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Thread: Suddenly SILT!...

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    Suddenly SILT!...

    Here's the details on this pool. 1988 16x32x8 vinyl in-ground pool with Super Pump, S-200 sand filter, new VariFlow valve as the old one was leaking and beyond repair. After 25 years of use, the system is suddenly spewing silt from the return port when vacuuming and silt is building up on the bottom of the pool. Never had this issue before. I took the filter top off and skimmed the filth (greasy sun block) off of the top of the sand and replaced that with some new sand. Still getting silt out of the return port. At the advice of two pool shops, I vacuumed to waste, but still have silt on the bottom after running the system all day. Not losing any water level with the new VariFlow valve in place. System pressure has stayed at about 14 - 15 psi and hasn't risen to 25 psi for about four weeks now when the silt started appearing. With the pump running, it will spew bubbles out of the return port every 15 to 20 seconds. No bubbles in the riser pipe from the pump into the VariFlow valve. Also, no sand in the sight glass when back washing. I have some questions.
    1. Should I do a deep clean of the filter as described in the sticky section here?
    2. Should I remove the sand, clean it, and check for some internal structural problem?
    3. We had a really harsh winter here with the freeze line extending down to 4 feet. Should I get someone out to check the runs for leaks? Thought is one of the suction lines is pulling in some dirt. Never had an issue with them before, only some corroded clamps on the skimmer.

    Thanks

    Jim
    Last edited by jamis; 07-18-2014 at 07:33 PM. Reason: spelliing & added words.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Yes, try a deep cleaning of the sand filter to start with. That might well solve the problem. While you have the filter open, examine the pipe coming up the middle and make sure there are no obvious cracks.
    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: Suddenly SILT!...

    OK, thanks. I'll give it a try as soon as I can and reply back.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    S-200 High Colonic

    This morning, I performed the first deep cleaning procedure on this 25 year old filter. Since the S-200 is different from the one in the videos in the sticky section, I took the filter apart at the mid-section joint. The top cap on the S-200 is much smaller and the distribution crown fits right up to the top of the filter. Thus there's no room to put the hose in, nor see what you are doing with it. The sand is nearly up to the top of the bottom half of the filter shell, so I removed about two inches of sand and put it in a 5 gallon bucket for later cleaning. This gave me some room for the water to flow without washing sand out of the filter. On the first plunge into the filter, I was rewarded with lots of algae from the bottom of the sand, despite the fact that I had run two bags of shock through the system. It took a good 10 minutes to clear the green from the effluent and then the water was brown and cloudy for another 10 minutes. I kept running the hose down between the laterals and holding it there until no more silt would rise around the hose. The whole washout took about 30 minutes to get clear water everywhere. I then repeated the washout on the sand in the bucket which got returned to the filter shell. The S-200 shell has some concentric rings at the bottom next to the laterals, so working the hose down and in between the laterals is a bit of slow going. I have a spare S-200 filter shell that I use for storing the vac hose and tools in and for spare parts, so I had an empty sample to use as a guide. That made things much easier. After buttoning things back up, I vacuumed the pool and didn't get any blow by that I could see. I did a backwash and could see dirt in the sight glass, so I'm hoping things got fixed. I did my usual chlorination and covered the pool. I'll let the pump run until morning and see what we have then.

    Lessons Learned:
    1. No change in pump psi should have been an indication of something amiss last month.
    2. Immediate blow by from the return port should have been a flag that the filter wasn't working properly.
    3. "Experts" at the two pool shops didn't question the situation sufficiently and tossed the "vacuum to waste" as a solution, which didn't fix anything.
    4. If this fixes the problem, I'll likely use this procedure as part of the opening tasks.

    Fingers crossed. I'll update the results tomorrow.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: S-200 High Colonic

    Today's update. I pulled the solar cover off of the pool this morning after running the pump all day yesterday and all night until 7:00A. The water is crystal clear all the way to to bottom of the deep end hopper, but there was some silt "puddles" on the bottom at both ends of the pool. No where near as much as before the deep clean. I vacuumed to waste again (just love putting 150 cu. ft. of city water in each time). I then did a backwash and rinse. The grandkids are with us for a couple of days, so the pump will be running more than its usual timed 7 hours. We'll see what things look like tomorrow. Hoping I don't have a plumbing issue underground.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    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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    Moderately Confused Now.

    Pulled the cover off of the pool today and found some silt in the bottom of the hopper deep end. About half as much as yesterday. I'm going to let things run like normal for a few days to see if the silt builds up with the pool covered. I'll also watch the pump pressure gauge. Water is still crystal clear all the way to the bottom of the deep end. There is no water loss in the pool for 24 hours. There is no water leakage in the visible parts of the filter system/pump. The water stays in the riser pipe from the pump to the VariFlow valve when the pump shuts off, so there is no leakage in the system that I can see.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Great! Just realized you're from Toledo... near me. FWIW the only decent pool store I've found is Preferred Pools in Maumee. They typically have Hayward parts and they have a good deal on liquid chlorine: 4 gallons of 12.5% for $12.99.
    16 x 32 inground vinyl pool (21000 gallons) (new liner installed 2014)
    Hayward max flo pump w/ 1 HP AO Smith motor (new motor 2014)
    Hayward C1200 cartridge filter (new 2014)
    Hayward H150 heater

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sminor View Post
    Great! Just realized you're from Toledo... near me. FWIW the only decent pool store I've found is Preferred Pools in Maumee. They typically have Hayward parts and they have a good deal on liquid chlorine: 4 gallons of 12.5% for $12.99.
    Hello there! I'm on the opposite corner of town from you. Shoreland area. I know Preferred Pools. 25 years ago it was Imperial Pools (who installed my pool). Maumee is a bit of a drive for just getting chlorine, so I use the 10% stuff from Meijer (1 mile away) at $12.49 a case. I haven't had any issues getting parts for this old system so far. When my Brother-In-Law removed his pool, I got his entire S-200 filter system as "payment" for helping him tear his pool down. Still have the bottom half of the filter, all of the interior bits, and the Super Pump in backup. Have used most everything else as replacement parts. Had to buy a new VariFlow valve last week ($149) at D&R Pool Sales.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    They're Baaaaaack...

    The silt puddles and stains, I mean. After three days of being covered and the pump running for 7 hours at night, this is what I found when I pulled the cover off this afternoon. This is exactly what I had when I started this thread. Suction is evenly split between the lower suction port and the skimmer. Hopefully these pictures will help someone clue me in as to what is amiss here. Thanks. Jim IMG_0830.jpgIMG_0831.jpgAttachment 32136Attachment 32137
    Last edited by jamis; 07-23-2014 at 01:27 PM. Reason: added text
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    I get this in my above ground if we dont swim in it for a day or two... i let it get to the point of what yours looks like and vaccum to waste and it's gone for a few weeks... jack the FC up too
    24 ft Sharkline Matrix AG
    Waterway 1HP 2SPD Sand Filter 100lb sand capacity, using 50lb of ZeoSand
    TAYLOR K-2006 test kit.
    Installed Spring 2013
    16x16 Deck Going up Soon.

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Quote Originally Posted by tjroux View Post
    I get this in my above ground if we dont swim in it for a day or two... i let it get to the point of what yours looks like and vaccum to waste and it's gone for a few weeks... jack the FC up too
    Vacuuming to waste is not an affordable option on this pool. Pouring 150 to 200 cu. ft. of city water in every time I sweep the pool is not justifiable. I've not had to do that for the last 25 years, so there must be something wrong in the system that is causing this silt build up in just a day or two with the pool covered. In the past, I've gone an entire week without this much dirt in the pool, even uncovered. I normally sweep once a week and I never had the swirls that are shown in the picture. Unless someone points out something I've missed, I'm stumped as to why I suddenly have this problem now.

    FC = 1.0
    CC = 1.0
    PH = 7.6

    I did a regular vacuum of the pool and had very little blow by. The water remained pretty clear, except at the very bottom of the hopper, where it got very slightly cloudy. Gauge pressure did not change as I would have expected. I'm betting the morning brings more of what the pictures above show. The grandkids are here tomorrow, so I won't be able to start a shock cycle until after they go home. Do the pictures show silt or algae?
    Last edited by jamis; 07-23-2014 at 03:33 PM. Reason: aded words
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Finally getting some change in PSI. It's up a pound from yesterday. Pool looks like it did the day after a vacuum to waste. In lieu of any advice, I'm going ahead with a SLAM to see if I'm dealing with algae instead of silt.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Can ypu post your full test results? In your picture it looked greenish, like algae, to me. With a CC of one and a fc of one, it looks like your chlorine levels are too low. (If your CYA is above 10-20, which it shouod be, then one is too low.) Have you read Pool School yet?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    Can ypu post your full test results? In your picture it looked greenish, like algae, to me. With a CC of one and a fc of one, it looks like your chlorine levels are too low. (If your CYA is above 10-20, which it shouod be, then one is too low.) Have you read Pool School yet?
    Thanks. I was looking for some determination of what the stuff is. Early on, I thought it was silt, but not sure. Yes, I've been to Pool School. It looks like I'll get a chance to start tomorrow afternoon on the SLAM process.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    Just a closure to this thread. What I thought was silt was really an algae bloom. During the SLAM process, I learned that my filter is working just as it should now. Sorry for the confusion to anyone who reads this tale. Thanks for the help with this one.
    I've gone out to look for myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
    16x32x8 Fort Wayne Elite Polymer IG with vinyl liner and 8' acrylic end steps. Hayward S-200 sand filter with 220 VAC Super Pump and VariFlo valve. Installed in 1988.
    Jim

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly SILT!...

    I was going to say... that looks like mustard algae... not silt.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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