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Thread: Replace DE Filter with Sand Filter

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    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    North Central Texas
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    Replace DE Filter with Sand Filter

    EDIT.... Just read another post that reminded me of something. On down you'll see that skimmer action seems to be much less than I would expect for the great flow coming out of returns. For 22 years friend has had constant issues with Cedar/Juniper needles; massive amounts year round. Every time I go over there the skimmers are packed overfilling with needles and pump pot basket is totally filled with the needles. More times than not the pump is running almost dry with psi almost 0. I don't know why the pump didn't go out long ago. Or more often than it has, over the years. I've tried to them to use skimmer socks but when I go back over they are gone. I'm wondering if she may have some blockage in the suction pipes? Maybe time to whip out the ol' devil. See below for more info. I've cleaned out her impeller many times and the needles to make it into the filter.

    This is for my friends pool. I'll later join her up so we can list her pool specs. Moderators, I'll request a transfer of this when I get her joined. Thanks.

    Friends pool is 12-14 K gal sports pool (I think because there are sockets at each side that looks like for volley ball net poles). She told me pool depth is 5.5 in middle and 4.5 on each end. IG kidney, 22 year old plaster. Pipe size, all, 1.5" she has six returns and two simple fountains with separate 1.5" pipe, with ball valve. Returns don't seem to be affected very much with fountain valve opened all the way. One dedicated return for pressure cleaner.

    BTW... she designed the pool (and house) and subbed out the work. Beautiful pool. Most of one side is 4+ ft drop off (is that a shear descent?) where the two fountains are located. Pumping station on high side which puts it about 5 or more ft above pool. Pool light on that wall, pointing away from house. Built 22 years ago. The guy who did all work except for the plaster wanted her blueprint, which she refused, but he went on to put in a whole bunch of pools similar to hers.

    I've been switching it over to BBB all week and it is now in great condition. Almost have the DE and dead algae cleared out from bottom using Aquabot and water has really good sparkle and clarity. It's going to get even better.

    Any DE that has been put into her filter over months has gone back into pool. Her pg opened her DE filter the other day and says the grids don't have any tears. She nor I got to see the grids. Filter is old Stainless Steel (looks really pretty still on outside) 36 sq ft, vertical straight grids. It is running now without any addition of DE because it will just throw it all back into pool. When I open it next week I'm expecting to find more problems, other than grids, and maybe grids too. I'll check her push pull valve too, to make sure it is functioning properly.

    Anyway, any thing we do to this filter is going to cost some $$. Until this past winter the filter has been keeping the pool nice and clear (well as clear as mismanaged chems and constant algae will allow) and seems to be just the right size AND she runs her pump many, many hours a day, year round along with the Polaris booster, which I have cut power to because it is making way too much noise. Hoping to get to that this coming week. For the past 10 years, starting when I became interested in looking at her station, when I'm over there, her starting clean psi on filter has been a little above 20. Several years ago, when I checked it, psi was 30. Pool guy (son of a friend of hers, who was pretty competent) was still there and he said that was normal for her pool, and he usually backwashed when it got a little above 30.

    I haven't found any numbers on old one speed pump, that looks like it might be a Pentair Challenger, or look alike, which was a really popular pump put in, around these parts, past two decades. I doubt it is over 1.5 HPSF just from looking at her electric bill and the skimmer and return flows. Her pad is 5 ft or more higher than pool. Her returns, though, have always seemed to put out much more flow than I would expect them to looking at the flow at both skimmers. Turning off the main drain doesn't seem to affect the skimmer suction much or change the filter psi any so I'm suspecting the ball valve for drain is not shutting off the flow. Both skimmers (on each end of pool) joined somewhere and return to pad via one 1.5" pipe. One separate main drain with ball valve.

    If I took my Nautilus over there (with almost new curved grids) it would still mean $$ for a new manifold and filter piping and threaded males (mine are shot) for her push/pull valve. And labor.

    Money is a HUGE issue for her; disabled and on very fixed income. Since she has very little tiny debris, dust/pollen/hair and mainly Cedar/Juniper constant litter and money being such an big issue I suggested we put in a sand filter. Seeing that the 36 sq ft DE has done a great job in past I'm wondering if we could go with a Sand filter in the 20-30 inch range with valve included. I could do the plumbing for her, maybe. Anything above $300 is going to be too much for her to spend. Ideally, if she had a couple of months to budget she could go a little higher, but we need to do something really quickly. I can't be going over there every day to change out the Aquabot bags that are doing virtually all of the filtering right now.

    Given specs I have would a sand filter in the 20-30" range be feasible? The pool doesn't get very heavy use except a few days a year.

    Thanks for suggestions and help, 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: Replace DE Filter with Sand Filter

    I usually sell a Hayward S244T Sand Filter for pools up to 20x40. It's 24" so you could go even smaller if you wanted to since the pool is kinda small. You would get longer periods between back washings with this 300lbs sand filter, but then when you do have to clean it; it will take longer/more water to clean which could be a problem on a smaller pool. The S244T should be fine.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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