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Thread: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

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    Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Hi. First post.

    I have been reading for several weeks a lot of the "cloudy pool" threads with great interest as I am dealing with similar issues.

    So here's what's going on right now with the pool. The water is, you guessed it, cloudy. I can see to the bottom (AG pool) but it's not clear at all. I gave it a good vacuuming and brushing yesterday (which seemed to make it worse...which I guess makes sense in the short term... better this morning)

    Opening the pool in the spring was an issue...The water was black as I have a lot of deciduous trees in the back (more on that later) and from what I have been reading, I began assuming that I had an ammonia issue (i.e. lots of decaying matter in the pool, and CYA was NIL in the spring...seemed to be common symptoms). This fall I'm using a leaf net!!

    The testing part is where I get confused.
    This morning's vs last night's test results (TF 100 test kit.. man.. love that thing!)

    Last night:
    FC 3
    CC 0.5
    TA approx. 160
    PH 7.5
    CYA 20 (test a few days ago)

    (Disclaimer...I took the water sample last night, but only tested it in the morning...sat in an opaque (slightly see-through) closed bottle all night). Then I took a fresh sample for this morning's test)

    This morning:
    FC 2.5
    CC barely 0.5
    (rest not tested)

    CH (tested last weekend approx. 275)

    So no noticeable drop in FC overnight. If I had an ammonia issue I would have thought that 3ppm of chlorine would be gone by morning, or at least substantially reduced.

    So I guess my question is..seeing as I'm loosing less than 1ppm of FC overnight...do I still SLAM the pool to try and clear up the cloudy water? I did a OCLT earlier in the week and had similar results (except lost 1.5ppm, but still only .5 cc)

    Other facts:

    I am currently dealing with a mass dropping of maple seeds from all my maples...I mean I am removing basket-fulls of seeds every 4-6 hours. It's literally raining maple seeds in the back... and combined with really high winds all week long, I'm getting a lot of biological matter dumped in the pool on a daily basis.

    I think my pump is oversized for the filter based on several discussions threads on the matter. I also have the issue where upon start up of the pump (even if just off for less than a minute) I get dirt through the return for about 4-6 seconds (I also see the brownish water via the SWG cell, which is clear). The sand is in it's 5th summer and I gave a deep cleaning last week (took over 2.5 hours...and to be honest I'm sure I could have gone on for longer... just figured I got 90% of the **** out). My guess is that when the sand is brand new and has lots of sharp edges.. and oversized pump has less impact on it...but over a few years when they grains have rounded (perhaps prematurely due to the increased flow of water) you start to get fine matter making it's way out of the filter...?? Who knows...

    Does high TA contribute to cloudy water? I thought I read that somewhere but can't for the life of me find it! I'll put a pin in that.

    So, I think I have a number of courses of action, but not sure which one to start (although I guess I can't really do anything about the pump/filter issue in the short term). Don't want to waste time SLAMing the pool if it's not needed because it's a filter issue. I haven't put any DE in the filter (as the backwash discharge is near the kids play area) and can't seem to get cellulose fiber anywhere in Canada! I may have found some on Amazon that will ship to CAnada..but most don't. In any event.. the sand filter alone should be sufficient if sized properly.. no?

    I have bought Muriatic acid to deal with the TA, but am waiting until I fix my cloudy water first.

    Thoughts anyone!
    Thanks in advance.. I'll post some pictures of my pool later... need to try and get more seeds off the water surface! Again! LOL (I laugh but I'm crying inside)...

    Paul.
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Your issue with cloudy water is mostly filtration but I think you need some additional chlorine to make sure you kill EVERYTHING.

    I would do something in between a full SLAM and everyday levels

    1. Get your CYA up to a measurable 40 ppm....you are too low.

    2. Elevate your FC to around 8-10 ppm and KEEP IT THERE until your pool is crystal clear.

    3. Solve that filter issue. Any properly sized filter and pump will make a pool sparkle. You cannot be blowing dirt in the pool every time you start the pump and expect your pool to be clean......that needs to be fixed.

    4.. Use muriatic acid to lower pH.....NOT TA. There is an article in Pool School on how to lower TA. If your kit is less than two weeks old, did you read the instructions on wiping the dropper tip in between drops?

    5. Your sand is fine....leave it alone.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Hi Dave. Thanks for the welcome.

    I was keeping my CYA a little low as I was preparing myself to do a SLAM (which I thought the process indicated was best if CYA is around 30 give or take). I need to re-read that (one gets information overload after a while).

    The TA reading is correct I think... my friend tested it first with his kit (before I got mine). When I did the test I got around 200, but I had missed the part about wiping the tip..the next two times I did the test I wiped the tip and got consistent results around 160. On the "How to" page about lowering TA, I understand the MA reduces PH (and then we have to aerate to bring it back up) but doesn't that also lower the TA? Or do you mean that the MA doesn't directly reduce TA...it reduces PH which, as a result of obtaining a lower PH, ones gets a reduction in TA? But I do need the acid to start the TA lowering process..right? Or did I miss something?

    I agree I need to do something about the filter...it didn't do this when it was new, though (hence my theory that when the sand was new the high flow didn't impact it).. could it also be possible that one of the laterals cracked during the winter months (we get -30C over the winter).. I dismissed that notion as I would think that it would continuously blow sand/dirt all the time..not just at start up..

    In your opinion...should I wait until the "Maple Seed Rain" stops before I do the partial SLAM (seeing as the pool is getting bombarded with biological stuff) or just go ahead and start now seeing as the filter basket catches most of it?

    Thanks a lot!
    Paul.
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    MA reduces both TA and PH. You don't want to lowere your PH any lower than 7-7.2 then aerate to let PH rise back up to 7.8-8. Once it gets there, you repeat the process until you get to the TA level you want.

    I know it can be frustrating. I have been trying to get my TA lower for a few weeks. Today it is 120, I am hoping by next weekend I am where I want to be. It was 280 when I started.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    "It was 280 when I started. "

    Yikes! How does that happen? I thought mine was high at 160!

    I'm going to start my SLAM tonight and keep it going...hopefully it wont take long.
    Although I wasn't quite as precise as the OCLT, I did check night and morning and lost only 1ppm...even with all the maple seeds falling into the pool (although the wind had quieted down over night, so there was significantly less contamination of the water.

    Thanks for your advice everyone.. I'll keep you posted!
    Paul
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulslund View Post
    "It was 280 when I started. "

    Yikes! How does that happen? I thought mine was high at 160!

    I'm going to start my SLAM tonight and keep it going...hopefully it wont take long.
    Although I wasn't quite as precise as the OCLT, I did check night and morning and lost only 1ppm...even with all the maple seeds falling into the pool (although the wind had quieted down over night, so there was significantly less contamination of the water.

    Thanks for your advice everyone.. I'll keep you posted!
    Paul
    My fill water is 230
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Oh right... I just finished reading one your threads... what a pain that must be.

    You know.. I've tested my fill water.. I'll have to do that to see what inputs I"m dealing with. Thanks for the idea!
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Yep. I turned the well off so I could see if the municipal water was any lower, but nope. It is higher 280
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Oh boy. So I added liquid Chlorine last night to bring up to shock level... sat on the couch to watch TV for a bit as I wanted to test before bed... promptly fell asleep as I had up since 3 am.. Oops.. Oh well.

    I tested it this morning and had FC = 10 and CC = 0.5. I topped up a bit to get through the day and I'll make sure to be more diligent tonight...Hopefully this will fix my first problem...

    More to come!
    Paul.
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    You are on the right track. Just keep the FC up and you will clear up your pool.

    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: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Until you fix the problem with your filter, do a backwash and rinse first then set it to filter and that should prevent it from blowing crud into the pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Until you fix the problem with your filter, do a backwash and rinse first then set it to filter and that should prevent it from blowing crud into the pool.
    Unfortunately not. I religiously rinse after backwashing. It's not just after a backwash, though.

    If I turn off the pump just to clean out the basket, and then turn it back on, I get some brownish water sent back into the pool for a few seconds... I should take a video of it.

    The more I read about pump size the more I begin to think my 1.5 hp pump is too big for 225lb filter...some are using 1/2 HP pump with that filter and pool size (although I'm a little concerned about going that small as I do need some HP to get the water through the solar panel..). Or I have a slightly cracked lateral or something...
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    So far I've been keeping the pool at shock level using liquid chlorine combined with running the SWG. So far so good...still cloudy but seems to be getting better..although it was raining a fair bit all day yesterday and still was this morning. Not reading any combined chlorine overnight at all (when I tested this morning). I'm going to give it another good brushing and vacuuming this evening as it's been two days...

    I think I forgot to mention that I've been running the pool pump 24/7 for the past two weeks now...

    Cheers!
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    I you don't mind, I would suggest not using the SWG until you pass the SLAM. The bleach will be enough. You are just shortening the cell life on the SWG.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Hmm..I hadn't considered that...but I'm not using the superchlorinate feature...just regular 40% production...helps keep the level up and compensates for daytime loss of FC...at least that's my theory, anyways...
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    It is really up to you. It can also give you a false sense of where of how the bleach is maintaining since you don't know how much FC the SWG is generating.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    True enough.. my plan for now is just to keep the level up until the water clears up (already seeing improvement) and then in a day or two (depending on the conditions of the water) turn off the SWG and do an OCLT to see where things are at (although from my previous tests I wasn't having any loss over 1 ppm as it was)...

    Still raining maple seeds..
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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    Re: Do I need to SLAM or do I have a filtration issue?

    Okay..so finally the maple trees have stopped dropping oodles and oodles of seeds into the pool. I also finally got my new solar cover so that helped a lot as well to keep a lot of the darn things out of the pool..

    Anyone know how to roll off a solar cover without dumping all the garbage back into the pool?

    I also fixed my filter problem...there is no further cloud of dirty water going back into the pool when I shut it down and restart. I essentially read a thread that indicated backwashing a really, really dirty sand filter needs more than just viewing clear water in the looking glass...and should be done for a good 3 to 4 minutes...so after having gotten about 3 inches or rain of the past few days I did just that (and lowered the water level right where it needs to be) and I also used a bottle of sand cleaner that is supposed to degrease the sand (pool store wouldn't take it back so decided to use it...don't know if it helped or not but hey..what the heck). Did two backwashes of about 2 minutes each (backwash, rinse, backwash, rinse) and low and behold...it must have gotten all the really fine stuff out of the sand and I have no further issues.

    Water seems to be crystal clear (I haven't taken off the cover but when i peak underneath I clearly see the bottom...like looking through glass).

    All I need to do now is bring down my TA as it's still a bit high and bring up my CYA and I'm golden! Woot Woot!

    Thanks everyone!
    15 x 30 oval above ground pool. 38,000 liters (10,000 gallons), Kodiak Salt System with Clearwater Technology SWG,
    Hayward Sandmaster SM2106TW Sand filter, 225lbs Design Flow rate 44gpm
    Hayward Vari-flo SP0714TC Multi-port valve, Hayward SP5715W 1.5hp pump single speed
    LOTS and LOTS of @!%@! trees!!!

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