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Thread: Help with filter

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    pooln00b's Avatar
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    Help with filter

    As you can tell by my username, I am a total pool newbie. So new, in fact, that I don't even know how many gallons are in my pool or how to even figure that out.

    I inherited my parent's house which came with a pool, and I have NO IDEA what to do with it. The filter doesn't seem to be working, it runs, but the water is not really flowing. I think I need to clean/backwash it, but I'm afraid to do anything. I've done some googling, but can't find any directions. There are directions on the filter, but it references a "valve" and I have no idea which valve they are referencing.

    I am posting a pic with two valves circled, one in red, the other green.



    The green is a "Jandy" valve



    I don't know what the red one is.



    I feel like a pool moron, please help! I don't want to do anything stupid and blow up my filter or something.
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    Please don't let this happen to me!

    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    Welcome to the forum.

    The backwash valve is in red. The green valve is probably for a cleaner line.

    Here is the manual for the FNS filter: http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/FNSOM.pdf

    To backwash, shut off the pump, pull the backwash handle upwards until it stops. Unwind that blue flexible hose to somewhere you won't mind a lot of water and some DE. Turn on pump and wait till the water runs clean then shut off the pump. Return the backwash valve to the normal position. You will then need to recharge the DE filter per instructions in the manual.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Welcome to the forum.

    The backwash valve is in red. The green valve is probably for a cleaner line.

    Here is the manual for the FNS filter: http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/FNSOM.pdf

    To backwash, shut off the pump, pull the backwash handle upwards until it stops. Unwind that blue flexible hose to somewhere you won't mind a lot of water and some DE. Turn on pump and wait till the water runs clean then shut off the pump. Return the backwash valve to the normal position. You will then need to recharge the DE filter per instructions in the manual.
    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    First, fear is common but easily overcome. Courage is fear that has said it's prayers.

    Note the pressure on the filter's pressure gauge and let us know the result.

    The green one controls how water get to the pump. Typically, this configuration is for the bottom drain and skimmer. Make sure the water is 1/2 way up the skimmer mouth.

    Read the Pool School.

    Keep asking questions.

    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: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    First, fear is common but easily overcome. Courage is fear that has said it's prayers.

    Note the pressure on the filter's pressure gauge and let us know the result.

    The green one controls how water get to the pump. Typically, this configuration is for the bottom drain and skimmer. Make sure the water is 1/2 way up the skimmer mouth.

    Read the Pool School.

    Keep asking questions.

    Scott
    Thanks! Fear is definitely an issue with this, but I will attempt to overcome it one step at a time. Things that can explode scare the heck out of me as I once experienced an explosion and was injured.

    I need to print out the manual tomorrow (no printer available at the moment) and read the pertinent bits, then I'll make an attempt.

    I appreciate all the help! And I'll definitely be frequenting this forum and asking questions. Next up after this, I will be working on the water chemistry... I'm sure the pool school will help a lot with that.
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    You say it runs, but the water's not flowing.. see that black coffee-can-looking thing with the clear lid? Is it full of water, and do you see movement? Is it packed full of leaves?

    It's important to know if the water is flowing at all or not. The fact that the pump makes noise doesn't indicate much, except that the motor turns. Somewhere in the side of the pool there will be a skimmer, which should have water halfway up it. Inside (there's a round lid on the deck to lift off) there should be noticeable water movement. Is there? Is the strainer basket inside? Is it full of leaves, sticks, bugs, etc.?

    If all else fails, post your location. There may be someone on the board who lives near by and could come help figure things out. There ain't much to do with pools right now unless you live in a tropical climate, it would relieve boredom.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    You say it runs, but the water's not flowing.. see that black coffee-can-looking thing with the clear lid? Is it full of water, and do you see movement? Is it packed full of leaves?

    It's important to know if the water is flowing at all or not. The fact that the pump makes noise doesn't indicate much, except that the motor turns. Somewhere in the side of the pool there will be a skimmer, which should have water halfway up it. Inside (there's a round lid on the deck to lift off) there should be noticeable water movement. Is there? Is the strainer basket inside? Is it full of leaves, sticks, bugs, etc.?

    If all else fails, post your location. There may be someone on the board who lives near by and could come help figure things out. There ain't much to do with pools right now unless you live in a tropical climate, it would relieve boredom.
    The thing with the clear lid... I did not see water going through it. Should I open it and see what's going on in there?

    I cleaned out the skimmer (it was full of leaves), the basket is in there, and water is in it, but no noticeable water movement.

    Oh, and I live in the Phoenix area, it's just starting to really warm up here.
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    Remove the lid on the pump. If there is no water, add a gallon or so and put the lid on tightly enough to seal against the rubber o-ring. Turn the pump back on. Give it few minutes. It should be full of water.

    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: Help with filter

    The thing with the clear lid is called the pump basket. Sometimes you won't "see" water in it because there is no air in basket, a good thing, so it looks clear but sometimes you will see the leaves or debris move around as the water circulates. After you clean out the pump basket, report back what the filter pressure gauge reads.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Remove the lid on the pump. If there is no water, add a gallon or so and put the lid on tightly enough to seal against the rubber o-ring. Turn the pump back on. Give it few minutes. It should be full of water.

    Scott
    The lid on the pump being the "pump basket" as referenced above? This is great guys. Keep it coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    The thing with the clear lid is called the pump basket. Sometimes you won't "see" water in it because there is no air in basket, a good thing, so it looks clear but sometimes you will see the leaves or debris move around as the water circulates. After you clean out the pump basket, report back what the filter pressure gauge reads.
    I'll do this first thing tonight when I get home.
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    Can't see the top of the filter in the pic but is there an air-bleed valve? to release any air trapped in the filter? Also make sure all the valves (if any) are set open and not blocked.
    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: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Can't see the top of the filter in the pic but is there an air-bleed valve? to release any air trapped in the filter? Also make sure all the valves (if any) are set open and not blocked.
    An air bleed valve on top of the filter itself? I believe so, but I'll take a gander at it when I get home... might have more questions about that later. I'll also check the valves, but I think they are both set to "open".
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    The green area valve is the valve coming from the pool (suctions side) coming from your skimmer or skimmers and/or the main drain. Yours is set up just like mine. I have one line coming from the main drain and one line coming from one skimmer. This valve, when working properly allows you to control the amount of water allowed from either line or to shut the line(s) off completely. I looks like your handle is pointed in the right direction to allow equal flow from both lines. If it were pointed so that the handle was pointing away from the line that leads to the pump then it would be closed ("off" would be nearest the line going to pump). That is if the handle is placed properly on the valve. I have two Jandy three way valves like yours but I share one handle between the two as one was lost years ago. I think the handle will go on only one way but I'm not totally sure.

    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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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    The green area valve is the valve coming from the pool (suctions side) coming from your skimmer or skimmers and/or the main drain. Yours is set up just like mine. I have one line coming from the main drain and one line coming from one skimmer. This valve, when working properly allows you to control the amount of water allowed from either line or to shut the line(s) off completely. I looks like your handle is pointed in the right direction to allow equal flow from both lines. If it were pointed so that the handle was pointing away from the line that leads to the pump then it would be closed ("off" would be nearest the line going to pump). That is if the handle is placed properly on the valve. I have two Jandy three way valves like yours but I share one handle between the two as one was lost years ago. I think the handle will go on only one way but I'm not totally sure.

    gg=alice
    Thanks Alice!
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    With valves for pools, an easy way to remember the positions is that the control always points to what it's closing; imagine the valve handle is the back of an arrow. In your case, the side labeled "off" is the "front" of the arrow.

    In the picture, it's pointing to nothing, so it's closing nothing.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

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    Re: Help with filter

    OK, I cleaned out the pump basket, which was full of leaves and stuff, so I think that was the problem. Put water in it and closed the lid. Started the pump, and the PSI jumped to 20. Shut it off and opened the bleeder valve to release the air. Turned the pump back on and it jumped to 20 again!

    I'm scared it will blow up. Suggestions?
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by pooln00b
    OK, I cleaned out the pump basket, which was full of leaves and stuff, so I think that was the problem. Put water in it and closed the lid. Started the pump, and the PSI jumped to 20. Shut it off and opened the bleeder valve to release the air. Turned the pump back on and it jumped to 20 again!

    I'm scared it will blow up. Suggestions?
    Open the bleeder while it's running, that will get the air out. Just crack it a little bit; as soon as water starts coming out, close it.
    20 psi may be okay for your filter - mine runs at 16 right after a cleaning.

    I'd say get the air out and let it run a while. Look for good water flow in the skimmer and in the outlets, listen for any weird noises, and if things are good, relax.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Help with filter

    20 PSI is not unusually high so you are fine. Do you happen to know what size pump you have? If you can't find a model #, on the motor nameplate should be both a horse power (HP) and service factor (SF) rating. Also, you want to have the pump running when you bled the air out of the filter. Just open the air valve enough to hear it hissing.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Help with filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by pooln00b
    OK, I cleaned out the pump basket, which was full of leaves and stuff, so I think that was the problem. Put water in it and closed the lid. Started the pump, and the PSI jumped to 20. Shut it off and opened the bleeder valve to release the air. Turned the pump back on and it jumped to 20 again!

    I'm scared it will blow up. Suggestions?
    Open the bleeder while it's running, that will get the air out. Just crack it a little bit; as soon as water starts coming out, close it.
    20 psi may be okay for your filter - mine runs at 16 right after a cleaning.

    I'd say get the air out and let it run a while. Look for good water flow in the skimmer and in the outlets, listen for any weird noises, and if things are good, relax.
    OK, I did this and the water seems to be flowing out of the jets etc. It's running at about 21 PSI right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    20 PSI is not unusually high so you are fine. Do you happen to know what size pump you have? If you can't find a model #, on the motor nameplate should be both a horse power (HP) and service factor (SF) rating. Also, you want to have the pump running when you bled the air out of the filter. Just open the air valve enough to hear it hissing.
    It's dark now so I can't find the number, but I'll check it first thing in the morning.

    Thanks guys!
    20,000 gallons, Nautilus FNS DE filter, IG, plaster

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