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Thread: Is this Normal?

  1. Back To Top    #1
    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Is this Normal?

    A history of events...

    Last year:
    Last fall I had algae pretty bad and fought it off and on for 3 weeks before getting the FC to hold. Right when I got it Algae free (FC holding overnight and less than 0.5fc) my neighbors tree kept dumping leaves in the pool. I ran the pool for over two weeks trying to get the Haze out never did before the final shock and close (some leaves still in pool, couldnt see to get them out).

    This spring:
    I did the opening shock three weeks ago and have been filtering 24/7. I put fresh sand in and have even done the DE addition trick. We went swimming (yes it was cold) and I got out most all the leaves I could find with the googles. I also added two things of clarifier along the way. Did a second shock to 18FC last weekend. Current water readings:

    FC 6 --> it holds fine overnight
    CC 0.5
    TA 80
    PH 7.5
    CH 280
    CYA 60
    Water Temp 60F

    I took the filter head apart tonight and the gasket was fine ( I was thinking perhaps bleed by not going through the sand). The fingers and all that was fine when I put in the fresh sand. The spring is pretty tough on the Vari-Flo but I am wondering if the position lever spring is still firm enough.

    One odd thing is that it only takes about 6oz of DE before the presssure starts to rise alot (not sure if this is normal, was expecting to have to add at least a cup).

    I have backwashed numerous times, filter seems fine, water is balanced. Trying to avoid a flocc, dont want to put it in the fresh sand. Plus I have been using DE.

    Could the pool just be so dirty that it just keeps floating around? I have tried orienting the returns different areas and even ran just the deep in return to try and change flow.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I'm sorry, maybe I'm not getting it but exactly what is the issue? Is your water cloudy? AND you suspect the filter is malfunctioning?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    OOOPs, yes water is still cloudy, cant see the bottom. Difficult to even see the third of four steps down on the shallow end. I am thinking a filter issue instead of contaminents since FC holds overnight but am not sure. But then again I see a little creep with pressure increase with the filter overnight. IF it was bypassing I dont think the pressure would increase much.

    Went to a pool store today and they said do a phosphate test. I know on this forum most say dont worry about phosphates but I am grasping for straws here.

    As an FYI, just shocked again even though no signs of necessity to try and burn off any cloudy particles, took it to 23FC and tested to verify (a little high for my CYA).

    When I read the CYA I wait until there is absolutely no signs of the black, waist level. Wonder if it could be a tad higher in reality?
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Hmmm. Sometimes it just takes time with sand. You are replacing the DE after backwashing?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  5. Back To Top    #5
    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Yes, DE is replaced each time. My pool works out to be a turn every 8 hours, thus I felt I had enough POP before posting.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

  6. Back To Top    #6
    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Just checked the water and FC did drop some overnight, 19now. The CC test just barely turned pink but one drop cleared it up.

    The Filter pressure only went up one PSI. I have seen it drift slowly up after the DE addition if I dont wait at least 15 minutes, I checked it last about 5 minutes after an add.

    Is there a need for the expense/effort to keep it at shock level with no CC and minimal FC loss overnight? When I get down to the desired 6FC I only lose the normal 1FC day.

    I can buy some floc this morning before the stores close but am still not sure if I should be examining the filter system further. Or just keep Shock level longer. Or what...
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I suppose the sand could be chanellized. Three weeks and clarifier should have cleaned things up given that the FC is holding. The next thing to look at is the filter.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I just pulled the cover peaking at the new sand and trying to see if the DE was exiting. It was rather clean and no signs of the channel pictures I have seen in TFP. Guess I forgot to mention I put in new Sand two weeks ago after no sign of improvements the first week.

    I will take the head to a pool store today. Any idea on how hard it is suppose to be push down the position shift on the sand filter? Questioning if that force is enough and I have some bypass. The gasket appeared to be in good shape.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Well, my flocculant bonded with most all the stuff and settled to the bottom after sitting overnight. There was an error with my order for the robot, thus its not here. In the interim I went ahead and ran the pump as normal for the last two days and its all stirred up again. I am assuming it has broken apart from the flocculant and I am back to where I was.

    I am still back to my original question, is this nomral? Does a pool get to a point with a lot of dead algae to where it just floats around and never make it to the filtration system or could there be something wrong with my sand filter even though it has new Sand and I have added DE? I took the Hayward Vari-Flo head to the local pool store and they checked the gasket in it and the operation and they said it appears fine.

    Gonna get it vacummed out and watch things but do not know if I should still pursue filtration issues.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Better than 99% of the time either the filter alone can clear the water or the filter is broken. There is a very rare situation where there is murkiness in the water that is too fine for the filter to catch, even if you have a DE filter. In this situation, using clarifier or flocculant can clear up the water even when the filter alone can't.

    So either your filter is broken or you have this rather unusual situation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Keeper
    I put fresh sand in
    1. Did you use pool filter sand specifically?
    2. Did you rinse the sand? New sand often contains a lot of dust that can cloud a pool.

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I bought filter sand from a pool store. I did not officially wash it; however, i did do the 2 minute backwash before turning it into filtration mode (per directions on bag).

    Things point to filtration but I looked very thoroughly over the shaft, fingers, and the valve assembly when I had it apart. I could find no visible cracks or any other problems with it. The only questionalble thing I found is that I did a test when I had the Vari-Flo mode in closed mode and filled the inlet side with water and a little came out the backwash side. That is when I decided to have the gasket checked out. It was fine and I have been watching with it in normal mode and no bleedthrough to backwash in normal filter mode (assembled and running in system).

    This is where I am stuck wondering if a little bypass is happening in filter mode allowing a little water/dead algae to bypass being pushed through the filter system. Or if I just have this mess that is either continually floating around or possibly so fine its just not even getting grabed by the sand or DE.

    When I applied the Floc it was very clear at the shallow end and a little murky still at the deep end. So another Flocc (original bonding from it is gone, its cloudy again) and a good vaccum I should be a able to get it clear. Am just trying to determine now if I have filtration issues that will come back later this summer.

    As an FYI, everything is within TFP specs (pool calculator) for water balance and I checked CC last night and it is zero.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Keeper
    ...Things point to filtration...I am stuck wondering if allowing a little water/dead algae to bypass the filter system...
    I've been tracking this thread and have to ask; when you backwash the sand filter...

    a) how frequently?
    b) what does the backwash water look like?


    If the filter isn't working or the valve has "blow-by" then the the backwash should be virtually clear.
    Triad Region of NC
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    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Water is dirty during backwash. My pump normally runs clean at 13psi, I backwash the few times it has gotten around 18psi (it starts to stall around 23psi). The pressure has not went up in the last 3 days (still around 15psi).

    I checked on sweeper order today, due Thursday. Am going to do a good sweep. A flocc and then another good sweep. It cleared up once after a floc but we swam in it and the floc broke away and cloudy again. I was able to filter out the flocc but it didn't bring much of the dead algae with it.

    Perhaps my expectations were too high about a sand filter, for now I am going to run with this algae is so fine it sifts through. Perhaps my dead algae is in the 1% that does not filter out. If anyone has a good way to test for water bypass on the Hayward Vari-Flo head for my sand filter, I would appreciate it.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Keeper
    ...Water is dirty during backwash....
    << OK, indications are that the filter is trapping some dead algae... good >>

    My pump normally runs clean at 13psi, I backwash the few times it has gotten around 18psi (it starts to stall around 23psi). The pressure has not went up in the last 3 days (still around 15psi)...If anyone has a good way to test for water bypass on the Hayward Vari-Flo head for my sand filter, I would appreciate it.

    How many supply lines do you have from the pool to the pump (skimmer & main drain, etc.) and are they all drawing correctly ?

    What is the water pressure like at the returns in the pool ?

    Water flow pattern in the pool is normal?

    Is the power being used by the pump normal or you do have 230V at the pump?
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I have two paths TO the pump, one at the bottom of the deep end (8') and a skimmer unit also on the deep end. I have two paths going FROM the pump, opposites corners, one at the shallow end, and one at the deep end (across from the skimmer).

    I have the water return eyeballs pointed such that they push water to the corners they are by. They are pointed straight to the corner (not angled up or down). I have tried to get creative and turned off the skimmer for a day and ran just the bottom, and have done the opposite. The two lines going back to the pool are split somewhere underground. I only have the option to cap one (have not tried that yet).

    Water flow is very strong when the filter pressure is less than 18PSI. Gets above that and it barely comes out. The last few times I have backwashed I have not went back to the usual 13PSI, its been closer to 15PSI. I am assuming there is some residual Floc or DE in the sand. Not a problem, just an observation.

    Not sure about water flow patternn or how to check.

    Power is setup for 220V. Last fall I hooked up a vacuum gauge at the pump, and read the filter pressure and I got around 46GPM based off my pump curve. The math worked out to be every 7.6hrs a water turn. Thus I have been filtering a lot of water in an effort to clear. Did not directly check voltage but pressure/vaccum was in range of the pump doing what it should be.

    Another odd thing is that the previous home owner and I had a breif discussion about pool care and he indicated he never did get the pool totally clear unless he had a lot of activity in the pool. Guessing it was more of a water balance issue (he left behind Triclor tabs), just another variable...

    Is there a way to optimize water flow through the return jets? I would of thought my turning off the skimmer would of changed things a lot but water still did not clear after a day of this.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
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  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    Are you still losing any FC overnight?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    No to FC loss overnight....Was 6FC and less than 0.5cc last night and came in with 6FC this morning and just barely a tint of pink, still less than 0.5cc. Have had a lot of rain and some backwashing (floc going out) since start of thread. Full set of test values as of last night:

    FC - 6
    CC <0.5
    PH - 7.5
    TA - 80
    CH - 280
    CYA - 50
    water temp - 78

    I put in one FC this morning and testing shows 6.0FC a few minutes ago. Seems normal considering a lot of rain today.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    One simple way to make sure that the filter is doing what it should is to tie a stocking to a return and see if any debris accumulates in the stocking. If it does then something is wrong with the filter.

    One simple way to judge the flow pattern, any floating debris should circle around the pool and, if you don't have a main drain, at least one return should be pointed down towards the bottom of the deep end.

    If you haven't already, you might want to try resettling the sand, see this post.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Is this Normal?

    I have been running the pool pump for numerous turns now (2 months) and even put 1 micron filter bags over the returns and the water is still cloudy (last 3 days). It does seem a little shinier if thats possible with the layer of water I can see. It is to a point now where I can see the bottom shallow end but hazy. Am now questioning if i dont have DE floating around that may of bypassed the sand filter before the bags.

    Maybe I am missing something and not enough POP with even doing a Flocc twice. Most of the stuff did sink to the bottom after a Flocc (still cloudy deep end) but after Vac a few days later cloudy again. As of yet have not tried flocc in sync with bags.

    Since I have the bags now (equivalent to "slime bag") should a clarifier bond with whatever is left? I hate to put the energy in again trying to flocc/sweep to have it come back. Is there something else I should be testing the water for? Current TF100 test results are:

    PH 7.5
    FC 5.5 Chlorine still holds fine overnight.
    CC 0
    ALK 90
    CH 270
    CYA 40

    Is there such a thing of particulates even below 1 micron that can haze a pool over? I was really surprised the bags did not clear it up ( I was assuming pump problems). All leaves, etc are clear from the bottom.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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