Debris Keeps Accumulating After Vacuuming

coralbear

New member
Jun 21, 2021
3
Cincinnati, OH
Pool Size
6700
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
My husband and I are first year pool owners. Whenever we vacuum, the pool looks great for a few hours to a day, and then the whole bottom is covered in little mounds of black debris. We’ve replaced our cartridge filter and vacuum head. A technician has come out and serviced our filter. He said everything should be working great, but it’s not. Any advice on what may be happening?

-Could our vacuum hose be damaged? (We feel light suction from the vacuum head when the vacuum is connected.)
-Could something be going on with our filter?
-Could it be normal for this much dirt and debris to accumulate within hours after vacuuming?

We’ve tried what we can think of and would greatly appreciate any pool advice/wisdom that can be offered. Thank you!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,079
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! The first thing we like to rule out is issues with water chemistry. Do you have a current set of test results? Could you edit your signature to tell us more about your pool? Does the debris feel slimy or grainy, does it puff away when brushed? Are there any plants growing close to the pool? How windy is it where you live?
 

coralbear

New member
Jun 21, 2021
3
Cincinnati, OH
Pool Size
6700
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you for getting back to me! We’ve been working on this for awhile and are still having some issues. I edited my signature so that you can see more details about my pool. The debris is neither slimy nor grainy. It’s black, and we’re fairly confident it’s mostly dead bugs. It does puff away when brushed. We started skimming the piles and noticed a bunch of little black bugs come up in the slimmer. (A photo of these bugs is attached. Do you have any idea what they are or how we get rid of them? We’re constantly skimming them from the surface of the water and are thinking that piles of dead ones are sinking to the bottom of the pool.) There are some trees and ivy along the fence, which is about 10-15 feet away from the pool. We live in Cincinnati, and our wind is typically mild outside of our occasional summer storms. We haven’t adjusted chemicals in a few days and just shocked prior to the following results. With a test strip, our current results are roughly: Total Chlorine: 5 ppm, Free Chlorine: 1 ppm, pH: 7.0, Total Alkalinity: 60. This issue was also present when our results from a Leslie’s test on 07/03/21 were Free Chlorine: 6.36 ppm, Total Chlorine: 6.49 ppm, pH: 7.8, Total Alkalinity: 65 ppm, Cyanuric Acid: 90 ppm, Iron: 0.2 ppm, Cooper: 0.1 ppm, Phosphates: 3234 ppm, and TDS: 700 ppm. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!
 

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coralbear

New member
Jun 21, 2021
3
Cincinnati, OH
Pool Size
6700
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi, welcome to TFP! The first thing we like to rule out is issues with water chemistry. Do you have a current set of test results? Could you edit your signature to tell us more about your pool? Does the debris feel slimy or grainy, does it puff away when brushed? Are there any plants growing close to the pool? How windy is it where you live?
Thank you for getting back to me! We’ve been working on this for awhile and are still having some issues. I edited my signature so that you can see more details about my pool. The debris is neither slimy nor grainy. It’s black, and we’re fairly confident it’s mostly dead bugs. It does puff away when brushed. We started skimming the piles and noticed a bunch of little black bugs come up in the slimmer. (A photo of these bugs is attached. Do you have any idea what they are or how we get rid of them? We’re constantly skimming them from the surface of the water and are thinking that piles of dead ones are sinking to the bottom of the pool.) There are some trees and ivy along the fence, which is about 10-15 feet away from the pool. We live in Cincinnati, and our wind is typically mild outside of our occasional summer storms. We haven’t adjusted chemicals in a few days and just shocked prior to the following results. With a test strip, our current results are roughly: Total Chlorine: 5 ppm, Free Chlorine: 1 ppm, pH: 7.0, Total Alkalinity: 60. This issue was also present when our results from a Leslie’s test on 07/03/21 were Free Chlorine: 6.36 ppm, Total Chlorine: 6.49 ppm, pH: 7.8, Total Alkalinity: 65 ppm, Cyanuric Acid: 90 ppm, Iron: 0.2 ppm, Cooper: 0.1 ppm, Phosphates: 3234 ppm, and TDS: 700 ppm. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!
 

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zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,079
Houston, Texas
It sounds like you have a nascent algae bloom and need to complete the SLAM Process. In order to properly slam the pool you will need an FAS/DPD test kit such as a tf100 or a Taylor k2006. The test strips you are using are inaccurate. If you really had a total chlorine of 5ppm and a free chlorine of 1ppm, that means you have combined chlorine of 4ppm. Combined chlorine + free chlorine = total chlorine. Combined chlorine is the waste product of chlorine sanitation, it generally has a harsh chlorine smell and it is not something you want in your pool. While I don't really trust pool store testing either, it probably would have showed up on their test if you had CC of 4ppm.
Currently your chlorine is too low for your CYA level. When you have a CYA of 90ppm and do not use a saltwater chlorine generator, your FC needs to be 10-12 ppm in order to kill any organic debris and sanitize the water. Bringing chlorine to slam levels will kill the bugs and any algae you may have. Also since your CYA is so high it would be best to drain about 60% of the water to get the CYA to a reasonable level, then complete the slam process.
Here is some additional information for you to read.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
FC/CYA Chart
And something I use to explain why TFP's recommendations will look different from pool store recommendations.

The problem with conventional recommendations is that they treat each chemical value as a separate entity that has no relationship to any other chemical value. For example, conventional recommendations only look at chemical values in their individual ranges, such as FC (chlorine) must be between 1-3ppm, without taking into account how other chemical values interact with each other. This is why they will say a CYA of 90 and FC of 2 are "perfect", because they both fall within the acceptable range for each value. However, CYA and Chlorine must be maintained in a proper ratio to each other. If you look at the FC/CYA Chart you will see that if CYA is 90 in a manually chlorinated pool, FC of 2 is far too low and algae will form under those conditions.

TA and pH are another example. Conventional standards want a TA of 90-120 and pH of 7.5 TA is generally only a concern when pH is difficult to balance. If you have a TA of 70 and a pH of 7.5 there is no need to adjust the TA just to meet an arbitrary value. If you do raise the TA to 90, then your pH is also going to rise. If you lower the pH the TA will also drop. pH can be 7.0 to 7.8 in most pools without causing further issues. There is no need to chase a perfect TA and a perfect pH if your pH is in the acceptable range and fairly stable. TA by itself means nothing.

pH and calcium also have a relationship to watch. Conventional recommendation for calcium is 250-450ppm and in most pools this is not a problem. However if you live in an area with very hard water it may be next to impossible to keep the calcium below 450. In that case it is important to keep your pH low, around 7.0, to prevent calcium scale formation in the pool.

Strictly following conventional recommendations can lead you to a pool full of problems if you don't know how the relationships between chemicals work. Knowing these relationships also guides what types of products to use in the pool. If CYA is high enough you don't want to use dichlor granules or trichlor tablets in your pool to provide chlorine. Both of these products contain CYA and will cause CYA to rise over time. The only way to get rid of excess CYA is to drain water out of the pool. It does not evaporate out with the water. Calcium hypochlorite adds calcium to the water along with chlorine. Like CYA, the only way to get rid of excess calcium is to drain water. Liquid chlorine is the only chlorine source that does not add either CYA or calcium to a manually chlorinated pool.

TFP has the real life experiences of thousands of pool owners, plus the opinions of professionals who have read peer reviewed research that supports our pool care method. Our methods work for the majority of private pool owners.
 
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