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Thread: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

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    Squeegee's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    Looking for filter maintenance tips, specifically how to avoid a nasty issue like I encountered with my own system this weekend.

    Until recently I have never owned a pool, above ground or otherwise. I moved into a house with an in-ground covered pool a few months ago, and other than dump a few quarts of liquid chlorine (left from previous owner) in it every other month I left it alone. It still has a bit of leaves and what-not in the bottom but the water appears very clean for the most part (the cover seems to function extremely well). It's 32' X 16' and I believe approximately 18000 gallons if my math is correct.

    While I know nothing about pools or filters, I am comfortable with hand and power tools. Thanks to a handy YoutTube video (this one actually: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3q19HIm12w) I finally worked up the courage to clean the filter system which I had assumed was in dire need. I assumed correctly.

    The pool with the retractable cover (I cannot rotate this picture for whatever reason):
    Pool_01.jpg

    The filtration system (the labels are toast, but I believe it to be a STA-Rite System 3):
    Pool_02.jpg

    My first red flag was when I opened the drain valve on the front and nothing came out except a bit of air and a few white chunks of questionable origin, then nothing. No water at all. After cracking the thing open and removing the nasty green cartridge filters I discovered what you see here:

    Pool_03.jpg

    It may not look like much, but whatever that white stuff is completely blocked the front drain and took me ages to clean out completely. I would REALLY like to know how the previous owner managed to clog this thing and what this white material might be. It had the consistency of sand with a slightly soapy texture, and almost no smell whatsoever. Nothing smelled of chlorine at all. I filled a large bucket with two inches of nothing but this white stuff. Is it some kind of leftover pool shock or chlorine tablets? This is all very new to me (I still am not %100 sure about the relationship between shock and chlorine).



    The filtration system works a thousand percent better since I cleaned it all out, and I can actually see the jets moving the water around now. I'd like to keep it that way. If anyone has any ideas on how the previous homeowner screwed up and how I can avoid making the same mistake he did, i'd love to hear it! I also appreciate any quick tips you'd have for a new pool owner. Thanks for reading!!!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    Okay so you say you have a cartridge filter and it was NASTY.............this stuff was on the bottom of the bowl once you took the cartridge out........I wonder if the past owner tried adding DE to the cartridge filter to "help" it work better. We do add DE to SAND filter but it should not be added to cartridges.

    Can you you show us what your cartridge looks like please?

    Also please add you pool info to our signature (settings-upper right, edit signature-middle left). Include kind and size of pool (gals.) as well as much about the equipment as you know. we will figure out the rest.

    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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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    S,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all your pool and gunky filter questions..

    I agree with Kim, it is most likely old DE material.

    I would just clean the filters and drain the bottom of the filter and not worry about it until the next time you open the filter up..

    Definitely not left over from pool shock or chlorine tablets, neither of which we use or recommend..

    The whole purpose of this website is to show pool owners how to maintain their pools with Liquid Chlorine or just plain bleach so that they can stay out of the pool $tore.

    If you are interested you should read this... https://www.troublefreepool.com/cont...at-is-tfpc-bbb

    More great info can be found in the "Pool School" link at the top of this page.

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    Welcome to TFP!
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    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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    Squeegee's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Okay so you say you have a cartridge filter and it was NASTY.............this stuff was on the bottom of the bowl once you took the cartridge out........I wonder if the past owner tried adding DE to the cartridge filter to "help" it work better. We do add DE to SAND filter but it should not be added to cartridges. (pardon my ignorance, but can you please define DE?)

    Can you you show us what your cartridge looks like please?
    (before I removed the large filter
    partway through rinsing small filter
    reassembled large and small filter after cleaning with water hose
    )

    Also please add you pool info to our signature (settings-upper right, edit signature-middle left). Include kind and size of pool (gals.) as well as much about the equipment as you know. we will figure out the rest. (Done! As far as I can tell, the siding is painted cement. I made a special avatar just for you while I was at it ;D )

    Kim
    Responses within quote above.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Good to be here! I don't often register for forums but this site is incredibly helpful!
    18K Gal, IG, 16' x 32' Rectangular Pool, Equipment: Intermatic T104R Timer, 3/4 HP Hayward TriStar Pump, STA-Rite System 3 Cartridge Filter.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    DE (sorry about that)-Here is a picture of what it looks like in the box:

    Shop Clorox PoolSpa 24-lb D E Pool Filter Aid at Lowes.com

    It goes in a DE filter. It is used to "coat" the grids to help filter the stuff in the water. It can be added to a sand filter to help increase the filter ability of the sand. It should NOT be used in a cartridge filter like yours.

    Okay the pictures show me you DO have a cartridge filter. Good job cleaning them up! YUCKY for sure! We have a way to deep clean them once you are ready to go that far.

    Pump-is it a one or two speed? If it is a one speed the rocker switch will be on/off. If it is a two speed off is in the middle with high on one side and low on the other.

    What a CUTE squeegee!!!!! LOVE IT!!!

    Your next job is work on getting a really good picture show why you think it is painted cement. It could be colored plaster.

    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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    Squeegee's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    DE (sorry about that)-Here is a picture of what it looks like in the box:

    Shop Clorox PoolSpa 24-lb D E Pool Filter Aid at Lowes.com

    It goes in a DE filter. It is used to "coat" the grids to help filter the stuff in the water. It can be added to a sand filter to help increase the filter ability of the sand. It should NOT be used in a cartridge filter like yours.

    Okay the pictures show me you DO have a cartridge filter. Good job cleaning them up! YUCKY for sure! We have a way to deep clean them once you are ready to go that far.

    Pump-is it a one or two speed? If it is a one speed the rocker switch will be on/off. If it is a two speed off is in the middle with high on one side and low on the other.

    What a CUTE squeegee!!!!! LOVE IT!!!

    Your next job is work on getting a really good picture show why you think it is painted cement. It could be colored plaster.

    Kim
    Sorry about the delayed reply, wanted to get my ducks in a row before responding, and had to fix a sheared bolt on the pool cover motor before I could open everything up.

    Thank you for the clarification on the DE stuff. Safe to say I will stay away from something that doesn't belong in my filter!

    The pump i'm not sure about. I haven't seen any obvious switch on it, but also have not looked for one yet. Here's a picture of the label I took previously, if that helps. I'll try to examine it more thoroughly next time I'm out there.

    The top of the filter has what I assume to be a pressure gauge, but it's toast. It's stuck on the number 3 at all times and there's water inside it. I could probably replace it, but is it worth my time/ effort? How critical is it to be able to monitor the pressure? I haven't been blown up yet!

    I'm honestly guessing about the pool material, it could certainly be colored plaster. How can I know for sure? Is it in the texture/appearance of the material? Here's a picture I took today after vacuuming it for the first time, but the wind made it hard to get any great detail. Here's a picture of a lady I rescued from the water whilst performing said vacuuming.

    I'm not sure if this is the correct place to mention the chemicals in the pool (please let me know if I need to start another thread), but I checked the pH with a pond test kit I already had on hand and a chemical strip thingy. I haven't put any chlorine in it in months, but now have a few gallons on hand. I was warned to stay away from pool shock? This is the stuff I bought recently, my understanding is that I should return it and just stick with the liquid Chlorine?

    Looking forward to your responses!
    18K Gal, IG, 16' x 32' Rectangular Pool, Equipment: Intermatic T104R Timer, 3/4 HP Hayward TriStar Pump, STA-Rite System 3 Cartridge Filter.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Taking the Plunge, Opinions Appreciated

    pump-I looked it up online and seems to be a one speed pump. There should be rocker switch under the motor part (where the cord comes out). IF it is a one speed it will be on/off. IF it is a 2 speed it will be high/off/low.

    Lady bug rescue! CUTE!

    Water-NICE and shiny just the way I like it!!!

    Yeah return that stuff. It adds unwanted/needed stuff to your pool. Stick with liquid chlorine. You can buy the store brand. Just make sure it is plain bleach. NO splashless, smells good, ect.

    Do you have a good test kit yet? If not please order it today. That is really the only way you are going to be able to take complete control of your pool.

    Yes you do need a working pressure gauge. It helps you know when to clean your filter and can really help you know the "health" of your pool in general. If the pressure starts rising you know something is up. You can order a good one that will last more than a month from the same place you order you test kit. Look in my siggy for where I order everything from. The customer service is second to none!

    I think I covered everything. Let me know if I missed something OR if you have ANY other questions or concerns or anything you want to double check!

    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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