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Thread: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

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    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Bardstown KY
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    139

    Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    Brief summary - we purchased this home June 2014, installed our pool at the end of May 2015. Last summer we were absorbed with extensive remodeling and didn't spend much time outside, so we didn't realize how much of an issue pollen would be for us. We were concerned about the surrounding trees primarily for leaves - big oversight on our part. Pollen has been a nightmare. Every time we get it 'clean'ish, rain dumps more pollen in and we start over. I posted for advice here and that advice has helped somewhat, but I'm afraid either we need a new filter, or we've done the wrong thing so long we just have a mess to fix before this one will work.

    We have a 22" sandman sand filter and this 1.5 hp pump.

    We are using skimmer socks (replaced every 2 hours), running the filter 24/7 for weeks now, and doing both manual and auto vac ('Lil Shark) daily. We have added DE to the filter (many, many, many times). Today I decided to open up the filter, and discovered GLOWING yellow water. When I stick my hand in I pull out huge clumps of yellow DE. (does not leave the filter when we backwash, apparently?) So I pulled out all the clumps of pollen ridden DE that I could - roughly 40 fistfuls - and put the filter back together. I then backwashed and got the nastiest, most yellow water I've ever seen to come out of the filter. I wonder now if that water was getting recirculated back into my pool, thus never allowing me to truly clear anything.

    I do not know what to do now. I think I have 4 options.

    1 - vacuum to waste (and then do one of the following)
    2 - add DE and allow auto vac to run
    3 - add DE and brush, allowing filter to run with skimmer socks
    4 - replace sand filter with DE filter

    I guess I need advice on a few things. (And of course anything else you know I have not considered!)

    Do I need to continue using the DE with my sand filter? It does seem to be working since I saw the clumps in the filter?
    Do I need to keep opening the filter to pull out these pollen lumps myself?
    Do I get it as clean as possible and then empty it entirely, replacing sand and removing DE?
    Do we replace the filter entirely with a more capable DE filter?
    And if so, will this Hayward EC50AC DE filter work with the pump we already have, or do I need to buy a new pump too?

    My water chemistry has been impeccable thanks entirely to TFP methods, and I am so very grateful for that! At least we have crystal clear water above our pollen covered pool floor. LOL I trust y'all to steer me in the right direction!
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    Clumps of DE? Glowing yellow water? NEAT STUFF!

    Do you have pollen on your cars and outdoor stuff?

    This beyond me. I just wanted to say I am sorry this has been happening.

    My GUT says to keep doing what you are doing. It seems to be clearing it. I really like the vacuum to waste idea. That way it gets OUT of the 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: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    Oh Kim. It is crazy! Yes every time it rains our cars are covered, and the table on the patio has a coating...I've not noticed it so much in other areas, but possibly that is just because they're lighter in color (cars and table are gray/black). If we had spent any time outside last summer we might have known this and been prepared! But then again this has been an unusually rainy month so maybe not.

    Today I stopped doing anything because it is storming again. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so I'm thinking I will vacuum to waste then, and when the water level gets too low to continue I will add DE to the filter and let the shark run. When the floor looks clean, then I'll circulate with skimmer socks. Do you think it is ok to open up the filter again after that, to remove the clumps of yellow DE? They don't seem to clear out when I backwash and I want to get them OUT of the filter so I don't run the risk of dumping it back into the pool. Just want to make sure that isn't a bad thing to do for some reason.
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    I really do not see any reason you cannot or should not open your filter. Just use care to not strip any parts and do not lose any parts.

    Your plan looks good to me.

    Kim

    - - - Updated - - -

    I wonder if you can figure out which trees are causing all of your mess and take them out?
    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: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    We are surrounded by woods, not all of which we even own. I don't think removal is an option, unless we're talking about the pool!
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    April's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    I live in Morehead KY and I have the same problem with the pollen and rain. Last year wasn't as bad as this year so I didn't even notice it in the pool. I have been using skimmer socks and DE. It helps but impossible to keep it all out unless I run my pump 24/7.
    18ft Round AG, Vinyl, 100LB Pentair Sand Filter, 1HP, June 2012, TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    2 speed and variable speed pumps are great for locations with lots of trees and debris. We have lots-o-trees and during peak tree stuff season I run the VS pump 24x7 at 1100 rpm which keeps most of the debris in the skimmers and out of the pool. And it only draws 150 watts at 1100rpm, which at 10.25c per kwh is about $12/mo. 2 speed pumps also use about 25% of the power on low as they use on high. So, if you have the need or opportunity to upgrade your pump keep it in mind.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    We get hit hard with pollen too, especially this year. Skimmer socks and run the pump 24/7 during pollen season is really all you can do. It will pass eventually. I also put skimmer socks in my Polaris, that made an enormous difference.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    Thank you all so much! This is encouraging. Vacuuming to waste and emptying the dirty DE from the filter yesterday helped quite a bit. I ran filter with skimmer sock overnight. The pool looks MUCH better this morning! Today we plan to vacuum to waste again, brushing cove and stairs especially.

    Being clueless newbies we hadn't thought much about the cost of running our pump 24/7. Are we about to get a painful electric bill? Perhaps we should buy another pump. This is the one that came with our 'package'...I found TFP after buying the package, so we didn't know to pick our pieces individually. Live and learn!
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen nightmare - need a new filter?

    Having a 2 speed pump will help a LOT. Run it on low and you won't have too much sticker shock at the end of the month.

    And also know that the pollen is much worse this year than it has been in recent years. So, if you survive this year you've got it made.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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