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Thread: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

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    Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    I have advised that at least part of some of my pool problems including frequent mustard algae blooms are due to inadequate filtering. My pool volume is 30,000 gallons and my present filter is a Hayward Star Clear Plus with a 175sq. ft. cartridge. Even without algae, the cartridge needs a thorough cleaning every six weeks during the swimming season.

    Since I canít think of a practical way to use the current filter as part of a larger filtration system, I would need to replace entire unit with a larger cartridge unit. (I have ruled out Sand or D.E.) Alternatively, I am wondering if replacing my Polaris 280 with a robotic cleaner will give me the needed extra filtering to so I can keep the Hayward Star. Iím not fond of the way the Polaris puts the dirt and small debris into suspension that can take a day or two to filter out. Also, the booster pump for the Polaris will need replacing soon.

    From what I have read the robotic cleaners will keep dirt out of the main filter and do a good job of side and step cleaning. My main criteria for a robotic are for one that does a good job and easy to clean. Speed of cleaning is not important. Does anyone recommend a unit that costs $800.00 or less?

    If it matters, the pump is a Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050. During the season it typical runs 10 hours on a combination of high and low speeds.

    Thank you.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    And who gave you that advice? Was it someone wanting to sell you a filter?
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    Welcome to the forum!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Was it someone wanting to sell you a filter?
    ^^^This^^^^

    Can you tell us a little more about the problems that are making you think you need a new filter? Typically we find that it's issues with chemistry that are the real problem. When the pool is properly balanced, the filter can do its job.
    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
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    And who gave you that advice? Was it someone wanting to sell you a filter?
    It was someone with a pool service who I hired for an hour of advice. She does not sell filters nor did she refer me to a seller.
    However, every chart I have checked online says I should have a larger filter for 30,000 gallons.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    Thank you.
    I have been experiencing frequent yellow algae outbreaks despite keeping on top of the chlorine and shock and keeping the phosphates under control. After 6 weeks in summer, the filter is just loaded with debris and dirt. It takes an extensive hose down, 24 hours in TSP solution, followed by another hose down to keep it clean. Most instructions for cartridge filters say they should only need to be cleaned once or twice a year. Now that the kids are grown, the pool is lightly used and the amount of airborne pollen and dirt is not excessive.

    I do have some yellow algae embedded in the plaster that never completely goes away, so maybe that is the part of the problem.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    Can you give us a full set of test results and tell us how you got them? Also, how are you chlorinating?

    Our method of pool care varies greatly from pool stores/service companies. Based on what you're saying, the chemistry is not quite correct, and your chlorine is probably too low. A properly maintainted pool rarely needs to be "shocked" and I have no clue what my phosphate level is.

    We can help, but the advice you get from us will be very different than the advice you get the pool service or any pool store you visit.
    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
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    How often a filter needs to be cleaned depends on the relative size of the filter and pool. Only filters that are very large relative to the pool can go as long as one or twice a year between cleanings. The typical filter needs cleanings every couple of weeks. If you have "frequent yellow algae outbreaks" you will need to clean the filter far more often than you would otherwise need to clean the filter.

    Your filter is smaller than what I would recommend for that pool, but it is acceptable. Given that it is a small filter, I expect you should need to clean it every three or four weeks, more often if you get algae. Getting a larger filter would certainly be a nice upgrade, but it isn't going to fundamentally change how things are going. A filter that is twice as big can go about twice as long between cleanings, and cleaning the filter is a little more work. Getting a larger filter will have no effect on the algae.

    There is no such thing as "yellow algae embedded in the plaster". Black algae can become embedded in the plaster, but yellow can not. Yellow algae is fairly difficult to kill, but it can be killed off if you follow the recommendations in pool school.

    As the others have already mentioned, your fundamental problem is bad chemical levels. If you maintained appropriate levels you wouldn't get algae and the filter would go far far longer between cleanings.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    Indeed, it does sound like you could take care of most if not all this with proper chemistry balance.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    I do my own pool chemistry with a Taylor K-2006 Complete (FAS-DPD chlorine).
    These results are from this week:
    PH 7.6
    Free Chlorine: 2.1 ppm
    Combined Chlorine: 0.0 ppm
    Total Alkalinity: 100 ppm
    Calcium Hardness: 400 ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: 50 ppm

    Those numbers were pretty consistent all of last season, although I try to keep the chlorine in the 3-4 range in the summer. Interestingly, the worst algae bloom of last year came the day after shocking the pool.

    My chlorine source is from a machine called ďThe Chlorine FactoryĒ. It is not a SWG. It works with water softener salt and reverse osmosis all contained within the machine. It drips liquid chlorine into the pool. The chlorine level is controlled by the number of hours the machine runs in a day, and needs to be adjusted for pool use and temperature. It will also partly control the PH. I have been using this machine for 23 years, which is long before the yellow algae problems occurred.

    For shock I use packages of 56% Trichloro-s-triazineltrion.

    Thank you for your help.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    I have also read that algae embedded in plaster must be black algae. However, it is definitely a mustard color and can be scrapped surface of the wall with my hand or a light brushing. However the discoloration remains in the wall.

    If this sounds like black algae, can it be eliminated with anything short of a re-plaster? I have tried hanging a mesh bag with a chlorine tablet over the spot for a few months during the winter. This will get rid of most it but not all.

    Thank you for your help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner vs. a Bigger Filter

    The FAS-DPD does not measure to .1, how did you get 2.1?

    That seems a bit low to me for a CYA of 50ppm.
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