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Thread: Filter Not Working?

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    Filter Not Working?

    I've recently been fighting a pretty bad algae issue and finally have it under control (I hope).

    When I vacuum the bottom of the pool, I'm sucking up quite a bit of algae. The return into the pool gets pretty green and cloudy. I'm concerned that perhaps the filter (Waterford JASL20) is not working properly. I assume that if the filter were working properly I wouldn't get anything, but clear water for the return.

    I did disassemble the filter to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with the sand. It looked normal and there was a consistent layer of algae on top of it. I didn't notice any type of channeling either.

    Any suggestions?

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Welcome to tfp, RangerGD

    It sounds like you have a lot of stuff bypassing the filter. When you had it apart did you check the multiport gasket for damage?
    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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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    How often do you backwash your filter? Do you rinse after each backwash?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    It sounds like you have a lot of stuff bypassing the filter. When you had it apart did you check the multiport gasket for damage?
    I went ahead and opened up the filter again and did a much more thorough inspection. The multiport and valve look good. No cracks and all the gaskets are in great shape. The riser has no cracks in it either. Before I drained the water from the filter, I inspected the sand with a flashlight to see if there was anything out of the ordinary. That too looked fine.

    Since I new from the last inspection that the sand was clear of debris, once I reassembled the system, I put some DE into the skimmer. It didn't immediately return into the pool, but took about 20 seconds or so before it did. Since the filter is right next to the pool, I would guess that the DE would have almost immediately come out the return if there was a problem with the multiport. Since it was delayed is it possible that I don't have enough sand in the system?

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Since it was delayed is it possible that I don't have enough sand in the system?
    How much do you have? 2/3 full is a good bellweather.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Since it was delayed is it possible that I don't have enough sand in the system?
    How much do you have? 2/3 full is a good bellweather.
    It looks like it is pretty much at the 2/3 level.

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    How often do you backwash your filter? Do you rinse after each backwash?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    How often do you backwash your filter? Do you rinse after each backwash?
    My "clean" PSI is 10. So I usually backwash between 14-16. Follow the standard 2-3 minutes (assuming it is clear at that point) and then 30 second rinse.

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    It looked normal and there was a consistent layer of algae on top of it
    That layer should have backwashed out. Did you manually remove it?

    Back to your issue...

    You have inspected the multiport spider gasket and found it looked fine, right.?

    Is the handle on your multi-port re-seating (pulling down into the notches) like it should?

    If you have eliminated the multi-port as the source of the blow-by and eliminated an improper sand bed, about the only thing left is a torn or broken lateral at the bottom of the filter.

    That means dumping the sand and carefully inspecting each lateral so make darn sure you have eliminated ALL the easier fixes first.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    It looked normal and there was a consistent layer of algae on top of it
    That layer should have backwashed out. Did you manually remove it?
    I backwashed it. And the second time I opened up the filter (which was shortly after the backwash) there was no layer on top.
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    You have inspected the multiport spider gasket and found it looked fine, right.?
    As far as I can tell. I found no indication that anything was wrong with it. Although I'm wondering with the increased levels of chlorine in the system (because of the algae issue) is it possible it has been compromised?
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    [quote:3qg8g6g5]Is the handle on your multi-port re-seating (pulling down into the notches) like it should?
    [/quote:3qg8g6g5]
    Yes it is.

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    If you have eliminated the multi-port as the source of the blow-by and eliminated an improper sand bed, about the only thing left is a torn or broken lateral at the bottom of the filter.
    If this is the problem, wouldn't I be getting some sand back into the pool?

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    If this is the problem, wouldn't I be getting some sand back into the pool?
    Yeah, probably. Two other thoughts...

    1. You have confirmed visually that it is absolutely coming from the returns, right?

    2. Does it continue as long as the pump runs or does it go away in a minute or so? If it goes away, try doubling your rinse time and see what happens.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    1. You have confirmed visually that it is absolutely coming from the returns, right?

    2. Does it continue as long as the pump runs or does it go away in a minute or so? If it goes away, try doubling your rinse time and see what happens.
    Yes. I have a single return and it is definitely coming from there. I only notice it when I vacuum over a concentration of algae. I can tell that I am getting a concentration as a I see the water through the clear lid in the strainer (before the pump) turn dark green. Shortly thereafter (about 7-10 seconds later), I'll see the water in the return go dark and cloudy.

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Well, that sounds like the multiport to me. I believe it would take much longer for the debris to travel down through your filter and out the laterals.

    I'm not there so I can't tell but I would re-visit the multiport the problem should be reasonably obvious. I just can't help much more than that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    You have inspected the multiport spider gasket and found it looked fine, right.?
    I didn't see where you actually answered this question......
    16' x 32' IG vinyl liner w/ hopper bottom (12,500 gal), Single-speed 1 HP Sta-Rite pump, and 300# Cristal-Flo sand filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Filter Not Working?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedchavez
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    You have inspected the multiport spider gasket and found it looked fine, right.?
    I didn't see where you actually answered this question......
    As far as I can tell the spider gasket looks fine. Although having never looked at one before, I'm not sure what I might see that is out of the ordinary other than obvious tears or missing sections. It does "feel" different than I would expect. It is more squishy than it is rigid. The o-rings in the system are much harder than the spider gasket. It has that silicone feel to it, but then again that might be normal.

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