Backwashing, rinsing, waste and when to remove the Drain cap

johnnierotten

Active member
May 5, 2020
29
Ga
Backwashing, rinsing, waste and when to remove the Drain cap when using the Intex sand and saltwater pump with Zeosand.

We are just getting started witha 15x48 Intex Easy Set pool and are new to using a sand/saltwater pump. Go the sand in and pump flowing yesterday late afternoon (no chlorinator running yet as we didn’t have time to add the salt). We did what we thought was a backwash and rinse as the setup instructions stated, but were not sure if we did it right and were somewhat confused - we weren’t sure when the Drain cap was supposed to be on or off, like should we remove it for backwashing/waste and for Rinse should the Drain cap be back on? We finally got the pump going in what we thought was pretty normal functioning and ran it 5 hours into the night. Now the water is cloudy and there is sandy stuff in the bottom in some places. See attached pics.

Additional details of some of the things that happened along the way:
1. When checking on the pump in the night, there was a lot of air it seemed in the pump filter basket. I tried bleeding it to no avail. I finally discovered, on a letter check at 12:30am, that one of the two water in tubes had the plunger valve closed. I opened it at that time (the other tube had been open so there was water flow the whole time, just less.
2. When we first did the start up of the pump we did the “backwash” with the drain open, but for the Rinse we started with it open and then closed it because we just were not sure what to do and the instructions did not say.
3. The pool has been up for about a week, 6 days, and we have not had the pump connected as we were waiting on hoses. We have been covering it most of the day and night, except about 2 hrs a day for swimming. We have been adding instant liquid chlorine granular to a small bucket of water and adding that to the pool each evening before covering it.
3. We thought we would only be using 50 pounds of the Zeosand versus 100 pounds of #20, but it took about 75 pounds to get the sand to be in the Min-Max range before startup. We filled the sand tank half with water and then started
4. The pool had been clear until we hooked up the pump and ran it yesterday evening.
5. I was first testing the water with the Taylor kit suggested on here and everyday the FC would be none, then I would add the instant chlorine and like 5 minutes later it would be about 16-16.5, then the next day zero. Assuming this was normal and the sun and organisms were eating up the FC, hence the need to add more each day.
6. Today we are going to add the salt (95lbs) and stabilizer (.9 lbs) and run the pump for 24 hrs before running a new set of water tests and turning on the SWG part of the pump.

So, we need help with
1. Getting the sand and cloudiness out (assuming it is because of the sand being backwashed into the pool but we are not sure).
2. Learning when to backwash and how to do it properly.
3. Understanding when to have the drain cap on/off the 6 way valve.
4. How much air is okay in the pump filter basket.
5. Understanding how to read the pressure gauge, IE what are we looking for aside for it to be in the “green” when running?
6. When it says to backwash until clear, does that mean like perfectly clear or mostly clear? Judge this clearness only using the little view tube or also the water spewing out the Drain hole?
7. Is it normal for a huge amount of water to get backwashes before it runs clear? And then do you just keep adding fresh hose water back to the pool?DC4F14B9-7BFD-4888-811C-04054C1E8817.jpeg10A9A0A9-D297-4327-BE42-14F96DF38653.jpeg4BD660D8-F4FA-4910-8906-E4DFAA8D7AA7.jpeg264524A2-28D4-4173-84F1-94B0922DA4B3.jpegBBBFD83C-D98A-4293-9671-EF3B01259E90.jpegDDF9DB3C-0A26-440C-A3A9-D83D42D42287.jpegBD1ADDE8-94E6-4765-ACBF-54053CD6C8DD.jpegDC4F14B9-7BFD-4888-811C-04054C1E8817.jpeg10A9A0A9-D297-4327-BE42-14F96DF38653.jpeg4BD660D8-F4FA-4910-8906-E4DFAA8D7AA7.jpeg264524A2-28D4-4173-84F1-94B0922DA4B3.jpeg73FA4FF3-9DF2-4EBF-B651-7937BACE4F92.pngBBBFD83C-D98A-4293-9671-EF3B01259E90.jpegDDF9DB3C-0A26-440C-A3A9-D83D42D42287.jpegBD1ADDE8-94E6-4765-ACBF-54053CD6C8DD.jpeg0F9EB77F-D3D0-4959-A566-14E2CBF6C2EA.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
So, we need help with
1. Getting the sand and cloudiness out (assuming it is because of the sand being backwashed into the pool but we are not sure).
Vacuuming and filtering should fix the sand. Proper chemistry and filtering should cure the cloudiness.
2. Learning when to backwash and how to do it properly.
3. Understanding when to have the drain cap on/off the 6 way valve.
Backwash when pressure climbs 25% over clean pressure. Drain cap should be off whenever you are doing anything besides filtering. There are articles about filters in Pool School that seem to have gotten misplaced with a server migration this weekend. Keep checking.
4. How much air is okay in the pump filter basket.
After a few minutes' running, there shouldn't be any air in the basket. You may have a bubble stuck in the lid, but that's about it. The water level is much higher than the pump so there's no reason to have air unless you have a suction-side leak, and I'd expect that to leak water when the pump is off because, again, the pump is lower than the pool surface.
5. Understanding how to read the pressure gauge, IE what are we looking for aside for it to be in the “green” when running?
You want to see what the pressure is after a backwash, after it's had a few minutes to stabilize. That is clean pressure. Then you keep an eye on it and backwash when it goes up 25%.
6. When it says to backwash until clear, does that mean like perfectly clear or mostly clear? Judge this clearness only using the little view tube or also the water spewing out the Drain hole?
The sight glass is for people who are some distance from the end of the backwash hose and can't see it. If you can see what's coming out the hose, go by that. When the water coming out looks as clear as the pool water, then it's clear. Because if the pool is cloudy, you can't expect the backwash to be clear.
7. Is it normal for a huge amount of water to get backwashes before it runs clear? And then do you just keep adding fresh hose water back to the pool?
Enough to notice, yes. Huge amounts, no. And then you refill. You can see that too much backwashing will keep your pool chemistry continuously off, so only backwash when the filter shows dirty and not on a schedule.

Final comment: did you use the search box for zeosand to see others' experiences with it?
 

johnnierotten

Active member
May 5, 2020
29
Ga
Thanks for all the good information! We did not know to put a hose on the drain of the pump 🤪

I did search for Zeosand info, and there is a lot of mixed reviews and information on here and other places, but with this pool being relatively small, I thought it would be good to try it before one day possibly investing in a larger set up.

We ran the pump all day yesterday after adding the initial salt. Then I put a little more liquid chlorine in last night than I have been each day and ran the pump all night. This morning we woke to the pool being relatively clear but with streaks of sand along the seams at the bottom. It’s not there yet with chemicals, the ph is a little low and so is the CYA, and we haven’t started the SWG yet, doing that tonight, so hopefully we will get it all straight soon.
 

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johnnierotten

Active member
May 5, 2020
29
Ga
Vacuuming and filtering should fix the sand. Proper chemistry and filtering should cure the cloudiness. Backwash when pressure climbs 25% over clean pressure. Drain cap should be off whenever you are doing anything besides filtering. There are articles about filters in Pool School that seem to have gotten misplaced with a server migration this weekend. Keep checking. After a few minutes' running, there shouldn't be any air in the basket. You may have a bubble stuck in the lid, but that's about it. The water level is much higher than the pump so there's no reason to have air unless you have a suction-side leak, and I'd expect that to leak water when the pump is off because, again, the pump is lower than the pool surface.You want to see what the pressure is after a backwash, after it's had a few minutes to stabilize. That is clean pressure. Then you keep an eye on it and backwash when it goes up 25%. The sight glass is for people who are some distance from the end of the backwash hose and can't see it. If you can see what's coming out the hose, go by that. When the water coming out looks as clear as the pool water, then it's clear. Because if the pool is cloudy, you can't expect the backwash to be clear. Enough to notice, yes. Huge amounts, no. And then you refill. You can see that too much backwashing will keep your pool chemistry continuously off, so only backwash when the filter shows dirty and not on a schedule.

Final comment: did you use the search box for zeosand to see others' experiences with it?
For #5, if our PSI after the first backwash when setting up was 7, then do we backwash again when it is a PSI of about 9 (8.75)?