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Thread: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter media

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    Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter media

    I am replacing the sand in my Triton II, TR60 sand filter with ECOsmarte Glass Pack. I found this media to have specifications as good or better than the alternatives and was able to acquire if for the same price as sand including shipping. The question I have is whether I need to cover the laterals with pea gravel when using this media. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I cover the laterals with pea gravel? Where is a good source for pea gravel, no pool supply place here seems to carry it for pool filters.

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    I am not an expert here... but the claims on the EcoSmarte site sound unrealistic.

    Avid Micromanagement of a DE filter? I look at it every day while I am adding my CL. It takes less than a minute. I tum off the pump, bump the handle, turn the pump on, look at the gauge. DONE. If the filter is dirty, I can pull it apart, hose it down, add new DE/cellulose, and be up and running in lass than 30 minutes (an hour on a bad day). The individual cost of a media charge is $5 - $7.

    http://www.ecosmarte.com/hydrox.html
    -- Guy --
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Sorry, but your response does not answer my question. I would not be at this stage unless I already understood the media in my sand filter needs replacing so I am already committed to that path. The sand has not been changed for possibly five or more years. Just over the past several weeks the water clarity has seriously deteriorated and the chemistry tests good. I did add cellulose fiber to the filter today as a temporary measure but will proceed with the plan to replace the sand with crushed glass. The local pool shop recommended against adding DE to the filter.

    I do not really care about the details of the ECOsmarte Glass Pack marketing information online. I have found an objective independent scientific study demonstrating that the crushed glass media works better than sand in terms of clarity. The other advantage is that crushed glass does not have to be replaced for ten years. Given that I bought sufficient material for my filter at a cost less than sand and that I will not need to replace it as often represents a cost and hassle savings.

    In regard to my actual question, I have found online recommendations for covering the laterals with pea gravel when using crushed glass. In any case, the Triton II manual recommends the pea gravel already. On another forum, however, it was recommended that I not use pea gravel because this is generally dirty and takes significant effort to clean up. So far, I have not found anyone in my location that sells pool filter pea gravel. I have found only a couple of sites online that sell it but either do not ship it or only sell in bulk to companies and not end users.

    So my question is basically what is a good source for pool filter pea gravel for a residential user?

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    It sounds like no one here is using it. My experience with pea gravel is the kind I bought at the landscape materials supplier and poured into my side yard for a path.

    Here is an interesting conversation abut it: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8506&start&view=viewpoll

    Sounds like some have used landscape gravel and then backwashed the gravel to rinse it.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Thanks, that is the same feeling I am getting. There are probably grades of grave and landscaping retailers with some having less dirt and grit than others. In any case, we will have to backwash and rinse and couple of cycles to avoid getting stuff in my pool.

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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Just pour all the pea gravel in a wagon or wheel barrow or 5 gallon bucket and rinse it with a hose, you should be able to get it clean no problem. I did this when cleaning river sand/gravel for addition to my fish tank....worked great.

    Sand does not wear out. I'd bet glass doesn't either. Not enough tumbling in a filter like in an ocean. Likely DE added to your sand filter would clear your pool quickly. Real question is why did your pool go cloudy. What is your chlorine source? What is your CYA level? What is your Calium level?

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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately there is a lot of information out there about how the "hooks" wear off sand in 3-5 years. In any case something has changed for the clarity of my water to go down significantly over the last month and presumably the sand filter is responsible for that since the sanitizer lever, pH, alkalinity, Calcium, etc. are all good with a precise test set (not a dip stick). There is no algae and I have never had any since this is an indoor pool and there is no sunlight impacting the pool. There is also significant amount of information out there that crushed glass does last longer. Probably need a lot more people testing and using it to understand the truth. In my case, given the cost is the same, why not try it? The sand filter unit needs rebuilt in any case because of a small leak in the bulkhead and the valve, pressure gauge on the top no longer works.Being a retired research biochemist, I like a good experiment so I am running one.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Sand does not wear out. Period. There is high res photographic proof of that somewhere buried in the forum. The only time you need to change sand is when you convert from Baq or you get bad calcium scaling.

    You should every year be opening the filter and inspecting and cleaning the sand which also resets the sand bed as described here:
    my-sand-is-channeled-how-to-fix-it-t7626.html#p60821
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    Your feedback is very different from what I got from the pool supply/service companies here and a lot of internet searching. In any case I do not know what "convert from Baq" is but I do know I do not have calcium scaling or algae. I could do what you say and spray a hose over the sand instead of replacing it, however, I am having a service tech coming out who has to remove the sand in any case to replace the bulkhead fittings. Given the fact that I have already purchased the glass to replace the sand I am going a head with the plan. The cost of the service plus the media is not that much more than the cost of the service.

    If what you say is true: "sand never wears out" and implied "backwashing does not work as well as it should", then it would be good to get that word out if that can be replicated by many independent objective folks.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    We are independent objective folks ... we have no skin in the game.

    The only time the sand is even moving such that it could "wear out" is during backwashing ... so how many minutes out of the year is the sand moving then? Maybe 10 minutes? How many minutes per year is the sand on the beach at the water line moving over each other ... constantly?

    The cleaning process is not a spray some water on the sand ... read the link again. You will be surprised at the amount of stuff we hear reported that comes spilling out.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    I look forward to progress reports on the glass media. There's precious little information here on that, so it will add to the collective store of knowledge.
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    I'd like to hear your experience as well. We are all about maintaining our pools in the most efficient and cost effective way. Many times advice is given by pool stores that is both unnecessary and/or unwarranted, including the changing out of sand because 'it wears out'. Given that you have already purchased your new medium, I'm sure we would all love to hear your experience... we believe that knowledge is power. Looking forward to your input.
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    I second that Dattia, along with other advice given.
    I'll have to say to the op, I do love a good experiment too. Also, it's wise to read up here and heed the red flags, as this forum is chocked full of information that debunks piles of industry myths. Saving you money, time and headache.

    Many of us were skeptics at one time, thinking, why should we trust some website over a pool store or people in the industry? I was once skeptical too, even of the pool store. So I never got pool stored as a result, but my parents were starting to, so did my cousin too.
    Needless to say, we have all learned better.

    I'm curious, what type of test kit do you have model+brand /photo and what's your Cl source?
    Can you also post a full set of test results?

    thanks,
    Tony.
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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter medi

    The new filter is installed (could not get the old one open and it leaked anyway) with washed pea gravel over the laterals. The new filter is the Triton with ClearPro and they function quite differently from the original. There is also 250 lbs of ECOSmarte glass filter media. Everything is working wonderfully and the pool water is very clear. I am using one scoop of DE to supplement. The test kit is a Taylor K-2106. I am using Bromine because this is an indoor pool. The test results are roughly Bromine 3-4, pH 7.4, Alkalinity 140, Calcium 240, Saturation Index 0.1.

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    Re: Covering laterals with pea gravel with glass filter media

    Just as a follow up, I suspect this poster is not legit...ECOsmarte glass media does not work unless you run a VERY high filter pressure, which most of us in residential apps will never hit. Just posted this in case future folks wonder if Glass Media makes sense.

    Stick with sand...it does not wear out !!
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