Backwash Sight Glass question

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
I just backwashed for the first time with my new filter. I let it go for probably a good 2-3 minutes after my first vacuum and then a second backwash after vacuuming again this time for a 5 min or so backwash. I did not see any circulation in the sight glass either time I backwashed. I did see some floating microbs though... but when I tried playing around with the sight glass (tightening or loosening it) water would spray out so I know the water is going through.

Am I supposed to see swirling water in the sight glass (I watched a YouTube video and his was swirling good)? Also, how long do you usually let it backwash and rinse for? Each time the pressure was at or just above 20 and then went back down to 15ish when done with the cycle. Thanks
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Your looking for changes in color/transparency in the water seen through the sight glass. The water should start (and end) clear and fairly white or black in color (depending on valve plastic color). In the middle of the backwash it tends to go cloudy/murky/gray. You then wait for it to go clear again to signal the end of backwashing. It took me a couple of times to figure it out the first time I did it, but after that it was fairly obvious.
 

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
So am I maybe not waiting long enough while backwashing before switching to rinse? it doesn't look like the water is moving at all unless I unscrew the sight glass a little in which case it sprays all over the place. I was watching the little microb looking things to try and determine if it was circulating and they were just floating there in the sight glass.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,271
Franklin, NC
It may just appear clear most of the time and difficult to see the water moving through the sight glass. Mine seldom changes color, just appearing clear most of the time. If I look closely you can see a few air bubbles moving so it does appear to be working OK.

I guess in the final analysis if the pressure goes back down to your "normal" after a backwash you have completed it.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
Maybe in your installation you have a long run and or a restriction in the run for the discharge :confused: and the pressure in the line might restrict how well the water tumbles around in that sight glass. Is yours hard plumbed or do you use a hose and are there any reducers in the line or is it 1.5 inch all the way ??
 

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
Maybe in your installation you have a long run and or a restriction in the run for the discharge :confused: and the pressure in the line might restrict how well the water tumbles around in that sight glass. Is yours hard plumbed or do you use a hose and are there any reducers in the line or is it 1.5 inch all the way ??
I'm not really sure how to answer the first part (over my head); 1.5 all the way for the other part. All I know is that if I even slightly touch the sight glass in one direction or another it sprays water all over the place. Once I get it settled back in place to where it isn't spraying than there is no movement.

Pool Filter 1.jpg

Pool Filter 2.jpg
 
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Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
If the waste water is just blowing out the valve onto the lawn you might want to consider using a hose. http://www.walmart.com/ip/100-x-1.5-Swimming-Pool-Filter-Backwash-Hose/25154483 I don't see one in the pictures. If you don't have one you just need a fitting like this -> http://www.westsidewholesale.com/hayward-spx1091z4.html?keyword=Google_Shopping&mr:trackingCode=48A223FC-0E09-E311-B773-BC305BF933C0&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=49453877605&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=88730794405&gclid=CK7sus7-xL8CFQeHaQodYLMAiw
You might also want to consider removing the valve you have for the waste line. I'm not an installer or an expert but the multiport valve on top of the filter should function as the "valve" to open and close that port and the separate valve would seem unnecessary. I haven't seen any other installation with a valve on the waste line. It might be why you don't get the turbulence in the sight glass. Wouldn't hurt to remove it and give it a try.
 

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
If the waste water is just blowing out the valve onto the lawn you might want to consider using a hose. http://www.walmart.com/ip/100-x-1.5-Swimming-Pool-Filter-Backwash-Hose/25154483 I don't see one in the pictures. If you don't have one you just need a fitting like this -> http://www.westsidewholesale.com/hayward-spx1091z4.html?keyword=Google_Shopping&mr:trackingCode=48A223FC-0E09-E311-B773-BC305BF933C0&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=49453877605&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=88730794405&gclid=CK7sus7-xL8CFQeHaQodYLMAiw
You might also want to consider removing the valve you have for the waste line. I'm not an installer or an expert but the multiport valve on top of the filter should function as the "valve" to open and close that port and the separate valve would seem unnecessary. I haven't seen any other installation with a valve on the waste line. It might be why you don't get the turbulence in the sight glass. Wouldn't hurt to remove it and give it a try.
My brother in law helped me install it. So basically just remove that whole white piece coming out the top right side of the multi valve? I was told by him to not worry about ever really using that waste line so I'm really not sure what it's for or when to use it. If there is nothing there will it only shoot out water if I have it on that setting on the multi-valve? Thanks for the help!
 

timerguy

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
Chapin, SC
Waste is there to bypass the filter. If you never use it, there's no need for the valve, and it being there shouldn't have any effect on the sight glass. I always use backwash when draining excess water from the pool to clean the filter at the same time.
 

PAGirl

TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2012
2,389
Central PA
My water has to he pretty dirty for me to see it in the sight glass. I usually judge it by observing the water as it comes out of the waste hose. When it appears clear, I then rinse.
 

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
My water has to he pretty dirty for me to see it in the sight glass. I usually judge it by observing the water as it comes out of the waste hose. When it appears clear, I then rinse.
So when I backwash I should have water coming out that waste hose? I was told that everything stays inside the filter during backwash. I guess I've been doing it wrong
 

timerguy

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2013
1,141
Chapin, SC
I'm kinda assuming that top hose coming out of the multiport is for backwashing, no? Your pic doesn't quite display enough to tell where everything comes from and/or goes to. Matter of fact, there should be a separate line from the pump to the multiport for waste too.
Here's a link to what my plumbing looks like:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nruzhszglkk8rur/2014-07-14%2011.36.24.jpg

My hunch is you really don't have a waste capability with your set up.
 

jccams

Well-known member
May 22, 2010
95
Dexter, MI
So when I backwash I should have water coming out that waste hose? I was told that everything stays inside the filter during backwash. I guess I've been doing it wrong
Yes, when you backwash or dump to waste the water should be coming out of the hose. The whole point of backwashing is to remove the dirt that has collected in the filter from the system.
 

Beens

TFP Expert
Jul 22, 2013
1,171
Virginia Beach, Va
I'm kinda assuming that top hose coming out of the multiport is for backwashing, no? Your pic doesn't quite display enough to tell where everything comes from and/or goes to. Matter of fact, there should be a separate line from the pump to the multiport for waste too.
My filter only has one "exit" (besides the one back to the pool) I assume it is shared between waste and backwash which is determined by which setting you turn the multi-port to. Could it be that when setting the filter to backwash you're trapping the water in there by having that ball valve closed (not actually backwashing) It would seem that wouldn't be possible and the pressure would cause some kind of issue.

Do some sand filters have two separate "exits" for waste and backwash?

I see the extra hose coming out from his filter but like you, I can't tell where it goes. It almost looks like it's heading back to the pump basket... :shock:

I'm just going to watch this one to learn some more about filters! :)
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
Start at the beginning. You move the handle on the top of the multiport valve to "backwash". That should be at the 6 o'clock position on your vlave. Turn the pump on and water is sucked in through the skimmer(s) and or drain and pumped backwards through your sand filter and out that white valve and should be digging a hole in your yard where it lands. Thought it was odd you didn't have damaged lawn. You shouldn't need that white valve at all just the plastic fitting to attach a hose to move that water a safe way away from the pool area.
If you "backwashed" with that white valve shut there would be no flow, no cleaning of the sand and yes the water in the sight glass would never change. Might want to watch that video on backwashing again.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
I'm kinda assuming that top hose coming out of the multiport is for backwashing, no? Your pic doesn't quite display enough to tell where everything comes from and/or goes to. Matter of fact, there should be a separate line from the pump to the multiport for waste too.
If you go back and forth between the two pictures you can see the intake hose from the skimmer going to the pump and the hose from the pump going to the multiport valve and the return hose leading from the multiport valve back to the pool. What you don't see is a "waste" or "discharge" hose, just that white valve stuck in the outlet.

No clue what you are referring to as a second separate line from the pump to the multiport for waste :confused::confused: There is only one line from the pump to the multiport valve. Pump supplies water under pressure to the valve and the valve determines what it's going to be used for/where it goes.
 

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PAGirl

TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2012
2,389
Central PA


I attach the extra hose to the place you see the grey cap, on the right hand side. I am guessing yours would be the white port (not sure what you call it!) on the side of your pump.
 

Eddy24

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 2, 2014
62
BH (Saratoga Area), NY
Ok, I took a couple more pics (Changed that white eye valve out). If you can see the little sticky notes (A) is the skimmer line; (B) goes from the multi-valve to the pump; its the one that is on the ground coiled in circle; and (c) is the return line. I was using the multi-valve correctly (and shutting off the motor between switches) but you're right the white eye valve was preventing movement. When I just tried backwashing with the nozzle it was spraying water out and the sight glass was spinning like crazy! same when on rinse. I did not try waste though as I'm still not sure what the purpose is or when to do that. Thanks everyone!


Filter 1.jpg

filter 2.jpg

Filter 3.jpg
 

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Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
That cap should be your discharge or waste port where he has that white valve.

On the filter there should be three ports. One is the inlet from the pump, the second is the outlet to the pool (pool return) and the third is the waste or discharge port.

Waste is where you would drop your pools water level or pump it dry if you had a floor drain. In waste the valve is just bypassing the filter and your pump is sucking water from the skimmer and pushing it out the discharge.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
Now it's working ..... Life is GOOD :party::party::party:

Now you just need a hose to move that discharge away from the pool so you don't have a mud pit.