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Thread: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

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    Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    This is my first post, though I've been reading and learning from this forum for years. I feel like this is a pretty stupid problem, but the closest thing to "plumbing" I've ever done is install a new kitchen faucet, so I'm really afraid to start hacking at pvc.

    After reading here, I've determined my sand filter needs attention. Water shoots out the pump skimmer every time I turn off the pump, which does not happen when I switch to recirculate, and the pressure stays pretty high at 24. And, of course, I can't get the **** water cleared of algae. So I think there's a problem with the filter. Sand itself is only a few years old. I'm vaguely handy and I think I could manage to do the deep cleaning without too much trouble, but I don't know the best way to get to the sand. When I release the tension screws holding the valve assembly to the top of the filter, the piping is going to keep me from moving the assembly out of my way. What I want to do is take off the top and leave the filter where it is, but the only way to do that is to remove the pipes (obviously). That seems like the wrong choice. But the other option is moving the filter out from under the piping. Will I be able to do that? It seems way too heavy. Should two healthy adults be able to do it? Is that what people generally do?

    (Trying to post a photo but uploading won't work for me and you probably don't need it anyway.)

    Thanks!


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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Welcome to TFP!

    Moving the filter is impractical, it weighs hundreds of pounds.

    The only practical approach involves cutting each of the pipes and adding unions, so you can disconnect the unions and remove the multi-port valve from the top. PVC plumbing isn't too difficult, but now might not be the best moment to learn how to do it

    If you post a full set of water test results, we can give you some advice about clearing up the algae without cleaning the filter.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Sigh. I was afraid of that. I took water to Leslie's last week and they said the chemistry was fine (which my strip tests showed as well) though I'm having trouble keeping chlorine level up. I'll take more water in today. They sold me their Pool First Aid in case the cloudiness is actually suspended dead algae, and I admit I have had luck with that stuff in the past, but it's not working this time. Thanks very much for the reply! I think I may have gotten a photo to upload this time...

    poolfilter2_mini.jpg

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Zoom out.
    You likely will need to cut 2 or 3 pipes. Then add unions where you cut them and that will allow you to open it up easier in the future.

    Did you already see the tutorial on the cleaning?
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-a-Sand-Filter
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Yes, thanks! It was the tutorial that got me all excited about how I was totally going to fix all my pool problems today. Then I went out and looked and realized...maybe not today.

    Another shot: poolfilter3.jpg

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    So you would just need to cut a short section out of the 2 pipes running to the left (looks like plenty of room either on the horizontal or vertical pipes) and install union fittings.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    That sounds deceptively easy. Maybe it is time for me to learn a new trick. Thanks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Get the unions and measure the width of pipe that would need to be removed.
    Cut out that width of pipe.
    Put primer on the pipe and fitting.
    Put solvent on the pipe and fitting.
    Slide the fitting on with a twist and hold for a few seconds.
    Repeat for the other half of the union.

    NOTE!!!! Do NOT forget to put the screw nut portion over the pipe BEFORE you glue on that half of the fitting. I think everyone that has ever used unions has forgotten to do this and then had to improvise.

    Luckily you have a lot of exposed pipe which will be pretty flexible, so likely nothing has to be that exact.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    I would get a test kit from here ( I have the TFT 100) and post the results here before doing any replacing or repairs! It might be a chemical issue regardless of what Leslie or your test strips say. Good luck either way!
    16x32 Kidney Hayward Aqua Rite Salt Generator, Omnilogic, Tristar Vari Flo Sand Filter, Colour Logic LED, WFSD Waterfall, 250 BTU Millivolt, GVA-24 Valve Actuator TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    I agree with supercanadian, your description doesn't sound like a filter issue. Setting things up so you can properly service the filter is a great idea, I just don't think that it is central to solving your current issue.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Could you post the test results from the pool store? That will give us a ballpark idea what is going on until you are able to get a good quality test kit such as a Taylor K2006 or a TF 100 and test it yourself.

    +1 on adding the unions. I recently installed a sand filter and cut all the pvc with a hacksaw and added unions. If you have a saws-all lying around it makes short work of the pvc, just be sure and drain all the lines first!
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Thank you for all this help--I'm very appreciative!

    I put more shock in a couple of hours ago (been running on recirculate since yesterday) so chemistry will be skewed for a bit. I have been having trouble keeping chlorine level up. This happened last year when I opened the pool too. Sigh.

    The main reason I'm thinking something is wrong with the filter is the surge back I get when I shut off the pump. Water shoots hard out of the pump basket. O-ring is fine. Doesn't this suggest that something is clogged up on the filter side?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Water shooting back comes from air in the filter. Top mount filters purge air automatically, though slowly, so that suggests air is constantly getting into the filter. That suggests a suction side leak allowing air to be drawn into the plumbing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    My old pump used to shoot water out of the pump lid as well ... no air leak and no air in the filter.

    From the sound of things, chemistry is your problem. You need a good test kit and to SLAM the pool. After doing that, if the pool is still not clearing, then you can deal with the filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Welcome to TFP
    ^^ what others have said. It really sounds like water chemistry is your problem and not your filter. You said sand was only a few years old? Can you post those test results? Would you consider taking control of the testing yourself and not buying a lot of stuff that you may not even need from the pool store? If so than you came to the right place . Welcome
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Just want to second JL that the cause of leaking/spraying water on shutdown is because of air collecting in your filter (it shouldn't be doing that). To prove that's the case, bleed the air from the filter right before you shut it off. If you don't get any leaking/spraying water, you've proven the air was the problem. The pressure wave that shows up as leaking/spraying can damage things over time so you'll want to address that problem before it causes a permanent leak somewhere.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Welp, I went to try gtemkin's test, kicked over the auto chlorinator, and got a shot of water to the face when the line split apart. Perhaps the air was coming from a cracked chlorinator hose? (I did manage to try opening the release valve before turning off the pump and water came out instead of air, and the water still shot from the pump lid like always. I'm getting tired...) Off to Leslie's to get chem numbers, a new line, and a test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    They will not have the correct test kit. And their testing is notoriously bad.

    Also why fix the tablet feeder? Just get rid of it and stick with bleach.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    I like the feeder. Usually it keeps the chlorine level stable so I don't have to use shock.

    Vinyl lined pool, 16x32 rectangle. Here's what the Leslie's test shows:
    FAC 5
    Ph 7.8
    TA 130
    CYA 50
    Calcium hardness 250
    Phosphates 200

    They had to order my part, though, so I'm vulnerable now to being convinced I should ditch the feeder. Part won't come until Wednesday.

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    Re: Want to deep clean sand filter but don't know how to disconnect pipes

    Wow that's surprising that after bleeding it still does it. Generally the build up of air would come from the suction (skimmer) side of the pump although I suppose air could back feed to the filter from an air leak at the chlorinator when the pump goes off. In any case you proved air in the filter isn't the cause.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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