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Thread: Sand Filter

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    Sand Filter

    OK, I admit it -- I've had this inground pool for almost 15 years and have never had to do anything but sunbathe until now. Some friends helped me get the pool open a couple of weeks ago and now the real maintenance begins.

    I know about chlorine tablets, skimmer baskets, and the vacuum-thingy. But here's my real problem: my filter's pressure gauge starts on about 5 and quickly drops to 0. A lot of air comes out of the water returns (is that what they're called?) and the advice I've gotten from another pool owner is that the sand probably needs to be replaced.

    I've enlisted a willing helper but I can't find any information on the filter tank. It's about the size of a 55-gallon drum but has no manufacturer's information on it and I don't have a service manual. I know from your forum that I need to be sure to get "pool filter" sand but how much should I buy? One person said to get a 40-pound bag and another one told me to get (3) 50-pound bags. That's quite a spread!

    Please give me advice on what to buy, how much to buy and any information you can provide on how to change the sand.

    Oh, also it appears that the gasket around the top of the filter tank may need to be replaced. Where can I buy gaskets for a filter? How do I know what size to get? Thank you, thank you, thank you for any help you can provide!

    SallieMander
    NevBob
    In ground 24,000 plaster sand filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Welcome to TFP.

    My sand filter is around the same size, and it needs 300lb of sand.

    But your problem sounds more like an air leak or a sticking skimmer weir than a sand issue.

    Make sure all your drain plugs in the pump have well lubricated O-rings on them, that the pump strainer basket lid has a well lubricated O-ring and is tight, and that the water level inside the skimmer is at the mark on the faceplate and that it remains constant while the pump is running.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Welcome to TFP

    Listen to what John said. Also, can you take a pic of your equipment and post it here? That'll help us help you.

    P.S. You might want to edit your post and remove your real email address.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Thank you! You have both been very helpful. Yes, I will take a picture tonight and post it here.
    NevBob
    In ground 24,000 plaster sand filter

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Progress – I found the label on the filter! It is a Tagelus Purex Triton TA-60/60D and I’ve found part of an owner’s manual online. If I am understanding correctly, the problem with the low pressure may not be the sand but may actually be that the drain plugs and O-rings need to be lubricated and/or replaced. Is this something a novice can do or do I need someone with pool filter experience? I live in a rural area and pool companies are few and (very) far between. Can I order parts directly from a company? Any suggestions?

    I should probably go ahead and replace the sand now anyway. I read somewhere that I need #20 silica sand. Where can I buy that? The part of the owner's manual that I found online doesn't give any instructions on how to go about doing that. Is there a website that you recommend for instructions?

    I'll try to attach a couple of pics. [attachment=1:1im31irs]122a.jpg[/attachment:1im31irs] [attachment=0:1im31irs]123a.jpg[/attachment:1im31irs]

    Thank you for your advice!

    SallieMander (rookie in NC)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    NevBob
    In ground 24,000 plaster sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Your pressure gauge reads zero after a few minutes and the pump basket is full of air? Is that correct?

    Don't be so quick to replace the sand. Most all the parts can be bought online, and if you're handy, can be replaced fairly easily.

    Lets concentrate on finding the real problem before we start throwing parts at it.

    Did you check the weir for sticking, like John mentioned?
    Also check and lubricate the pump strainer housing lid.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Yes, the basket on the side (we call it the strainer basket as opposed to skimmer baskets in the sides of the pool) is loosing water and filling up with air. That's when the pressure gauge goes to zero. The weirs (I had to look that up in the dictionary! ) in each of the skimmers move freely. No, I haven't lubricated the pump strainer housing lid but I will try that tonight. Dumb question: what should I use to lubricate that?
    NevBob
    In ground 24,000 plaster sand filter

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Confirming what others before me have said, I would forget about the sand. You have an air leak. When you turn the pump on, air is being sucked into your system somewhere between the pump and the skimmer.

    Once you find and fix that leak(s) your psi will go up and stay up and your operation will be normal. Most pool stores sell an o-ring lubricant for the strainer basket lid if that's the issue. Other common sources of leaks are at the unions (only between the pump and the skimmers) drain plugs loose at the bottom of the strainer basket, and cracked piping almost always on the surface.....it's very rare to find cracked pipes underground but possible. Anyway, you have to find that (those) leak(s) to solve your issue.......the sand will not help
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    If you don't have any silicon o-ring lube you can run water over it with a garden hose and see if the bubbles lessen in the strainer basket housing. That way you'll know if that's where part of the problem lies.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Sand Filter

    In a pinch you can use vasoline as a lube/sealant for the pump lid. The old pump I'm using while I sort out my new pump mess actually has a sticker on it that says lube with vasoline before use. Chances are if the pump has been sitting quite a while you will need a new/want a new o-ring and if the vasoline cures the air leak you can order one and silicone lube at the same time.

    The old pump I borrowed had been sitting dry for some time, and it did exactly what yours is doing until I lubed it with vasoline.

    Don't be shy, slather it but good

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    Re: Sand Filter

    I'm baaaack! OK, it has been raining and it took me a bit to get out there. The problem is definitely leaks on the valve and around the strainer basket. I tried the vaseline on the strainer basket lid but it's too far gone. What's the recommendation? Should I see if I can get the gasket for the valve or is it better to replace the whole valve? Also, what about the strainer basket? Can I replace the gasket there? If I can find part numbers, do you have a recommendation where I can buy it online?

    Have I mentioned lately that you guys are my heroes?
    NevBob
    In ground 24,000 plaster sand filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Most common gaskets are available at Leslies or other pool stores. If you can find brand and model numbers for the valves and pump, it shouldn't be too hard to find.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Sand Filter

    What specifically is causing you to suspect valve leakage? I'd replace the o-ring around the lid first and lube it up real good before I'd mess with replacing the gasket in the valve.

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    In a pinch you can use vasoline as a lube/sealant for the pump lid.
    I'm actually going to disagree here. Vasoline is a petroleum based product. Therefore, it should not be used to lubricate anything that is also a petroleum based product (i.e. rubber seals). I wouldn't really even use it in a pinch. Vasoline will be difficult to remove once a proper sealant is found. Also, if it does work for a bit, the temptation is naturally going to be, well..its working just leave it alone.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    In a pinch you can use vasoline as a lube/sealant for the pump lid.
    I'm actually going to disagree here. Vasoline is a petroleum based product. Therefore, it should not be used to lubricate anything that is also a petroleum based product (i.e. rubber seals). I wouldn't really even use it in a pinch. Vasoline will be difficult to remove once a proper sealant is found. Also, if it does work for a bit, the temptation is naturally going to be, well..its working just leave it alone.
    I agree and is why I wrote "in a pinch", but the pump I borrowed to use while my new one gets sorted out actually has a sticker on it that says specifically to use vasoline. I was surprised when I saw it.

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter

    Lowes carries the lube you need in the plumbing aisle in a little grey container on a hanging card. Its also used or assembling faucet parts.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Sand Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    In a pinch you can use vasoline as a lube/sealant for the pump lid.
    I'm actually going to disagree here. Vasoline is a petroleum based product. Therefore, it should not be used to lubricate anything that is also a petroleum based product (i.e. rubber seals). I wouldn't really even use it in a pinch. Vasoline will be difficult to remove once a proper sealant is found. Also, if it does work for a bit, the temptation is naturally going to be, well..its working just leave it alone.

    Number one rule in organic chemistry: Like dissolves like…
    24,480gal True L. 1.0HP pump. Sta-Rite Cristal-flo T240BP1 with a WC112-147/148 multiport.

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