Middle of SLAM (day 7) and smoke starts coming from pool pump basket

blues4m&m

Member
Dec 8, 2016
12
Memphis, TN
TLDR:
-Pool started as a swamp
-Started SLAM
-Day 7 of SLAM pool pump basket is smoking (when going through the filter)
- Pool is still green, (a very light green, but visibility still isn't past the 2nd step)
-Need to know what to do from here

Last year our pool pump broke near the end of the pool season, so we made the mistake of deciding to fix it at the start of the next season. So our pool turned green, and instead of covering it and closing it, we left it neglected through the rest of year, of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I've turned a green swamp into an oasis before using SLAM, I just chalked it up that I will just do it again as soon the next season started. Well COVID situation happened, and we didn't get the pump when we expected to because of that, and so our green swamp turned into a frog orgy (if you know what I'm saying). We finally were able to get someone to look at our pool pump and they told us it was just the motor that was the problem, they replaced our motor, we started to remove all the leaves and big things we could see, so we could start SLAMing, little did we realize that getting ahold of liquid chlorine would be a journey all in of itself.

We called every store that would possibly have it and would watch online hoping for a restock, but it seemed like maybe we would have to get DICHLOR, which I was very uncomfortable with because the only thing I knew was SLAM and that they didn't recommend using DICHLOR for the slam process. We eventually find this 1 home depot 20 miles away that said they had 80 bottles in stock, and we drove there and loaded up, and bought 30 boxes (2 liquid chlorine bottles per box of HDX chlorine 10%). During all of this time, we would vacuum and used our leaf master, to pull bags and bags of leaves, and we thought it would never end, but eventually, we reached a point where we would pass our vacuum or leaf master and would not even fill a bag, so we then adjusted our CYA to 30 and tested our PH (7.4) and we started the SLAM.

I've kept the pool at SLAM level by the hour for the first few days and only would backwash when the pressure was 25% or greater. We would sweep 3-4 times a day, and just made sure between the 2 of us working from home that we didn't let the FC level get below SLAM as much as we could help it. We have already lost many swim days, we have 3 kids at home and we are stir crazy at this point, WE need our pool, and so after a few days, the water started to turn around and was starting to clear up, but as of the last 3-4 days, we hit a wall where even though our overnight test would only lose 2-3 FC levels, the pool was still green and visibility was only slightly improving, that on our best day we could start to see the 2nd step of 3. So as this is going on, we are running out of chlorine at this point, and are down to 4 bottles left, and our water isn't improving as we would expect, it's like it's stuck at this green color, even though we are sweeping 4-5 times a day and have not let the FC level drop below SLAM for more than 2 hours at the most. So, trying to stay the course after researching so many people on these forums with the exact same scenario, we tried to remain patient and trusted the SLAM process until today, when we went to check the FC level and seen smoke coming from the pool pump basket. When we open the basket, it's bubbling and we knew that something was wrong with the flow, and we didn't know what was going on. I then tried to prime the pump by using our hose and filling the basket for 5 mins hoping that it would fix everything, and nothing worked. So here we are in the middle of slamming, and now we can't go through the filter, the only thing that works and remains primed is when we use recirculate.

I'm no pool expert, but trouble-free pools have been our solution for any time we have a pool problem, and boy are we thankful because the pool business is full of under-qualified overpriced bums in my area. We can't trust any of the service companies here, as we quickly learned our first year. However, at this point, we are in a bind because we don't want to lose our progress, but we can't run the pump through the filter in order to continue to get rid of algae using recirculate, and we are already on our last 4 bottles of liquid chlorine, (searching everywhere hoping to find more).

We need help in a bad way, on what to do from here?
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
Hang in there! The Equipment experts might not be online this late, but hopefully you'll get replies tomorrow!

It seem the pump will move water when NOT filtering, I'm sure I overlooked it... but what type of filter is it?
 

blues4m&m

Member
Dec 8, 2016
12
Memphis, TN
Hang in there! The Equipment experts might not be online this late, but hopefully you'll get replies tomorrow!

It seem the pump will move water when NOT filtering, I'm sure I overlooked it... but what type of filter is it?
I have a sand filter. I had the sand changed out at the beginning of last year, and thought that should rule out issues of the filter not working, however, I've seen several people recommend a deep clean of the sand filter as a solution to helping the SLAM process go quicker, and I'm thinking I may do that tom. and cross my fingers that it fixed the issue.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
I have a sand filter. I had the sand changed out at the beginning of last year, and thought that should rule out issues of the filter not working, however, I've seen several people recommend a deep clean of the sand filter as a solution to helping the SLAM process go quicker, and I'm thinking I may do that tom. and cross my fingers that it fixed the issue.
If it's new and no flocs, it's fine, I was just trying to help troubleshoot or pinpoint the equipment failure issues :)
You said smoke was coming from the pump, but ca get water moving in recirculate.
 

blues4m&m

Member
Dec 8, 2016
12
Memphis, TN
Yes I should have clarified, smoke was coming from the filter basket, and the water looked like it was boiling almost, which from my research on here indicates a lack of flow which causes the heat that I was see'ing.
 
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Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,069
SouthWest Alabama
It seems strange that it works on Recirc but not on Filter
when the valve is set to filter, is there a good stream of water from the return(s)?
 

blues4m&m

Member
Dec 8, 2016
12
Memphis, TN
Currently have the filter disconnected and I'm about to do a deep clean, and I can't remember, because after it started smoking I would turn it off if the pump would not prime (10 mins or so) in order to prevent burning out the pump/motor. It had great flow at one point during the slam process and was working just fine with normal pressure etc, but just had this happen all of a sudden on day 7.
 

blues4m&m

Member
Dec 8, 2016
12
Memphis, TN
Well, it turned out a filter deep clean has helped so far! Also, we used a part on our multiport valve that supposedly releases the air, and maybe that helped. Still holding strong on the SLAM process, and can now see the 3rd step, but man it's taking long, even after we have added a little DE to the filter and deep cleaned the filter.
 
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Sand filters take the longest to clear out the algae. Have you searched for any hidden spots that might hide more, like light niches / ladders / skimmer throats / weir doors?