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Thread: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Richardson, TX
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    My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Hello,

    Still fairly new to all of this. In the past month I have drained my pool completey, acid washed it, filled it back up. Since i have done this my pool is nice and blue, well blue anyway. I notice white powder in the bottom of my pool all the time now. I have swept and vacuumed the pool every other day for the past week and still cloudy and powdery. I noticed tonight that when my pump kicked on my returns were feeding the white powder into my pool. I have a D.E Filter and I backwashed 5 days after filling my pool back up. I was told to wait that long since i added stabilizer when i filled the pool. My test results are:

    FC 7
    Ph 7.6
    Alk 90
    CYA 40
    TDS 400
    CH 260

    It must be stable because I am not having to add anything for the past 3 days. I test every night and every morning since i filled the pool 2 weeks ago. I use bleech to add the Chlorine and I have one float with 3ea 3" tabs in it. My pool is 18,000 gallon in ground gunite pool with white walls and an attached jacuzzi. I have the main drain open all the time unless i am vacuuming, I have the skimmers open all the time, I have the jacuzzi drain partially open unless we are in it then i close the drain. I run my polaris 360 when the pump is on 10 hours a day. I do not have a multi position valve. I backwash using a T style valve.

    What do i need to do to get the returns to stop feeding the powder (I am assuming D.E.) back into the pool?
    Steve from Texas

    18000 gallon kidney shaped gunite pool with attached jacuzzi

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Since you don't have a rinse setting on your backwash valve, it is to be expected that you will get just a little DE in the pool each time you backwash. However, DE should not be getting into the pool at any other time. One thing that can allow DE into the pool is a small tear in the fabric covering one of the grids/fingers inside your DE filter. If you feel up to it, you can open up the filter and examine each of the grids/fingers for tears. Any with tears will need to be replaced.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    I'm not a big believer in backwashing DE filters to begin with. Odds are you didn't get a large chunk of the DE out, and now having added a full load you'll have way more than you need. I suggest opening the thing up and having a look at your grids and cleaning them off by hand.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Hi Steve, welcome to TFP!!

    Here is a link to some advice I gave last spring on use and care for DE filters - it might be worth a read.

    Jason and Tim gave you great advice! You need to get inside the filter and see what's going on. While you've got it open also check the manifold for cracks, that the O-ring that seals the shaft the manifold sits on is there and in good shape and that the grids fit into the manifold fully.

    BTW
    Tim said "cleaning them off by hand."
    That's just ridiculous! You want to use a garden hose with a pressure nozzle! :P

    Let us know what you find when you open the filter.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  5. Back To Top    #5
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    I'm not a big believer in backwashing DE filters to begin with. Odds are you didn't get a large chunk of the DE out, and now having added a full load you'll have way more than you need. I suggest opening the thing up and having a look at your grids and cleaning them off by hand.
    I second that!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
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    SE Minnesota
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    You may want to quit using those tabs in your floater, unless you are trying to get your CYA higher. Those tabs all contain CYA.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
    Meteor Sand Filter
    1.5 HP pump

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    "I'm not a big believer in backwashing DE filters to begin with. Odds are you didn't get a large chunk of the DE out, and now having added a full load you'll have way more than you need. I suggest opening the thing up and having a look at your grids and cleaning them off by hand."

    Makes sense.
    So you always do this, & never backwash?

    You remove the top half of the canister & remove the plug on the bottom & hose it off letting everything go out the plug hole

    or

    the 2-man job of lifting the grid system off the manifold & taking it out of the cannister & hose it off in the grass?

    Thanks
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
    Pentair Whisper Flow Pump 1HP. Winter safety cover w anchors.
    Sand filter, Pentair Sand Dollar Top Mount Model SD80; Effective Filtration Area 3.5SF
    - FlowRate 75GPM, 8Hr 36,000, 10Hr 45,000, 12Hr 54,000; Pressure Weight 50PSI
    BBB (Hayward Chlorinator when leave town). Polaris 360 cleaner.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    sammm's Avatar
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny B
    the 2-man job of lifting the grid system off the manifold & taking it out of the cannister & hose it off in the grass?
    That's how I clean mine. I usually disassemble the grids to be able to clean them more thoroughly. Just pay attention to how it's put together before you take it apart. Note the 'small' grid placement to clear the fill pipe inside the filter.
    WetEdge Satin Matrix, 16K gallon, Pentair NSP-60 DE filter, Pac Fab Challenger, 2HP pump, BBB, Polaris 360

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    "I usually disassemble the grids to be able to clean them more thoroughly."

    Is that what most of you guys do? Not trying to avoid the work, but if hosing them in the grass un-assembled has worked well, I'd do that.

    Un-assembling & re-assembling takes you guys how long?
    Both are 2-man jobs, right?
    Reason I ask these is perhaps I'm doing it them hard way.

    Thanks
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
    Pentair Whisper Flow Pump 1HP. Winter safety cover w anchors.
    Sand filter, Pentair Sand Dollar Top Mount Model SD80; Effective Filtration Area 3.5SF
    - FlowRate 75GPM, 8Hr 36,000, 10Hr 45,000, 12Hr 54,000; Pressure Weight 50PSI
    BBB (Hayward Chlorinator when leave town). Polaris 360 cleaner.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    1 person can do it, it's easier for 2 people to lift out the grids (if you do it by yourself and can't lift the grids out, they have too much DE on them - you can either backwash the filter before taking it apart or use a hose to get a lot of the DE off them before trying to lift them out).

    You don't have to disassemble them to hose the grids, it's just a LOT drier for you and you can get all the DE off without having to keep turning and flipping the whole assembly.

    Another way that is 'quick and dirty' and guarantied to get you soaked is to use the 'waste' function (if you have one of those cheep roll up backwash hoses), roll out the hose, turn on the pump (to waste), pinch the end of the hose and blast the crud out of the grids
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Thanks that helps.
    I’ve often wondered if hosing the grid with a water gun on the garden hose was enough to create a tear? Or only if the grid is in poor/old condition is this an issue?

    Thanks
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
    Pentair Whisper Flow Pump 1HP. Winter safety cover w anchors.
    Sand filter, Pentair Sand Dollar Top Mount Model SD80; Effective Filtration Area 3.5SF
    - FlowRate 75GPM, 8Hr 36,000, 10Hr 45,000, 12Hr 54,000; Pressure Weight 50PSI
    BBB (Hayward Chlorinator when leave town). Polaris 360 cleaner.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    I'd say that any grid that's not going to be torn by regular use (like it's old and brittle anyway) isn't going to be ripped by any hosing less than that done with a pressure washer with the tip held right on the grids (with a pressure washer I can etch my name in concrete or carve it in wood, if I'd like )

    You're trying to get a handle on your DE filter and the cleaning (I just answered your other post) and I heartily congratulate you on being as dedicated as you are to do the research to know what you're doing!

    Keep it up before you know it you'll be answering some of these questions here
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
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    Re: My returns are blowing white powder in my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex View Post
    I'm not a big believer in backwashing DE filters to begin with.
    Please explain?
    Gunnite IG , DE FNSP36, FR90, 14000 gal.

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