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Thread: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

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    Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Just bought a house with an above ground pool this past fall. We had someone repair a few things on the pool over the winter (hole in liner, new lining, new motor for pump etc)

    I'm just trying to get the pool open, and have the filter and pump turned on.

    I just have no idea if the filter is actually working or not? Because the pressure gauge is reading 0 and there is water coming out from the waste pipe (not sure what you call it? (can see in picture below). The water is filled up right below the skimmer. i put some water in the pump basket because i heard someon say that primes the pump, but just not sure if that did anything. Plus one other question--there appear to be two modes on the pump when turning on, one is louder than the other, just can't see on the pump itself what mode is what. Sorry these probably seem like such idiotic questions but i have no clue what i'm doing. Thanks in advance. IMG_7913.jpgIMG_7914.jpgIMG_7899.JPG

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Well, it appears that the water leaking is from a drain plug which is not sealed.

    The pool water level should be about half way up the skimmer, not below it. If the water is below the skimmer you will suck air and loose the pump prime.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Thanks Tim, so what should my next steps be? Should i start by putting more water in the pool? And then how do i fix a drain plug?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by cdogstu99 View Post
    Thanks Tim, so what should my next steps be? Should i start by putting more water in the pool? And then how do i fix a drain plug?
    Unless there is a valve to turn the water off going ot the filter, I would not put more water in the pool until you fix the leak. You may just need to back out that drain plug and reseat it, or replace the plug if it is damaged in some way. Just remember, the filter is full of water and sand that are going to want to come out of that drain plug. You need to be comfortable with opening that filter to replace the sand that comes out.

    if the company that did you r work replaced the sand (it was on you r original scope of work if I remember correctly) the drian plug leaking is probably their problem.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Thanks. I want to just make sure i'm on the same page. I think when you say drain plug, you're talking about the cap on the back of the filter right? OK, if you look at the second picture, i didn't have the cap on...but I did just find the cap, and when i do put it on, there is a small leak, but now the water is coming out from the drain above that one (a clear tube from the rear top of the filter. Not sure what that it is or if it makes any difference.

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    i think maybe i had lever in wrong position---see picture ---should be up right? This stops the water from flying out of the back but still no pressure

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    The bottom drain leak is the drain plug to drain the water out for winterization. There should be a screen like device inside the filter to keep the sand from coming out when it is open. Than needs to be sealed so it does not leak when the filter pump is running.

    The top of the filter is referred to as the multiport selector. The "nipple" without a pipe or hose on it is the waste/backwash outlet port. Water should only be coming out of this when the lever on top is set to waste or backwash. The lever on top can be rotated by either lifting up on it or pushing down on it and turning it around to the position desired. There should be some markings on the top of the multiport to tell you which position to be in. For filtering the pool it should be placed in "filter" mode.

    The two modes on the motor are two different speeds. The low speed setting is for normal filtering operation and the high speed is for doing things like vacuuming and back washing where you need more water flow.

    There is no need to "prime" the pump on an above ground pool as the gravity flow of the water will fill the pump basket. There may/should be a bleeder valve on the top side of the filter tank to bleed out any air if needed. For the most part, the air will be pushed out once the pump starts.

    Pressure gages go bad quite often. To be honest, I don't hardly ever look at mine as I can tell from experience how the filter is doing by putting my hand in front of the return jet. I can tell almost to the pound what the gage is reading this way. If the gage is not working once you have established that you have flow out of the return jet, a replacement can be bought for a few dollars at any well stocked hardware store or on line at several places. It is a standard pressure gage so don't get "Pool Stored" into buying something real expensive.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    The bottom drain leak is the drain plug to drain the water out for winterization. There should be a screen like device inside the filter to keep the sand from coming out when it is open. Than needs to be sealed so it does not leak when the filter pump is running.

    The top of the filter is referred to as the multiport selector. The "nipple" without a pipe or hose on it is the waste/backwash outlet port. Water should only be coming out of this when the lever on top is set to waste or backwash. The lever on top can be rotated by either lifting up on it or pushing down on it and turning it around to the position desired. There should be some markings on the top of the multiport to tell you which position to be in. For filtering the pool it should be placed in "filter" mode.

    The two modes on the motor are two different speeds. The low speed setting is for normal filtering operation and the high speed is for doing things like vacuuming and back washing where you need more water flow.

    There is no need to "prime" the pump on an above ground pool as the gravity flow of the water will fill the pump basket. There may/should be a bleeder valve on the top side of the filter tank to bleed out any air if needed. For the most part, the air will be pushed out once the pump starts.

    Pressure gages go bad quite often. To be honest, I don't hardly ever look at mine as I can tell from experience how the filter is doing by putting my hand in front of the return jet. I can tell almost to the pound what the gage is reading this way. If the gage is not working once you have established that you have flow out of the return jet, a replacement can be bought for a few dollars at any well stocked hardware store or on line at several places. It is a standard pressure gage so don't get "Pool Stored" into buying something real expensive.
    Thanks Dan that was an amazing explanation!

    So where i am now. I determined that i had the multiport lever in the wrong position (i had it pushed down instead of up). Even still in this position the filter is not working. i put my hand over the return jet and no action at all. I put the valve in backwash position (as someone told me i needed to do this since I put new sand in over the winter) but even in this position there was minimal water coming out of the waste pipe. I pulled off the basket to the pump and there was water just flowing out that i couldn't stop even with both of the valves to the pool in the off position--is this where my problems are? just a bit lost as I've never taken care of a pool.

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    If you can post pictures of all the plumbing (from the skimmer all the way to the return into the pool) it will help a lot.
    AG 24' round 15k gal
    cartridge filter 125sf

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by pbhound View Post
    If you can post pictures of all the plumbing (from the skimmer all the way to the return into the pool) it will help a lot.











    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by cdogstu99 View Post
    Thanks Dan that was an amazing explanation!

    So where i am now. I determined that i had the multiport lever in the wrong position (i had it pushed down instead of up).Even still in this position the filter is not working. i put my hand over the return jet and no action at all. I put the valve in backwash position (as someone told me i needed to do this since I put new sand in over the winter) but even in this position there was minimal water coming out of the waste pipe.
    Yes, you should backwash and rinse after a sand change. This is not the problem that needs to be solved right now.



    Quote Originally Posted by cdogstu99 View Post
    I pulled off the basket to the pump and there was water just flowing out that i couldn't stop even with both of the valves to the pool in the off position--is this where my problems are? just a bit lost as I've never taken care of a pool.
    This does not surprise me as the way the water flows in your system would allow for that to happen. The water gravity feeds from the pool skimmer down the hose to the pump strainer (which you removed the lid from) and there is no shut-off for this normally. However, you do have a shutoff valve between the hose and the pump strainer. Turning this handle will shut off the water flow to the pump strainer. Again, this is not the problem that needs to be solved either. From the pump strainer the pump gets its water and sends it up the pipe to the multiport valve and from there into the filter or to which ever function you have it set to. This is the problem that needs to be solved.This comment in your text (i had it pushed down instead of up). may shed a clue as to what is happening. The handle position is not dependent on being in the up or down position. This is a rotary valve and the handle is usually pushed down to turn, then when released it will "spring" back up. If it is staying up or down on it's own then I am going to suspect the tension spring inside the head needs to be replaced. This not only provides the tension on the handle, but more importantly provides the downward pressure on the valve assembly inside the head to allow the water to move thru the proper chambers when the positions are selected. Fortunately this is a fairly easy fix with a few simple hand tools and about an hour of free time (provided you have secured the proper replacement spring) .The other possible problem here might be the "spider gasket" on the valve is bad. Again, a fairly easy fix.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Dan, thanks for the help! Much appreciated. I ordered a spring and a spider gasket today. i'm going to start there. anything special i need to know when replacing? simple as just swapping one out for the other?

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Honestly, I would have not ordered that stuff until I verified that that was what was really wrong by disassembling the head and inspecting it. If you go back and read my previous post, I said I would suspect that as the problem. fortunately, the parts are not too expensive and replacing them does have to be done sometimes.

    to change these parts, Turn off both valves on the hoses. Remove the 6 screws holding the top on the multiport valve. Remove the top taking note of it's orientation (most times they have a notch/tab to align them). I am not sure how the handle comes off of that particular brand head but that is what usually has to come off to change the spring. The spider gasket is set into a grove on the cone and usually has to be dug out. Once out the new one should "press" back into the grooves.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Pool Newbie Needs Help with Sand Filter

    Update--replaced the spring and ordered the spider gasket. The gasket was impossible to remove and so i ended up buying the entire diverter valve with the gasket included. Installed it back in and still nothing. I think you were on to something with the spring as it seems now that there is probably the appropriate action in the coil (before it was just stuck in one place) but still no pressure, nothing. Stuck at this point. Time to call the pool guy?

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