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Thread: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

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    Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    I don't know how to get rid of this stuff -- large amounts of fine dirt at the bottom of our in-ground pool. It didn't seem to be an issue until we changed the pump this year, to a variable speed pump.

    We've got a new Intelliflo pump, and we've got an old Polaris that works about the same as it ever did. It mainly picks up leaves and stuff. I always assumed the finer stuff went through our DE filter. But ever since the pump was installed, we've had constant problems with this fine dirt covering the bottom of the pool, which we never had before.

    I'm constantly brushing it when the pump is on, and it temporarily "disappears" (although there's so much of it that the pool water is cloudy from it, so it doesn't really "disappear") and I hope that the filter will filter it out. But it doesn't. It just settles back down.

    Sometimes I run the pump at top speed for many hours, and keep going outside to brush it up again as it settles. But no, it doesn't get filtered out. It's horrible.

    I would think the filter should be taking care of this, and yes the filter was recently cleaned and is not due for another cleaning for at least a couple more months.

    What could the problem be? Why should be be a problem only this year, and with a brand new pump? Is there some way to clean this dirt out of my pool? Is the filter supposed to be doing this? This has driven me crazy all summer. I'm tired of brushing and brushing and brushing and none of it going away. Thanks!

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    orange county, california
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    you should put your equipment information in your signature to help everyone

    The dust sounds like D.E. went backwards through the drain/skimmer when you opened the pipes to install your pump. I did the same thing when installing a salt cell. Ive run the pump overnight an the pool cleaner will clean it up by the morning. You may want to check the suction of the line for the polaris with your hand to check for blockage maybe leaves or something in the hose. Also you can get a manual vacuum that you attach to a pole, so instead of stirring it up with a brush you directly vacuum it into the filter. something similar to this one, depending on the plaster you have.

    http://poolandspasupply.com/poolmast...9JYaApuG8P8HAQ
    15,000 gallon in-ground freeform pebble-tech plaster built in '99
    Pentair Intelliflow 3hp variable speed pump & 2hp whisperflo for waterfalls
    Aqualink RS4 with intellicom adapter
    Pentair 4000 SMBW 30sq.ft. DE Filter
    Pentair Minimax 400 heater

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Thanks, I will try to figure out about how to do the signature soon.

    The DE is whitish gray. Im the past, I've had a small amount of DE in the pool, and it gets sucked up again within a few days. This is not DE, it's a large amount of brownish black dirt that's been in the pool for months, and it basically covers much of the bottom of our pool. It's not getting filtered out. I'm starting to think something is wrong with the filter, although I don't know what kind of filter it is, how old, the size, or anything. It's just an old DE filter that was here when we bought the house.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    You can update your profile with your City and State and your signature by following this link What we need to know to answer your questions.

    I think you have an algae bloom and not a filtering problem. Please post a full set of test results and tell us how you got them. If you did not use a recommended test kit because you don't have one, then it is encouraged that you purchase one Test Kit Comparison. The TF100 is going to be the best kit. You can order it by clicking on the link in my signature.

    Brownish Black Dirt = Some form of ALGAE!!!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Thanks, Casey. Okay, I think I did the updates. I hope the signature will show up now.

    I'm not sure which kit we use -- my husband does the testing (you take samples of pool water and add some different kinds of drops). It is dark out there now, but in the morning I will go out and test and post what we have, and I'll look into getting a better testing kit if we don't have a good one.

    Also, today he did say the chlorine was "low" -- we usually keep a few 3" tabs floating in a dispenser at all times, and in the past, that was fine. He threw three or four handfuls of granular chlorine in the pool today when he said it was low, so who knows what that did. I suspect we need a more methodical approach.

    So, your algae idea is probably correct, given the low chlorine. I would expect it to look green, though, but it doesn't. Also, obviously this needs to be dealt with (with chemicals) but wouldn't the filter filter out all this awful stuff? Thanks for the info.
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    The filter would filter some but algae keeps growing and an army forms when there is not enough chlorine. It sounds like he is just one step ahead of it.

    Please read:
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Chlorine CYA Chart
    Test Kit Comparison
    Recommended Levels

    If you do not have a TF100, get one. I have a feeling that your CYA maybe through the roof. Please post a full set of test results in the morning and identify your test kit to the forum so we can get you the help you need. If you read the links and learn the TFPC way, pool care will be so much easier. Also, the TF100 should be looked at as an investment in superb water quality, increase the life of your pool and swimming pleasure. It is a tool that will be used every day. We will help you if you help yourself.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Thanks, Casey, I read all these -- very interesting! I will post the testing results tomorrow and go from there. You are probably right about the CYA because all we use is those tabs, mostly. Thanks for your help!
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    OK, this morning I went out and looked at all the water testing kit bottles. There was nothing about CYA in any of them. My husband usually just tests the chlorine and the pH (he says the pH is fine and never changes). He said the chlorine was "still low" this morning, so he added the remaining cup or so of dichlor in the bottom of the bucket. When I went out to see which tests we have in the kit, I tested the chlorine, and it was between 3 and 5, but of course you can't tell much from that because he'd added the chlorine a few hours before.

    I guess I will order a test kit, and tomorrow morning before anything is done to the water I might take it to Leslie's to see what numbers they can give me in the meantime.
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Welcome! You are on the right track----finding and reading TFP!

    I just wanted to say that you cannot trust the pool store tests. Do NOT buy anything based on them. A free test is not free if it gets you to buy stuff from the place doing the "free" test.

    The pool store test MAY give you an idea how high your CYA is. That may help you know why the chlorine is not working like it used to. Here is the chart to show you the CYA/chlorine connection

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    This is just to give you an idea of what may be going on.

    When you get your test kit let us know and we can help you on your next step.

    Until you get the kit you can be looking around for your best price of bleach/chlorine. This is just plain bleach. NO order, anti-splash, etc. Some people find the best price in their area at Walmart, Target, Sams, Costco, etc. I find mine at the local ACE hardware. I did have to "rent" their containers but it has paid off in the end. Also check you pool store if they are close and easy to get to for you.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Thanks, Kim! I took a look at that chart. Also I will definitely get a kit, and my idea was just to see what Leslie's had to say in the meantime, but definitely not to buy anything based on it. And it's a good idea to shop around for a good price on bleach! Thanks!
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Did you ever get the water tested today?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Hi, Casey,
    I ordered a test kit, and then brought in a sample of water to Leslie's first thing this morning. Here are the results:

    Free available chlorine 4.0
    Total available chlorine 4.0
    CH 150
    CYA 60
    TA 80
    pH 7.3
    Phosphates 400

    So they said everything is fine except phosphates, which if I remember correctly don't matter? Or maybe I'm misremembering.

    When I went out this morning to collect the pool water, my husband already had the pump and pool sweep running, so I can't tell what the algae situation looked like. The water looked fine, maybe the slightest bit cloudy from being so stirred up.

    I'm pretty sure we also have chlorine tabs as usual in the dispenser and the solar skimmer (they each hold a couple of tabs, which melt slowly) -- but we're just about out of tabs, so if we were going to switch to liquid chlorine (bleach) now would be a good time.

    His method has been to just keep those tabs in the pool all the time and replace them when they get low. If we were to switch to bleach, what would be a good "maintenance dose"? And how much should we put in to make sure the algae are gone for good?

    Thanks for all the help!
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    During the hot of summer (Florida) oh average I add 80 oz. a night to keep my pool clean and clear. Please note my pool size and where I live.

    Every pool is different. You will learn YOUR pool and what it wants and needs in time. I can tell by just looking at my pool what the levels will be!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Constant large amounts of fine silt at the bottom of the pool

    Thanks, Kim!
    ~13,000 gallon in-ground plaster pool, built in late 80s, refinished in fiberglass in 2013
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pump, 2014
    Old HP booster that runs a Polaris 280 sweep, ages unknown
    Old DE Filter, age unknown

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