Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Where to begin ...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Where to begin ...

    Warning . .. long post for full disclosure.

    Ugh ... Where to start. A brief history I guess. We bought the house last spring - I'm a first time pool owner. The prior owner was in way over her head and had no clue what she was doing. She relied on a "pool guy" to maintain order, but she also rented the house, so needless to say the equipment and the pool in general were poorly maintained. Last year, I joined TPF and the information here got me through the first season. Biggest job was replacing the suction side plumbing as it consisted of flex hose from skimmer to pump - a large portion of which lay exposed above ground. It was like a sprinkler it was so full of holes. No wonder the former tenant warned us the pool seemed to lose excessive amounts of water. Anyway, I fixed that. I live in the Hudson Valley, NY, we have harsh winters and the ground freezes. I replaced the suction side with flex hose that runs underground to the pool house and then sch. 40 hard pvc pipe for the section above ground to the pump. After replacement there were no leaks on the suction side, but we still lost water. I figured it must be evaporation as the pool gets full sun most of the day - UNTIL, I found a frog living in a washed out section of earth right above the return underneath the patio stone. That was late in the season, and I didn't have time to deal with it until this spring. Otherwise, the pump/filter/multi-port seemed to work fine and we got through the short first season.

    This year I was determined to get rid of the leaks before anything else. Dug up the return line (which was old black poly) and sure enough there was a 4" crack right at the elbow before the return outlet - which also leaked. Replaced that with flex again for the below ground portion mating with hard Sch. 40 pvc for the above ground section. Finally no leaks!!!

    So last weekend, I was finally ready to open and start the SLAM process - or so I thought. Opening late of course meant starting with dark green water. A fairly significant algae bloom. CYA readings were less than 30 - and I assumed zero. Even though I added stabilizer in a sock near the return, I have not been able to get CYA readings. Plus, yesterday morning I ran out of reagent - waiting for replacement to arrive in the mail - so I've been shocking at around 12-14 ppm given my assumption of low CYA. I've had to backwash three times and add water once. So I know that even though I put in CYA in the pool, some has been lost. To make matters worse, I ran out of FAS-DPD 8071 on Sunday - replacements on the way - so I had to resort to using OTO and keeping the yellow at about school-bus yellow to light orange range. Yes, I know it's guess work, but without testing reagents atm what else can I do? Ph has been stable at 7.2-7.4. TA has been around 50-60ppm. I have a vinyl pool so haven't been testing for Cal. Hardness except for the initial test which had it around 70ppm.

    So I know all about the SLAM process, I've read pool school several times. I know how to use pool math, etc., That is not why I'm here. I ask in advance that folks please not direct me to provide accurate test numbers, and read SLAM. I have. I can't provide test results beyond what I just did until I receive the reagents in the mail. Today, perhaps if I'm lucky. As I type I am continuing the SLAM process as best as I can until the reagents arrive and I can resume accurate testing.

    Anyway, having a DE filter that has been running continuously since very early Saturday morning, I expected the water to clear much more quickly. It is still cloudy. This morning I could "make out" rather than "see" the deepest part of the pool for the first time. So some progress is being made. But here's the problem: I know that DE/dirt is getting into the pool from the return. I used the robot for a bit and vacuumed the pool and clearly found DE and dirt. After the last backwash I saw a huge plume of dirty water shooting into the pool from the return. ALso, this morning - 12 hours since the last backwash - I held a sock over the return for 30 seconds, and it collected a significant amount of DE/debris - even small bits of leaves. The Hayward 4800 I have is the old kind with the metal clamp - circa 2006. The clamp is precarious, so tearing the filter down is risky. But I understand I may not have a choice. Clean pressure is about 10.5 psi, and I've been backwashing at 16/17 psi - though I think I should start doing it sooner - perhaps as soon as 13/14 psi?

    I know my multiport is on it's last legs - see this thread - Time for a New Multi-Port Valve/Spider Gasket? .
    But I did replace the gasket - so at least that is brand new. I suspect that the missing plastic inside the multi-port may be the problem here. When I backwash I get 0 pressure as well, which another post here indicated that may be a spider gasket/multi-port problem. I opened the pump this morning and the impeller had a leaf or two in there, but didn't seem to be clogged. I did my best to remove what little debris was there. But would that have a bearing on this issue? The water is clearing, but slowly. But the filter is clearly not working properly and DE/dirt is returning to the pool as if the filter isn't working.

    I wonder if I am not backwashing correctly? I have some photos to illustrate some of the above. But I won't be able to share those until this evening.

    It frustrates me that I'm dealing with the neglect of the prior owner. Part of me wants to just get new everything so I can set it up and maintain it properly. But I don't have $$$ for a whole new set up, and it would be nice to squeeze what life remains out of the equipment we have before we make that investment. Even if I just replace the mutliport that is going to require new plumbing in the pool house which will throw a wrench in the SLAM process. Not the end of the world, but I was really hoping to get through the slam and have clear water before I had to tear everything down for 24 hours.

    Any help would be so appreciated! Thanks in advance.
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,981

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Hello and welcome! Have you seen our SLAM section? JUST KIDDING! You are more versed in TFP processes than most, and that's good to know. Sorry for your troubles as you have adopted quite a mess with possibly some antiquated equipment. I suspect some DE experts will reply soon to provide their insight and advise. At the very least, you are seeming "some" progress. Receiving your replacement reagents should be a big help as well since you are king of shooting at the hip right now.

    Yes, definitely try to post those pics later too. Pics speak a thousand words sometimes. Have a good day!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    swoopman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    213

    Re: Where to begin ...

    I have a DE filter but haven't had this issue. From my reading on the site and Pool School, debris (or DE) getting past the filter can be caused by a damaged grid. I think you're going to need to open it up and check the grids.

    Found this thread that may be helpful:

    This doesnt look right. DE Grid after Backwash (PICS)
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Where to begin ...

    It's unlikely any leaf debris would make its way past the seal in a multiport no matter how worn it is. Gaps that big would send water down the waste pipe. So the problem is within the filter.

    The grids are pretty simple, but they can get fragile with age. The plastic fabric can get stuff with Calcium and sludge buildup, and then it rips when the pressure makes it flex the opposite direction when you backwash. If there was water left in the tank over the winter and things froze sometime in the past, the weakest spot inside is probably the plastic pipes. One of them could have collapsed to make room for the ice.

    I see no solution but to open it up and check things out.

    Tip I picked up here: After backwash, open air bleed and let the thing gravity drain while you struggle with the clamp. When the clamp is off, close everything up and cycle the pump for just a second or two. That will build air pressure in the filter tank which will pop the lid up so you don't have to pry on it. Then disassemble it all and inspect things for torn grids or cracked pieces or something assembled wrong some time in the past.
    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!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Thanks very much Richard. Sounds like opening the filter is where I should start. Makes sense. I was careful to clean the grids at the end of the season last year. No rips then, nor any that I saw when I assembled last week. Everything appeared fine, but it's possible I didn't put it together properly. It definitely didn't freeze, as they were stored inside over the winter and not assembled in the filter housing. Also, I can't be sure because I wasn't really paying attention in the first stages of the SLAM, but I don't recall the filter blowing DE/debris back into the pool until yesterday - or after the 3rd backwash. It may have been doing this since I started running the pump though. But the water has been clearing too. I'm confused, but I guess it makes sense to open up the filter and check. I'll follow up. Thanks again.
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Yup. You guys were right. I broke down the filter - that's a neat trick Richard to pop the top - worked like a charm. One of the eight grids had a large tear on the bottom and a few of the plastic "fins" were broken at that spot. What really ticks me off is that 7 of the 8 grids were pretty much brand new. I know the former owner had mentioned that she replaced "all" the grids the year before - that'd be 2013. Well, she only replaced 7 of them. Can you guess which one broke? Why would you replace 7 grids, and not go all the way - even as preventive maintenance? In fairness, it did not break until just now. I suppose the frequent back washing might have done it in. Still, the plastic was brittle and if something was going to give, it would be that one grid. It's been one thing after another since taking over, but at least I've so far been able to identify and resolve the problems. I won't be able to get the filter up and running until tomorrow evening at the earliest, so I'll have to pick up the SLAM then. As of tonight I can actually "see" the bottom of the deep end, so hopefully this pause won't set me back too far. One thing's for sure, once I finish rehabilitating this pool and pool system, it's going to be running better than it ever has. Thanks to TFP!
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    So I replaced the broken grid and all is well it seems with the filter. No de/dirty water at the return! Also, my reagents arrived so I was able to retest properly. For the record here are my numbers:

    FC - 8.5
    CC - 0 -.5
    CYA - <30 (We've had rain, and with the backwashing I just can't seem to get a CYA reading in spite of adding half a bucket of stabilizer).
    Ph - 7.2
    TA - 40
    Cal H - 70

    Water is 90% clear and I tried an OTCL last night and measured less than 1ppm total chlorine loss. If it's possible, there seemed to be a loss of zero-.5 overnight. A very small loss, anyway. Water still has some slight cloudiness in the deepest of the pool - which also happens to be where the most sediment remains. So I'll maintain the SLAM until I'm 100% sure. Now that I have reagents this will be much easier.

    But now my question is, how do I get all the DE that's settled to the bottom of the pool out of the pool? If I use a vacuum, isn't that going to end up overcharging/clogging the filter? If I use the polaris, it's likely to stir it all up more than collect it.
    Any tips here would be much appreciated.
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Where to begin ...

    You have no choice but to vacuum it up. And yes it will overcharge the filter some and make the pressure rise, just the same as vacuuming up piles of dirt. When pressure rises 25%, backwash and recharge and it's done and gone.
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    You have no choice but to vacuum it up. And yes it will overcharge the filter some and make the pressure rise, just the same as vacuuming up piles of dirt. When pressure rises 25%, backwash and recharge and it's done and gone.
    Awesome! Thanks Richard. You've been most helpful through this. I'll get the vacuum going and pay close attention to the pressure. What about putting a pool sock over the skimmer basket to try to collect it before it gets to the filter. Is that advisable?
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Quote Originally Posted by wett View Post
    Awesome! Thanks Richard. You've been most helpful through this. I'll get the vacuum going and pay close attention to the pressure. What about putting a pool sock over the skimmer basket to try to collect it before it gets to the filter. Is that advisable?
    If you use a vacuum plate above the skimmer basket, sure. Can't hurt. Might clog up in a hurry, so listen while you vacuum in case the pump starts starving.
    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!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking - to use the plate over the basket. But I guess I'll be starting and stopping pretty often. There isn't a HUGE amount of debris in the pool. But enough. Thanks again!
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    13

    Re: Where to begin ...

    So just a final update. I was able to vacuum most of the DE and debris out of the pool. I put a sock over the skimmer basket to avoid overloading the filter. It was tedious as I had to stop the pump and clean out the sock after vacuuming about every 5 square feet or so. But that process also enabled me to go slow and avoid stirring everything up. So I got about 95% of the stuff out on the first attempt.

    As a final update, here are my numbers after completing the SLAM:

    FC - 5
    CC - 0
    CYA - 35
    Ph - 7.3
    TA - 80
    CH - 90

    Water is crystal clear - and has been since last weekend - I'm seeing FC loss within specs and everything appears to be in balance. The kids have been using the pool daily and it looks like we're all set for the rest of the season. Opening the pool took a little over a week this year and that was including the SLAM, repairing the seal on the leaky pump, replacing a filter grid, the multi-port spider gasket, and replacing the return line. With all of these repairs done now I'm hopefully that we'll be well-positioned to manage the pool with relative ease going forward. Thanks to everyone here at TFP who have helped make that possible! Cheers, and happy swimming!
    Approximately 25,000gl, IG, built late '90s, 5 yr. old vinyl liner, Hayward 4800 DE filter, rebuilt Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward CL200 canister - all poorly cared for by prior owner.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,981

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Nice to see everything has come together for you. Enjoy your summer!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Where to begin ...

    Keep brushing and filtering and keep pH and FC in line, and you're going to see the water even clearer than you have now. Your children will turn into pool snobs, too.

    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •