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Thread: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    Okay about 6 months+ ago we bought a house with the pool when I had 0 experience with a pool. Within a month I had multiple issues with mustard algae and I finally went as far as scrubbing the entire pool down and draining the entire pool. I then refilled it and since then I have been on the pools chemical levels like no tomorrow. I test it every few days. I check the Chlorine feeder every few weeks as I have to open up the pipes to get to it and it seems to hold enough for a month or so.

    It has been wonderful enough that now my kids are now becoming fish, especially my daughter.

    This brings me to today. So far the water is crystal clear, except the top film that I am cleaning off daily!

    Right now I am running the pump 12 hours a day after being told my 6 hours a day was not enough (this is what it was set to when I bought the house). I have the heater on (I was told until the end of April for our area in central Florida) and I am noticing that every few weeks the water is low enough on the skimmer that I have to add more water to the pool. I am not seeing any pipe leaks outside my pool. I have the water split between the blade and the jets. Is this normal for running a heater? I was thinking maybe with the warm days and cold nights I may be getting evaporation from the heated pool into the air at night? I don't know where else the water could be going if I am seeing no leaks anywhere.

    Also the other thing I am noticing is even with the pump running and chemicals all in the right levels there is a slight film and dirt particles on the top of the pool even under our screened in porch. Now I have had someone say if I got a vacuum and it ran this would take care of it but this brings me to the next question. I have a series of 5 pop up jets in the bottom of the pool and I was told those were to make this not needed? So if a vacuum is not needed then why do I seem to keep noticing particles on the bottom of the pool (e.g. If I take a pool brush I can make the water cloudy when brushing the bottom, you can feel it on the bottom if you walk but mainly on the edges of the pool) So are these "jets" on the bottom of the pool REALLY a vacuum replacement? If they are not and I should be getting one will there be issues with these pop up jets and a pool vacuum? Lastly how does a pool vacuum that is submerged deal with the particles on the TOP of the pool? I still don't understand how this is supposed to work. I do use the pool skimmer net but this seems to only get about 80% of it and the rest kind of swirls around and some of course then goes to the bottom.

    Help me understand 1) Why I have to keep filling my pool with water every few weeks. 2) Why the lower pop up jets don't seem to clean the edges of the pool? 3) If I need a vacuum will these interfere with the pop up jets? 4) How to address the top "film" of dirt outside of daily manual skimming with the net that only seems to get about 80% of the gunk off it?
    Brand new pool owner
    Size of pool - appx 20,000 gallons
    Filter - DE
    Inground pool plaster/pebble
    (Not asked to be revealed but screened in pool enclosure)
    Do not know flow rate of pump

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    Welcome to TFP

    I'll take a couple of these...

    1. How much are you adding every few weeks? With a heater and warm weather, having to add water every few weeks may not indicate a problem at all.

    2./3. Pop ups are not always everything they are cracked up to be. There may be problems with your system, or it may not be well designed well. One thing people post about them consistently is performance problems. If they aren't cleaning your pool sufficiently, you may have to vacuum as well, and they will interfere with one if they are up and running when you try to vacuum.

    4. Can you explain more about what this "dirt" is? Dirt doesn't float, so it must be something else. Regardless, if it is floating and never sinks, a vacuum wont help with that. I'm really curious being that the pool is screened in.

    Lastly, you'll want to address how you Chlorinate the pool at some point soon. Long term use of solid Chlorine will eventually lead to problems for you. Please check out The ABC's in Pool School, and begin reading about other things there as well. Solid forms of Chlorine have side effects by adding things like CYA and Calcium to your pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brushpup View Post
    Welcome to TFP

    I'll take a couple of these...

    1. How much are you adding every few weeks? With a heater and warm weather, having to add water every few weeks may not indicate a problem at all.

    2./3. Pop ups are not always everything they are cracked up to be. There may be problems with your system, or it may not be well designed well. One thing people post about them consistently is performance problems. If they aren't cleaning your pool sufficiently, you may have to vacuum as well, and they will interfere with one if they are up and running when you try to vacuum.

    4. Can you explain more about what this "dirt" is? Dirt doesn't float, so it must be something else. Regardless, if it is floating and never sinks, a vacuum wont help with that. I'm really curious being that the pool is screened in.

    Lastly, you'll want to address how you Chlorinate the pool at some point soon. Long term use of solid Chlorine will eventually lead to problems for you. Please check out The ABC's in Pool School, and begin reading about other things there as well. Solid forms of Chlorine have side effects by adding things like CYA and Calcium to your pool.
    1. It is close to 2-3 inches of water. Not a ton but its enough to go from the middle of the skimmer down to just barely over it (where we start to see air in the circulation and have to refill it). We have a line of tiles at the top of the pool and the tile is about 6 inches high and it goes down by a few inches.

    2/3. If it may not be designed well should I be calling a pool guy in to check it? Is there something I can do to check it? I talked to the old homeowner and they indicated they never had to use a vacuum but they had a pool guy whereas I am doing it myself. Its only 4 of them almost evenly spaced along the length of the pool and one "off center" in the shallow end of the pool almost near the edge. Each pops up at other intervals and I am able to feel circulation when near them.

    So if vacuums get caught on these how do you circumvent the problem if you have no way to disable the popups? (They come on every time I run the pump and the pump circulation is needed for the vacuums no?)

    4. Well its not exactly "dirt", its debris. I am seeing a couple of spiders (we have a ton of them around here) each time I have to fish out, and the other stuff is almost of a deteriorated plant matter type. I say dirt because well its dirty, but it never sinks it is literally right on the surface only.

    In response to the last part I used to use the liquid but I found that I was constantly having to add some and "babysit" the pool. Is there any liquid way to add that is on some kind of schedule that I can put a bunch in it? So far the ones I am using isn't raising the CYA at all on the tests I am doing so I was thinking I was in the clear.
    Brand new pool owner
    Size of pool - appx 20,000 gallons
    Filter - DE
    Inground pool plaster/pebble
    (Not asked to be revealed but screened in pool enclosure)
    Do not know flow rate of pump

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    Sounds like pollen to me. Floating for the most part. Look up, any trees with catkins hanging from the nodes looking like caterpillars hanging down? Or pines with yellow globs in the center of new leaves? Pollen is a huge issue here in Houston right now, all over the cars and front steps. You know it if you have it. Skimmer socks will help with this.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    You can check to see if water is leaking by using a 5 gallon bucket. Almost fill a 5 gallon bucket and sit in on the pool steps. Use a sharpie and mark the water level inside the Bucket. Now use a sharpie and mark the water level on the outside of the bucket. After a couple or 3 days, mark the water levels again.

    Use a ruler and measure between the marks. If the distance between marks on outside and inside of the bucket are equal, the water is evaporating.

    If the marks on outside are farther apart than inside, then you have a leak.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Unsure where to start. Possible leak, do I need a vaccum, and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona View Post
    Sounds like pollen to me. Floating for the most part. Look up, any trees with catkins hanging from the nodes looking like caterpillars hanging down? Or pines with yellow globs in the center of new leaves? Pollen is a huge issue here in Houston right now, all over the cars and front steps. You know it if you have it. Skimmer socks will help with this.
    I am sure some of it has to be pollen because half of my screens right now are almost yellow even after a nice washing down. The other part I think may be like deteriorated pieces of leaves and things like that because I have a ton of them on top of the screen area where I can't get to. I don't have caterpillars but its sounding very similar. I had thought if the circulation was good enough going through the skimmer that the DE filter would catch it no? I won't hesitate to buy some of these just unsure how its all on the top of the water if the water is circulating through the skimmer and going through the DE filter shouldn't it be being caught?

    Divin Dave that makes sense if its not heated but how do I do the same test with the bucket if in the pool I am running a heater and one I am not? Doesn't the conditions of the bucket have to be the same as the pool to replicate? Sounds like this would be a good test for the summer when its not heated and you think your losing water that way but with adding the heating this could skew it no?

    Thanks guys for bearing with me. Just trying to figure out the underlying logic of this all.
    Brand new pool owner
    Size of pool - appx 20,000 gallons
    Filter - DE
    Inground pool plaster/pebble
    (Not asked to be revealed but screened in pool enclosure)
    Do not know flow rate of pump

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