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Thread: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

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    Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Hello all: newbie here. First post, in fact.

    We've had our pool one month exactly, and it's been perfect so far. Water is beautiful and clear. I've been able to keep the chlorine and ph levels at optimum. But I've got some questions...

    To start off...
    1) Pool store guy said to run the filter for 6 hours a day. I looked up the specs on the filter and it will pump 38,400 gals in 8 hours. I figure my pool holds about 10,000 gallons, so that means running it a bit over two hours should give me one complete turnover of the water, right? So am I safe running the filter only 3 hours a day?

    2) Is there an optimum time of day to run the filter? Daytime? Nightime? Or doesn't it matter at all?

    3) Cleaning the filter: We have virtually no dirt, leaves, etc falling in the pool, and the pressure gauge on the filter is at 10lbs, same as when it was installed. So I haven't cleaned the filter yet. I will try it this weekend. But in general, how do I know when it's time to clean it? Should I wait until the gauge rises a few pounds? Should I open it up and check it every week to figure out how often it gets dirty, then establish a cleaning schedule? Or should I just do it at a fixed interval (every week? every 2 weeks?), whether it's dirty or not?

    Guess that's it for now. Got a few more questions but they are more specific. Will post them separately.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Congrats on the Sparkly water

    1) Well, I agree with the pool guy. Six hours isn't very long to run the filter. You say that the filter is capable of 80gpm but is your pump?? Even if it is you still have head losses to account for.

    2) My personal opinion is to run it some during the day and at night. I don't want the water going most of the day without being circulated. I run mine in (2) four hour sessions. In the evening 2:30pm to 6:30pm and from 12:00pm to 4:00am.

    3) Sounds like you have a cartridge filter. Most times the recommendation is to wait till the pressure rises several (10) PSI and then clean it. Filters clean better when dirty up to the point where they start restricting flow too much.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Well... couple things. That's a big pump, probably too big for your size pool. The good news is the filter is plenty big so you should be ok. You shouldn't have to clean it very often, because of the size. I would say every 6 weeks or so.... if you're swim season is May-Sep, you should be good to clean it sometime in July and then again before winterizing (that's my routine, I have same size filter). My gauge never moves, even when it's dirty. I know it's dirty because my heater won't turn on when the filter is dirty. You'll also notice a decreased return flow pressure. There's an article in Pool School with instructions on how to properly clean the cart.

    Any chance your pump has a low speed? If you have a low speed then I'd suggest running it on low for 16-24 hrs a day, great elec savings.

    3 hours, while it gives you a full turn over, won't prevent FC dead spots. What happens is without the water circulating, the sun destroys chlorine and then in areas where you have poor circulation to begin with, you can develop problem spots. So when the pump is off, all the chlorine in that particular area could already be consumed, and then the sun eats what's left, and next thing you no you get pop up spots of algae here and there.

    I would do at the least 3 hours during the day, and then 3 hours at night. I would start at 8-10 hours, and then cut back by an hour until you find the ideal run time for you. If you notice it looking cloudy, dull or any algae, increase the run time back up till you find the proper # of hours. If you notice algae of course you'll need to shock, so proceed with caution! LOL

    Hope this helps. Post back here with further questions. Welcome!
    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: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Congrats on the Sparkly water

    1) Well, I agree with the pool guy. Six hours isn't very long to run the filter. You say that the filter is capable of 80gpm but is your pump?? Even if it is you still have head losses to account for.

    2) My personal opinion is to run it some during the day and at night. I don't want the water going most of the day without being circulated. I run mine in (2) four hour sessions. In the evening 2:30pm to 6:30pm and from 12:00pm to 4:00am.

    3) Sounds like you have a cartridge filter. Most times the recommendation is to wait till the pressure rises several (10) PSI and then clean it. Filters clean better when dirty up to the point where they start restricting flow too much.
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    The pump is 1.5hp, matched to the filter. I figured there would be losses to account for, not to mention the 80gpm specs possibly being a little overstated by Hayward. It's hard plumbed-in with 1.5" PVC, instead of the hoses that came with it, and I assume that improves the performance a bit.

    I guess I'll keep it running 6 hours a day. Except I think I'll run it for 2 shifts of 3 hours each, based on your (and frustratedpoolmom's) advice.

    Yes, it's a cartridge filter. I'll just watch for that pressure rise.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    Re: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Well... couple things. That's a big pump, probably too big for your size pool. The good news is the filter is plenty big so you should be ok. You shouldn't have to clean it very often, because of the size. I would say every 6 weeks or so.... if you're swim season is May-Sep, you should be good to clean it sometime in July and then again before winterizing (that's my routine, I have same size filter). My gauge never moves, even when it's dirty. I know it's dirty because my heater won't turn on when the filter is dirty. You'll also notice a decreased return flow pressure. There's an article in Pool School with instructions on how to properly clean the cart.

    Any chance your pump has a low speed? If you have a low speed then I'd suggest running it on low for 16-24 hrs a day, great elec savings.

    3 hours, while it gives you a full turn over, won't prevent FC dead spots. What happens is without the water circulating, the sun destroys chlorine and then in areas where you have poor circulation to begin with, you can develop problem spots. So when the pump is off, all the chlorine in that particular area could already be consumed, and then the sun eats what's left, and next thing you no you get pop up spots of algae here and there.

    I would do at the least 3 hours during the day, and then 3 hours at night. I would start at 8-10 hours, and then cut back by an hour until you find the ideal run time for you. If you notice it looking cloudy, dull or any algae, increase the run time back up till you find the proper # of hours. If you notice algae of course you'll need to shock, so proceed with caution! LOL

    Hope this helps. Post back here with further questions. Welcome!
    Thanks also for the quick reply, and the welcome.

    Yeah, I know the pump is borderline too big. The pool salesman who sold it to us didn't mention that you could go too big! I'm hoping that this is not a problem. Possibly it's an asset if it keeps the pool sparkly and cuts down on the time between cleanings? I'll take a look at it tomorrow just to see how it's doing. I will check out the Pool School for cleaning instructions, like you suggest.

    No, it's a single-speed pump. Again, pool salesman's suggestion.

    Ok, I've got two recommendations to keep it at 6 hours, in two shifts, so that is what I'll do. Makes a lot of sense to me. I'll just have to get a couple more tabs for the Intermatic timer.

    However, you said "start at 8-10 hours". If I'm doing fine right now with one 6-hour shift, can I assume that two 3-hour shifts will be ok? In other words, is there some loss of efficiency in doing it in two shifts, that would need to be made up by increasing the length of each a bit?
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    If I'm doing fine right now with one 6-hour shift, can I assume that two 3-hour shifts will be ok? In other words, is there some loss of efficiency in doing it in two shifts, that would need to be made up by increasing the length of each a bit?
    Two 3-hour shifts generally is better than one 6-hour. Judge your pump run time on the clarity of your water. If you water stays nice and clear, don't change anything. If you have issues with clarity, you may have to increase your run time. Conversely, you could attempt to cut back your run time to see if you can keep your water clear and save electricity.

    I would think you are pretty close to minimum run time with a total of 6 hours, tho. Average here on the forum seems to be around 8-12.

    Matched pumps and filters like that are almost always up-rated on hp. I imagine your true hp is around 1 hp so I think your pump is just a little bit too big (but not by much) and your filter can never be too big.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    If you are running 6 hours now, and clarity is fine, then great. If it looks cloudy or dull, or you are having algae blooms, try two 4 hours shifts....if that's not enough go up to two 5 hour shifts, etc. It's kind of trial and error to find the appropriate run time for your pool, and every pool is unique.

    Some people start at 10-12 and work their way down, KWIM? But since you have been doing 6 hours up until now, if that seems to be working for your pool then fine.

    Just to reiterate, my gauge doesn't change even when the filter is really dirty. I would clean it every 6-8 weeks at a minimum, regardless of the pressure on the gauge.
    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: Newbie here: some basic fliter questions.

    Thanks for the additional info. Well, I guess I'm going to play it safe and start off with two shifts of 4 hours each, and keep an eye on the water.
    24x16 Doughboy Intrigue: 9,800 gallons
    Hayward 1.5hp Power-Flo Matrix pump
    Hayward Xstream CC1500 cartridge filter (120gpm)
    Sunny So. Cal

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