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Thread: Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

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    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

    Hey everyone,

    I apologize, but I don't have my own test kit. Luckily I don't think my question will really require test results.

    I've been using cellulose fiber with my sand filter. I slowly spread the fiber on the water in the skimmer drain. 2-3 cups until I notice any change in the psi. It definitely seems to make my sand filter (which I am not impressed with) catch more ****.

    Lately I have noticed a lot of little tiny flaky looking things floating on the pool. It's been pollen season so I thought maybe it was some kind of tree or pollen byproduct. If you touch it, it disperses into much smaller particles, even so small you can't see them. Then I think they float around, bump in to each other and reform the visible particles. I then hypothesized that it was cellulose fiber. I grabbed a tiny speck of it from the bag and dropped it into some water and confirmed the flakes I am seeing are grouped cellulose fiber particles.

    Anyone heard of this? Is it coming out of my sand filter? Just some fiber that the wind blew off my cup onto the water? Some of the fiber isn't getting pulled down the drain? How can I get rid of it (nets don't catch it)? Maybe a while using skimmer drains only will clear it up (I've been using my pool vac a lot lately, so not as much skimmer action)?

    Thanks for any responses!
    35,000 gal, IG, SWG, 1hp, Sand

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Re: Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

    I have been using cellulose fiber in my DE filter. I have noticed that sometimes when I back flush and recharge the filter, I see a bit of fiber foating in my water. After a day or so it always clears up as it is picked up and re-deposited in the filter. If it doesn't clear in a day or so, you may have a problem.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

    I cant say Im a fan of cellulose fiber but I feel your pain when it comes to sand filters. Despite the cellulose manufactures directions I think you putting two much product in. Are you having to backwash daily? For all intensive purposes when you add that product to sand you change your filter from a cubic media filter to a surface area filter. A 24" sand filter would then have about 3 sq ft of filter area. You at this point may have a good filter but a tiny one. You may want to try and ween yourself off this product. A sand filter is at its worse after a fresh backwash. Try not to backwash until your filter pressure rises at least 7 pounds or you have noticeably decreased flow. Kick the cellulose its a bad habit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

    TSGarp007, If cellulose is passing through the sand filter and getting into the water something is wrong with your filter. Most likely the sand bed has become channeled, though it is also remotely possible that something more serious has gone wrong inside the filter. I recommend you follow the directions in this post to clean and resettle the sand bed.

    Pedrito, welcome to TFP! Adding cellulose, or DE, to a sand filter does not in fact convert it to a small area surface filter. Only enough is added to raise the filter pressure just slightly. If enough of a layer was built up to convert it to a small area surface filter the pressure would go up dramatically. In essence what is happening is that a very small proportion of the surface is converted to a cellulose/DE filter, while the majority remains a normal sand filter. Even that small area of cellulose/DE filtering is sufficient to catch very fine debris that a sand filter could never catch, though it does only slowly and inefficiently. Still, that is enough to be useful.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    hmm... I guess I'll wait a bit and see what happens. It's raining today, the rain disperses the fiber so you can't see it.

    I'm not entirely convinced they put the right kind of sand in the filter - it was done before we bought the house, and quite possibly done on the cheap I have no idea. Also there aren't any removable unions at the filter, so I'll have to cut the pipe, which I guess I've been putting off. Anyone have a quick link of the right kind of unions to use, I'm assuming it has a threaded end for the filter assembly. I have a hayward sand filter.

    When I first put fiber in the filter, I used two cups of it, and had to backwash a few hours later. Did it again and it lasted almost a day, now it lasts several days. Pool is still cloudy (at least it's not green anymore). I used the fiber to try and make the filter do it's job instead of waiting for dead algae to fall to the bottom and vacuum to waist. The wife hates it when I vacuum to waste ($$), although I'm pretty sure the fiber i'm backwashing costs just as much or more...
    35,000 gal, IG, SWG, 1hp, Sand

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    Re: Cellulose Fiber floating on top of pool water

    Also, thanks everyone for your replies!
    35,000 gal, IG, SWG, 1hp, Sand

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