Dirty floor from return lines

Woodsy27

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
34
Thailand
Hello,

Every day when I run the pump, dirt is showing on the floor from the returns.... First I thought it was dead algae, so vacuumed everyday.....
Then now I have turned the main drain off, so only running the skimmer and the dirt has gone..... So it must be from. The main drain when it's running I think.
I checked the pump baske6and it had dirt/ sand in there.....
So the question is.... Is there anything a can do to collect the dirt/sand when it comes from the main drain.... Or just turn it off...
I live in a very dusty village..


Thanks
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
It almost sounds as though there may be a problem with the main drain. If you turn all water movement (pump) off, does the water level drop? That would indicate a leak. In any case, if the drain is your source of dirt, you can leave it closed or even plug it. A pool can operate just fine with the skimmer suction only. Hope that helps.
 

Woodsy27

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
34
Thailand
It almost sounds as though there may be a problem with the main drain. If you turn all water movement (pump) off, does the water level drop? That would indicate a leak. In any case, if the drain is your source of dirt, you can leave it closed or even plug it. A pool can operate just fine with the skimmer suction only. Hope that helps.
Hi.
No the water level doesn't drop when all turned off..
I'll just do as you say and turn MD off... I just thought it would be better for circulation.

Thanks
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,512
Tucson, AZ
Edit: I might have thought there was a problem with your laterals inside the sand filter if turning off the main drain hadn't fixed the issue. You're sure there's no more sand in the pool now that the main drain is off?
 

Woodsy27

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
34
Thailand
Edit: I might have thought there was a problem with your laterals inside the sand filter if turning off the main drain hadn't fixed the issue. You're sure there's no more sand in the pool now that the main drain is off?
Hi ,
Well I turned the MD off and I still have the same problem.
This morning before I turned the pump on there was no 'dirt' on the floor, within 30mins the the dirt was back. Showing in the grout lines..
Any ideas please
 

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Woodsy27

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
34
Thailand
That certainly changes things. Like Trip said above, might be a good time to consider checking the laterals. Perhaps you have sand getting through to the returns.
Does that mean having to empty the whole Filter...I forgot to mention it's not 'sand' in my Filter but Zelbrite medium..
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Does that mean having to empty the whole Filter...I forgot to mention it's not 'sand' in my Filter but Zelbrite medium..
Typically yes. although I can't speak to the consistency of Zelbrite. But if it's a dirty consistency, you have the following things to consider:
1 - Is it algae? You thought no before, but posting a full set of test results would help to confirm.
2 - Did you have a lot of dust blowing locally? That much should probably be settling on other things in the area.
3 - Is it from the filter (sand or some other filler medium)?
4. A break in the line pulling-in dirt? You're not seeing any water loss, so we initially ruled that out

I think those are the main things that apply to you. right now.
 

Woodsy27

Active member
Mar 17, 2020
34
Thailand
Typically yes. although I can't speak to the consistency of Zelbrite. But if it's a dirty consistency, you have the following things to consider:
1 - Is it algae? You thought no before, but posting a full set of test results would help to confirm.
2 - Did you have a lot of dust blowing locally? That much should probably be settling on other things in the area.
3 - Is it from the filter (sand or some other filler medium)?
4. A break in the line pulling-in dirt? You're not seeing any water loss, so we initially ruled that out

I think those are the main things that apply to you. right now.
Hi thanks, I'll answer each question best I can.

1) is it algae... would it not be all over the floor, not Just where the returns are .( I've still not a good test kit , due to shipping problems.
2) dust.....is everywhere, I live in a village and loads of dust..(but I thought that dust\dirt would settle all over the pool floor)
3 ..not sure. I use Zelbrite..
4.theres 1 small drip from the line after filter.

Thanks
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,284
Houston, Texas
Where the dirt distributes depends on the flow patterns in the pool. Dirt won't distribute in a nice, even pattern on the floor, but in the irregularities, dips and depressions in the pool floor. Most of the dirt will accumulate where it settles after being blown out through the return.
You should be able to tell if the dirt is zelbrite that is blowing through the filter after you collect a sample off the pool floor.
Nascent algae blooms will leave water with a dull appearance and "dirt" on the floor that poofs away when brushed. If it doesn't poof it probably is not algae.
You said you found dirt in the pump basket, was it the same looking type of dirt?
You can also try to vacuum the pool, backwash the filter, then leave the pump off for 8 hours. If you see more dirt after 8 hours it is dropping out of solution and not being blown through the filter. This will rule out a problem with the filter.
 
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