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Thread: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

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    Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum, and could use a little help from all you pool experts out there

    Long story short basically what we would like to know is if our DE filter backwash is connected to the sewer line, or if we need to connect a backwash hose and where?

    We just bought a house with a green muddy pool aka swamp, and as first time home owners and first time pool owners as well we have been spending a lot of time reading up on what to do about it in the last couple of days, shopping for chemicals and tools, so far we just started with a bit of psysical cleanup with a leaf net and cleaned the skimmer, and have been able to get some nasty green algies and leaves out of the pool.

    Our first problem is we don't know a lot about how the plumbing is done on this pool, and before adding chlorine & other chemicals we'd like to backwash the DE Filter, to get some of the algie guck out of there. When running the DE Filter pump yesterday after a while the pressure gauge was showing pretty high numbers around 1.8 kg / cm2 = 25.6 PSI, so it seems it's needed also...

    From the guides on how to backwash a DE Filter most say you should connect a hose to the backwash valve, but when looking around the pool equipment area, we can't see a backwash hose or anywhere to connect one for that matter, so we haven't dared to do it yet. When trying to find info about this it seems some pools are directly connected to the sewer pipe, but I don't know what to look for.

    I've included some pics of the plumbing in the pool equipment area, if it's possible to see from there if our setup has backwash connected to the sewer line, or if we need to connect a backwash hose?

    We did some tests with the test kit from walmart yesterday night, so we know that chlorine level was not measurable so basically 0, pH is way too high (purple) so is above the 8.2 color grade in the test, and cya level is also probably close to 0 (the tube was completely clear filled to the top, with the test tube range starting at 30), TA seems to be fine at 90-100 and calcium also seems fine at around 270-280.

    The plan is to shock the pool to kill the algies, and get the water cleared up, by the steps in the following order:
    1, first cleaning out as much of the algies and leaves as we can (since we can't see to the bottom it's hard to know exactly how much and where all of it is)
    2, backwash the DE filter
    3, shock pool by adding dichlor/trichlor which seems good in this case to get chlorine levels up, cya levels up and pH levels down
    4, then when we have the water reasonably clean do a service on the DE filter with a full cleanup & change any grids that might need changing

    [attachment=2:39h66ci4]de filter.jpg[/attachment:39h66ci4] [attachment=1:39h66ci4]valves in front of de filter.jpg[/attachment:39h66ci4] [attachment=0:39h66ci4]plumbing in front of de filter.jpg[/attachment:39h66ci4]
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Here are some additional pics of the pool equipment plumbing:

    [attachment=2:2s5lrysn]from left side to right.jpg[/attachment:2s5lrysn] [attachment=1:2s5lrysn]right side to left w heater.jpg[/attachment:2s5lrysn] [attachment=0:2s5lrysn]right side w de filter.jpg[/attachment:2s5lrysn]
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! After checking some more on this, it seems the backwash should be the bottom pipe going out from the DE Filter that goes into the ground in front of the DE Filter, with the other two going to the pump and heater, does that look/sound about right?
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    That's right. The backwash pipe is the very bottom pipe on the slide valve.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Thanks, so now I might actually dare turning on the backwash so I can start the process of turning our swamp into that sparkling oasis

    For some reason, there's no "looking glass" along that pipe, so there doesn't seem to be a way to check the color of the water that's coming out from the backwash, like it says in the guides that you should do? So I guess I'll just have to turn it on for a minute or so and then cycle between filter & backwash a couple of times and hope I got most of it?
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    I'd run it about 3 minutes on backwash. Be sure to add DE back to the filter after each backwash.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Thanks, so tonight I tried to backwash the filter, but immediately ran into problems. First I couldn't get the slide valve to turn to the open position and was really stuck, then I don't know if it had anything to do with it but after turning on the pump for a minute or two and turning everything off again I was finally able to turn the valve to the open position, but was still seriously stuck when trying to pull the valve up to the backwash position, but after fidging with it for a while I was finally able to pull it up. I was able to turn on the backwash and run it for a couple of minutes, but then ran into trouble again when trying to push the valve down again to standard filter position, with the valve getting stuck with about 3/8 of an inch to go. I've tried pulling it back up and down again and it keeps getting stuck in the same position every time. Any ideas what I can do? Any weird tricks you need to use in order to get it to push down all the way?

    Also, is water supposed to keep running through the backwash pipe after doing the backwash? When the valve is pulled all the way up I can clearly hear that water keeps running down the pipe, and only stops when I push the valve down towards filter position, if I pull it up again water continues running through the pipe, is that normal? Am I missing something?

    I'd really appreciate some help on this, because right now I'm completely stuck, with no idea what to do, with the backwash valve halfway pushed down to filter mode so I can't do anything right now, can't run the pump or start shocking the pool as I was planning

    Here is a pic showing the valve as far as it will go, if that helps.... [attachment=0:101qzb6d]backwash valve not fully down.jpg[/attachment:101qzb6d]
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Sounds like something is stuck in the valve. Try pulling it back up and running the pump for a few seconds and see if it'll free up a bit. It may be time to take it apart and lube it up good.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Personally I would take the valve apart and lube it like Bama suggests since it seems that it is very tight. I would also take apart the filter and give it a good cleaning to start with just to make sure you are not starting with DE jammed pack into the grids. I know when I was using DE, the grids would not clean out very well even with backwashing. I switched to fiber clear and it seems to clean out much easier. I would not suggest going to fiber clear at this point due to your swamp. Another reason to take apart the filter is to make sure they were using DE. DE and fiber clear are not compatiable to use at the same time.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    How complicated is it to take the valve apart, is it something a newbie could do or should it be left for a pool maintenance guy? Is there a good guide or instructions somewhere on how to do it?
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Doesn't seem too bad to me although I'm very mechanical. Try this link for a layout of the valve, http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/PushPullValveIG.pdf
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Also, with the pump off is water supposed to keep running through the backwash pipe after doing the backwash? When the valve is pulled all the way up I can clearly hear that water keeps running down the pipe, and only stops when I push the valve down towards filter position, if I pull it up again water continues running through the pipe, is that normal? Am I missing something?

    How long should it take for the water that's in the DE Filter to drain after shutting off the pump? Several minutes after shutting off the pump water still keeps running through the waste pipe with no real signs of slowing down... Obviously not as much as with the pump running, but still enough to sound basically like draining a bath tub.
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    I believe the drain line is acting like a siphon when the valve is pulled up and you will drain all the water out of the filter. When I drain my filter it does take a few minutes to clear out all the water. Seems normal to me.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    It's draining the filter which is perfectly normal.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Thanks guys!
    So happy about the tip to disassemble the valve, bought O-rings & lube for $12 total, struggled a bit to get the shaft out of the valve, after that it was easy to replace the orings and lube them up. After that, the valve is soo easy to put into backwash and back to filter mode

    Did a full set of backwash cycles, pressure gauge went down from 25 psi to basically 0, after adding 3.5-4 lbs of DE, the pressure only went up to 2 or 3. Does that indicate we have a tear in one or more of the grids? It was dark when we refilled with DE, so couldn't see any DE returning to the pool, not sure we would have seen it in daylight either when the pool is so green & cloudy as it is now.

    Started adding some muriatic acid to lower pH, which was really high at 8.2 or more, added 2qt of 15% muriatic acid so should hopefully be at 7.7 or so when we test tonight, then I guess we'll have to add the additional 2qt to get it down to 7.2 to be able to start shocking and adding CYA.
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    Check for DE tomorrow and if there isn't any don't worry about the pressure.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    We replaced the pressure valve, and turns out, there's pressure after all. In fact, with the new pressure valve, even after multiple rounds of backwashing we're still stuck with a filter pressure of about 22 psi without even adding any additional DE. Does this mean we need to dismantle the filter and hose it off immediately, or can I wait until after shocking the pool since I'm guessing the filter will get clogged again from the hopefully soon to be dead algae?

    pH had gone down a little from the muriatic acid we added, still high though and seemingly still at 8.2. Added another 2 qt of acid tonight, we'll see where that leaves us tomorrow.
    Annoyingly enough, we can't seem to figure out how to turn off the waterfall feature on the spa, so getting aerating of the water which I read raises pH
    IG, pebble tech, approx 20k gallons (33x16 free form) with 3ft raised spa approx 1k gallons & waterfall
    Pentair FNS Plus FNSP60 DE filter (broken), 3 Pentair WhisperFlo WFE-8 2HP 1.30SF pumps (2 broken, 1 leaking a bit when starting), MiniMax N7 gas heater (also broken), AquaRite SWG (it or cell not working), AquaLink RS8 Control, Dolphin Z5 cleaner, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    You can test for pH an hour after adding the acid and adjust again if necessary. No need to wait that long between additions. When the pH is reading at the high end of the test range it might be a lot higher than what you think it is.

    I'm not sure what your pressure should be on a clean system, mine does start at 22 psi, but if you get a good strong flow out of your returns then you might not need to take apart the filter. It's your call.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie need a little help with backwashing

    I agree with Ping about the filter pressure. At any rate, you can wait till you're done shocking to break the filter down to clean it unless something significant happens to the filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by bjornk
    In this pic, the round thing with the clear lid under the swg cell and the actuator should be allowing flow to the spa when the pool is selected. That's probably why you can't shut off the flow completely to the spa. That's done in order to keep the spa chlorinated when pool only is selected.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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