Best method for clearing construction dirt from pool?

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
132
ND
#1
So we finished the pool build last November just in time to get the cover installed prior to our first snow storm. The equipment was never fired up. I pulled the cover back last night, and the top portion of my water (my thermapen only has a 6" probe) was 75 degrees! I got nervous really fast - as I'd like to prevent an algae bloom.

I have my equipment ready to roll, I'm just curious what the best method is to get rid of the construction dirt that made it's way into the bottom of the pool? The floor looks really dirty - some sand from the concrete pour blew in, and a few days of having no cover on the pool and wind deposited some dirt. There's no leaves or anything, it's just dirt / sand.

What's the recommended way to start? I'm thinking that I'd rather not run all of this through my filter...thoughts?

Here's an example on the steps - this actually makes it look minimal, but the entire deep end is covered in the same mixture - it appears it all went to the low spot:

WP_20170416_14_19_48_Pro.jpg
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#2
If you don't want it run through the filter, your options are very limited. With a cart filter you really don't have another choice other than a good Robot with fine filters. Brush the dirt off the steps, and onto the floor, and let the Robot pick it up. Your sig says you have a Dolphin, so put him to work! :p

There is no need to worry about an Algae bloom if your chemistry is right. Make sure it is, and you wont get Algae. What are you testing with?
 

Nursenini

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 22, 2015
2,122
Bixby, Ok
#3
I had a lot of dirt and debris from construction. My robot did a great job of picking it up. Previous to getting the robot, I vacuumed to waste.
Before throwing the robot in to clean the mess, I brushed all the dirt off the steps, tanning ledge and benches (places the robot can't clean) on to the bottom of the pool, turned off the filter, and ran the robot several cycles. I cleaned it in between cycles. Worked beautifully.
 
OP
OP
D

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
132
ND
#4
I have a 3-way valve on the input to the cartridge filter that allows me to send water to waste - this is a picture that I took a few months back.

WP_20170216_14_01_16_Pro.jpg

I'm mostly worried about an algae bloom as my equipment hasn't been started up yet. My pool was basically filled last fall, and Polyquat 60 was added. The chemistry hasn't been adjusted yet, and I don't have circulation yet (hopefully I get that squared away today).

If I throw the robot into the pool, do I need to worry about any rocks and the circular motion of the robot damaging the liner? They backfilled my pool with pea rock, and I'm sure a few fell in when backfilling...
 

Nursenini

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 22, 2015
2,122
Bixby, Ok
#5
Our water feature wall where our scuppers are had to be redone and scuppers replaced AFTER plaster and fill. There was a lot of mortar and rocks in the bottom of the pool. Our robot cleaned it up just fine. We used the leaf net to fish out any large pieces, but the small (half dollar sized and smaller), we let Wall-E (our robot) take care of cleaning up.
 

Nursenini

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 22, 2015
2,122
Bixby, Ok
#6
As for your algae concern, have you tested your water? Do you have a good test kit? I highly recommend the TF-100. It has all the tests you need and ample reagents.
You can run to Walmart (or store of your choice) and get some regular bleach (NOT the scented or splashless!), and go to pool math, put in your pool volume and add the recommended amount of bleach. Then get your chemistry dialed in per TFP recommended levels.

- - - Updated - - -

If you have a serious concern about the rocks tearing your liner, then vacuuming to waste may be your better option.
 
OP
OP
D

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
132
ND
#7
Yes, I have a TF-100 - it's been sitting in the box for a few months - I'll start practicing with it. I'm a little scared of the CYA test after reading other newbies' posts - ha!

I've also done quite a bit of playing / reading in Pool School and Pool Math - I actually started a thread on CYA earlier this weekend since the ORP sensor on the IntelliChem has had multiple reports on the forum that you need to run your CYA lower (like 20 - 30) for it to work reliably for controlling the SWG. I'm going to start with a CYA of 30 and see how things work - my pool will be covered when not in use.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#8
Ok, I didnt know you were worried anout rocks too. :).

So, the Cya test is really easy, if you dont make it hard. Understandably, new users simply try too hard to see the dot, and they are naturally looking for very high precision. Good bright light at your back, waist high, and when the dot is gone, it's gone. It really is that easy. Cya 20 PPM is the low number for that kit, and it is more definate at 40, but if you dont stare and try too hard to see the dot you can read 30 no problem.

If your suction is strong like mine on the high suction setting, your robot may suck up the pea gravel. Or, you might try to vac just those up if you can see any before he goes in and gets the bulk. If you don't want to load up the carts, you dont have much choice unless you want to loose the water. Up to you...

Run your fill water pH, CH, and TA as well during your practice. It will help develop your skill and give you important information. FC and CC too if you wish for practice, but thats all. Post up if you hit a snag, and someone will be here to help. It only seems daunting at first, and gets easier each time. :goodjob:
 

Analogbytes

Bronze Supporter
Dec 22, 2016
291
Arlington, Texas
#9
Careful vacuuming to waste. As much as you had rather those rocks not go into your filter, you don't want them running THROUGH your pump either. What size rocks would your pump basket allow by it?

- - - Updated - - -

Best bet would be to use a net as much as possible. If you are worried about your liner, time to get wet (=
 
OP
OP
D

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
132
ND
#10
I don't think that there's a lot of rock in there, but I'm sure that some got in. I had to look up the definition of pea rock (pea gravel). By definition, it's naturally rounded (no jagged edges) rock that is under 3/8" in diameter.

I have no idea what the stock strainer basket in an IntelliFlow 2 VST (011055) allows through vs catches. Now I'm wondering if any rock made it into the pool if it's better going through the robot or the pump - I'm guessing that neither is optimal. :-S