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Thread: Sand filter pressure issues

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    Sand filter pressure issues

    Hi all. I'm relatively new. *wave* Just started posting this past weekend about clearing out our AG pool that's been sitting all winter. Here's a quick update:

    I'm trying to clean it before we start adding chemicals because there's a lot of tiny leaves and algae and god knows what else. First we were having issues with the skimmer attachment (it kept flipping), but my husband rigged it so it would stay in place properly. Now, we're having issues with the filter itself. When I backwash it and re-pressurize, it goes to 10psi. Within an hour, the return jet loses pressure as the filter nears the yellow stages (20psi). I figured the sand was getting yucky with all the stuff so I kept backwashing it when it would do this and it would set the pressure back at normal. It's frustrating because the filter cannot keep going for hours and hours if I leave the house or overnight because I don't want it to overpressurize. Is there any other troubleshooting that I'm missing? I've read through the book several times and it doesn't seem to give me any answers so I figured I'd ask some pros.

    IN THE MEANTIME, the pool is still gunky and green and has a high pH. I added the max dose of dry acid yesterday and nada. pH is still 8.0+. Backwashing didn't help I'm sure, though I waited for 4 hrs before I tested and backwashed (as per recommendations on the dry acid packaging). What do I do to get the pool cleaner yet start the chemical processing to KEEP it clean??

    My test results this morning:
    pH 8.0+
    TA 370
    FC 0
    CYA <30

    Thanks in advance!
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    How long are you backwashing the filter? It can take 3 to 4 minutes to get it clean.

    If that doesn't work, you can try following the procedure in this post to do a more thorough job of cleaning your filter.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    If you have crud (leaves, needles, frogs, large algae) in the water, you may be better off with a leaf filter inline in a manual vacuum.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    You sure it's a sand filter and not a DE filter? You describe what sounds like A DE filter that hasn't been recharged with DE. Something is wrong as you shouldn't be going that high in only an hour.


    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Is the skimmer basket on your pump full? Large pieces should be trapped by the pool skimmer or the pump skimmer before they ever get to the sand filter. As someone above suggested, make sure you are backwashing for several minutes AND that you are also rinsing for several minutes. Rinsing may seem pointless but it serves a purpose and if not done adequately, the filter will show dirty faster. Keep an eye on your pool level when washing or rinsing and replenish as needed.

    I am not aware that Intex makes a DE filter so you probably do not have one.

    If all of your skimmer baskets are clean and you continue to get a significant pressure rise, you may need to deep clean your filter. Finally, do you have a leaf rake that you can use to get the large stuff out of your pool. If you do not, it will be the best $20 you have ever spent.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    While you are working on getting the debris out of the pool, you should also work on lowering PH and TA. Your TA is very very high, so PH is going to tend to go up and get out of control. Any time you have the pump running and the PH is above 7.8, you should lower the PH down to around 7.2.

    You have a very small filter, and lots of debris in the pool. It isn't really very surprising that it is constantly getting clogged up.

    The first step is to get as much debris out of the pool as you possibly can. You don't need to run the pump while working on this, except when working on lowering PH.

    Then you want to start adding chlorine, raising CYA, and running the filter during and after each chemical addition and repeat the chlorine and filtering as often as possible. It would be best if you could start on a day when you have enough free time to deal with the filter hourly for most of the day.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Thanks all. It's definitely a sand filter. I've been backwashing it the proper amt of time, but it is getting pretty grody.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The pH is down to 7.4 this morning, so almost there. There isn't large debris in the pool, just a lot of algae and small particles in the water. Gonna do a thorough vacuuming this morning and decrease the pH some more. My TA is still very high - 300. Turning the pump off now, so I'll update later. Thank you for your help!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for your suggestions. I have a net thing for the leaves, but not a rake. Going to the store now to get one! I have been washing out both the skimmer in the pool and the one connected to the pump itself. There isn't large debris - a few small bugs and lots of algae/tiny particles that add up, though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks! Going to do this before I head off to the store
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Skimmer socks are cheap and can prevent a lot of that material from clogging your filter. They are also easy to shake out and reuse. If you already made it to the store and back an old pantyhose cut and fit over the skimmer will suffice too.

    Worth noting that the sock needs to cleaned often to maintain water flow to the pump and filter.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    That's an excellent idea! I've got some old pantyhose that can be repurposed.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Whew. Deep cleaning this filter is gross. It looks the same as the pool water, and it's been going for ten minutes now. No large debris but lots of this disgusting algae stuff.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Hi there, and welcome!

    Given the volume, I might consider a drain and re fill. Sounds like you have quite a mess on your hands.
    TFP Moderator
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  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    I actually drained and refilled this past weekend! This is whatever stuff was left in the bottom few inches of the pool.

    I just finished deep cleaning the filter and I think that was the issue. It was FILTHY. It took just over an hour to totally rinse all the sand with the garden hose. I backwashed it once it was put back together, rinsed for quite awhile, and the pressure seems regulated and wonderful now.

    I added more dry acid to continue to drop the pH so I can start to add CYA and chlorine. I put pantyhose over the skimmer to act as a sock and will go out and rinse it frequently today.

    Haven't left to go to the store to get a better vacuum yet (our current one is mostly for leaves - the net bag kind that attaches to the garden hose). I will be doing that after lunch. Won't get to vacuum til this evening, but I'm hoping the clean sand in the filter will get most the gunk out for me.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Ok, terrific! Just keep pounding away at it, you'll get there eventually.
    TFP Moderator
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Do you have pictures of the stuff in your pool? I have the same size pool as you and the Intex 2650 sand filter and my filter works great. Just curious about what exactly you are trying to clean.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    So, I've got the pH coming down to 7.0-7.2 and aerating to raise it back up with the hopes the TA will come down (it's still around 300).
    Because the TA is so high and will likely take some time to come down, should I start SLAMing the pool to kill off the algae? I don't know how much the up-and-down of the pH will affect my FC, but obviously it's going to take a lot of chlorine to kill off all this stuff in the water so when should I start that process?
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    I will take a new picture when I go out to test the water in a couple of hours and post it! It's mostly just green soup. Very green water with small (2cm or smaller) chunks of algae in it. The pool was left up and alone and uncovered since Sept.

    The filter works well, but it kept having pressure issues because of how gross it was from sitting there all winter. Once it was deep-cleaned, it is back to working well again. However, the lack of chlorine in the pool is leaving the water full of algae so it's basically become very-filtered green water.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Lowering the TA is going to take some time, quite possibly weeks. I recommend pausing the lowering TA process while SLAMing. While FC is at SLAM level you can't reliably measure PH, so it is better to get PH low right at the start and not worry about it until SLAMing is done.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Thanks! Man, you guys are fast with responses and so helpful. I am deeply indebted to you all.
    Is it cheaper to use the unscented bleach or the granules? I'm assuming I'm going to go through a lot of it in the SLAM process with a pool this yucky.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    When taking into account the adjustments required, plain bleach is usually cheaper.
    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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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Sand filter pressure issues

    Quote Originally Posted by f3justusc View Post
    Do you have pictures of the stuff in your pool? I have the same size pool as you and the Intex 2650 sand filter and my filter works great. Just curious about what exactly you are trying to clean.


    I hope those work. I'm doing this from the app for the first time.
    5300 gal, AG vinyl, .95HP 28651EG Intex Krystal Clear 3000 GPH Sand Filter Pump
    TF100 - test kit

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