familiar with it's operation. Any problems with using the sand from the old system... I just replaced it last year. My male people are out of the country for a few weeks and the thought of lugging sand on my own is not appealing.

    My system should arrive by Friday and I am assuming that all I will have to do is switch over the sand and make the connections. Not sure if my water will keep until then, but I turn a swamp into a sparkling oasis every year, so I am thinking if it turns, it should be a piece of cake. Fingers crossed.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Is all the sand out of your existing filter already? That was more effort to me than just buying all new sand

    If its already out and its fairly new (like you mentioned) I think I would just try to run some water through it (to get the big junk out) while its outside of the new filter then put it in the new filter. Make sure you have some extra water in your pool then do a fairly long backwash of the sand just to make sure its as clean as it can be. Dont forget to run a rinse after that....the rinse might take a little longer than normal as well (rinse until the glass viewing jar on the multiport runs clear and maybe a few seconds more)
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    No, actually it is all still in the filter... I think I am not going to like this job either way. I think I am going to have to call a friend to help me out on this one... perhaps new sand is the way to go.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    No, actually it is all still in the filter... I think I am not going to like this job either way. I think I am going to have to call a friend to help me out on this one... perhaps new sand is the way to go.
    Chances are you are going to have to remove at least some of it to physically move the existing filter out of the way. A wet/dry ShopVac comes in handy there, preferably one of the models with the larger diameter hose (2.25" i think it is, not the standard size 1.something inch) Its messy, but trying to use a small garden shovel to take the sand out WILL take forever.

    And a tip, when refilling the filter (old OR new) check the manual for the recommended sand *height*, not weight. I filled my S244T with the 300 lbs Hayward recommends and it wasnt even close to the actual HEIGHT they recommended the sand be at. It took another 100+ lbs to reach that.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    When I replaced my filter, I used a sawzall and cut the top of the filter off. Made it a lot easier to get a shovel in.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisexv6
    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    No, actually it is all still in the filter... I think I am not going to like this job either way. I think I am going to have to call a friend to help me out on this one... perhaps new sand is the way to go.
    Chances are you are going to have to remove at least some of it to physically move the existing filter out of the way. A wet/dry ShopVac comes in handy there, preferably one of the models with the larger diameter hose (2.25" i think it is, not the standard size 1.something inch) Its messy, but trying to use a small garden shovel to take the sand out WILL take forever.

    And a tip, when refilling the filter (old OR new) check the manual for the recommended sand *height*, not weight. I filled my S244T with the 300 lbs Hayward recommends and it wasnt even close to the actual HEIGHT they recommended the sand be at. It took another 100+ lbs to reach that.
    Sorry to jump in on your thread, just wanted to ask about your sand filter I have the same filter, and only added the #300, can you tell me where you found the height recommendation?
    20x40 Vinyl IG, 27k gal, 1 hp hayward, s244s hayward SF, Hayward SWG 1 floor drain, 2 Skimmers, 4 Returns, Fiberstars FO lights, Polaris booster, and 380 polaris cleaner.

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by DLaplante
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisexv6
    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    No, actually it is all still in the filter... I think I am not going to like this job either way. I think I am going to have to call a friend to help me out on this one... perhaps new sand is the way to go.
    Chances are you are going to have to remove at least some of it to physically move the existing filter out of the way. A wet/dry ShopVac comes in handy there, preferably one of the models with the larger diameter hose (2.25" i think it is, not the standard size 1.something inch) Its messy, but trying to use a small garden shovel to take the sand out WILL take forever.

    And a tip, when refilling the filter (old OR new) check the manual for the recommended sand *height*, not weight. I filled my S244T with the 300 lbs Hayward recommends and it wasnt even close to the actual HEIGHT they recommended the sand be at. It took another 100+ lbs to reach that.
    Sorry to jump in on your thread, just wanted to ask about your sand filter I have the same filter, and only added the #300, can you tell me where you found the height recommendation?
    Its actually in the manual but not really obvious (they have a chart that shows the amount of media, but if you read through the text portion I thjnk it recommends within 6" from the top of the filter tank).

    I wasnt around when the liner installer initially setup the filter but I do know I gave him the 300 lbs that Hayward spec-ed. Id only opened the filter once ever since (9 seasons) but didnt think to check the height off the top of the tank.

    Fast forward to this season when opening and the filter seemed not to be clearing the water as fast as normal. Opened it up, swished the sand around a little (figuring it might be chanelled and need some cleaning), then for the heck of it read the manual and ended up adding another 100+ lbs of sand to get it to recommended height. The pool looked visibly clearer literally within an hour or two of filtering after that. On top of that, the usual issue Ive had disappeared (if I vacuum really heavy algae/dirt it shoots through the filter and returns right back into the pool).
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Well, it has been three days with no filtration and I have a new found appreciation for my filter. I did not think I had 'dirty' conditions with my pool, since I barely ever had to remove leaves or even skim manually after achieving 'sparkling oasis" conditions. Boy was I wrong.... either the trees have been working double-duty to wreck my pool or my filter was doing a much more difficult job than I ever gave it credit for.

    So far, so good. I have been keeping up on the bleach a little at a time and circulating it with the aid of my dog (he thinks it is wonderful that we now go diving for rings way more often than we used to ) and I have been skimming manually. I did notice a drop in my pH since my filter has been off, so I ran the hose out to the pool and have it spraying over the top for some aeration as well as topping off. I still have a layer of fine silt over the bottom which is what led me to investigate the filter in the first place, but it has not gotten worse or started to 'bloom'. I dumped the contents of my sand filter on a tarp and am waiting for the new equipment to arrive.

    I am thinking my old filter body may make a good rain barrel... any reason it wouldn't?
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    ....
    I am thinking my old filter body may make a good rain barrel... any reason it wouldn't?
    Probably better than any other rain barrel you could buy! You know its sealed, and its heavy duty enough to support plenty of weight. Only issue would be a top to go on it (if you required that).

    Heck you might even be able to get a spigot to connect to where the drain cap is now, and use that as an outlet for irrigation or something.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    YAY! My filter is here, my filter is here. Wish me luck in getting this thing changed out and an end to my fine silt problem.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Well now I am frustrated. Changed out everything that has to do with the filter, started in backwash mode until the water ran clear, rinsed then switched to filter. Everything looked great. I sent my helper home and jumped in to vacuum, which I did with ease and nothing dirty coming in through the returns. I disconnected the vacuum, turned the pump off to clean out the basket and turned the pump back on only to see a fine plume of dirty water being returned to the pool. Argh! Back at square one.

    Would doing a mini rinse cycle after I vacuum have any impact on this or will it not do anything to get rid of the dirty water after I vacuum? Would it do any harm to do a backwash after vacuuming before returning to filter mode?
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    Would doing a mini rinse cycle after I vacuum have any impact on this or will it not do anything to get rid of the dirty water after I vacuum? Would it do any harm to do a backwash after vacuuming before returning to filter mode?
    I don't know if a "mini rinse" would help, but backwashing after vacuuming won't hurt anything.

    I either vacuum to waste or backwash/rinse after vacuuming every time. I vac to waste when the debris load is high. I vac on filter, then backwash/rinse other times. I find that vacuuming on filter loads up the filter pretty well, increasing pressure, and it needs to be backwashed after vacuuming.

    Good luck!!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    I was so depressed that a new filtration system did not solve my fine silt blowing back into the pool problem. I added some Fiber Clear (different name brand) and bought some skimmer socks. I put a pair of pantyhose in the basket along with the skimmer sock when I vaccumed to try and catch it before it goes into the filter. There was some coloration on the skimmer sock, so I knew it was getting some of it at least. After a few hours, I had some more silt on the bottom of the pool, but not nearly what had been there previously.

    Yesterday morning, I was looking for some bug spray in the cupboard and came across an old bottle of Aqua Chem Super Clarifier from before my BBB days. I thought about it hard and long, as BBB has been working very nicely for me over the past few years... but in the end, with my frustration level what it was, I decided to use it. I read the instructions very well and dissolved a little less than three ounces in a five gallon bucket and poured it in around the edge of the pool. I also decided to double up on the skimmer socks. Within an hour, I needed to rinse the skimmer socks out... they were loaded (no globs or anything, but the fabric was completely gunked up). I kept this up through the day and rinsed the skimmer socks no less than ten times. I went out this morning to find a sparkling pool! YAY! There were still a few spots of fine silt, but nothing like it was before and definitely no coating of the entire floor as it had been.

    I know Clarifiers are not part of BBB, but in this case, it worked for me. I was very careful to read the instructions and it did say that overdosing the pool could have the opposite affect. I still believe that I have an issue with my equipment, but this very small dose allowed those fine particles to become bigger particles for easier filtering. Am so happy to see my sparkle back.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    re adding extra filter media to height vs weight. hayward is in the process of redoing filter instructions to delete the 6" height information. they say media should be added by total weight only. using height will increase pressure which may lead to channeling.

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by 98landry
    re adding extra filter media to height vs weight. hayward is in the process of redoing filter instructions to delete the 6" height information. they say media should be added by total weight only. using height will increase pressure which may lead to channeling.
    Interesting.

    My pressure did not change one bit once I added the "missing" sand. Yet filter performance drastically increased (evident by the fact it wasnt pushing anything back through the returns when vacuuming)

    I suppose its possible my sand was already channeled and I fixed it when I opened the filter to clean it all, but it seems adding the sand didnt change anything except the performance of the filter.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Fine silt from return

    Quote Originally Posted by dattia
    I was so depressed that a new filtration system did not solve my fine silt blowing back into the pool problem. I added some Fiber Clear (different name brand) and bought some skimmer socks. I put a pair of pantyhose in the basket along with the skimmer sock when I vaccumed to try and catch it before it goes into the filter. There was some coloration on the skimmer sock, so I knew it was getting some of it at least. After a few hours, I had some more silt on the bottom of the pool, but not nearly what had been there previously.

    Yesterday morning, I was looking for some bug spray in the cupboard and came across an old bottle of Aqua Chem Super Clarifier from before my BBB days. I thought about it hard and long, as BBB has been working very nicely for me over the past few years... but in the end, with my frustration level what it was, I decided to use it. I read the instructions very well and dissolved a little less than three ounces in a five gallon bucket and poured it in around the edge of the pool. I also decided to double up on the skimmer socks. Within an hour, I needed to rinse the skimmer socks out... they were loaded (no globs or anything, but the fabric was completely gunked up). I kept this up through the day and rinsed the skimmer socks no less than ten times. I went out this morning to find a sparkling pool! YAY! There were still a few spots of fine silt, but nothing like it was before and definitely no coating of the entire floor as it had been.

    I know Clarifiers are not part of BBB, but in this case, it worked for me. I was very careful to read the instructions and it did say that overdosing the pool could have the opposite affect. I still believe that I have an issue with my equipment, but this very small dose allowed those fine particles to become bigger particles for easier filtering. Am so happy to see my sparkle back.
    When you added sand to the new filter, how long did you backwash it? There is a lot of "dust" in new sand, small enough the filter wont filter it so it ends up back in the pool. I had an issue with it once, and just like you clarifier gave me a completely different pool in 8 hours.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Fine silt from return

    I was very careful with this, since I had made this mistake a few years back. I backwashed thoroughly, rinsed longer than normal and had it on filtration for a while with no blowback. The blowback returned only after I vacuumed.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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