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Thread: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

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    What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    I have cloudy water.
    I do have a fine deposit of dust on the bottom of my pool each day. It is the same color as the dirt surrounding my new pool, a clay color. We have not seeded around the pool yet and with all the rain, we can't completely avoid muddy feet on the deck. I have felt the dust and it does not feel slimy. I have had this dirt since we first put the pool in about a month or so ago. We have had about 4 inches of rain the last 3 days and about 2 weeks ago we had at least 4 inches of rain. Also, this dirt got on the top of the solar cover, along with lots of rain. We couldn't get the solar cover off without it going into the pool.

    I have a sand filter. I'm thinking it is possible I need to add DE to it. I have put panty hose on the skimmer baskets and panty hose in my Polaris 280 bag (Saturday morning). It does seem to be catching some of the fine dirt. I have never had to backwash my filter, but I have had to drain water from the pool (rain) 3 or 4 times since we got the pool finished. I did drain through the filter.

    I have a SWG, but I have not turned it on because of our numbers.

    Recent numbers (I had planned to turn the SWG on with these chlorine levels, but water was so cloudy, I didn't).
    Friday night:
    FC 3
    CC 0
    PH 7.5
    TA 150
    CYA 50
    CH 190 (maybe 200)
    Borates 0
    That night we added Borax and Acid

    On Saturday Night my results were:
    I did not add any Chlorine at all and no SWG running. It rained on and off with clouds, but the pool was not covered. I ran the Polaris that day for 4 hours. I ran the pump all night Fri night and all day Saturday. I had fine dirt on the bottom of the pool Saturday morning.
    FC 2.5
    CC 0
    PH 7.8 (I had added Borax and acid the night before, so this rise is probably from not putting quite as much acid as need? This test was less than 24 hrs after that addition).
    TA 160
    CYA 48
    CH 200
    On Saturday night, after running the pump all day, I got concerned that the dirt was algae and decided to shock. I got the chlorine level to 20 (I'm not running the SWG yet). It started pouring rain and I was out of bleach, so that is what it got to.

    Later on Saturday night:
    FC 20 (see above)
    CC .5
    PH 8.0
    I added acid to reduce PH.

    This morning (about 2 hours after Sunrise, cloudy conditions and uncovered pool). I had the dirt on the bottom of the pool, after running the pump all night, again. There was a little more during the night.
    FC 9
    CC 0
    PH 7.8
    I added some acid and brought PH to 7.7 (now).

    I know I need to get more CYA. I looked at it at Lowes and it was $16.00 (DuPont) for 3 lbs. We had bought some at Walmart for $8.00, so I thought I would look there but they were out.

    I am thinking of bring the PH down more and aerating to bring TA down, but my pool was clear before with TA of 150-160.

    What should I do about the numbers and the dirt? I really don't think it is algae.

    I feel I am overthinking everything and making mistakes. I have the FC lower so I can start up the SWG, but I want the pool clean.

    Thanks for your help!
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    I have cloudy water.
    I do have a fine deposit of dust on the bottom of my pool each day. It is the same color as the dirt surrounding my new pool, a clay color. We have not seeded around the pool yet and with all the rain, we can't completely avoid muddy feet on the deck. I have felt the dust and it does not feel slimy. I have had this dirt since we first put the pool in about a month or so ago. We have had about 4 inches of rain the last 3 days and about 2 weeks ago we had at least 4 inches of rain. Also, this dirt got on the top of the solar cover, along with lots of rain. We couldn't get the solar cover off without it going into the pool.

    I have a sand filter. I'm thinking it is possible I need to add DE to it. I have put panty hose on the skimmer baskets and panty hose in my Polaris 280 bag (Saturday morning). It does seem to be catching some of the fine dirt. I have never had to backwash my filter, but I have had to drain water from the pool (rain) 3 or 4 times since we got the pool finished. I did drain through the filter.
    I deal with this daily but I haven't found the total solution yet. After my puppies (60, 60, 130 lbs) have their swim time daily, running around the yard and woods and then getting back in the pool, over and over for at least an hour a day, I have an extreme amount of sand, silt, and mud, suspended and on the bottom. I have a DE filter (just switched over to cellulose after good clean out and soaks of grids and replacement of four grids because of backwashing to woods once a week and too much DE in the environment). I also have the Polaris 280 (been using since the 280 came out), and an iRobot Verro 300 (Aquabot Turbo T-jet). Also a Pool Blaster (Buster). A week or so ago I weighed the skimmer socks, Polaris hosiery, used in the bag, and the 3-5 heavy tights I use as filter in bag of Pool Buster and the fine silt bag from the Aquabot (minus the weight of the bag). The bags were not dripping wet but only damp. Not including what the DE filter pulls out of suspension I vacuum up close to one lb of sand, silt, and dirt every 24 hours.

    I'm trying several approaches. All consume more time than I would like to spend so I'm still researching any additions of cleaners, etc.

    BTW... I think the iron in my pool water and iron staining is coming from the sand and silt as I've never had this many, young, active dogs swimming daily, never had this much sand, silt, mud in the pool, AND never had iron staining like this. The puppies are less than a year old, large, and very, very active, and LOVE the pool so this is the first year I've encountered this challenge to such a degree. I hope to do an AA treatment soon.

    Some points:

    *I can't use both of my cleaners Aquabot and Polaris at the same time because they will get tangled although I can to the Pool Blaster and/or sweep while one is running. I would love to find a not too expensive cleaner that cleans as well as the Aquabot but runs on batteries (Li-ion preferred) so no power cord is needed.

    *I can use a very heavy women's tight in the Pool Blaster to filter out most that settles on bottom. It takes three to five changes to get most out of just the shallow end, steps, and seat. Each tight filter fills up in about 5 minutes or less and catches virtually all of it but quickly becomes saturated with mud so really doesn't "fill" up. Thirty minutes minimum will get that part done.

    *The heavy women's' tight is the only thing I've found that will catch the silt and dirt. Although my system gives enough pressure for strong venturi action in Polaris 280 I haven't been able to get the Polaris bag to clip on securely using the heavy tight. I've tried just about any bags, specifically for sand and silt, that will work with the P 280 and none of them, so far, can catch the silt, although they will catch the fine sand. The heaviest support hosiery that will allow the bag to clip securely still lets the very fine stuff through.

    *The Aquabot fine silt bag does a great job of catching the fine stuff but in less than an hour the bag becomes so saturated with the fine stuff that the 'bot will have a hard time climbing up to the shallow end. My shallow end is very short with a fast decline to very much larger deep end. Once the bag is really saturated after 3-6 hours the only way to make it usable again is to rinse it off and then wash (no detergent) it in washer on gentle/cold.

    *Until last couple of days I've been running filter pump 24/7 and with other measures I still have tiny particles suspended, mainly seen at night when the light is on. It is worse when the P-280 has been running because it doesn't get the finest stuff (it flows out the hosiery bag) and the tail stirs up the fine stuff too. So you will see less on the bottom but there will be more in suspension.

    *If you don't have the P-280 stirring up the fine stuff it will eventually settle out and is easily visible where the Aquabot hasn't been or can't get to because of bag being saturated or on steps and seats.

    *Letting everything settle out (as much as possible) you can gently sweep the fine stuff towards the bottom drain, several times a day, to let the filter take out as much as possible. How much is taken out depend on the filter and media used.

    *I'm not willing, any more, to spend several hours a day sweeping the stuff towards main drain so, for now, I'm researching more solutions, and lowering my standards as to how much fine stuff I see in suspension.

    I've thought of getting a ScumBag and attaching it to the end of the hose of a submersible pump. That will assist the filter but will not do anything about the stuff that settles to bottom all over the pool. I don't know how long the ScumBag will last until it becomes too saturated for use. ScumBags are pretty expensive.

    I've thought about getting a couple more Aquabot fine bags so that I can wash out two at a time while the third is working and filling up fast. That might be the best/cheapest solution for me, right now but still requires some time and attention but perhaps the least of all my current attempts. The Aquabot Turbo T-Jet is costly but it consumes very little electricity and doesn't put any of the "stuff" into your filter. It is "self contained" so you don't have to have the filter pump running and you can use it even if the water is too low to use filter pump. This feature has really come in handy for me on several occasions. I purchased it in 2007 when I had a major leak. The money I spent on refill water would have paid for two (2) of the Aquabots . Just this past month while I was fixing the filter I had the filter pump off for one week. Using the Aquabot virtually 24/7 and the submersible pump circulating the water from shallow end to deep end helped to keep the water balanced and safe, no algae, and puppies still got to swim every day. Of course there were a lot of particulates in suspension but it was safe for swimming. I used the coarser Aquabot bag most of the time and the finer one for when I could attend to washing it out properly.

    I'm looking at other cleaners such as Kreepy Krawler types to do the finish work during the night. This will send the fine stuff to the filter. In my case, with DE filter using cellulose, most will be filtered out BUT I'm already backwashing at least once a week. [edit] Backwashing is really fast but I hate how much balanced water is being "thrown away". I am going to get a DE filter ScumBag so I can run the balanced water back into the pool. [end edit]

    I'm thinking about ways to make a finer bag that I can attach to the P-280. I've been so busy doing manual cleanings that I haven't really put much effort in to that.

    If yours is a one time or occasional thing and your sand filter can't be made to catch all the fine stuff then perhaps using a ScumBag in a creative way could be a solution. The ScumBags, depending on size and pressure capability, range (very roughly) from $40-$100. The last time I purchased a decent submersible pump from HD it was around $65. That was several years ago. I had two until last year when one, no pun intended, "bit the dust" when my friend and I were using it while acid washing my pool. It was well worth the money and I'll probably purchase another one soon. I certainly comes in handy for many uses in the pool and spa. You can also use it to water your lawn or plantings when you need to lower the water in pool for whatever reason.

    I'll post when I find something that works and takes less time than I'm spending now.
    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Wow Geekgranny, what a battle you have been fighting. I had hopes that getting rid of this was something that could be done fairly easily, if I knew what to do. I really have to give you credit for trying and trying and trying. I also appreciate all the info you gave me. So far, the pool seems to be much more aggravation than fun.

    I have a little dog, he stays out of the pool except when we put him in his own little raft. He has white fur and follows us to the pool everytime we go, so his feet are the color of the dirt in my pool. We have the rare orange-footed Havanese, because of all the clay dirt around the pool.

    I was finally able to get a white cotton sock attached to one of the returns and it is turning the color of the dirt, so at least some of the dirt is so fine it is going through the filter and back out again.

    I am tempted to try adding a little DE to my sand filter to see if it helps a little. I lost hope when I read that you have a DE filter, though.
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    Wow Geekgranny, what a battle you have been fighting.
    It hasn't always been this bad. For the 23 years we've lived here we've always had one or two Mastiffs who liked to swim a little but mostly took naps on the steps. Mastiffs, especially when mature ,don't move around as much as my 11 mo Labradoodles (or Doodles of any age ), "double water dogs", as a friend refers to them, and 8 mo Mastiff, who has more incentive to swim and rough house growing up with the Doodles. So this year is the first time I've had even more EXTREME issues with sand, silt, dust, mud, etc.

    Everything out here is EXTREME and good testing grounds for any product. Until about 8 years ago we had full time help.We usually had 6-10 Mastiff house dogs, with a Rottie or two thrown in, and a Briard, who we lost in the past year, along with our two geriatric Rotties and last two geriatric Mastiffs. Briard and Rotties were more active than Mastiffs but didn't swim. Ever since each iRobot product has come out I've kept an army/crew/pack of cleaning 'bots to help keep things, inside, somewhat manageable. The six, Scoobas, clean the floors better than any human could ever do and each paid for themselves pretty quickly saving me many hours of hard labor daily .


    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    We have the rare orange-footed Havanese, because of all the clay dirt around the pool.


    I had some almost white Mastiffs (fawn color) show dogs (pets first and foremost) when we first moved out here, and red Rottie, because of high levels of chlorine (and no TFP to help). Switching to bromine pretty quickly helped a lot with coats bleaching out. The black Doodles are not showing any bleaching now that water is balanced. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU everyone here at TFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    I was finally able to get a white cotton sock attached to one of the returns and it is turning the color of the dirt, so at least some of the dirt is so fine it is going through the filter and back out again.
    Great news . How did you attach it? I don't know if any is returning from my filter but it is worth an experiment to see. Don't know if that would be a long term solution for me, though, as so much goes to the filter and I'd be changing out the sock pretty frequently on four returns. Hopefully you won't be battling this long term. I've seen somewhere, here on TFP or Gardenweb, where someone has two filters in series, and is thinking about adding a third. That's pretty extreme. BTW... I think the fine bag on my Aquabot filters down to about 2 microns (please don't quote me on this) and the cellulose in DE filter is supposed to filter down to a pretty small size too.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    I am tempted to try adding a little DE to my sand filter to see if it helps a little. I lost hope when I read that you have a DE filter, though.
    I hope I didn't imply that my DE filter isn't catching most or all of it. If so, I didn't mean to. I do think it is probably catching most or all of it. I've backwashed twice since I cleaned the grids extremely well to switch over to cellulose. It has been less than a week since I switched over so it is catching a whole bunch. For both backwashes I let the psi rise more than 10, more than the recommended 5-8 psi. When I backwashed it certainly did contain a whole lot of reddish/brown until it ran clear. The first backwash took longer and more water, just as the cellulose instructions implied. Instructions said that first few backwashing would occur sooner than with DE because the cellulose would catch more and finer particulates. With DE I could go a week between backwashings but the first cellulose backwashing was needed after two days. That was also after the pool had been unfiltered, except for the Aquabot, for a week. I did have circulation for that week with the submersible pump circulating the water and the Aquabot which circulates at about 4000-5000 gal/hr or maybe each 2 hr cycle (but not running 24 hours/day as it has to be manually turned on after each 2 hr cycle. Some of the other Aquabot models have controllers that can be set for longer times. They cost a lot more too.)

    I'll betcha that the DE might just help your sand filter some. There are, also, some products that can be used in place of sand that might filter out finer particulates. The cellulose Fiber Clear, from Leslie's, says on the package that it can be used in sand and cartridge filters as a filter aid. That might be worth researching and perhaps someone here at FABULOUS TFP has some experience and can comment. I don't know if I would use anything but DE as a filter aid until someone, with experience, can verify that it works without causing any problems with the filter.
    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    BTW... If I didn't mention it earlier you may want to check your pool for minerals. I did say in one of my post that I've never had much iron staining before, well some, but not like now. Curious, but not really, (just kidding actually) I'm pretty sure that all of the pounds of sand, silt, dirt that the puppies have dragged in, daily, in addition to what blows in, is probably the cause of the iron stains. And my iron count of pool water was a little on the high side when I had it tested a few weeks ago.

    I'm going to start using a sequestrate, and keep using, when I do the AA (Ascorbic Acid) treatment in next week or so.

    Although I've had to drain out over 10" of water, due to our rain, in past week, I have also had to add back water from tap for the two backwashings and some daily evaporation and splash out from puppies so I'm now using a filter on end of fill hose that is supposed to filter out 99.9% contaminants including organic and metals, etc. I originally got it for the spa. It has a filtering capacity of 5K-8K gallons, cost between $20-$30. I don't know if my tap water will take much of the blame as last year's city water report listed iron as very low. I've left tap water samples at two stores but failed to call them for results. I really do think it is probably entirely from our "dirt".

    If part is to blame on our water I think the "fill ScumBag" would end up being more economical in the long run.

    Don't fret too much about the pool being less enjoyable than you expected. New pools (or in my case a new plaster job in '96) are way more demanding than a well balanced older pool. And, gosh, it has only been about a month for you. I remember well the work it took when we re-plastered and all the worry and anxiety about not ruining the new plaster. And that was after I had been managing the pool for 10 years already (albeit poorly, I discover, after hanging around TFP for a while) and knew my equipment and pool very well.

    It will get easier and easier I promise, as long as you "use" the good advice you will find here at TFP.

    Are you keeping the pool open in winter? That will give you some practice too. Hope you don't have the evil, but beautiful trees to battle that a lot of us on the board have. You can't get much more tree debris and leaves in the fall than I have, and the wind, AND it is doable. That's another story with tricks to help. Where I am located the worst is mid Nov to mid Dec and then it eases up till spring. I've been debating a cover for the winter but it is just too costly right now especially one that can hold up to and keep safe the Doodles dancing on it accompanied by (too) soon to be 200 lb Jake Mastiff (he's the baby but a BIG one), so I decided that I will battle the leaves again, as I have in most, past years. It is nice to look out at the pool, even when you can't use it, especially at night when it is lighted.
    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    I was finally able to get a white cotton sock attached to one of the returns and it is turning the color of the dirt, so at least some of the dirt is so fine it is going through the filter and back out again.
    Have you opened up the filter to check to see if the sand is channelled?
    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: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    No, I've not done that and didn't know about it. Thanks for the advice! I'm off to read more to find out how.
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    BTW... If I didn't mention it earlier you may want to check your pool for minerals.
    We have had minerals checked and we had no iron and no copper. We do have phosphates.

    Although I've had to drain out over 10" of water, due to our rain, in past week, I have also had to add back water from tap for the two backwashings and some daily evaporation and splash out from puppies so I'm now using a filter on end of fill hose that is supposed to filter out 99.9% contaminants including organic and metals, etc. I originally got it for the spa. It has a filtering capacity of 5K-8K gallons, cost between $20-$30. I don't know if my tap water will take much of the blame as last year's city water report listed iron as very low. I've left tap water samples at two stores but failed to call them for results. I really do think it is probably entirely from our "dirt".
    When we first filled our pool, I used a sock on the end of the fill hose. Some of the people working on the pool would laugh and others would say it was a good idea, To the ones that laughed, I said, "It can't hurt." I learned that here .

    If part is to blame on our water I think the "fill ScumBag" would end up being more economical in the long run.

    Don't fret too much about the pool being less enjoyable than you expected. New pools (or in my case a new plaster job in '96) are way more demanding than a well balanced older pool. And, gosh, it has only been about a month for you. I remember well the work it took when we re-plastered and all the worry and anxiety about not ruining the new plaster. And that was after I had been managing the pool for 10 years already (albeit poorly, I discover, after hanging around TFP for a while) and knew my equipment and pool very well.
    [color=#FF4040]Our pool didn't get finished until late in the season. We are fighting the huge rains (you are too!), clay around the pool deck, trying to get time to cut the solar cover and reel (not a qucik task) and life generally pulling us away from sitting around the pool.

    It will get easier and easier I promise, as long as you "use" the good advice you will find here at TFP.

    Are you keeping the pool open in winter? That will give you some practice too. Hope you don't have the evil, but beautiful trees to battle that a lot of us on the board have. You can't get much more tree debris and leaves in the fall than I have, and the wind, AND it is doable. That's another story with tricks to help. Where I am located the worst is mid Nov to mid Dec and then it eases up till spring. I've been debating a cover for the winter but it is just too costly right now especially one that can hold up to and keep safe the Doodles dancing on it accompanied by (too) soon to be 200 lb Jake Mastiff (he's the baby but a BIG one), so I decided that I will battle the leaves again, as I have in most, past years. It is nice to look out at the pool, even when you can't use it, especially at night when it is lighted.
    [color=#FF4040]We would love to keep the pool open in the winter. We were discussing it last night. We live in Tennessee and it can get freezing temps. We are unsure what to do to leave it open and not have pipes bursting. When we built the pool we budgeted for an AquaDome. We are concerned about the freezing of the pipes that would be outside the dome. I told my husband last night that we need to make a decision on what we are going to do because it is just like us to be out there in January, jumping through hoops, to keep pipes from freezing. If we leave it open, I assume we have to run the pump constantly in freezing conditions. Is this correct? What about small pipes that are in the concrete, like plumbing to the deck jets and slide?

    I feel so ignorant about all this. I am so grateful to people like you that are willing to help me out. I am a person that likes to learn everything about something. I always feel really bad when I have to ask questions that are so uninformed. Thank you!

    =alice
    Donna
    18X37 Grecian Vinyl Liner, X-Stream Slide, 1 1/2HP Hayward Pump, 3/4HP Polaris Booster, AquaRite SWG, Jandy AE3000 Heat/Cool, Jandy Deck Jets, 4.0 Colorlogic Light, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: What do I need to do? Cloudy Pool...Dirt on bottom...

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Are you keeping the pool open in winter? That will give you some practice too. Hope you don't have the evil, but beautiful trees to battle that a lot of us on the board have. You can't get much more tree debris and leaves in the fall than I have, and the wind, AND it is doable. That's another story with tricks to help. Where I am located the worst is mid Nov to mid Dec and then it eases up till spring. I've been debating a cover for the winter but it is just too costly right now especially one that can hold up to and keep safe the Doodles dancing on it accompanied by (too) soon to be 200 lb Jake Mastiff (he's the baby but a BIG one), so I decided that I will battle the leaves again, as I have in most, past years. It is nice to look out at the pool, even when you can't use it, especially at night when it is lighted.
    [color=#FF4040]We would love to keep the pool open in the winter. We were discussing it last night. We live in Tennessee and it can get freezing temps. We are unsure what to do to leave it open and not have pipes bursting. When we built the pool we budgeted for an AquaDome. We are concerned about the freezing of the pipes that would be outside the dome. I told my husband last night that we need to make a decision on what we are going to do because it is just like us to be out there in January, jumping through hoops, to keep pipes from freezing. If we leave it open, I assume we have to run the pump constantly in freezing conditions. Is this correct? What about small pipes that are in the concrete, like plumbing to the deck jets and slide?

    I feel so ignorant about all this. I am so grateful to people like you that are willing to help me out. I am a person that likes to learn everything about something. I always feel really bad when I have to ask questions that are so uninformed. Thank you!

    =alice
    You'll find that there are soooooooo many people on this great forum who will be happy to assist you as much as you need. I haven't been a member very long and TPF has helped me soooooooooo very much and has already saved me a lot of worrying and money.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj4
    I told my husband last night that we need to make a decision on what we are going to do because it is just like us to be out there in January, jumping through hoops, to keep pipes from freezing.
    Been there; done that more times than I'm willing to admit, especially with the pool. Until two years ago I had 8 small popup greenhouses, Bloomhouse tm, and a 24' X 12' that was much more insulated, for tropicals. Culled plants and got rid of the small ones and then this spring the puppies had a ball destroying the large one. I do have the frame left and I've got the Cooleroo to cover it but haven't gotten around to making it into a fairly decent shade house for the puppies and me to use. It is in the courtyard that I can close off from the front fenced yard that gets very muddy, so they can do their "doodies" in there when it is raining really hard.

    Where in TN are you. We are in Zone 8a. Nashville is 7b. My DD lives there. Love Nashville. We get a few hard freezes here but they usually don't last very long. My pumping station is about 4-5 ft below the water line of pool. Last two winters have been very mild and for two different reasons I got by last two winter with just closing off the valves at pumping station, draining and keeping open all the equipment down there and putting some insulation around the pipes coming out of ground. First winter had a leak so water was at bottom of pool light. Last winter water was at normal level but didn't get all the leaves and gunk out before it got really cold.

    Most years I've run equipment all winter but had the really bad leaves out before winter really set in; that's late Dec-early Jan. Keeping the leaves out is a major chore starting now, last week of Sept through December. I have to be here any time the pump runs because it totally fills the skimmer in, now, 30 minutes, in a week much faster than that, and progressively fills faster as the weeks go by. In a couple of weeks the skimmer will fill in a few minutes unless I turn the pump off and let the leaves sink to bottom so that Polaris 280 can pick them up. I had pump off last night and this morning. About an hour ago I started it up and running P 280 with an off brand pretty fine bag that is about the size of the Polaris 280 leaf bag. It is now full. I'll probably empty the Polaris bag 2-4 times today AND the leaves haven't really started falling for real yet. They won't start turning and REALLY start coming down until late Oct. I do have a bunch of oaks that are still dropping leaves in December. When it gets really bad I use the Leaf Eater attached to a hose with huge bag several times a day in addition to Polaris bags. It is an ongoing chore that gets worse and worse. BUT..... I'll do almost any kind work to be outside as much as possible. And now with new puppies DH doesn't complain as much about my spending so much time working on the pool as it is really their pool.

    I have fashioned a leaf catcher for the main drain to keep the leaves out of the pump pot. Otherwise I would be going down the hill, under the deck, to open and clean it constantly. Short on time now but basically it is a 5 gal bucket with bottom cut out. Then normal top put on with a whole bunch of 1" holes cut out of it. The top becomes the bottom of the bucket. Then a good strong cord to make a handle using plastic tubing to make it somewhat rigid and easier to hitch on to it with pool brush on long pole, when it is in the pool. Then I've placed a cylinder of concrete I had on hand into the bucket to keep it weighted down and help to keep the Polaris from pushing it around. It works great. I've found you do, though, need a commercial weight pool pole and a certain technique getting it out of the pool or else you'll bend any pole.

    I've had a few things in pumping station break. Two commercial Nature 2 vessels froze (without the cartridge in it) during a really bad freeze and the pump was running. For the third vessel, I had the pool guy plumb it so I could remove it and put in a pipe replacing the vessel, during the winter. The third commercial froze during an early hard freeze though. BTW...... I then tried the Nature 2 Express but it wasn't up the the job for my size pool. Until this year I was using the Floatron Ionizer but I am now fully CC in pool and BBB free standing spa.

    My pump station, although under the deck, is on the north side of house. We are at one of the highest points in TX, the escarpment, and the equipment, and that side of house gets blasted by NW winds that come up the valley from the "plains". If you stand on my deck when a Blue Norther comes in you might freeze before you can get in the house. Just kidding but Blue Northers do kill livestock and people. So the pumping station gets the extreme cold blasting high winds. On the other hand I can leave some tropicals out all winter on the SW side of my house, if the winter isn't too bad.

    So, most years I wrap the exposed pipes, valves, etc. with plumbing electrical heat cable and cover it with some insulation. I wrap the pipes and then secure bubble insulation over whole station weighted down with rocks. Have to be careful to keep the plastic insulation off of the pumps because they get hot AND to allow ventilation for pumps. I do have to be creative so that I can operate valves, etc. It is so tight down there it is hard to put any kind of "shed" around it. There is only about 18" of headroom above the filter so I have to detach it from the system and drag it out from under the deck to open it up. I would think a small insulated "shed" of some type, with adequate ventilation for the pumps would do wonders in many setups. When I was growing up in Ky, bluegrass, we used to cover the outside water faucets with fresh used, steaming straw from the stables. Worked great.
    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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