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Thread: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

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    Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    I have a catridge filter not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand in my skimmer as well as the bottom of the cartridge tank and I'm not sure if that's normal? There's not like a build up of sand, but it's noticeable.

    BTW, my test results for water chemistry are as follows:

    FC: 5
    CC: 0
    Total Alkalinity: 75
    CH: 270
    CYA : 70
    Salt: 4200 (I need to calibrate my new Auto Pilot Digital Nano because it's reading 3000)
    Borates: 30-40 (can't tell for sure using LaMotte test stips so I'll add 10 ppm using the pool calculator and ret-est)

    Thanks for your help and sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm a newbie
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What is your pH?
    When you say skimmer, do you mean the skimmer at the pool or the strainer basket on the pump?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Thank you Mod Squad! My pH = 7.4.
    I see sand below the skimmer basket and also in the bottom of the pump where you change the cartridge. There's about a 1/4 cup (just be eying it) when I take out the cartridge to clean it.
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Here's a picture of the skimmer when I remove the basket. See in the left eye, there's a build up of sand? Skimmer.jpgSkimmer.jpg
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    may be a silly question...but I have to ask. Does this "sand" match the color of your wet edge satin matrix plaster?
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    No, thank God. But I should point out that I have plants as part of my landscaping near the waterfall. Typical Florida pool design I think. Also have had a few snails from time to time so is it possible that the plants, or maybe just the way Florida land settles, that there's something interfering with the lines below? I don't even know if that makes sense but hopefully, you guys will understand what I mean..
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Welcome to the forum Nick!

    Looks like dirt & debris from what I can tell. Things like that are bound to get in the pool.

    Perhaps I am missing something?
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup View Post
    Looks like dirt & debris from what I can tell. Things like that are bound to get in the pool.

    Perhaps I am missing something?
    I know it would be considered normal here...but we live in the dust capital of the US. I've never been to Fl...but that dirt/sand looks funny.

    I'm glad it doesn't match the plaster
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Thanks all for your quick replies! If it's normal, that's fine. I just didn't know if I needed to blow out/vacumm some lines if that's even doable. My PSI on the filter has remained consistent after cleaning so I guess that's a good sign (12 psi). Although, I did notice more sand washing it out. I just wanted to make sure the Abyss wasn't growing underground
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    That hole in the skimmer is capped (optionally it would be connected to the floor drain or an equalizer line). So looks like some dirt has settled in there with no way to get out. I would try to shop vac or siphon out the debris and see if it ever come back.

    Do you use a suction cleaner that is run through a vac plate in the skimmer?
    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: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    I'm not really sure? I have never maintained my own pool so not sure what the pool service guy was using but I do know that going forward, with the help of this great site, my pool will hopefully be in the best condition ever. I already tweaked the chemicals and got the balance to where it should be using the article on Water Balance with SWG. I know the service guy had a much higher ALK and also, not sure he ever added Calcium Hardness to my pool, so I am stoked about taking over the responsibilites. Going back to your question, do you recommend a vac plate for the skimmer or is that a necessity? I'll do whatever is recommended.
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Depends ... you only need a vac plate if you are going to use a suction cleaner or vacuum and do not have a dedicated suction port outside the skimmer.

    I am going to guess that some sand/dirt got in the pool, then the pool guy (or someone) used a vacuum with a plate to clean the pool and some of the larger sand/debris settled into that hole instead of going into the pump or filter. Just clean it out and it will likely never come back unless you vacuum more dirt up. Stuff that big/heavy is not going to get into the skimmer without some help.

    Do you not have an automatic cleaner of any type?
    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: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    I like your idea about the shop vac. I'm assuming I would drain the pool below the skimmer, then go to town with the vacuum? Again, sorry for my ignorance.
    You're definetly right about that dirt needing help to get in because the people here, they don't vacumm their pools as much because the majority of homes have screened lanais, so not that much debris gets in.

    I only have a vacumm but haven't used it yet. And those robots are like $1000. Is there something more affordable you recommend for automatic cleaners?

    I don't think I have a dedicated suction port so he must have used a vacumm plate.
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    If it is a wet/dry shop vac, no need to drain the pool, just shove the hose down in the water.

    If you do not have a dedicated cleaner port, then that eliminates pressure side cleaners. Which leave a suction cleaner through the skimmer or a robot or just hand vacuuming when required. If you want a suction cleaner, then it seem that The Pool Cleaner and the MX-8 are highly rated.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Thanks for all your help Jason! Awesome info! I am going to do as you suggested with the wet/vac. Then I will manually vacuum until I have the extra cash to get one of those recommended cleaners. Those look pretty sweet.
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    I'm thinking that it's aggregate from the plaster that was vacuumed up. It wouldn't necessarily match the plaster color. The color might be in the cement.

    Either way, I don't think that there is any problem with the plumbing.

    When you vacuum, try using a skimmer sock in the skimmer basket to catch the fine debris for examination. The lack of calcium might have caused some of the cement to dissolve and release some aggregate.

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Hi James,
    Aggregrate from the plaster...Is that normal wear and tear or should I be concerned? Assuming that's the case and not debris from elsewhere?

    On a different note, I'm assuming that Pebble Tec or Wet Edge Finish (in my case) I am following the recommended SWG Water balance for plaster finish for the CH and CYA correct?
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Some is normal, but it should not be a lot. Lack of calcium might have caused the cement to weaken and release some aggregate. Good water balance should reduce the problem.

    Note that I am not sure that it's aggregate. It might just be local sand that got into the pool. Try comparing the debris to the plaster aggregate and to local debris.

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    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    I think it's local debris and my water balance is going to be ideal now using the sites recommended water balance Only thing I have a tough time measuring using the Taylor K-2006, is the CYA. Black dot test drives me insane but I think I got it close enough.

    The reason I do think it's debris from the outside is because some of my pavers are settling and the sand in between the pavers looks spot on. I am going to vacuum that stuff out tomorrow and see how much winds up in the wet-vac. Hopefully, not too much. You know what....I just think I figured it out... I bet you when my wife hoses down the pavers, I bet ya some of the sand is ending up in the skimmer.
    Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
    Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Cartridge filter, not a sand filter, yet, I am noticing sand

    Ok. Yes, it does look like paver sand.

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