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Thread: Big sand filter problem

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    Big sand filter problem

    Husband changed sand in filter this spring before I read on here that it doesn't need to be changed. He said he carefully added the sand back in, had pipe covered with tape until time to hook back up. Now we are getting a lot of sand in pool. I read on here last night to cover with a stocking to see if just sand coming thru and when I vacuumed today using the skimmer vac everything I vacuumed came into stockings,including small worms! Have pump shut down right now, amazed that water is clear since filter isn't working at all. What should we look at first? Hoping there is a simple solution like he hooked it back up wrong and not that there is a giant crack in something. Will also mention that the filter plug is leaking under filter tank in case that is relevant.
    We had a horribly cold winter and had one cracked pipe near our auto chlorinator which we removed. Last summer I saw a tiny amount of light colored sand when I vacuumed and wondered about it but now think we might have had a small crack and this winter made it worse? Hope we didn't mess things up by changing the sand, pool ownership is more difficult than we thought 6 yrs ago!
    Any suggestions would be great before I call someone.
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    When changing sand it is important to be very careful with the laterals (small pipes with small slots that let water in but keep sand out), located near the bottom of the filter. It is fairly easy to crack a lateral, which will let sand out of the filter. Unfortunately, they only way to check is to completely disassemble 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: Big sand filter problem

    Assuming the worst and that we need someone to fix it, what should I do in the meantime for circulation? If I run filter damaged will I do more harm to pump or filter? I can keep nylon socks on the jets but don't know if running pump/filter is right thing to do. We are having warm weather but water is too cold to go in to move it around.
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    You could bypass the filter. Circulation is much more important than filtering. You can go a couple of weeks without filtering, but only several days without circulation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    One more question...I am confused as to why the small worms aren't getting stuck in the sand before getting to laterals...are we bypassing the sand somehow?
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    That isn't clear. There are several possibilities. One is that a broken lateral has allowed enough sand to get out that there is a valley in the sand layer deep enough to let water through without being filtered in that area. Another possibility is that the filter piping is no in the correct location and ager is bypassing the sand completely. Or perhaps the worms were in the sand when the sand was put into the filter. I can think of some others as well, though none of them are all that likely.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    I did a filter for a customer that had recently changed the sand, first thing I found was the multi port valve was bad, second, when he put the pipe with the laterals back in, he did not put the laterals in the full down position, sand was getting in through them.
    From what your saying, that filter needs a teardown again, remove all the sand for inspeaction, your husband should not do the same mistake twice.
    Owner of Pool Service Pro, Hilmar, Ca.
    Biggest fish shot, 35 pound halibut, this was not in my 12,000 AG pool, Kreepy krawly vacuum that's obsessed with tying itself into knots.

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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    Okay, we are feeling really dumb and hope someone can see a solution we can't. Took sand out , checked all laterals, no cracks or holes. But when we looked at the pipe coming from laterals and measured it, it appears to be about 1/2 inch too short to connect to our multi-port pipe! How was it hooked in before with the original sand but won't reach now? This would explain getting everything back into pool that I had vacuumed if the pipe was not attached to the multi-port, but my husband did not lose any little pieces of extra pipe. Other than having the lateral pipe be suspended in the water and not touching the bottom of tank, which makes it impossible to put sand in there is no way we see to connect them.We are totally perplexed on this
    18'X 36' Free form vinyl, 8' - 3'deep, Pentair 1.5 hp pump,Sta-rite 3.14 hi rate sand filter, pool frog and New water online chlorinator , 3 deck water shooters, deck solar heat, solar cover

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Big sand filter problem

    Do you have a manual/parts list for your filter to confirm you're not missing something?
    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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