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Thread: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

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    SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Hi all, I've been reading on this sight for a year or so since I installed my pool last spring, but none so much as these last few weeks.

    BTW, I've read the Green Swamp post, the SLAM post, and dozens of threads and have gotten a lot of help from them - but I still can't get ahead of this.

    First winter, didn't cover my pool! I know - bad mistake! Took some advice from someone who obviously doesn't have any trees in their yard, and opted to just give it a "quick cleaning" in the spring and fore go the expense of buying a good cover.

    I've passed an OCLT a few times, pump has been running 24/7 for a month, but never had clear water - mine is cloudy and gray, can see about 18" deep. I have brushed daily, vacuumed a few times, removed all debris. After 7 -10 days of maintaining, water was still cloudy. Added some DE to sand, no change. My pressure hasn't risen more than 4 psi from baseline in a while. I thought maybe I was backwashing too often, so I let it go a couple days but no spike. While adding DE one time, I noticed I could see a cloud from the return jet as I was pouring it in. So thought I may be channeling in my sand - opened up and stirred my sand and added some to bring back to the fill line (10# maybe). Another couple days and no change in filter pressure characteristics or water clarity, and still seeing DE cloud in return. So I changed valve gaskets,and spider gasket (even though once I opened it up I didn't see any obvious damage). Another couple days, and no change. Oh, and I can still see a cloud while adding DE. I'm bypassing somehow, but all looks good inside filter. All the while I've been at or near shock levels. Couple days ago I went to Mustard level just in case, and still no change. Can't pass OCLT at MA level though (read that that may be normal?), seeing a 1.5 - 3.5 ppm drop overnight at mustard level. BTW using PoolMath all along. Just the other day I bought a proper leaf rake, got a whirlpool going, and collected some debris in the center that I thought I had gotten out, but now I feel pretty good about having all debris out even though I can't see the bottom. Still no change.

    Anyway, I know this is all over the place, but so is my brain at this point - I'm pulling my hair out. If any of you pros out there pick up on any red flags, I'll clarify what I can.

    What else should/can I do?

    Here's my numbers right now using Taylor 2006:

    FC- 29.5 (32.5 last night)
    CC- < 0.5
    pH- 7.4
    TA- 110
    CH- 30
    CYA- ~55

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    After all this time and effort, if you still can't see the bottom and JUST removed more debris-------I'd say there's still some more debris down there that needs removing.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Can you put your info in your signature? Is the pool in ground or above ground?
    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: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Welcome to TFP!

    I suspect filter problems. How has your filter pressure been behaving and when you backwash do you see a lot of debris come out (i.e. dirty water)?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Thought I had sig info in there, must not have saved.

    Yes, I did JUST get more debris out. But shouldn't I have seen some results anyway? All the articles I read mentioned getting out as much as possible, not necessarily every last bit, so I figured I would be ok moving on with the program until it got clear enough to see it all. I'll keep working on that front and plan to do so in a few minutes.

    I too suspect a filter problem, hence my actions so far on that front. My clean filtering pressure is 7psi, backwash/rinse/etc pressure is ~3.5 psi as usual. Adding DE up to 8 or 9 psi, it would climb to 11 psi in a short time but go no further than that. That, along with the cloudiness I was seeing in the return during DE additions, and my bypass test using cupcake sprinkles (yes, cupcake sprinkles) in through the skimmer and out the return, and the fact that my backwashes are NOT very dirty anymore, led me to focus on the filter. Early on in this opening battle the backwashes were quite green as I would expect, but now just a pretty quick cloudy white flush with bits of sand. And I suppose the white cloud is nothing more than the DE.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm going to open up the filter assy again now, take another look around for problems, and give it a deep clean. Then see what happens.
    Last edited by DanInVA; 05-18-2014 at 10:10 AM. Reason: typo
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Rinse off the grids from inside the filter and do a close visual inspection for holes or tears in the fabric.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Rinse off the grids from inside the filter and do a close visual inspection for holes or tears in the fabric.
    No fabric - sand only.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to mention, I do have an endless supply of flocculant. Haven't gone there yet, but how long do I fight this thing? I'll try for some resolve on the filter first.
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Sorry, I was thinking DE filter for some reason.

    It sounds like your sand is channeled. You should follow the directions in Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter.
    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: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Sorry, I was thinking DE filter for some reason.

    It sounds like your sand is channeled. You should follow the directions in Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter.
    Just completed a proper deep clean. I did a lesser version of this last weekend -more stirring, less hose. Hopefully this will work. How soon should I expect you see some results? Technically, my pump should turn over my pool in 6 hours or so, should I leave vac hose on and suck from bottom for a while? I did this last week also with no results then, but should I try again?

    Any reason to stay at MA levels any longer?

    Thanks for your replies thus far.
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    I would go to regular shock level just to save chlorine. You should be able to pass an OCLT even at mustard algae level when everything growing in the water is killed. Low level losses after SLAMing for a while suggests that there are biofilms somewhere, as they are about the only thing that can survive a couple of days of SLAMing. It is good, if you aren't doing this already, to brush the whole pool daily, watching closely for spots where algae might have formed a biofilm, which as behind ladders etc. Brushing will disrupt the biofilm, exposing it to chlorine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    So I vacuumed/brushed today and only got about a handful of broken leaves and pine needles out. I didn't stir up any noticeable clouds while vacuuming, but the water does look a little cloudier in general. Ended the day with a FC of 19, will spend the night at 25 and check again first thing in the morning. Filter is still acting a bit odd. While vacuuming my pressure climbed from 7 to 11 psi rather quickly. Figured I was getting into something good on the bottom, so I backwashed half way though, and it wasn't all that dirty. Happened two more times before finishing and then again shortly after I was done. Each time I backwashed, but was less than impressed with what came out.

    I use flocculant at work, and tomorrow I'm going to take a bucket of water from my pool to run some trials on. I've been trying to be patient these last few weeks, but at this point I feel like time to try something different. Any thoughts?
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    The psi doesn't lie to you. When you see the increase from 7 to 11 psi, you can be sure your filter is trapping particles whether you see them or not.

    Floc has very sketchy results from reports posted here over the years. Sometimes it works miracles but more often it does nothing or makes things worse. Give us a report.
    Dave S.
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Ok, so I did some "playing" with floc and my pool water at work yesterday. Nothing that got me too excited. So I thought maybe my industrial grade flocculants may just not be appropriate for use in a pool as I didn't even now where to begin with dosages or dispersion methods. At work we use mixers, mechanical and static, and slurry pumps to get the floc properly dispersed; and dosages are based on a measurable solids content. So I reluctantly went to the pool store to look at pool-specific flocculants. I took them a water sample, as I had never done that before (their test results were laughable as you probably would have guessed). But they did tell me I had high phosphate levels. I have read enough on here to know about that snake oil test but he recommended I use Revive because it would take down the phosphates and any other fine particulates as well like a floc. So, reluctantly I did it. I applied the Revive last night, left the filter off, and this morning I could see the bottom of my pool for the first time this year. I'll vacuum to waste when I get home this evening and check my numbers again to see if they are all messed up now.

    Numbers yesterday before adding the Revive, and the pool store's numbers with test strip and digital reader (just for kicks)

    Mine (Taylor 2006)------Pool store
    FC 19.0 -------------FC 8.6
    CC <0.5 -------------CC 2.0
    PH 7.0 -------------PH 6.8
    TA 120 -------------TA 70
    CYA 45 -------------CYA 0
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Everything is looking good. The sediment cleaned up nicely. I got all my numbers in line. And I plan to enjoy my pool this weekend. Now I need to shop for a new, appropriately sized filter. My POS that came withe the pool is leaking like a sieve, is under-sized, and for whatever reason, despite all my efforts, still allows solids to bypass the sand bed. I found this one Hayward S230T1580X15S 23-Inch Pro Series Sand Filter System with 1-1/2 HP Power-Flo Matrix Pump which seams like a pretty good deal from what I can tell. Any opinions on this or anything else will be appreciated. Thanks.
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    This should reinforce the issue of using flocculant. It really does nothing that a properly working filter couldn't do. The average person would think the floc worked, and would go right along with changing nothing, until the cloudiness came back.
    30'x52'' AGP 21,000 Gallons
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    excellent post, tommyd123. Very insightful.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: SLAMing for over 3 weaks...help!

    Agreed.
    24' round AG, Vinyl, SandPRO 4510 filter, bleach, Virginia

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