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Thread: Why does the filter stop working?!

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    Why does the filter stop working?!

    We just moved into our house last month and have been trying to clear
    the pool which looked like a pond due to the cover falling off this winter. It is finally looking blueish with some green still and cloudy. It looks like the filter is not filtering any dirt and the jets stop working. They only work right after we clean out our waterway filter and will last approx 20 minutes. The skimmer basket has no debris inside it. It does not seem to have a suction. What could be the problem??

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    Welcome!

    If it's a cartridge filter, it may have reached the end of its useful life. You probably need a new element if it clogs that fast after cleaning. Secondly, if you're just barely staying ahead of the algae by not maintaining high enough FC, you're growing algae as fast as you kill it so you have a never-ending supply of microscopic sludge to filter out which is clogging the thing.

    Are you following our Shock Level And Maintain instructions?
    Do you have a proper test kit?
    Can you tell us more about the size of your pool and what other equipment you have?
    And the TFP mantra:
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    Leslies did the test and everything was ok except:
    Calcium hardness was low result90 (needs to be 200-400 ppm)
    Cyanuric Acid was low result 0(needs to be 30-99 ppm)
    Total Alkalinity was low result30 (needs to be 80-120 ppm)

    Since that time we used 13 lbs of Alkanity and then 25 lbs of calcium hardness. Pool still did not look clear so this weekend we used black algae eliminator and Aqua Klean. And today we shocked again since the pool is still cloudy and filter still getting clogged or stops working (not taking in dirt and jets stop working) after less than 1 hour. We have a waterway filter as seen in the pictures. There is also a picture of the cartridge not sure how to tell if it needs to be replaced??

    IMG_3860x.jpg
    IMG_3926x.jpgIMG_0435.jpg

    Trying to somehow fix this problem asap before a party this Saturday. :/ Thanks for your help!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    That's a DE filter. It's very normal to need to clean a DE filter nearly that often when trying to clear a dirty pool. If you've ever run the filter any length of time without adding DE, your grids may be clogged which can result in short cycle times as well.

    Stop adding calcium. Your pool doesn't need it and it can cloud the water.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    That's a DE filter, not a cartridge. I'm hoping you are aware that after backwashing, it needs a fresh coating of DE. Clogging every hour if the pool is green or cloudy is normal and expected.

    Now the bad news: we don't trust Leslie's testing. If you rely on them, your pool may never get clean. You must have your own proper test kit or you will spend your brief time here getting badgered by people telling you to get one until you get tired of reading it and leave.

    Worse news: Your vinyl-lined pool doesn't need any Calcium. You're not at risk of leaching Calcium out of the pool walls because your walls aren't plaster. You didn't need to buy the 25 lbs of Calcium Increaser. Money wasted.

    Anyway... I've posted how-to links already, so all I can do now is hope to inspire you with some stories from people who did things our way. The most recent are the last ones, so you might want to read the thread backwards.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    Thank you so much for the response! This is the first we hear about adding DE to the filter. Thankful I came here! As we have not been adding DE since we opened the pool 3 weeks ago. Do we add it each time we clean out the filter which is very often since it keeps getting clogged.
    I will definitely be buying the recommended test kit you mention and follow the advice.
    Are we backwashing this filter correctly? We are following the directions on the back of it as shown here.
    IMG_4001.jpg
    Thanks again

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    We have a clue!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrusx View Post
    Thank you so much for the response! This is the first we hear about adding DE to the filter. Thankful I came here! As we have not been adding DE since we opened the pool 3 weeks ago. Do we add it each time we clean out the filter which is very often since it keeps getting clogged.
    Hopefully you haven't danmaged the grids by running them without DE.

    Under a microscope, DE powder looks like sponges. Picture a grate the size of your yard made out of chicken wire, covered by shredded sponges. The water pressure forces the sponges against the grate, forming a solid mass. The water has to go through the holes in the sponges to get to the other side. That's a DE filter magnified 10,000 times. You aren't filtering anything out using chicken wire. You need to coat it with sponges.

    Not everything applies to your filter, but this tutorial ought to help you figure out how to recharge the DE. Also note that many stores sell cellulose fiber as "Filter Media" under names like Fiberclear. It works just fine, too, but you need to pay attention to the bag label to know how much to add.

    And that's the next task, to properly identify that filter. Look for a label with a model number or even better, a chart that tells you how many square feet it is and how much to recharge it. We'll figure it out.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    In addition to the link provided by Richard, take a look at this too:
    Use and Care of DE Filters
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    I can finally see the bottom of the pool thanks to your help!! Everything seemed to be going good but now the motor is leaking water where it spins as shown in picture. It shut off last night and after switching the breaker on and off a few times it finally turned back on. But now this morning it started leaking and the motor turned off and water poured out from the gasket.
    Any idea what could be the problem? Didn't want another setback we are so close!
    IMG_4038.jpg

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Why does the filter stop working?!

    It looks like the shaft seal is bad. And if a bunch of water gets in the bearing, it will ruin it.

    Time for a service call or disconnect the pump and haul the works down to the pool store. I don;t think we can talk you through the repair to do it yourself.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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