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Thread: Sand coming out of return

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    Sand coming out of return

    I first noticed a few days ago after I backwashed that sand would come out of the returns for 5-10 seconds.. I then read in pool school about rinsing before going back to filter. I backwashed, then rinsed for 15 seconds then went to filter and there was no sand. Yesterday I just turned the pump off to un-hook my polaris and turned the pump back on and there went sand for a few seconds. I've been told it might be a broken lateral. I've read something about a spider gasket needing replaced. Does anyone know why it would be doing this?
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    first make sure it is sand, sand is so heavy that it only makes it a few feet away from the return line before falling to the bottom of the pool in a streak pattern. In the case of a broken lateral I'd say replace the filter unless you really enjoy hours of digging through damp sand to replace parts that might already be brittle from age.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Well, it may not be sand because it's all over the bottom and not just in front of the return. It is so fine that it will go right through the knee highs I put in the bag on my polaris 360. What filter are you referring to replacing? Thanks.
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    How hard would it be for you to open the sand filter and look into it?

    If you can get inside the filter, visually inspect it and then reach down into it and feel the sand, it should be 'fluffy' not hard nor compacted and not have a layer of 'felt' on it.

    If it's an issue with the sand itself, changing it isn't complicated nor hard
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    I checked the bag on the Polaris this morning and it caught a little of it and its definately sand. I could see the bottom of the deep end yesterday but with the cleaner running I can't. It just clouds the water bad.

    Its only been about 2 years since the sand has been changed. The guy had to cut the PVC to get into it and then glued it back so i'd have to cut it. Is there some kind of quick connect I could put back on it? I have a party this weekend and really need this fixed. I'm about ready to call someone to come do it. Is there any way to at least get this sand out of the pool? It only comes out when I turn the pump off and back on, so I could just keep it running if I could get it cleaned up. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

    -Adam
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Here is a picture of my pump and filter. The red arrow is where he glued it back together after changing the sand a couple years ago. The green arrow is where it is leaking right now and I assume where air is also getting in. Could that be related to sand coming out of the return? I guess I'll have to cut them again.....correct? Is there a quick connect or something that I can put back on it?




    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    They make PVC unions you can use where you cut the pipe so you don't have to do that again.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    While I usually try not to 'dis' other pool pros - I'll make an exception this time

    Was the guy who changed out the sand a complete moron? When he had to cut the pipes to get into the filter the first time HE SHOULD HAVE PUT ON UNIONS!! Any time you have to cut the pipe to make an equipment repair that will be need to be done again in the future - YOU INSTALL A UNION to make it easier and neater the next time a similar repair needs to be done!!! Hack, Hack, Hack... !

    Ok - I had a beer and calmed down

    First let's make sure it's filter sand in the Polaris bag (as per X-Pert) To do this - rubberband one of those kneehighs to a return so as to catch any if the filter is indeed spitting sand on start up. Then turn the pump off and wait a few minutes - a good excuse to go grab and drink a beer ("But, Honey - the pro on TFP said that this was the correct way to check this" )

    Fire up the system and check the nylon for sand - if there's any in there, it came from the filter.

    Now before we start hacking into the plumbing, we may as well check the multiport's gasket (called a 'wagon wheel' or 'spider' gasket). All you need to do is unscrew the 6 bolts holding the top on and look at it - make sure it's not 'bubbled up' in the tracks and isn't torn. Easy enough! If the gasket is in good shape reassemble the multi (there are flat sides at one of the screws to show proper alignment ) and get ready to tackle the sand beast

    Actually - I think (unless you desire the info now) that you would be better served by manually vacuuming the sand, etc to waste then leave the pump running, if a party is imminent and then deal with the repairs (both easy) after you have your hugely successful party. The reason I suggest doing things this way is because I don't feel like typing out the instructions - Just kidding, there are a couple places where things could go wrong and if you can't be absolutely sure of getting the replacement parts, if the pool is up and operational now, let's make sure it's that way for the party

    The leak is minor and a little sand in the pool won't kill anyone (if anyone says anything - just look ****** and ask "Okay - this pool was clean before y'all got here - who the H#LL tracked sand into the pool?!?") Mix the drinks a little strong (except for the designated drivers ) and no one will care about the sand

    Seriously, if you want to do this before the party, I'll give you a grocery list of parts you'll want to have on hand and instructions on fixing the leak and sand issues 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    LOL Ted that is too funny...

    "WHO got the sand in my pool?"
    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

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    While I usually try not to 'dis' other pool pros - I'll make an exception this time

    Was the guy who changed out the sand a complete moron? When he had to cut the pipes to get into the filter the first time HE SHOULD HAVE PUT ON UNIONS!! Any time you have to cut the pipe to make an equipment repair that will be need to be done again in the future - YOU INSTALL A UNION to make it easier and neater the next time a similar repair needs to be done!!! Hack, Hack, Hack... !

    Ok - I had a beer and calmed down

    First let's make sure it's filter sand in the Polaris bag (as per X-Pert) To do this - rubberband one of those kneehighs to a return so as to catch any if the filter is indeed spitting sand on start up. Then turn the pump off and wait a few minutes - a good excuse to go grab and drink a beer ("But, Honey - the pro on TFP said that this was the correct way to check this" )

    Fire up the system and check the nylon for sand - if there's any in there, it came from the filter.

    Now before we start hacking into the plumbing, we may as well check the multiport's gasket (called a 'wagon wheel' or 'spider' gasket). All you need to do is unscrew the 6 bolts holding the top on and look at it - make sure it's not 'bubbled up' in the tracks and isn't torn. Easy enough! If the gasket is in good shape reassemble the multi (there are flat sides at one of the screws to show proper alignment ) and get ready to tackle the sand beast

    Actually - I think (unless you desire the info now) that you would be better served by manually vacuuming the sand, etc to waste then leave the pump running, if a party is imminent and then deal with the repairs (both easy) after you have your hugely successful party. The reason I suggest doing things this way is because I don't feel like typing out the instructions - Just kidding, there are a couple places where things could go wrong and if you can't be absolutely sure of getting the replacement parts, if the pool is up and operational now, let's make sure it's that way for the party

    The leak is minor and a little sand in the pool won't kill anyone (if anyone says anything - just look ****** and ask "Okay - this pool was clean before y'all got here - who the H#LL tracked sand into the pool?!?") Mix the drinks a little strong (except for the designated drivers ) and no one will care about the sand

    Seriously, if you want to do this before the party, I'll give you a grocery list of parts you'll want to have on hand and instructions on fixing the leak and sand issues 8)

    Thanks for all the info!!! I'll do the knee high trick and then and if it's sand, check the gasket and see it that's the problem. I will wait till after this weekend like you said to do the rest. The last time I used a manual vacuum the pump kept losing prime, that's why I got the Polaris, it's all I've got now. The pool guy (the same one that cut the pipe ) said I had a cracked pipe underground. I wonder if that's even true now.....
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Adam, glad you're listening to a 'real' pool pro now! :P

    I'm VERY happy to be able to help you with your issues!

    Re: the manual vacuuming - try changing the vacuum hose attachments around -- 1 end has a swivel cuff, that end must be attached to the vacuum head or it WILL suck air and kill the prime! Also, you have to have the vac hose full of water before you start to vacuum

    Have a great weekend and a party worthy of being on TV Come Monday (or so) we'll talk about the laterals, unions, and how to fix the leak on the effluent port of the pump 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Ok, new developments.......we finally got the pool cleared up to swim. I turned the pump off and my wife got a knee high and put it around the return, I turned it on and the "sand" shot right through the knee high! After getting in the pool and walking around we could tell it is all over the bottom of the pool, we were making tracks everywhere! I got 2 knee highs and put them in the polaris bag and it still wouldn't catch any of it. So.......we talked to my dad-in-law tonight and he used to have a pool and was on well water and he said he had a problem with iron in his and it would be all over the bottom like ours Think it could be iron?? I'm guessing the only way to get it out, whatever it is, is to manually vac it out, correct? I am gonna try and find one tomorrow I can borrow.

    It makes sense really though. Sand WAS coming out of the return because I had backwashed without rinsing for a few weeks and kept catching sand in the knee highs in the bag, but now that we rinse after backwashing no sand comes out anymore and none is being picked up, it's all just the iron, or whatever that stuff is.......Thoughts????
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Bought a vacuum head and the round thing that the goes in the skimmer, (already had the pole and hose). I filled the hose up with water, covered the hole in the 2nd skimmer, turned the dial to waste, put the round thing in the skimmer closest to the pump, and turned on the pump. I also filled up the little black box (right before the pump) with water from a hose and noticed that it was coming out of the skimmer and into the pool. I guess the skimmers are lower than the pump, does that matter?

    Anyway, the pump did the same thing it used to do, the black box would almost fill up with water and "prime" ?? but then it would lose prime and air get into it, and the process repeats. Is there some kind of rubber gasket or something that goes with the round thing? It seemed like when it would almost prime that water starting coming into the skimmer like the round thing wasn't making a good seal.

    I have never vacuumed manually so I don't know what I'm doing, (like that's a big surprise). 2 years ago the pool guy came out hooked everything up and said there was something wrong underground.

    I don't know how else to get all of this iron/sand/pollen/whatever it is, out of the pool. If anybody has ANY suggestions/advice/shameless plugs, please HELP
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    I am pretty much a newbie in my knowledge, but from what I've read here at TFP, iron is not something that is particulate that it would shoot out of the return and settle on the floor. I believe it would show itself by staining or changing the color of the water.

    If it feels gritty like sand, then it is probably sand. I was getting sand in my pool through the return and I disassembled the filter and replaced all of the sand. That worked for me, but I have an above-ground set up. Just last week, I vacuumed the remaining sand in the pool when I could finally see it. There was a great deal of sand in it and it did not settle within a few feet of the return, it darn near went halfway across the pool.

    Good luck, I know it is a frustrating situation.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Yes, it is very frustrating I just wish I could manually vacuum it up. I don't know how else to get it out.
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Do you want the bad news or the bad news first? :P Upon reviewing the pic you posted, it looks like the shaft seal assembly may be bad - look under the pump/ motor interface with the unit on - you will probably see a trickle or drip coming out

    As for the air when vacuuming, it may be as simple as the vac hose having a hole in it or a readily fixed air leak in the system - please follow the instructions in the Leak Detection article in Pool School. If I'm reading the pic correctly, the first place I would try dribbling water is where the pipe enters the housing - though the lid gasket may be bad or have debris on it.

    There is nothing major involved here (so far) you have 4 issues, the air leak when vacuuming - I'm thinking you'll find the source to be above ground ), the small drip out of the top of the pump - very easy to repair, probably a shaft seal assembly/ housing gasket - step by step detailed instructions already here, but I'll link them up when you're ready and the sand issue. It's a good thing we waited you can more efficiently deal with all this at once, rather than 'a - la - cart' You'll want unions and plumbing supplies, some specific parts for the pump (I'll give you the part #s), a couple basic tools and a few hours to play with everything.

    If we can track down the air leak on the suction side, I'll be ready to write up your grocery list and tell you what you have to do and how to do everything

    I've got > 1/2 of what you'll need to know/ do already in other posts - just let me know when you're ready and I'll post the links and any other helpful hints I can think of -- and of course you have this whole forum behind you to proffer help

    We're gonna get you through this and you'll be amazed at how easy it'll be
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    I'm ready! Tell me what to get and where to start.

    P.s. I was reading a post about hooking the hose directly into the hole under the skimmer and not use the round plate so I tried that today when I got home from work. It seemed like it worked a little better because I put my hand under the vacuum head and could feel it pulling just a little. It was like "half-primed". Anyway, I'm ready to get started. Thanks for all the help
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Here we go

    Here's some pvc plumbing advice I posted on the Pool Forum:
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    Tom, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easily the fix can be made You've got all the room you need to make the change-out! I can't tell from the pics if it's 1.5" or 2" pipe, just be sure to get the same sized pipe and fittings.
    Things you'll need:
    ~ 2' pipe SCH 40
    1- 90 elbow (sch 40 socket X socket - pipe will be glued into the 90)
    1- Union (sch 40, pipe will glue into the ends, be sure to take care of the o-ring, lube it whenever you take the union apart with silicone or teflon based lube and don't let it get lost!!)
    1- coupling (sch 40)
    PVC glue and primer
    Hacksaw with good blade
    Tape measure
    Pencil
    Rag

    OK, materials procured, we're set to do this. What we're going to do is cut out the offending, threaded fittings and replace them with a glued one (there is no reason for a threaded connection there - as it's glued into immobile pipes, you can't tighten it nor unthread it to fix the leak, we take the risk of the threads leaking again away). Starting on the horizontal pipe, cut the pipe~ 3" back from the fitting, try to keep the cuts perpendicular to the pipe - anything over 1/8" out of perpendicular should be recut so that you have a good straight cut (if you want to cheat, you can measure off of the fitting and make a few pencil marks on the pipe so that you have a guide for your cut). Next cut the vertical pipe the same way. Use the rag to rub off the burrs from the cut ends.
    Bad part is out - now we'll install the new piece. Following the instructions on the glue can - glue the coupling to the vertical pipe and the union to the horizontal pipe(wipe any drips or excess glue off with the rag - let's keep this looking professional ). Dry fit (push it into it without glue) a piece of pipe into the union (the length of the pipe isn't crucial, but it needs to be long enough to dry fit the 90 onto the other end and be over the coupling on the vertical pipe- measure between the open end of the 90 and the coupling and add the extra for the depth of the fitting sockets (usually 2.5" - but double check that your fittings have a 1.25" socket). Cut a piece of pipe that size and glue it into the coupling. Now dry fit the 90 on the top of the new piece and measure between the open union end and the open 90 end, add the 2.5" and cut the final piece of pipe. Glue the last piece into the 90, now take the union apart and glue the piece with the 90 on it into the 1/2 union. Final step is to glue the 90 onto the vertical pipe - once it's on, reconnect the union. Let the glue set for the specified amount of time and you're ready to start up the pump again, with no leaks!

    The whole reason for the union is to enable you to be able to get the last connection on the 90 - it's going to be the most expensive part to buy, but is a real life saver - it also allows you to 'tinker' with the filter end of the pipe without having to cut the pipe again. I'd imagine that this will cost < $30 for materials and take < 45 min. Please post any questions about anything I've been unclear on and I'd love to hear the final result!! . Good luck with this and if I can be of more service, never hesitate to ask! - Ted
    Here is some advice on working on a Hayward Superpump to change the motor or shaft seal here

    Here i the tripple threat advice I use on the outport of the pump which is leaking -- I teflon tape the male adapter as per spishex's advice here and then put on an o-ring from a plug (SP 1022- C - Z - 1), then apply some permatex and tighten the male adapter down enough to pinch, but not warp, the o -ring.

    Waterbear's advice on cleaning a sand filter can be found here - I think it may be all you need to do 8) (I'm hoping this works - this should cover sand changing and why I suggest to add pea gravel before the sand - if you need to change the sand

    Grocery list:

    Permatex thread past

    2 - 1 1/2 pvc male adapters

    Teflon tape

    3 1 1/2" unions (SP 1485 socket by socket) [there are specialty unions that have a M/A on one side and will accept a regular pipe, which I would prefer to use on the in fluent line for the pump ]

    (IF the seal assembly is leaking) SP 1600 Z 2 <seal assembly> and SP 1600 T <housing gasket>

    PVC glue and primer/ solvent

    This should do for your grocery list for now (as long as you have the tools mentioned in the linked posts)

    Get your supplies in order, don't forget the items to have on hand in the linked posts and I'll walk you through what you need to do
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Wow, my brain is hurtin from trying to comprehend all this I'm gonna print this out and take it to Lowe's with me. I'll get everything the next couple days and try to tackle this Saturday mornin. I'll post any questions I have......

    Thanks so much for helping me with this
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Sand coming out of return

    Cool 8) I finally made someone feel like I do when I TRY to understand one of Chemgeek's more intricate posts on pool chemistry

    It's not all that complicated and I'm hoping most of the headache is coming from my plumbing description (when I posted that info there were 3 or 4 pics of the problem area - I'd have linked or copied them - if they hadn't been deleted from PF ) In your case, you'll be wanting to install the unions on the vertical pipes in and out of the multi (just measure down 4" from the coupling out of the pump and the same 4" down from the 90* to make the first cuts) then measure the distance between the interior stops on the union and cut off that much more pipe to give you the room to install it On the front side a SP 1495 3 S (the one that has male threads on one side and a socket on the other) will serve you best [**** 1495 is the correct part # for the unions - my bad! *****] We'll talk about the length of the input pipe once the others are installed, for now (IF you have a seal assembly leak) just cut the pipe right at the male adapter going into the pump.

    If any of the linked info is causing you to take Tylenol, just ask me for a little clarification I do one of these things almost every working day of my life and am more than happy to share my knowledge/ experience with you / TFP
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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