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Thread: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

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    Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    Lemme preface this with a "I saw this on youtube so it must be true"

    For years, I've done the "vacuum to waste" method of pool maint. esp when it comes to dealing with junk that I've sunk with flocculant. With both of my pools it seems like vacuuming **** off the bottom while the filter is running in filtration mode just causes a general redistribution of the **** after an hour or so (usually not quite to the same degree, but enough to make it look like I didn't vacuum), so to deal with this, I just put it on waste, pump a ton of water out in the yard, and then fill the pool back up.

    Apparently I've been backwashing too often as well, but that's another story. Pool store says "probably once a week, and vacuum to waste". Yall know how that goes.

    So, I was watching videos on youtube out of boredom the other day because watching other people clean pools is always more interesting than actual work, and I noticed that a lot of these guys don't do anything special when they're vacuuming, and one guy went out of his way to point out he was vacuuming into the filter.

    then when done, backwash, rinse, profit.

    So for the questions:
    1) Is this a good idea/bad idea/indifferent? -would be nice not to waste that much water
    2) If I can watch the clouds coming out the returns, is this a normal indication that my filter is jacked up? (one of my filters is right at a year old, 300lb hayward sand filter. The other is unknown/same size, and I've already penciled in a teardown of it after this season)

    and 3) how often should I backwash the filter? It would seem, that after searching around on here and elsewhere on the 'net, the answer to that is when your pressure is ~8 psi above it's baseline. I've never seen mine go more than 2 high, and that's while running the filter after dropping the pool (hey, they're heavy, it happens some times).

    Consulting other local pool owners, they've been doing it much the same way. I'd really like to avoid the swamp in the yard trick if possible though.
    10k gallons, STA RITE - PXC125 cartridge filter (50 psi), inground plaster kidney-shape, Jandy AquaPure (APURE700) SWG - Miami, FL

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    topher's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    as for backwashing I only backwash when the pressure goes up about 4-5 Psi I find after that when vacuuming I lose my prime. Why do you have more than one filter do you have different pools? also I only vacuum to waste when there is ALOT of stuff on the bottom.. I dont like adding water as my well water is horrible though.. so I'll deal with the stuff circulating again.. you can alsways try introducing a little DE to the sand filter and this may help catch those smaller particles. and it is better than using floc...
    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
    Gasser BBQ broilmate 155154 LP, Smoker CGK (akorn)

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    Standard debris removal doesn't warrant vacuuming to waste, as generally you would vacuum to filter then backwash once complete.

    I hope the pool gods agree with me here that it's only when vacuuming algae or large particulate matter that you need to vacuum to waste instead, unless you need to replace so much water in your pool.

    Regards
    Stuart
    Stuart Murray
    Scotland UK
    UK NPPOC

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    If you are vacuuming floc then it needs to be vacuumed to waste. Regular dirt and leaves can be vacuumed to filter. You can add a leaf canister to the vacuum line to catch large debris before it gets to the filter. You should not be seeing anything blowing out the return no matter how you vacuum. You may want to check the latterals and spider gasket on your multiparty valve for your filters. Sand filters are more efficient when a little dirty, so wait for a 20% increase over clean pressure before back washing.
    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: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    I have two pools (at separate houses). Hm, might have to try the DE trick, that'd be nice. 'bout how much for a 300lb filter? can it be added via the plumbing or does one need to open the top for that?


    zea- gotcha. I think the issue stems from not letting them get a little dirty, esp with the new filter. I don't get any of the other telltale signs of broken laterals (had to deal with that before)
    10k gallons, STA RITE - PXC125 cartridge filter (50 psi), inground plaster kidney-shape, Jandy AquaPure (APURE700) SWG - Miami, FL

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    You may need to rinse a little longer too.
    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: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    theres a link in pool school I believe that tells you how to do it.. basicly you mix a little bit with water and pour it in the skimmer but the trick is to find the right amount.. my filter takes 1/2 a cup yours will be different
    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
    Gasser BBQ broilmate 155154 LP, Smoker CGK (akorn)

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    I generally backwash til the water is consistent with the water in the pool, and then rinse to the same clarity as the pool. I'm talking about specifically following vacuuming seeing some of the stuff I sucked up (esp the finer particles, obviously if leaves were coming out the return I'd have a big problem hahahaha), as well as occasionally sucking up algae outa the deep end and seeing a green stream coming out the returns. It always struck me as curious, and I've kinda fought with myself internally about it since it kinda correlates to filters on cars (they work best with they're a bit dirty), but you know... pool store knows best, and since that's a way of life for all the people I know with pools, there's not much to compare notes on. I'm a fairly DIY person, and the more I learn about various things the more I get frustrated with various aspects of the so-called service industries.

    I don't think the people at the pool store are being malicious about it, it was just one of those lemmings off the cliff things.
    10k gallons, STA RITE - PXC125 cartridge filter (50 psi), inground plaster kidney-shape, Jandy AquaPure (APURE700) SWG - Miami, FL

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    Quote Originally Posted by linuxman51
    I don't think the people at the pool store are being malicious about it, it was just one of those lemmings off the cliff things.
    http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    yeah yeah. there's video games and I read somewhere else on the internet that they do jump, so it must be true

    anyway, on the DE, is that a one-time addition until the sand gets dumped, or should I expect to periodically have to 're-up' the DE?

    not a big deal either way, I got a 25lb box at the HD, so I'm set for like life with the stuff for both pools.
    10k gallons, STA RITE - PXC125 cartridge filter (50 psi), inground plaster kidney-shape, Jandy AquaPure (APURE700) SWG - Miami, FL

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    pool-school/add_de_to_a_sand_filter

    I had thought this said but it doesn't. I searched this recently and what I read said when you backwash the de comes out so you need to add more after that.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    When you back wash, use a white bucket to put some backwash into it, then you can see when it really is coming out clear and debri free.
    15,000 gallon inground fiberglass pool with spa. 350lb Sand filter, 1.5 hp pump, and heater

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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    That'll be kinda tough to do, the discharge at one house is largely underground (well, entirely, actually). at the other, shouldn't be a big deal but I anticipate renting that so I don't have to worry with it much. maybe I'll periodically go toss some in through the course of the summers, depending on pressure readings, etc.
    10k gallons, STA RITE - PXC125 cartridge filter (50 psi), inground plaster kidney-shape, Jandy AquaPure (APURE700) SWG - Miami, FL

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuuming question(s) with sand filters

    The DE will wash out when you backwash, so it will need to be replaced after backwashing.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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