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Thread: First Post - sand filter question

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    First Post - sand filter question

    So I bought a home about 2.5 years ago with an indoor pool. I have a grasp of most things but I am glad I found this forum. When I bought the house it had a filter system and I changed about a year ago to a sand filter system as I did not feel the filter system was keeping why water cystal clear enough.

    So my pool guy came a we put in a new 1.5 HP pump and a sand filter system with ZEOBrite inside. This system works well any usually at about 15 pounds pressure! I backwash about once every 70-90 days or so. My pump runs about 18 hours a day with no problems and water is crystal clear.

    Here is my problem or questions - my pool has a small leak so I have a garden hose set up in the pool room to "top up" the pool every so often from my well water. Well, I forgot it was on the other day and overflowed the pool - so I back washed the sytem until the pool was at an acceptable level. When the water reseeded it took some of the dirt from the pool room floor with it - now the bottom of my pool is quite dirty with pile of dirt forming all over. Sooooo I spent about 35 minutes yesterday with the pool vacuum ( sand filter remained on FILTER ). When I was finished I just shut the pump off, unhooked vacuum and started everything up again. Well this morning the bottom of the pool is all dirty again!

    Am I vacuuming the pool wrong? Should I put the sand filter system on something else when vacuuming? Should I do something special when I am finished vacuuming?

    Any feedback I could get would be great!

    Thanks! BTW - pool is about 14 x 30 vinyl lined above ground pool that has clorine sanitizer if that matters.
    14 x 30 above ground vinyl indoor
    New Pentair Whisperflow 1.25 HP pump - pump runs 18 hours/day
    New 22 Hayward Sand Filter with Zeobryte
    New Vanee HRV system

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Welcome to TFP!

    If you vacuum up a great deal of stuff you should backwash the filter afterwards.

    Because there has been a substantial amount of water replacement, you should check all of your chemical numbers.

    One possible issue is extremely fine silt brought in from the well. Extremely fine silt can stay in suspension for up to a couple of days, with some of it depositing on the bottom of the pool each day. Something very similar can happen with algae. Algae can almost get started and all die off, leaving dead algae on the pool floor.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Welcome aboard!

    There may have been more that wasn't settled, or it could have been disturbed as you ran the vacuum across the floor of the pool, or it could have just been too fine for the filter to catch. Did you notice any discoloration coming out of your returns when you were vacuuming?

    If the debris is just passing through the filter, which isn't uncommon for fine silt vs. a sand filter, then you can vacuum on waste instead. This will bypass the filter and send the silt out of the pool completely. You'll lose water quickly doing it this way, so top up before you start vacuuming.

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Thanks for the replies! I did not notice any dirt or discoloration coming out of returns when vacuuming. There are particles in my well water so maybe that is all it is. I may just vacuum on waste and get the dirt right out the door but I am sure the water I will lose will be quick and the level will be below the skimmer before I am even 1/4 done - even if I top it up first.
    14 x 30 above ground vinyl indoor
    New Pentair Whisperflow 1.25 HP pump - pump runs 18 hours/day
    New 22 Hayward Sand Filter with Zeobryte
    New Vanee HRV system

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Barring any problems with his chemistry, might this be one of those rare instances where a flocculent might be helpful to speed things along? Just wondering.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    What is a Flocculent? Is that the stuff you put into the pool and it make all the dirt going into piles or little balls on the floor of the pool?
    14 x 30 above ground vinyl indoor
    New Pentair Whisperflow 1.25 HP pump - pump runs 18 hours/day
    New 22 Hayward Sand Filter with Zeobryte
    New Vanee HRV system

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by producerman
    What is a Flocculent? Is that the stuff you put into the pool and it make all the dirt going into piles or little balls on the floor of the pool?
    Yes, it is.

    Most of the time, all that is really needed to clear particulate debris from a pool is simply properly balanced water, vacuuming and brushing, and in the case of a sand filter, backwashing, followed by patience. It is a rare case that we would recommend floc.

    Jason and Tim gave great advice and I can rarely argue a point that they make. I just thought that this might be something to try if the culprit is in fact, silt that is too fine for the filter to handle. I was thinking that floc might help with this since it would allow for clumping of the material which would allow your filter to better be able to handle the debris. That way, you could vacuum and backwash the stuff out a little more effectively.

    Let's see what they say. Don't buy any floc yet.

    Oh, and by the way, welcome to TFP!
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Another useful item would be the "SlimeBags". Some of them are rated down to one micron.

    http://www.cleanerpools.net/how.php

    I have extreme amounts of extremely fine silt year round. It is so fine some of it does make it through even DE or Cellulose. For 23 years I've been playing with all kinds of things to keep as much silt out of the pool as much as possible (outside, uncovered pool, high winds), and/or remove as much as possible from filtering or cleaning. I just ordered and have received the "SlimeBag" backwash/polish bag that I'll use mainly for polishing the water and to return water from waste or backwash back into pool from DE filter. It has a very high psi rating. I've used various types of materials/fabrics for filtering and polishing but this "SlimeBag" material is a new one for me. I was concerned that the fine silt (some smaller than DE) would stick inside or get wedged in the tiny spaces in bag material but I don't think it is going to be the issue that I suspected as the material is quite slick.

    There are other SlimeBags for various uses. I've ordered the small one for filtering fill water for pool and spa too, but it hasn't arrived yet.

    Give a look at the site. BTW.... I ordered mine from a seller on eBay. I think the cost may have been lower than other places and the shipping was free.

    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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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Since the debris is already falling to the bottom by it's own weight I don't think a flocculant will do much for you. I don't use them much, and maybe Richard or someone else can explain specifically what particles they're best for, but the idea is that they're useful for general cloudiness, not debris that accumulates on it's own.

    The scum bag is definitely an idea if this becomes a persistent problem, but the cause seems to be a one-time thing. Some persistent vacuuming to waste would take care of the issue as quickly as the well will allow and won't require any money out of pocket (aside from water replacement and any re-balancing that's required).

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    Since the debris is already falling to the bottom by it's own weight I don't think a flocculant will do much for you.
    Thanks spishex. That helps me to understand.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    If it's already settled to the floor when the pump is off -- vacuum to waste or otherwise carefully remove it from the floor.

    If it's suspended in the water causing it to be cloudy or dull, then you can either 1) shock with chlorine to see if you can oxidize it, 2) give the filter time to clear it if it just happened recently, 3) use a clarifier to consolidate particles so they get caught in the filter, 4) use a flocculant which consolidates particles and has them settle to the floor where you vacuum to waste to remove them or 5) use an enzyme to more quickly have chlorine oxidize it (best for oil usually on the surface). Very often shocking with chlorine and/or giving the filter time to clear it is sufficient. You can also Add DE to a Sand Filter to help catch smaller particles. And as Alice noted, a slime bag works well at removing very fine substances in the water. So you've got choices depending on your situation, your patience level, and how much you want to spend.

    Usually, if your Free Chlorine (FC) level is sufficient relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level and you are circulating your pool water with at least one turnover per day through a properly operating filter, then the water will remain clear. Of course, something can get into the water to foil this simple approach so having a pool cover helps as well.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    Thanks for all your replies! I only found TFP 24 hours ago and have learned so much. I am going to try and vacuum on waste today and get rid of the what has settled to the bottom then see what happens.
    14 x 30 above ground vinyl indoor
    New Pentair Whisperflow 1.25 HP pump - pump runs 18 hours/day
    New 22 Hayward Sand Filter with Zeobryte
    New Vanee HRV system

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    Re: First Post - sand filter question

    I have a similar problem with fine particles and I find a combination of 1) vacuum on waste, which is good for an intense workout given a large pool and rapid water loss, but can stir things up a bit and 2) I vacuum a bit at a time, which is frustrating but saves water and keeps my pool warmer and as soon as I see some discolouration coming back into the pool(you get good at spotting this), I stop and do something else for a few minutes. I haven't used flocculent yet so I won't comment on it.
    20,000 gallon 38ft * 15ft Concrete with Vinyl Liner Poolrite S6000 sand filter, Poolritepump

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