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Thread: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, cloudy

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    Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, cloudy

    Just moved into this house and previous tenant neglected pool and equipment. Had DE filter, was in bad shape. Landlord had DE filter replaced with Sand filter for simplicity of use.
    Pool guy has treated green water with chemicals two or three times now, so hopefully balancing out, but it appears there is still lots of DE in the water and on the bottom, as well as some of the algae that was in it has died and settled to the bottom.
    It is tough to vacuum because I can't see the bottom. The water is blue, but very cloudy. I can only see about 4-5 feet into the water. The deep end is 12 feet (I think). When I vacuum, the pressure in the filter goes up from about 18-28 quickly so I have to backwash every few minutes. It does not go below about 15 at any time.
    I have run the pump for a week or more 24/7 and attempted vacuum several times. Any ideas how I can get the DE out of the water?? I am continuing to work with chems/water testing to make sure that is not causing cloudiness, but not 100% sure on that either, but when I back wash, the DE comes out onto the ground.
    Any good ideas??
    Thanks - Bear
    20k-25k pool; 30'x15'x3'x12'; built in about 2000; Plaster; Sand filter; 2hp single speed; Lotsa sunshine!!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Vacuuming to waste is the best way to clean out the old DE. Please post a current set of test results and we can help determine whether or not water chemistry is part of the problem.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    The best way to get debris from the bottom of your pool floor is to manually vacuum.....whether you can see the bottom or not. An auto-vac works, too, if you have one.

    The psi rise on your filter tells you that you are capturing the debris and you should keep doing that until the psi no longer rises very dramatically as it is now. That tells you you have removed most of the solids on your pool floor.

    Backwashing a sand filter is easy enough and you should consider it as part of the cleanup....regardless of the frequency.

    Once you get as much debris off the floor as you can, you will need to address the pool water chemistry which is probably contributing to the cloudiness and debris a lot more than you realize.

    So, step 1 is to get all the solids possible out of your pool. Step 2 is to post a complete set of test results so we can help you get your chemistry correct. If you are not thoroughly familiar with pool water chemistry, Read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.

    Step 3 will be to SLAM the pool (read "SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain" in the How To section of Pool School) but you are not ready for that until you get the debris out and gain an understanding of the chemistry.

    We'll help you through every phase but it will not be an overnight miracle cure. A badly neglected pool will take a lot of effort to get back to sparkling but it can be done it you attack it properly.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    Thanks guys. I will not give up hope, and will get test results posted ASAP. Can you guys recommend a good test kit that is simple to use, but provides accurate results?
    Thanks - Bear
    20k-25k pool; 30'x15'x3'x12'; built in about 2000; Plaster; Sand filter; 2hp single speed; Lotsa sunshine!!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    See my signature for test kit, the TF-100 is really the best bang for the buck out there, if your clearing a mess like this you might want to go ahead and order the XL option.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    Thanks Ike - I just read through the Pool School and found the test kit comparison. I think I agree with you on the TF-100.
    Thanks - Bear
    20k-25k pool; 30'x15'x3'x12'; built in about 2000; Plaster; Sand filter; 2hp single speed; Lotsa sunshine!!

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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    Ok, I got water tested today and I think I have confirmed it is just DE in the water and will just take time filtering and vacuuming to get it crystal clear. The only real issue at this time (I think) is bringing the pH up a bit. Here are the test results, and you tell me what you think.

    Temp 70
    Saturation Index: -0.9 (ideal -.3 - .3) (What is this - never heard of this before.)
    TDS: Not tested
    CYA: 40 (ideal 30-200) (Would it be good to raise this up, or will it happen fast enough naturally?)
    Tot. Chlorine: 6 (ideal 1-3)
    Free Chlorine: 6 (ideal 1-3)
    pH: 6.8 (ideal 7.2-7.6)
    Tot. Alk: 80 (no ideal marker)
    Adj. tot. alk: 68 (ideal 125-150)
    Tot. Hardness 299 (ideal 200-275)
    Copper Not tested
    Iron Not tested
    Manganese No

    Here are the suggestions from the pool store:
    Your Saturation Index is low. This indicates that your total alkalinity, pH, and/or total hardness are out of balance. Low Saturation Index can cause corrosion of equipment, surface damage, and eye and skin irritation. To properly balance the water, follow the instructions below.
    Add 18 lbs of total alkalinity increaser. Add 1/3 of total amount at a time, wait 2 hrs then add some pH increaser.
    Add 3.75 lbs of pH increaser. Add 1/3 of total amount, wait 15 minutes, then go back to alk increaser.
    Alternate until total amount of each has been added.

    *** What do you guys think? Does it sound like I am on the right track, or are there other issues to consider?
    Thanks, in advance, for your help!!!
    Thanks - Bear
    20k-25k pool; 30'x15'x3'x12'; built in about 2000; Plaster; Sand filter; 2hp single speed; Lotsa sunshine!!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    You still need a good test kit, in our experience pool store testing can be hit or miss at best, and completely misleading at worst for now I would only worry about pH, many pH tests will not measure below 6.8 so in reality it may be much lower. pH is one of the tests that is very hard to get too wrong, as long as you understand the limitations of the test. Once you have everything else in line worry about the TA, and the CSI will take care of itself.


    Ike

    p.s. CYA is one of the tests that pool stores tend to get the most wrong, the best common test for this is a turbidity test that can be a bit hard to read at first and is best performed outdoors under natural light with the sun to your back. Needless to say trying to do this test indoors under artificial light can lead to very inconsistent results
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Jeetyet's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual situation, replaced bad DE filter with sand, clo

    +1 to what Isaac-1 said.

    IF you can trust those numbers, everything looks to be within, or very close to, the recommended ranges except for pH. Work on getting that right and wait until you get your own kit & some accurate numbers before tinkering with anything else. If it will be a little while before you order a good kit I'd suggest getting a cheap basic OTO kit (less than $10 at Wal-Mart) in order to work on your pH and to keep a check on your chlorine level which you'll want to keep in the 3 to 5 range.

    You might want to find out what the "Pool guy" has been using in your pool as well as monitoring anything he might want to add in the future. Some of the stuff he may have put in could be contributing to your cloudiness now. I'm not sure from your posts if you intend to take over maintenance of your pool or if you're going to continue using someone else to do so. In either case you should attend Pool School regularly and read all you can here so you know what chemical concoctions to avoid.

    As you've no doubt noticed, beyond a few special circumstances, most people here keep their pools sparkling with just regular dosing of liquid chlorine/bleach appropriate for their CYA level, the occasional addition of Muriatic Acid or Borax to adjust pH or Baking Soda to raise TA, and very little else.
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
    .
    Relative's IG Vinyl | 16x32 | ~18,600 gals | Hayward 3/4hp Pump | Hayward S244T Filter | Pentair Model 300 Chlorinator (not used) | Polaris 180

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