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Thread: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Gave the pool a good vacuuming and brushing this weekend, finished yesterday evening. Ah so beautiful- sparkling water on a light blue new liner- pool is only two weeks old. Tested the chemicals after I cleaned, everything is balanced. It has been raining, raining, which is where I thought all the fine dirt on the bottom was coming from- the winds come up and blow dust all around the pool. Well, no rain last night and very little wind (that I know of). Got up this morning and turned on the pump and it was still squeaky clean. Went out a few minutes ago, pump has been running for 6 hours, and there is that fine dirt on the bottom again. It has not rained, and there has been barely a puff of wind, yet there is the dirt. Is it possible that it is coming from the sand filter? How would I tell? I cannot see anything in the water coming from the inlet- it is as clean as the water in the pool, and therefore invisible to the eye. The sand that we put in the filter was a light color, and this dirt is darker, but not sure whether that is relevant or not.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Since the pool is only a few weeks old I would suggest getting the PS to send someone to look at it. It should be under warranty. Probably a "lateral finger" has come off the main tube running down the center of the pump.
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Please more detail- what is "lateral finger". I want to make sure I understand so that PS cannot sell me more stuff that I don't need.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    The lateral finger that the previous poster is describing is what collects the water at the bottom of the filter to return to the pool.

    I'm a bit skeptical that it's your filter leaking though. If a sand filter is leaking, you'll usually end up with the sand itself coming out. If the dirt coming out is very fine grained, my guess is one of the following:

    1) Its just settling out at a rate higher than you would guess. You get lots of dirt in a pool even without wind, and it will show up particularly clearly in a light coloured pool. Even if its clear after vacuuming, its all "stirred up" into the pool, then after a few hours settles back to the bottom again.

    2) The particles are too small for your filter to catch, so they are making it back into the pool.

    3) Your filter has some channelling, allowing the particles to get through.

    My personal guess is #1, but its hard to tell without seeing the particles or how much there are. One way you can test, is put a skimmer sock, or piece of hose over one of the returns, that will show you whats coming back into the pool with the water.
    Jim

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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    I'm far from being a pool expert,but on my pool it kept getting the "brown dirt"
    in the bottom of mine shortly after cleaning....it was alga....at the time I was using
    BacQuacil........after I 'super clorinated' it and switched to chlorine,,no more problem
    Above ground 24'round-vinyl-14,000 gal,,1 speed-2 hp pump, 250 lb sand filter ..heated,,salted,,lighted,,decked,,with slide and pool rover jr.....
    TFP 100,,am doing the BBB thing...Wet is Wild!

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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Do you live in a desert area? I do. I get that extremely, extremely fine dust in my pool that the desert is famous for. I can not get it fully out. I have a cartridge filter; at first I thought that maybe it was that the dust was too fine for even the cartridge filter. I then watched the vacuum as it worked one day, and realized that even though the vacuum got a lot of the dust out, it would also kick some of the dust up. I have also tried a few manual vacuums, same thing. Anyway, the water would still look clear, but there was still enough dust in the water that it would be visible again when it would settle back down on the bottom of the pool. Everyone around here has that problem; all my friends who own pools say just get it as best as you can.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    We do not live in a desert area, but it can get desert dry. However, we have been getting rain, so I do not think that is the issue. The rain does bring down dirt, but the ground here is black clay, so the residue in the bottom from rain would be black- we have already seen that happen. The chemicals are all balanced, CC=0, and the water is crystal clear- so I am thinking no algae. Plus, the dirt seems to be particulate in nature. It is a golden tawny color- the only dirt that we have here that color is the stuff that went in the filter and the stuff that was put under the pool liner. We have had almost no wind and no rain since I did all that cleaning. The pool bottom was perfectly clear when I finished, and the pump sat OFF all night, so I am reasoning that any settling would have happened during the night. In the morning, the bottom was still clean. I turned on the pump, and 6 hours later, dirt on the bottom- about half as much as I had vacuumed up less than 24 hours ago. It is hard to get a picture, but I tried- see below. This is on the opposite of the pool from the return jet. The wind picked up about an hour ago, so you are seeing the water moving from the wind in the picture- not a patterned liner. i will try again when the wind calms down. We only have one return and one skimmer. The only break in the water flow is the ladder- no fancy steps. I am using BBB- no SWG, no Baqua, or any other substance.
    I am hoping to avoid involving the pool store, as they are 50 miles away and will charge me $150 just to come out and tell me that I do not have a problem, so only want to go to them once I am sure that I do.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Well, it is just dirt. Amazing how fast it precipitates out. I have vacuumed several times now, and sometimes there is more or less. Seems to be some pollen, too, as it is very light and becomes invisible again with very little agitation. I guess I will just always have a little dirt on the bottom, but my water is sparkling, so that is why I can see the dirt. I really like BBB- working well for me so far, and so much easier.
    A side question: my sand filter is leaking very slowly from the top where the valve assembly attaches to the filter body. This seems to have happened after we moved the valve to another position to clean the pump strainer, then returned it back to its normal operating position. It was not leaking before this that I could detect. Since the pool store is a long ways away and wants a fortune to come out and just look at it, any help would be appreciated- suggestions? Is this a problem or just life with a pool filter? Any way to fix? I am not sure that the installer lubricated the main O-ring before installing it. Am I correct in thinking I need to wait until we winterize to do this? That is at least a month away (that is one of the few advantages to living in Texas- long swim season).
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    Quote Originally Posted by amjohn
    Well, it is just dirt. Amazing how fast it precipitates out. I have vacuumed several times now, and sometimes there is more or less. Seems to be some pollen, too, as it is very light and becomes invisible again with very little agitation. I guess I will just always have a little dirt on the bottom, but my water is sparkling, so that is why I can see the dirt. I really like BBB- working well for me so far, and so much easier.
    A side question: my sand filter is leaking very slowly from the top where the valve assembly attaches to the filter body. This seems to have happened after we moved the valve to another position to clean the pump strainer, then returned it back to its normal operating position. It was not leaking before this that I could detect. Since the pool store is a long ways away and wants a fortune to come out and just look at it, any help would be appreciated- suggestions? Is this a problem or just life with a pool filter? Any way to fix? I am not sure that the installer lubricated the main O-ring before installing it. Am I correct in thinking I need to wait until we winterize to do this? That is at least a month away (that is one of the few advantages to living in Texas- long swim season).
    AmJohn...I had the same problem up her in NW Indiana...It is pollen...tree pollen rag weed, whatever. Mines started in late July...I thought it was sand from my ladder...Not...I thought it was mustard algae...not...I finally got an eye dropper and doned my mask and went to the bottom of the pool...Pulled out a couple of samples and put it in a plastic bottle. Then I went and got my son's microscope out and looked at it at about 400X Ya know what I saw...little balls with little spikey things on it...Pollen...Not algae. Have you ever gone out to your pool in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is low on the horizon after you have not been running your filter pump for a few hours...There most like will be a visible layer of specks on the surface...especially if you have trees and plants in abundance in your yard. This all has to go somewhere. If I run the skimmer 24/7 it does not settle into the little nooks and crannies in the bottom of the pool...but that gets expensive...so what i do is I run the filter while the kids are in. It stirs the stuff up and it gets filtered...Also the Above Ground AG pool cleaner takes care of it after a few hours as well. Just get one of those and let it run for a few hours...it is completely automatic...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
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    amjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Dirt in the bottom from sand filter? How do I tell?

    cubbybeave- Thanks, I agree. I finally figured it out when my neighbor mowed his pasture. I went swimming during (bad idea). The amount of stuff floating around in the pool with me was amazing, and the next day the bottom of my pool looked like a lake bottom. I vacuumed most of it up, but some of it is just too fine for the sand filter to catch it and goes right through, so I am getting a skimmer sock. Several people on related posts have had good success with those
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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