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Thread: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

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    White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

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    Hi everyone,

    I've had a vinyl pool (30k gallons) for about two years now. This year I noticed some white, powdery substance in the bottom of the pool, and on the steps. It's like a really light colored brown or whiteish. It's very fine, so if you go anywhere near it, it gets stirred up and appears as if it's gone, but then resettles.

    I have a Polaris 360 on an auxiliary pump that keeps it pretty clean anyway. Recently, I repaired the Polaris but the problem is now the Polaris is only too good at climbing and has been getting stuck by getting the air hose wrapped around the outlet for the hose or itself.

    In any event, I'll often find the Polaris wrapped up around something after a few days. Since the Polaris is not running, I've noticed a buildup of this stuff that probably would have just gotten picked up by the Polaris in the past.

    I suspect it's coming from the filter since the screen filter for the Polaris has gotten clogged twice with this stuff so far this season.

    Anyone know what this could be? DE from the filter? Calcium? A byproduct of the chlorine (I use liquid chlorine from the pool store, but use pucks on occasion)? I tried to get some pictures, but couldn't get anything that accurately shows what it looks like.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    i just posted something similar before seeing your question. I am having the same issue.
    25,000 Gallon In-ground. DE Filter. Hayward Pump. Fairly new at this, so it's still a pain in the butt.

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    jcowart's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    It could be DE, algae, pollen, or fine dust. Post some current numbers. If it is DE you will need to open up the filter a take a look. It's good to do a good cleaning once a season anyway. Could just be really caked on the grids and when you recharge it now has too much DE. You could also have a small hole in your grid.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. Should have mentioned that I took apart and cleaned my filter in the spring before I opened. I didn't see any holes at that time. I may have overcharged with DE when I added it back in after putting everything back together. I was supposed to add 4.5 lbs of DE and I had a 13 oz. coffee can, so I added approximately 5.5 cans full. I also backwashed once already (because I had so much extra water due to all the rain ) and added the same amount after backwashing.

    Regarding my numbers, last time I checked I had:

    FC - 1.0 (added about a gallon of 12.5% chlorine right after I checked)
    CC - 0
    Ph - 7.6
    TA - 80
    CYA - 50

    I don't test Calcium Hardness because it's a vinyl pool, but I can if you think that would help.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Join Date
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    High CH can cause clouding and if it starts to scale it can be pretty obvious.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    I'll check my calcium level tonight, but wouldn't scaling essentially "stick" to the liner? This stuff just lays on the bottom and is easily stirred up.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    I don't have a vinyl pool, so I don't know how it would react in your pool. It sure stuck on mine though.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    jcowart's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    Well from your number it looks like your fc may have dropped down too low. Could be start of algae. Just has not bloomed. If it's enough De to see in a pile and you try to touch it , it should have a very fine grit to it. My guess now would be your right on the line with algae.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    Hi,

    I don't think it's algae because it's pretty much been here all season except when my Polaris sucks it up.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter?

    Alright, I tested the calcium hardness last night and it was 60. I don't know much about CH, but that doesn't sound too high, so I don't think that's the problem.

    Also, last night with the light on, it looked like I had more of this stuff than usual. My wife confirmed that the Polaris was all twisted up earlier in the day, so that's probably why I had more of the white stuff, since the polaris usually vacuums it up.

    I have some pictures that I've attached. The second is the stuff on the bottom of the pool. Sorry it's not that clear, but it's the best I could do.

    The first picture is what comes out of my Polaris when I clean it out.

    Both pictures appear much browner than they actually are. The stuff is actually very white in real life. Sort of like an off-white color.

    I don't think it's algae because it's basically laying on the bottom of pool and the flat surfaces only, and it isn't sticking to anything... just laying there.

    Could this be sunscreen???

    Kevin

    PS - Sorry that the picture on the paper plate looks so gross.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Almost time to open the pool (maybe a few more weeks)... anyone have any ideas about what this stuff is? I'm thinking it's DE from a small hole in one or more of filter screens. I'm going to take the filter apart and clean it out. When I do, I'll inspect the screens and see if I can find a hole. I may just replace the screens for the **** of it since they are pretty old at this point.

    Other than possibly being DE, does anyone know what the stuff is? It drove me crazy last year. Thanks,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Pollen? Is it squishy?

    Did it happen the entire summer?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Does not look like DE to me ... that appears to have larger granules and DE is a fine powder. I have never seen DE clump up like that.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Hi,

    Thanks for responding... I don't think it's pollen because it happens all year long. I can't really say if it's squishy or not because I can't remember how it felt. The second picture is after it's taken out of my Polaris' bag, so it had been vacuumed up and sat in the bag for a while. I had to buy a fine debris bag because it passes right through the regular bag. Also, in the second picture, it's mixed with dirt and other debris. It's really fine when it's on the pool floor. If you walk on it, it stirs up and disappears before your foot even hits the bottom.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Well, I would suggest a very thorough inspection of the grids. You can find a set on Ebay for pretty cheap, I think I paid around $140 for a new set of 8.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. I may replace them just to see if that makes any difference. I've also read the gasket on the multiport valve should be replaced so I'll try that. Mine leaks a little bit, so I suspect the gasket is bad anyway.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    You know, when cleaning my filter today I found some stuff that looked almost the same as that ... I think it was mostly small leaves/flowers/stuff that had been broken down for a long time and was white and fiber-y and mixed with the DE had that appearance of clumps.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Hi,

    I took my multi-valve apart and my wagon wheel gasket was shot. I got it out, but the Pool Store was closed, so I'll have to pick one up tomorrow. I also noticed some of the white stuff inside the assembly. Maybe that was my problem? I'll see if the new gasket helps.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiak1120 View Post
    Hi,

    I took my multi-valve apart and my wagon wheel gasket was shot. I got it out, but the Pool Store was closed, so I'll have to pick one up tomorrow. I also noticed some of the white stuff inside the assembly. Maybe that was my problem? I'll see if the new gasket helps.

    Kevin
    It's called a spider gasket. If you search around here, you'll find old threads with tips on how-to. There's also some youtube videos.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: White, powdery substance coming from DE filter [W/ PICS]?

    Wagon-wheel, spider... same thing, lol.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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