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Thread: Flocculant and Pollen

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    Flocculant and Pollen

    I have had a constant problem with pollen in my pool for the 3 years I've owned it. My sand filter just doesn't catch the super-fine dust that gets in the water. This problem is in many threads on this forum with many mistaking it for mustard algae. I've already been down that road(more than once) and am almost positive that pollen is the nemesis of my pool.
    Things I've tried in the past include skimmer socks, DE in the filter, and frequent backwashing. Tried a clarifier once but that did nothing.
    Would a flocculant work with pollen or is that likely a waste of money too?
    The only other thing I can think of is that I'll have to switch to a different kind of filter?....
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    I have the same problem with pollen and my sand filter. I've entertained the idea of putting either a very fine (1 or 2mic) cartridge filter after the sand filter or a small DE filter after the sand filter. I've even thought about putting the very fine filter as a side stream after the sand filter. Of course you could just replace the sand filter with a large DE filter. I don't think floc will be a solution. It might be a one time bandaid but not a solution.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    If you want to explore the possibility that a better filter would help, you could try attaching a Slime Bag to the return. The Slime Bag is an extremely fine filter that isn't all that expensive but has lots of disadvantages for long term use (difficult to clean, needs to be visible in the pool, has to be replaced occasionally, etc). By trying that out for a week or two you can find out reasonably inexpensively if having a better filter could help in the long run.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    jmack1159's Avatar
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    I have been putting knee high ladies hose over the skimmer basket. You will have to watch it closely though because once it catches the pollen it will bog down. I did this Saturday after we had a pretty heavy rain. I vacuumed and then put the hose over the basket and went to town for about two hours. When I got back it was full and I removed it. The top of my water was perfect. Hope this helps.
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    Sand filters will catch particles around 25 microns, I dont know how fine hose will catch but I doubt its that small. The fact that the hose catches pollen and a sand filter won't points towards chaneling of the sand filter which can occur after a relatively short time, a service of the sand filter maybe in order.

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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by budysr
    I have had a constant problem with pollen in my pool for the 3 years I've owned it. My sand filter just doesn't catch the super-fine dust that gets in the water. This problem is in many threads on this forum with many mistaking it for mustard algae. I've already been down that road(more than once) and am almost positive that pollen is the nemesis of my pool.
    Things I've tried in the past include skimmer socks, DE in the filter, and frequent backwashing. Tried a clarifier once but that did nothing.
    Would a flocculant work with pollen or is that likely a waste of money too?
    The only other thing I can think of is that I'll have to switch to a different kind of filter?....
    This is the reason virtually everyone out my way uses DE filters but not so much for pollen but the extremely fine dust, some of which (only enough that you can see some in front of light at night) makes it through even a DE filter. The Slime Bag is a hassle to clean but the big Backwash one only has to be cleaned every few days to a week. The fuller it gets the better it filters the finer stuff. It only filters down to 1 micron which is just a little better than a DE filter using DE but using cellulose the DE filter catches much more fine stuff. It takes more backwashing to get the cellulose dislodged from the grids though.

    I opened my Pentair DE Quad 80 yesterday to clean the cartridges (used instead of flat or curved grids) and it took almost as much water to rinsed the grids as it takes to do a long backwash. I'll post pictures later. I've backwashed the filter almost every week for two months and it was amazing how much cellulose and clay still remained on the cartridges.

    I have two Slime Bags and used them with submersible pumps when I was waiting for my new filter and pump to be installed. I used them for over a month. The big Back Wash one is a real hassle to get out of the pool as it is so heavy. Lots of stuff still came out of it when I disturbed it. You're looking at close to $90 for the large Back Wash Slime bag. I'd put my money into a good, over sized DE filter.

    The only hose that comes close to catching the very fine stuff is very heavy women's tights. I use those in my Pool Blaster and have to change it out every few minutes when I'm doing the shallow end of pool for quick clean up. Some fine stuff makes it though. I haven't found any hosiery that catches down to 1 micron.

    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: Flocculant and Pollen

    I don't think that a floc will help you.

    You're in a bit of a pickle because of the heavy pollen that you have to deal with down there and the fact that for every bit of pollen you filter out, there is more being added, 24/7, by the trees.

    I think that I already know the answer to this but I am going to ask you anyway...how long are you running your filter? You may have to increase the run time to compensate a bit.

    For your situation, and you have already mentioned it, I believe that you are probably going to have to switch to a different filter to achieve the results that you are looking for. Either a large cartridge filter or a large DE filter. Since you already have a sand filter and are familiar with how they work (sorta similar to a DE filter), a DE filter would be the natural choice to make. They have the best filtration of any filter. Find the size that is called for with your pool and get the size larger than that.
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    Thanks everybody for the suggestions. I run the pump mainly on low for maybe 12 hours a day. I don't know if more pump time would help. The pollen builds up on the floor much quicker when the pump is on, especially when on high(another reason I know this is pollen and not algae). I've tried the last couple of vacuumings to manually vac to waste in hopes of "reducing" the amount thats already in the water. That hasn't seemed to help much so far other than dumping alot of water. I have opened up the filter before and do not have channeling. There are many trees, mainly oak, near the pool so there is plenty of sources for the pollen.
    I guess I'll start to look into a DE or cartridge
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Flocculant and Pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by teapot
    Sand filters will catch particles around 25 microns, I dont know how fine hose will catch but I doubt its that small. The fact that the hose catches pollen and a sand filter won't points towards chaneling of the sand filter which can occur after a relatively short time, a service of the sand filter maybe in order.
    Teapot - check your PMs - upper left hand corner next to User Control Panel.
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