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Thread: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

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    Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    My cartridge filter has been the bane of my pool maintenance since I bought my house, and tonight I'm so mad at it I'm about to throw it out of the family. First, specs:

    Pool: Inground 18x36x4.25 (average depth), although 3 feet of that length is a very narrow set of entry steps. I've always estimated 18k to 20k gallons. Eleven years old.
    Pump: AOSmith 1HP motor attached to unknown pump and basket
    Piping: 1.5" to and from the pool, 2" between main components of pump station
    Filter: Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge
    Surroundings: the lovely people who owned this property before just loved birch trees. They shed little "nits" (seeds) in the spring, and in late May, and when it gets too hot, and when it gets too windy, and then in the fall, for good measure. These are **** on the skimmer and the filter (they can be very small) and produce the need to almost constantly vacuum and tear down the cartridge filter to clean it. I probably take the filter housing apart 15 times a season (which is mid-May to early-Sept).

    The filter story is probably not a surprise to you, based on how often it has to come apart: the top piece of the housing has gotten brittle; two of the four tabs that are used to pry the top from the bottom have broken off; and it's a constant fight with the gigantic O-ring to keep it flexible and lubricated. It sure seems like a bit of heaven to consider that maybe, with a sand filter, I could backwash 15 times a year instead of ripping the head off my pool housing (and losing all that water), removing the filter, washing it, putting it all back together including lube, priming, etc. 15 times a year.


    Today, the filter housing made a "pop!" sound that I could hear inside, so I went to look and water was pouring out of the housing between the top and the bottom. It had been running for two days just fine. Basically, the water pressure (clean filter startup is 18, it was running about 23 this afternoon before this happened) and, I think, the wear and tear on the housing allowed it to come unseated, even with the giant locking ring that goes around the outside firmly in place.

    Well, since that locking ring was in place, and since the two halves came unseated anyway, the locking ring is now well and truly locked. I believe it has jumped threads and now, no matter how much force I put on it, it will not budge.


    So, let's get to questions:

    1. Is there a way to get that ring off that I'm not thinking of? I have tried to apply pressure to the top of the housing, hoping it could be pressed back into place, but it is not budging because of the locking ring.
    2. Is it time to bail out and get the sand filter -- and will the sand filter be a better option for me due to the environmental issues listed above?
    3. Will I miss the filtering ability of the cartridge?
    4. I've read about 20 posts on filter sizing before posting this, and the math makes my head hurt... can you help me understand what size I'd need? If bigger is better, at this point, I'm probably happy to just go big.

    Thank you for any help you can give me!
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    1. No idea
    2. I think I would get a new filter. Whether sand or what i don't know, personal preference. We see a lot of reports not glowing about the system 3.
    3. Any filter will keep the pool clear. You can use a little DE in sand filters as well.
    4. Bigger the better. At least 24" diameter for a sand filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Thanks Jason! While I don't want to drop several hundred dollars on this right now, I guess it is an investment that should pay off by reducing maintenance and time spent.

    Do you foresee any issues with the birch tree seeds and the sand? Will those wash right out with a backwash?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Not sure they look like so i don't know if they will easily backwash.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    My options to do this over the weekend seem to be a Pentair SD80 or a Pentair Tagelus TA60. One place tells me I need the extra 2" of the SD80, another place tells me I need the resiliency of the TA60 because of the in-floor cleaning system (concerned the SD won't hold up very long since it's plastic vs fibreglass). Any advice on choosing between these two filters?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Your signature says you have a Sta-Rite PLM-150, which I think is a System 2 not System 3? The System 3 parts begin with "SM" not "PLM". I guess it doesn't matter, since you are replacing it. For the record, I have a 3 year old System 3 which has not given me any trouble to speak of, although it seems to get bad reviews. My only complaint is the replacement cartridges seem extremely expensive.

    Don C.
    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    You know, that's funny Don... I was looking at a parts list for the System 3 and they didn't match what I have (locking ring, filter type, etc).... but the top of the unit definitely says System 3. I wonder if I have a top half of the filter enclosure that's different from the base. Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- would surprise me.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Quote Originally Posted by MLock View Post
    You know, that's funny Don... I was looking at a parts list for the System 3 and they didn't match what I have (locking ring, filter type, etc).... but the top of the unit definitely says System 3. I wonder if I have a top half of the filter enclosure that's different from the base. Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- would surprise me.
    I did notice one other thread where someone had a mislabeled Sta-Rite. Maybe it's a common problem? I'm pretty sure the top of a System 3 would have no chance of connecting to a System 2 bottom. Anyway, good luck selecting a new filter. I hope you will keep us updated how it works out for you.

    Don C.
    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Go with the larger filter if you decide to change. The material should not matter, they are both designed for at least 50psi.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Quote Originally Posted by jjslinger View Post
    I did notice one other thread where someone had a mislabeled Sta-Rite. Maybe it's a common problem?

    Don C.
    FYI: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ilter-question
    16K gal IG 16'x28' pebble since 2011; Pentair Easytouch; Sta-Rite Intellipro VS pump; Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge (System 3); 6 Heliocol Solar Panels; Aquamatic Cover; Legend pressure-side cleaner with Hayward booster pump; TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    I just replied to that thread with my pictures. Wow.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    24 hours into my new sand filter, and the water is somewhat cloudy. I figured it was due to no circulation for three days, so I raised the FC above shock level. I did not lose any FC overnight, but pool has not cleared. It is blue, and I can see the bottom, but it is far from crystal clear. Any suggestions? Anything I should be concerned about w/r/t the new filter?

    FC: 12
    CC: 0
    CYA: 20
    TA: 90
    PH: 7.4


    Posting this here, because the filter is all that changed -- well, that and I guess three days of no circulation plus being covered.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Sand filters are slow to clear cloudiness. Maintain slam level and run the pump 24/7.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    I'm a new to pool ownership so take this with a grain of salt but...

    We have lots of trees around our pool including a locust and a red pine that sheds needles and I have had great luck with using a skimmer sock. You have to keep it clean but it keeps the junk out of the pump pretty well. It might help with your issues as well. Might be worth a try for $5 out whatever.

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    carveitup, I've been thinking about doing that next time the trees start to "produce". Good to hear from you that it seems to work! Thanks.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Jason, it took almost five days, but the pool is now super clear. Can you explain what the cloudiness was (there had been no bather load and during the entire 5 days I saw zero CC)?

    Just wondering how often I'll get this "cloudy" that takes days to clear. This forum has taught me to not be satisfied until I know exactly what is happening...
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Talk me off the ledge, or push me: filter edition

    Likely dead algae. CC do not always show up. The water should not get cloudy if there is no waste in the pool. A little cloudy after heavy use is not uncommon, but should clear up with elevated FC and filtration.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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