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Thread: Running filter with no filter element

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    Running filter with no filter element

    After a situation where I ended with a lot of mud and debris at the bottom of the pool, I inquired at my local pool store if I could rent a water pump and use it to vacuum the bottom and discharge to the back yard and drains.
    The senior guy told me to just remove the filter element assembly (manifold, grids, etc), close the filter lid as usual and run it in backwash mode as I vacuum.
    I have a Pentair FNS-Plus 48 square feet, do not have a separation tank, so when we backwash we just attach a flexible hose to the backwash outlet.

    In theory this would work at lifting all the mud and debris and just throwing it away.
    Has anyone tried this before?

    Thanks
    Ricardo

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    The only issues I see is that you may have one heck of a cleanup of the filter vessel, and if it's gritty I wouldn't want to run it through my pump as it'll eat at the impeller and casing. If it's a good bit and gritty I'd rent a pump to clean it up. If however, it's a relatively small amount and not very gritty, the suggestion to use your equipment would save you the cost of rental equipment.
    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
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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    Use the Waste setting. Whatever is sucked up is sent to the backwash line. No need to remove the insides of the filter. Watch you pump basket and or skimmer basket. Don't over fill them or they will crack and let debris hit the impeller, clogging or breaking it and knocking it out of balance.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    In doing any vacuuming wouldn't the main pump impeller be exposed? I think my main pump impeller is now showing signs of grit damage from "normal" use of my new-this-summer vac. side cleaner. This is the first year, in 23 years, that I've used a vac. side cleaner. And we have extreme amounts of sand and silt.

    Although I didn't do the following because of so much stuff hitting the impeller, my actions did, in fact, help to extend it's life when I cleaned the spring gunk out of pool in years when I didn't close the pool fully with no cover.

    I had Leslie's put together a portable trash pump, with included pump pot (basket) using an old, but working, 1 hp pump with an extended return pipe, running about 24 inches horizontally over the pump, that threw the water out away from the pump. It was wired 120 and very portable. My reasons, then, were because I was having to go up and down the steps every 5 minutes to empty the main pump pot, for hours on end, while vacuuming the 12" or so of stuff out of pool for opening. The trash pump cost about $100. The gunk eventually fowled up the impeller on the trash pump but I got several years use out of it, using it only for spring cleanup. Although I didn't replace the impeller, I now know, thanks to TFP, that that I could have.

    I've decided to keep my normally kept open pool, semi closed, but uncovered, now, because of our unpredictable winter. I'm going to put together another "redneck" trash pump to use with my Tracker 4x (vac side cleaner), on good days, which are usually the predominate type of days, down here, to keep the pool cleaned up till March opening. Instead of throwing the water down the hill I'm going to use a "Slimebag" to recover the water back to pool. But if there was a large degree of gunk I would certainly "trash" the water.

    Instead of having someone make it for me, thanks to TFP I know I can make it myself. I might use a 3/4 hp pump I have sitting in the garage, if it will work. It was the circulation pump for spa that was still working but a bearing was going out and making noise, which I didn't want to hear while relaxing in the spa. It probably won't work for vacuuming but I'm going to check it out. It doesn't have a pump pot but the cleaner has a large leaf catcher canister that will do the work of the pump pot. I'm thinking it won't have enough flow because the spa circulation pump is very low speed/flow so I might just have to find a used high flow 3/4-1 hp to use.

    Just thought I throw this info out in case it might help someone.

    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: Running filter with no filter element

    Here's what I did this past summer.... it's easier if you can get in the pool but if not - it still works.

    U need a manual vacume head, pole, and long vac hose.

    Take one end of the vac hose and rest it outside the pool on the ground. Be warned - water goes everywhere.

    Take the pole and vac head and attach them, have them ready for attaching the other hose end. if you have an extra set of hands to assist you with assembly that's helpful. Take the other hose end, and with the pump running, prime the hose by holding it up to the eyeball return. You'll see the water coming out of the hose-end that is laying on the ground.

    Keep the hose-end under the water after it's primed, and move away from the eyeball, keeping it submerged means it won't lose prime. Water will continue to leave the pool thru the other end. Attach the submerged end to the vac plate, taking care not to lose prime, so keep the vac head submerged too while you attach the hose. Then vacume as normal. The syphon action created means you can vacume to waste without needing the filter and all that crud just goes out with the water.

    Now you can expect to lose up to 2 inches of water in about an hour of vacuming. It should take that long cuz if you go faster you're just stirring everything up. 2 inches of water shouldn't upset the chemistry balance any.

    Oh, I just realized this is probably and inground pool? I don't know if it would work without the gravity aspect - but you could give it a try....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    Thanks for all the replies, this is awesome.
    I forgot to include in my initial message that my filter valve only has two settings: push down and locked for regular filter and pull up for backwash (I don't have the multifunction) and yes it is a inground pool.

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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    Then pulling the grids and setting to backwash will work best. Just rinse the tank before you put the grids back.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Running filter with no filter element

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Here's what I did this past summer.... it's easier if you can get in the pool but if not - it still works.

    U need a manual vacume head, pole, and long vac hose.

    Take one end of the vac hose and rest it outside the pool on the ground. Be warned - water goes everywhere.

    Take the pole and vac head and attach them, have them ready for attaching the other hose end. if you have an extra set of hands to assist you with assembly that's helpful. Take the other hose end, and with the pump running, prime the hose by holding it up to the eyeball return. You'll see the water coming out of the hose-end that is laying on the ground.

    Keep the hose-end under the water after it's primed, and move away from the eyeball, keeping it submerged means it won't lose prime. Water will continue to leave the pool thru the other end. Attach the submerged end to the vac plate, taking care not to lose prime, so keep the vac head submerged too while you attach the hose. Then vacume as normal. The syphon action created means you can vacume to waste without needing the filter and all that crud just goes out with the water.

    Now you can expect to lose up to 2 inches of water in about an hour of vacuming. It should take that long cuz if you go faster you're just stirring everything up. 2 inches of water shouldn't upset the chemistry balance any.

    Oh, I just realized this is probably and inground pool? I don't know if it would work without the gravity aspect - but you could give it a try....
    I've done this too, and it works well with an inground pool if you have a significant drop off somewhere. I have a 12' + drop off at the end of my deep end. I've done it without getting in the pool by using a strong flow from a garden hose to fill the hose while holding the cleaner head just a bit under water (pole already attached). Frustratedpoolmom's suggestion seems to be the least expensive and least hassle if conditions are right.

    This method will probably waste less water as the flow won't be as fast as using the pump method. You have to move the vacuum head so slowly I'm thinking the wasted water may be well more than 2" using the pump method.

    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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