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Thread: Filter or Recirculate?

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Filter or Recirculate?

    So rather than hijack a thread - where the OP asked if the filter should be on "filter" or "Recirculate".

    These were my thoughts, from practical application on a variety (and sometimes strangely frustrating) equipment setups.

    Below is my take on my personal experiences and I'm open to suggestions and am always willing to learn a "better" way, especially if it will save me time and money!

    DE with a multiport valve - I use recirculate at the very beginning of shocking because live algae clogs the DE faster than dead algae and I don't want to waste expensive DE.

    Sand - I use recirculate at the very beginning because live algae clogs faster than dead algae...Flow stops on several of my pools with sand filters if I set to filter with live algae, straight sand, no DE addition.

    Cartridge - rare to find a multiport valve at all - I use a portable submersible pump to mimic recirculate for the above stated reasons and I don't want to have to clean the cartridges constantly. Occasionally there is a pump to waste but that's about it.

    Now, I'm not the homeowner in these cases and they don't necessarily want to be bothered with monitoring pressure which is why they hired me. Problem is often I can only visit once a day.

    Some DE filters don't have a backwash setting OR a multiport valve and I use the portable pump for those (ie Hayward Perflex).

    I follow the shock process THEN start filtering, monitoring pressure and backwashing/recharge/fresh fill. With Cart filters and inground pools that have NO waste valve or anything helpful at all (really, wth! ), vacuuming up the dead algae is my biggest challenge. My easiest method has been to shock using the portable until the majority of dead algae has sunk to the bottom or caught up in nets/baskets and then vacuum and clean the filters as needed (a huge pain for which I charge a premium lol).

    All pools should have a waste setting at the very least and ideally a recirculate setting too. Just my unsolicited 2 cents.

    I have a special method for vacuuming above ground pools that don't have waste/recirculate settings. People are amazed when they see it. Every time. Its pretty funny.

    Eh, sorry for the rambling. Today was a long day and thanks to mother nature I accomplished little.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I have a special method for vacuuming above ground pools that don't have waste/recirculate settings. People are amazed when they see it. Every time. Its pretty funny.
    Don't drop that bomb without pics, or better yet a video
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Pics wouldn't work. I'm shy so a video ain't happenin... lol

    Simply put I use the pump or portable pump to create a syphon and the other end of the hose is on the outside of the pool, I attach the hose to the vac head and go to work. Just about everything passes out of the hose except branches, pine cones and some large pine needles (which Always clog!) and the missing watergun toy tossed into the green pool prior to close. (I swear it's black cuz the cover fell in... ya, ok)
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    The only drawback I see to the modified method you use is trying to teach that to a newbie who thinks Cal Hypo plays third base for the rangers (Yeah, I know I used that joke before......my material is very thin)

    When would you tell the rookie to switch from filter to recirculate? (When do you, by the way?)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Pics wouldn't work. I'm shy so a video ain't happenin... lol
    Look, I don't know who you are, but you better bring Anne back! We wanna video!!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    I think of it as a question of how much time you have to pay attention to the filter, and when you have that time available. You are going to need to clean the water one way or another. If you are always available to take care of the pool then you might as well filter at all times. If your available time is limited to say specific times of day, then you want to use recirculate judiciously so that the filter only needs backwashing/cleaning at those times of day. How that balance works out varies fairly dramatically depending on homeowner vs pool tech (homeowner is there much more in most cases) and also on DE vs sand (because DE catches stuff so much more quickly).
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    First a disclosure. I don't close my pool for the winter and I never had a bad algae bloom so never had the need for a recirculate mode. I am guessing but I would suspect that most pools, in at least this country, do not close for the winter. Might be an interesting poll.

    But if I had a bad clean-up, I might be more inclined to leave the pump off and add lots of chlorine around the pool and mix with a brush until the algae is dead and on the bottom of the pool. I would then use a leaf rake to get up the big stuff (one of the reasons pools get clogged impellers and suction lines) and then vacuum to waste the smaller stuff. IMHO, I would think recirculating a lot of debris through the plumbing system, especially with a heater and SWG, is just asking for trouble.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    The only drawback I see to the modified method you use is trying to teach that to a newbie who thinks Cal Hypo plays third base for the rangers (Yeah, I know I used that joke before......my material is very thin)

    When would you tell the rookie to switch from filter to recirculate? (When do you, by the way?)
    Do you mean from recirculate to filter? LOL

    I tell them whenever they can't monitor pressure, set it to recirculate, or turn it off... I don't want them to damage their equipment. They often don't want to be bothered with any of it (that's why they are hiring me.)

    Yesterday got a new client (over the phone) who informed me the pool store was fixing his SWG but he would like me to start next week Wednesday. I asked him how he was getting chlorine in the pool while the SWG was being fixed. He said "But its a saltwater pool."

    I'm currently lowering the CYA in a 2 year old inground pool I inherited last week - it was well over 400. No I'm not kidding. I provided a printout about the CYA relationship, alternative sanitizers (he's got a FROG and an inline chlorinator and was shocking weekly with 2 lbs of Dichlor.) Found the printout - a rainsoaked mushy mess on the patio.

    Believe it or not in almost every case shocking the pool while in recirculate or using a submersible pump I manage to kill enough of the algae that it drops out of suspension to the bottom of the pool... I can start to see the bottom (even just shadows but I can at least target that area with the vac) and at times its clear enough that I can vac it out (hopefully to waste.) Next year I'm investing in a portable pump to vac to waste set-up because one too many times I'm relying on set ups that just aren't good enough.

    Obviously the water doesn't get as clear as with proper filtering but in some cases I just don't have any other option - and in most of my cases I can only get there once or twice a day.

    This pool below is a sand filter. I shocked on recirculate for 2 days, switched to filter for 2 days, chlorine was holding overnight on day 3. I vacuumed to waste on day 4, pool was clear on the 5th day.
    Day 1

    CAM00035 by poolmom11, on Flickr
    Day 2

    CAM00038 by poolmom11, on Flickr
    Day 6 (after final vacuuming)

    CAM00051 by poolmom11, on Flickr
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    What does the recirculate setting do? What is happening in the filter on that mode?
    BBB
    40x20 IG gunite pool
    35000 gallons
    2.5 HP pool pump and 3/4 HP booster pump for pool cleaner.
    Cartridge filters
    Huntsville Texas

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian10
    What does the recirculate setting do? What is happening in the filter on that mode?
    The filter media is entirely bypassed.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Filter or Recirculate?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian10
    What does the recirculate setting do? What is happening in the filter on that mode?
    The recirc just moves the water around and around in the pool. The filter is completely bypassed.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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