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Thread: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

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    New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    Hey guys,

    Just purchased the first house with a pool and is very excited about using it and learn how to maintain it. when we got the house it the water was blue and clear but we were going through a 6 weeks remodeling and neglected the pool and now the pool is a mosquito infested green swamp.

    Searched online before finding this website. To turn a green pool blue requires 1. Shock it, 2. filter out the dirty stuff, 3. keep the right chemical level. got it.
    Below seems like a lot of information and a little all over the place I'm just trying to describe what we did up until this point.

    What we tried to do:
    1. Me and my brother want to do this ourselves and learn what we can from the internet i.e., youtube, various websites ect... and started shocking the pool. The first couple of days we seems to be getting good result, the water changed from deep green to a light green bluish color and we thought we were making progress.
    2. DE filter pressure is way too high at 45 psi. We cleaned out the DE filter by removing the filter and took out each fin and cleaned them out, put them back together to only learn from local pool store that we need to recharge the filter by putting DE through the skimmer, ok cool we'll do that.

    The problem, when the pump is on, we are noticing there is little to no suction in the skimmer, jet return little to no pressure, I put my hand on it and it's not pushing my hands away and I can easily close the jet hole with my palm. called a local pool guy and describe my situation he came out and says the DE filter is dirty, cleaned out the filter, charged me 100 bucks. After the cleaning, DE pressure dropped to 20-25 psi, still kinda high. But the big difference now is that there is strong return jet pressure, I felt the return jet and it's pushing against my hands pretty good, at least a lot better than before. but I checked the skimmer, I still don't see any kind of indication that there is suction, no leaves debris flowing in or small whirlpool, out my hands aginst the hole, felt nothing.

    So now I'm thinking there might be a clog in the skimmer line, purchased a drain king and tried to clear the clog from the pump back to the skimmers. There are 3 skimmers and 1 drain, I closed all but left 1 valve open at a time when I have the drain king inserted in the pump. I can see just a little water flow back in 2 of the skimmers and the remaining 1 I cannot see if there is water movement.

    The current situation, now I'm waiting for the plumbing guy to blow out my skimmer lines to clear out any clogs, they are coming out next week, but right now I'm not sure if this is the correct way to go or if there anything I can test to properly diagnose the problem. Should I pull the DE filter element out of the filter and run the pump that way and see if pressure and suction comes back? Any help is appreciated, thank you.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I'll let our equipment experts try to sort out the plumbing, but my gut tells me it is not a blockage. If you have valves at the equipment pad for each device (i.e. each skimmer) then it would take a blockage of every pipe.

    But, while you sort that out you need to prepare to tame the green monster.

    I will tell you, it didn't turn green overnight and it will take time to clear. But, we can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that way To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100 and at least include the XL option. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use. So far it appears you have been blindly shocking the pool and you really need to know what is going on with the water to clear it up the quickest with the minimal amount of chlorine.

    While you wait for it to get delivered and sort out the plumbing, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    If you have a lot of algae, the filter will clog quickly ... that is what they are designed for. Yes this will lower the flow rate and suction from the skimmer.

    It is kinda unusual to get a clogged skimmer line unless the pool was really neglected.. say a foreclosed house that sat for a long time or if there was not any
    skimmer baskets installed.

    You can easily blow out or test the skimmer lines with a shop vac or compressor. For a compressor 50psi is plenty and you can use a rubber plug with a air chuck attached.

    I expect that your filter is simply dirty again... and you need to continue to shock the pool and clean the filter a couple of times until it clears.

    Your pump impeller could be full of dirt/leaves/debris if the pool was real dirty or left unkept.

    Please post some pics of your equipment and we can show you where to blow air to test. You could even use a hose and water.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You can use one of these to blow out your skimmer lines - from the pump back to the skimmer.

    Medium Drain Bladder-BC00332 - The Home Depot

    If you have two skimmers plug one at a time. Just attach this to your garden hose and save the plumbers trip.

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    HDK,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all green swamp owners who believe it is the filter's fault....

    There are two kinds of pool maintenance.. One, where you just blindly start dump chemicals and magic potions into your pool and hope that something happens. Or, two, you can try our way...

    We believe that to get somewhere you first need to know where you are, and then you can plan your trip.

    To know anything about your pool, the first thing you have to do is test the pool water with an accurate test kit. Here at TFP we use the TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006C.

    Once we know the results of the tests, we can point you in the direction of a clean and clear pool.

    Personally, I think it is a waste of your time to be worrying about any equipment issues, until you have clear water to work with. If you have three skimmers, then a problem with one or even two of them is not going to make much difference in your efforts to get back to clean and clear water.

    I'm pretty sure that you have a chemical issue, not a mechanical issue.

    You can start by reading this .... https://www.troublefreepool.com/cont...at-is-tfpc-bbb

    Thanks,

    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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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    I bought the TF100 it just came, I'm going to run a test on it ASAP.
    I'm not sure how to test out the skimmer with a shop vac.
    How can I properly recharge my DE filter without going through the skimmer since I don't see it having any suction? make a DE soup and dump it in filter assembly directly?
    I've tried drain king on all 3 skimmers, and I can see minimal water flow.
    I've checked the pump impellers and they are clear.
    I thought I need to make sure my filter and pump are in working condition before I start shocking the pool, that's why I'm hung up on this skimmer suction issue cause I want to make sure there is best possible circulation.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    Do you see suction from any of your skimmers? Do you still have strong flow coming out of your returns? If you have strong flow coming out of your returns then the pump is pull the water from somewhere.

    I agree with the others that this is likely not an equipment issue. However, do you have valves where you can control the flow from each skimmer individually? Do you have a main drain? By closing off the valves to all but one of the skimmers, you could test each one for an obstruction. If there is an obstruction you would see reduced flow rate or air in the pump when pulling for that skimmer. If there isn't an obstruction, then you should see increased suction at that skimmer.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
    Hayward MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Sta-Rite PLD50 30 sq. ft. DE filter
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    TF-100 testkit w/ Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    HDK,

    Your initial post made it sound like you had two working skimmers and one that did not work???

    Shut off all but 1 skimmer and shut off the main drain. Leave open the skimmer closest to the equipment pad (assume that is not the one that you say does not work)

    Assuming that you have just cleaned your filter or just backwashed then I recommend that you add DE as follows...

    Put your DE into a five gallon home depot bucket and add water until about 2" from the top. Mix it up and make a slurry... With the pump running, slowwwwwly pour into the one working skimmer.

    This will coat your filter grids... Make note of your filter pressure. This will be your "clean" pressure.

    I'm a little confused, so this may not be true, but does your filter have DE in it now, or are you running it without DE???

    Thanks,

    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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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    it should have DE in it now, it was last cleaned by a pool professional. but the pressure has gone up pretty high again (45ps) I'm going to test the water, clean the filter and then start shocking it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    HDK,

    Your initial post made it sound like you had two working skimmers and one that did not work???

    Shut off all but 1 skimmer and shut off the main drain. Leave open the skimmer closest to the equipment pad (assume that is not the one that you say does not work)

    Assuming that you have just cleaned your filter or just backwashed then I recommend that you add DE as follows...

    Put your DE into a five gallon home depot bucket and add water until about 2" from the top. Mix it up and make a slurry... With the pump running, slowwwwwly pour into the one working skimmer.

    This will coat your filter grids... Make note of your filter pressure. This will be your "clean" pressure.

    I'm a little confused, so this may not be true, but does your filter have DE in it now, or are you running it without DE???

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't see any suction from any of the skimmers. But when the filter was cleaned by the pool company, there is strong return jet. I have 3 skimmer and 1 drain they can be shut off by each valve.
    Quote Originally Posted by faby3003 View Post
    Do you see suction from any of your skimmers? Do you still have strong flow coming out of your returns? If you have strong flow coming out of your returns then the pump is pull the water from somewhere.

    I agree with the others that this is likely not an equipment issue. However, do you have valves where you can control the flow from each skimmer individually? Do you have a main drain? By closing off the valves to all but one of the skimmers, you could test each one for an obstruction. If there is an obstruction you would see reduced flow rate or air in the pump when pulling for that skimmer. If there isn't an obstruction, then you should see increased suction at that skimmer.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    Once the filter is clean, try using the valves so that you are only pulling from one skimmer and see if that improves the suction from the skimmer. 45 psi is very high filter pressure, so you likely had very little flow. We recommend cleaning the filter when the pressure rises 25% above the clean filter pressure. So, if your filter pressure is 20psi after cleaning, when it gets to 25 psi you should backwash.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
    Hayward MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Sta-Rite PLD50 30 sq. ft. DE filter
    Rheem 266,000 btu natural gas heater
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus with Clever Clean
    TF-100 testkit w/ Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Troubleshooting assistance needed

    HDK

    Think of your filter "pressure" and the force it takes to push water through your filter... the higher the pressure, the less water that can be forced through the filter.

    If your pressure is 45, then that is the immediate problem... not much can get through your filter. The reason the pressure is so high is because the filter is just doing its job of capturing all the algae in the water.

    Once you clean or backwash your filter, the pressure will increase again very quickly until you are able get your chemistry back on track and your water clear again.

    While you are going through the SLAM process you will have to run your pump 24/7 and clean your filter often (Anything the pressure increase by 25%)...

    Thanks,

    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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