I have no clue what to do

Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#1
I have had this pool for about 7 summers now. For the last 4 summers, I have had what was once thought to be mustard algae. I have spent hundreds on chemicals to get rid of whatever it is and still I have a problem. Every time I turn my filter on, I end up with what looks like sand pockets all over the bottom of the pool. When you look close at it, it looks kind of slimy. In 2010, I replaced my Hayward sand filter - thinking it might be sand in the pool from the filter since it only happens when I turn the filter on. That did not help. I replaced the sand once and it did not help, so we changed it to zeobrite and that is what is in there now. I replaced the Hayward pump at the suggestion of the pool store, that did not help. It was also suggestion, because of the sliminess, that it was a water mold coming from under the liner. There were some patches to the liner so... I replaced the liner at the end of last season. When I took the winter pool cover off this summer, the water was sparkling blue with just a little debris on the bottom. As soon as I turned the filter on, the problem was back. No one has any idea what this is. I have brought this problem to many pool stores and no one knows why it is only when I turn the filter on. Last week, I did not turn the pump on at all - we all played, made whirlpools, cleaned it with a leaf net to get all the bugs and debris out and the pool was beautiful and clean. I had to turn the pump/filter on to put the weekly chemicals in and within hours the bottom was covered with pockets of sandy/slimy light brown stuff. My pool is 28ft round and 4' deep - so it was a lot.

Does anyone know what this could be?? Please ask questions if you need more info, I don't know what info is pertinent in figuring this out. I do have trees around the pool, but any branches have been cut away from hanging over the pool and when the filter is off, there is nothing on the bottom of the pool. We have hosta plants around the pool The pool gets a lot of sun all day.
 

RobbieH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
0
52
Dallas, TX
#2
With the pump off, have someone hold a sock over a return. Fire up the pump and keep holding the sock there. Let it run for a little bit, then see if there's anything in the sock. It seems to me you are not sure if it's coming from the filter, and if so that you don't know what it is. Let us know what you find.

EDIT: You might want to do this when the pump has been off for a long time, as in overnight.
 
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#3
and I forgot to say thank you in my last post! I appreciate any help/advice that I can get.

I was able to dive down and suck some of it up with a turkey baster. When I squeezed it out and it settled in the container, it looked like mucous. This is when they told me it was water mold. I did put a cloth cover of the skimmer basket and it appeared to get yellow stains on it and I just bought more this morning to see what I get. I will have my kid hold it on the return when I vacuum because I swear it comes right back in.

I also got a call from the pool store just a few moments ago. He said he talked to the district manager and explained what was happening and when he told them I had hostas around the pool, he said that was my problem. He said the hostas and trees create water mold and I need to use a commercial grade phosphorus remover. BUT why does it happen only when the filter is running?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jun 23, 2009
22,789
3
105
SouthWest Alabama
#5
Welcome to TFP.

Whatever your have, barring a broken filter, has the same answer. Chlorine! You need to perform the shock process properly. To do that, we first need a set of test results and how you got them.

If you don't have a good test kit then you should hop on over to Tftestkits and order you one and a speedstir (speedstir optional but well worth it).

You don't need phosphate remover. You also need to quit listening to the pool store and learn to take control of your pool.

Once you learn to take over you'll know what to put in it, how much to put in it and what it's goning to do once you put it in it. And all that for a lot less than you're spending at the pool store and still not getting anywhere.
 
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#6
I just had my water tested at a pool store and I forgot to ask for a print out. Everything falls within normal ranges - the only things are the pH is a little low at 7.2 and the phosphorus is at 300. The chlorine is holding at the very high end of normal. Pool man thought it best, until we figure out what this is.

I vacuumed the whole pool just to turn around to see it was right back where it was, so I shut the pump off. You can tell the water coming into the pool is not clear because you can see it coming in (looks whitish) compared to the rest of the water. So, I should not be too surprised by this.

I was told by another pool store - based on my story, that it is mustard algae. I have treated this pool three times for mustard algae, I even drained it and scrubbed it with bleach.
Here is a video I took of it http://youtu.be/qOrMugZlHBc
 

RobbieH

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
0
52
Dallas, TX
#7
I think you mean phosphates, not phosphorous. Ignore that.
7.2 isn't horrible pH. Use poolcalculator.com and determine how much Borax 20 Mule Team to add. At least you aren't 7.0 or under.
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#9
Hope said:
I was able to dive down and suck some of it up with a turkey baster. When I squeezed it out and it settled in the container, it looked like mucous.
Hope said:
Here is a video I took of it http://youtu.be/qOrMugZlHBc
Hard to say for sure, but from your description and the video, I would guess you are fighting is algae.

Right after ordering a good test kit (see link in my sig), keep reading pool school, this one probably applies to you: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/defeating_algae
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
513
0
Glendale, CA
#10
If you are testing at the pool store then you are probably getting bad advice. They will tell you your chlorine is high - but never in reference to your CYA levels.

Most likely what is happening is your CYA level is on the high end - this will make the chlorine in your water less effective in killing the algae.

In order to kill ALL the algae and make sure it does not return you will need an accurate CYA test result and an FAS-DPD chlorine test.

I'm sure after 4 years of run-around it'll be hard to believe that something as simple as low chlorine level is the root of your problem. But IF your CYA is high and you are running Pool store Chlorine levels algae will happily grow in the crevices and other low flow areas. Pool Stores almost NEVER get this right.
 
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#11
I am looking at the test kits on here now. I am also reading about testing to see if there is any living organic matter in the pool. Very interesting and I am ticked off that I never knew about this before.

I correct myself in my last post. Yes, it is phosphates and yes, I am being pushed to buy a commercial grade phos-free chemical. I have learned to buy nothing from them. When I think about all the crap I have put in this pool, it is no wonder I have a problem.

Truthfully, I have had a FC problem for a couple of years. I would take in my water to be tested and the FC was almost always 0. Not once was CYA ever mentioned - for at least two years. I then went elsewhere. My CYA is 30 - I remember him telling me it was okay today and it seems to be okay since I put the new liner in.

I am definitely buying a testing kit.

I am currently running the pump/filter. I vacuumed some of the crap that is all over the bottom again and my daughter held a cloth debris shield over the return for about 15 minutes and stuff is definitely shooting back in the pool. It looks like ground up bugs, leaves, and sand like particles - things that the filter should be catching. I am shocked at this. I knew stuff was coming back in, but not stuff I can hold in my hand. I will read about filters next because this seems like a broken filter - although it is new and it was happening with my old one as well. I also have two debris shields over the skimmer basket and the white cloth has turned a brown yellow. When you scrape it off, it is like cotton or maybe toilet tissue. It is all I got right now! I will keep on reading and I appreciate the help!
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#12
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#13
I have a sand filter. Never heard of channeling and I can't honestly say I know what it means after reading the thread. lol Sorry.
Before replacing my last sand filter - we changed the sand. I gave it a good cleaning - even bleached it like mad inside to kill anything that might be growing in there. I still had the problem. I bought the new sand filter and bought even more new sand - still had a problem. Then the pool store GAVE me Zeobrite and it did not fix my problem either. That is what is in there right now. I was also told today to add Zeo something - I don't have it in front of me - to the skimmer before vacuuming and this stuff just sits on top of the sand bed and helps collect small particles. Well I did that and that obviously did not work. The more I write about it - it makes me want to take the filter apart again. It is so aggravating!
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#14
Channeled sand filter basically means water has a way of bypassing the sand and therefore not filtering the water. This channeling can be due to too high a flow rate through the sand and/or calcification resulting in channels that bypass the sand. Could you put your pool and equipment specs in your signature? It helps us be more efficient.

Hope said:
I still had the problem.
What was the problem you were having at the time?
 
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#15
linen: the problem I was having then is the same problem I am having now. I have been dealing with the same problem for 4 summers now. I am really worried that it is mustard algae because I have been told it is an out of the pool problem, that is brought in and it is so easy to keep contaminating it. Again, I am reading to find out everything I can. I wish I found this site sooner.

Also, I inherited this pool. I had no problem with it for 3 years, then all of a sudden I had this problem. The liner did have patches on the bottom, but they always appeared to be intact and I never had a lot of water loss. When nothing else would fix my problem and since it only happened when the pool was on filtration, I thought there had to be holes and that the pump was pulling it - whatever IT is - up through the bottom. I am not sure that is even possible, but I thought it best to replace the liner because there was nothing else to try. Obviously, that did not work.

Anyway, I replaced the sand filter and the pump with the same exact sand filter and pump that was installed when the pool was initially installed or came with the pool.
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#16
For us to be most helpful we need a full set of test results. Did you order a test kit yet? I think you know already that you need it.

You can fix your pool and we are here to help! We have helped people with similar problems to yours many many times.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jun 23, 2009
22,789
3
105
SouthWest Alabama
#17
Hope said:
I vacuumed some of the **** that is all over the bottom again and my daughter held a cloth debris shield over the return for about 15 minutes and stuff is definitely shooting back in the pool. It looks like ground up bugs, leaves, and sand like particles - things that the filter should be catching.
It does sound like you have a problem with your filter but that really has nothing to do with the water problem you're having. Can you post a pic of the equipment?

Is the multiport set to filter?
Are you seeing any water coming out the backwash port when it's in filter mode?
 
Jun 19, 2012
17
0
#18
Yes, I ordered a test kit. :goodjob:

I will try to post pics sometime this afternoon.

The multiport is on filter and nothing ever comes out of the backwash port unless it is turned off and you turn the valve to backwash - then it will come out like a faucet. When you turn the pump on, it does come shoot out powerfully. My husband and I did notice last night that there is a very small leak where the return goes into the pool. It is leaking where the two pieces screw together - needs teflon tape. It is maybe a drip or two a minute, but I do not think that would cause my issue?

Since the backwash has been brought up ... :-D I need a lesson on that I think...
I have read here, forgot where, where someone backwashes in the middle of vacuuming. I have been told that is a no no, that you only want to backwash when the pressure gets high. Now, when I do not backwash and I disconnect my vac and put the filter back on, it blows dirty water back into the pool.

I know I could go out and backwash right now and the water coming out will be clear for a second and then it will be a nasty greenish, yellowish, brownish yuck and very gritty. I know I have been told several times that the build up that I let out every time I backwash makes the filter less effective. So now, the only time I backwash is when the pressure increases, but I do do a rinse after vacuuming.

Owning a pool is no joke! :shock:
 

linen

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
0
48
Twin Cities, MN
#20
Backwash when the pressure goes up 25% from the "clean" pressure. What is your "clean" pressure, i.e. the pressure you have after doing a full backwash?

That 18" filter is very small for your pool at 1.76 sq. ft. Our recommendation would for your pool would be a sand filter of ~3.3 sq. ft. With that said, that filter will still be able to clean your pool water, but it will need to be backwashed more often.

Looking at your pump curves, it is oversized a little for your filter, but should still work okay. If you were to get a larger filter, that pump might still work with it.