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Thread: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Central Ohio
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    Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    First - Thank you to the TFP community. You guys are awesome! I am so grateful that I have someone to ask all my questions to! (And I have MANY!)

    So here's my latest . ..

    The pool is OLD - like 1950's old. The pipes are steel, the sides are steel, the bottom is concrete - everything exposed is painted in epoxy paint.

    Each time I shut down the pump (as necessary to clean to filter basket, and backwash, ect . . . ) then when I restart the system, I get a burst of dark brown cloudiness from the return jets. The 'cloud' eventually settles to the bottom of the pool as a very fine 'dust' that is a dark brown / copper color - not unlike rust. The 'cloud' usually only lasts about a second or two, and the water that follows is crystal clear.

    I should note that thanks to the TFP forum I did finally learn the correct method for backwashing - and my procedure for that is: 1. shut down the pump 2.perform backwash 3.run 'filter to waste' / rinse 4. return to 'filter to pool'. I usually run the backwash for at least 2 minutes, and the rinse for about 1 minute. I should mention that I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now - and at no point have I actually seen any dirt or debris come through the clear section of pipe at the backwash outlet.

    I realize that due to the age of the pool, and the fact that the pipes are steel that rust is just a park of this gig . . but I find it odd that the burst of dust only lasts a second.

    Any thoughts on this matter would be most appreciated!
    Thank you.
    30,000 Gallon, In-ground, Concrete bottom, Painted Steel Sides. Eclipse Sand Filter, Hayward Chlorinater, Pool built Circa 1950

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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    I'm not sure I can think of a reason for #3 "run filter to waste". Why are you doing that? My procedure has always been 1. backwash 2. rinse 3. filter

    I might be missing something, though, and I'm trying to think if that's related to your issue.

    As an aside, I usually rinse a bit longer than a minute but not more than 2 minutes.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    Its very possible that I'm totally wrong here - but there is no setting on the valve that actually says 'rinse' - just one labeled 'filter to waster'. So I was thinking that meant rinse? Am I wrong?
    30,000 Gallon, In-ground, Concrete bottom, Painted Steel Sides. Eclipse Sand Filter, Hayward Chlorinater, Pool built Circa 1950

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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    Hmmm. "Filter to waste" could be the same as rinse. Do you have a "waste" setting as well?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    I suspect that your sand has become channeled.
    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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    Central NJ
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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    Check for cracked filter grids. Just had the same prob and it was solved with replacement grids.
    Jan


    41000 gal gunite, built in 1998, attached spa, Compool automation, American Products 60 sq.ft. DE filter,2 HP single speed pump, Polaris 380 with booster, 400,000btu natural gas heater, inline puck chlorinator

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    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Sabina, Italy
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    Re: Help! Dark Cloud from Return Jets at each Pump Restart

    I have exactly the same issue, my returns are all in the bottom of the pool and always give a rusty coloured plume every time the pump starts after being idle for a while. My pool is over 30years old with steel plumbing, so I assume it's just rust, it clears quickly and my guess that the only solution is to dig out the whole pool and re-plumb in plastic. I'm just going to live with it, unless somebody has some high-tech pipe liner technology idea which would beat the **** out of breaking out the back-hoe and jack hammer!

    Cheers
    In_Two
    160,000 litres (42,000 U.S. galls) 15 x 7 metres (53 x 23 feet) hybrid. Concrete floor, glass fibre walls. 1.5 HP Tifon pump, 150 kg (330lb) sand filter. Free form shape (not a straight edge in sight) 30 years old.

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