I'm fairly new to the forum, having lurked on this and www.poolforum.com for about a month now.
I have a problem I was hoping someone could help me with. We bought a house in the fall, with an 18X40' IG vinyl liner pool. It is a fairly old pool, but seems to be mostly in good shape so far. Originally when we bought the house, we planned on filling in the pool, since we really aren't pool people, and we don't get much of a season up where we are, but decided to try it out for a season and see whether or not we wanted to keep it or not, since when else would we have this chance.
After much work, I finally got the pool cleaned up and pretty much clear, over the last three weeks. The water is clear, the pH and chlorine are looking good, but I do have one problem, "dirt" coming out of the returns from the sand filter. I put a skimmer bag over one of the returns to make sure that is where it was coming from, and so I could take a closer look, and it definately is dirt, and not sand being shot back into the pool. After backwashing thoroughly a few times, I still have the problem.
After reading other posts on other people who had this problem, I tried to check on the sand levels in the filter (Swimquip, an older one, no model number). I cracked it open, looked inside, and there was a big plastic contraption sitting on top of the thing, attached to the tube that runs down the center of the filter. The plastic piece consists of a circular slotted basket type thing, with a plate that blocks it off all except for a certain spot. I was able to figure out that this piece is what controls where the water goes when you change the settings on the filtration mode (waste, backwash, etc). I tried to remove this piece, but it will just not come off, it seems permanently attached. When I tried forcing it, I ended up breaking a few of the small plastic pieces off. Since we might be filling in the pool anyways, thats where I stopped, since I didn't want to actually break the thing.
Is anyone familiar with how to remove this? I want to get in and check the sand level/condition, since that seems to be what it probably was (the seal to the filter had been caulked shut with very old caulking, so its probably low/old sand in it), but I don't want to break the thing and be stuck buying a new filter.