39 gallons and 3 weeks into SLAM and it won't get clear :(

Desire5292

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
78
Sylvan Springs, Alabama
Hi,
At the risk of sounding incredibly needy (I've asked SO many questions lately!!) I need more help. 😁
It seems like everything has gone wrong with the pool this year. When we first tried to open, the pump wouldn't work and we had to replace it. Then I started SLAMing 3 weeks ago. About a week and a half ago I realized the filter was acting up and leaking so we pulled the top off and replaced the spider gasket. It took a couple days to track one down so I probably was just starting over with the SLAM when we finally got it back together. But it's been another week now.. I've used a total of 39 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine and it WILL not clear up! The algae keeps settling at the bottom so it looks clear other than that, but I'm worried the filter just isn't filtering. When I backwash, the water coming out doesn't look dirty. And since we put the new pump in, it appears to be backwashing differently. I thought it used to run backwards (like water came through the jet from the pool and out the backwash port?) and now it's coming through the skimmer like always. Maybe I'm crazy, but that doesn't seem right? So IF someone can tell me if there's something wrong there, maybe that will fix whatever is wrong with the filter? The chlorine seems to be killing the algae but it doesn't seem like anything is being filtered out of the pool. We really couldn't afford this to start with but I wanted to try to keep it for the kids. It only cost about $200 total last summer. I'm already well over $300 with all the new parts and chlorine and it doesn't look any better! :( I don't mean to complain at all, just need some help to maybe get us on the right track before I give up and get rid of it completely! Thanks in advance!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,635
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Dont be afraid to ask questions. I see lots of chlorine additions, but dont see any test results. Can you post your latest? Do you have any pictures of the pool?

Lastly, try to keep all future questions on this thread. That way people can see the history and be able to better help you. I looked back through some of your other posts and looks like you have deep cleaned your filter and replaced your spider gasket.

I totally get your frustration and hope you do not give up. Post up those pictures and test results and we will help you get through this.
 

Desire5292

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
78
Sylvan Springs, Alabama
Thank you!!! I did clean the filter when I had it taken apart and I'm wondering now if maybe I lost some sand...could that be affecting the filter? But it really wasn't working well before either so probably not. 🙄 I don't know enough and all my guesses are scaring me! Lol. It makes me feel much better to hear from all of you who know what you're talking about! 😋
Here are test results:
FC: 3ppm (I haven't added any more chlorine yet today, I was hoping to figure out the problem first so I'm not wasting any more)
CC: 0.5
CH: 75
TA: 50
PH: 6.8
CYA: 20 (I've added a lot but I've been backwashing way too much --- but since the filter is struggling and seems to lose pressure every few hours, that seemed to be the only option?)

Here are the pictures. It's hard to tell in pictures (my phone doesn't take great ones) but it looks pretty clear other than all the junk on the bottom.
Thanks for all your help!
 

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splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
Thank you!!! I did clean the filter when I had it taken apart and I'm wondering now if maybe I lost some sand...could that be affecting the filter? But it really wasn't working well before either so probably not. 🙄 I don't know enough and all my guesses are scaring me! Lol. It makes me feel much better to hear from all of you who know what you're talking about! 😋
You're welcome! This forum is great!! Can you turn everything off, then open the sand filter again and check that the sand is at the top of the widest part? That is where our sand fills to when we first fill it. Sand does not work fast on fine particles, but it does a good job with enough time!

FC: 3ppm (I haven't added any more chlorine yet today, I was hoping to figure out the problem first so I'm not wasting any more)
PH: 6.8
You need to raise your PH slightly (aim for 7.2/7.4 min with vinyl) and I would definitely be keeping the FC at least FC/5. But great that some is holding!

Be sure to do the CYA test in bright light, either outside with full sun at your back or near daylight bulbs inside.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,635
Prosper, TX (DFW)
... and I would definitely be keeping the FC at least FC/5.
I'm going to slightly disagree here. I would get it back up to SLAM level, which is 10 for CYA of 20. To the OP, please dont let it get down to FC of 3 again if you are in a SLAM.

I know that you may have other things going on with your filter, etc. but chlorine is the priority and should be maintained as you are working through any other issues.

Also, I was looking at your pictures. What is that stuff on the bottom? It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks bigger like leaves to me. Are you using a cleaner/vacuum to get that stuff up?
 
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Desire5292

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
78
Sylvan Springs, Alabama
Thank you both!!! There are some leaves on the bottom but it's mostly algae. I hadn't tried to vacuum it yet because I was worried about the filter. Should I vacuum to waste?
Also... apparently I was wrong about water coming from the other direction during backwashing, but is it supposed to flow into the pool? Sometimes (not always) there's a small amount of water flowing in the return jet during backwashing and it looks like it may be dirty.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
Thank you both!!! There are some leaves on the bottom but it's mostly algae. I hadn't tried to vacuum it yet because I was worried about the filter. Should I vacuum to waste?
Also... apparently I was wrong about water coming from the other direction during backwashing, but is it supposed to flow into the pool? Sometimes (not always) there's a small amount of water flowing in the return jet during backwashing and it looks like it may be dirty.
You might need to reseat/reset the filter multiport, you definitely should not have dirty water (esp from backwashing) in the return
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
288
Memphis
There are some leaves on the bottom but it's mostly algae. I hadn't tried to vacuum it yet because I was worried about the filter.
You need to be brushing the heck out of the algae spots. The algae will get killed by the FC much faster when it is stirred up in the pool. Use a leaf net to get the big/medium leaves out. The FC is going to be fighting the organics in your water and algae/leaves are organics.