Must I fill sand filter with water on start-up?

AnnaK

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Jul 15, 2007
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#1
This is probably a really dumb question and I'm kind of embarrassed to even ask, but how does water get into the sand filter at start-up?

I am the pool maintenance maven at our place and some neighbors have even asked me for pool advice. I preach BBB, of course. But the mechanical side of the whole thing escapes me. My husband does the closing and draining and disconnecting of various things and parts late in October and frankly, I've never paid much attention. Bad, bad, bad! Because it's getting warmer and things are surely wanting to grow, including algae.

He's only home on weekends. Last weekend he connected pipes and the light and put the head back on the sand filter. We added water to the pool, the pump pot is filled. I scooped leaves, added a bottle of bleach just on general principle, and swished it around with the brush.

Ok, to the point. I would like to start up the pump and filter but do not know how water gets into the filter. Must I add that with a hose? Or will it fill itself once the pump is running?

I really really need to vacuum the bottom and get the water circulating, then test and start balancing the chemistry. Before it turns green.

'Preciate your input,

AnnaK
 

JasonLion

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#2
The pump will fill the filter with water. Some filters have an automatic air release system and others require you to open the valve on the top to let the air out once you have the pump running.
 

AnnaK

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#3
Thanks, Jason.

I don't know whether this has an automatic air release system. It's a Hayward. When you say 'open the valve on top' do you mean the handle I move to different positions such as 'filter' or 'backwash' or 'winter'? The 'winter' setting leaves it open, I think. Is that correct?

AnnaK
 

IkeRay

Well-known member
May 20, 2007
154
Houston, Tx
#4
he means the valve on the top of the filter. you are talking about a multiport valve i believe, and you should NEVER move that when the pump is on.

should be a bleeder type valve on the very top of the filter, after you turn on the pump when on the filter setting, turn the valve and you should hear air leaking out. when that valve starts spitting out water, close it and yours filter is full of water.
 

AnnaK

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#5
I never do turn that handle when the pump is on. But aren't you telling me now that I should, in order to bleed out the air?

At any rate, the sight glass has water in it. I'm guessing that means the filter does, too. And the pump pot is full. I ought to be able to start the pump without doing overly much damage.

And heck, if it all blows up then my husband has a weekend chore to look forward to. Things always have a way of working out.

AnnaK
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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#6
Hi, Anna,

That big handle with all the labels "filter" "backwash" etc. is the multi-port valve and should only be moved when the pump is off....just as you've been doing.

The other valve Jason was referring to is a little screw-type valve, usually on the back of the pressure guage. It's irrelevant to you for now anyway because your pump is primed and your all set.

All you need now is some warm days and you'll be dipping your toes in before you know it! :lol:
 

AnnaK

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#7
O YAY! We have blast off!

I turned on the power in the basement, flipped the timer switch to 'manual', trucked up to the pool, plugged the pump in (made sure the lever was in the neutral position), checked the pot again to make sure it had water, and turned it on.

YESSSS! It purrs. The needle on the gauge barely moved which, when the pump is on 'low', it doesn't. Water, not air or - cripes! - sand, came out of the return. Water temp is 47 F. I gritted my teeth and screwed on the PoolSkim, always an adventure when you do it upside down because the threads go the wrong way and when the water is this cold I tend to loose my temper pretty quickly. But it's on and it's sucking stuff into its little net bag.

I should be baking a cake for the guests who announced a surprise visit tomorrow, and I should vacuum the dog hair and dust the dander off the furniture. But guess what? I'm not.

Instead, I'm going up there to collect a water sample and do some chemistry. Then I'll hook up the vacuum and clean the debris off the bottom. I'm already calculating how much daylight I have left to do pool stuff because MY POOL IS OPEN.

YAY!

AnnaK (who is a little excited, can you tell?)
 

AnnaK

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#8
Me again :)

My chemistry is super! I closed last November 11 with FC = 10, CC = 0, TA = 80, pH = 7.5, CYA = 65.

Today's readings are FC = 4.5, CC = 0, TA = 60, pH = 7.2, CYA = 50.

The pool was left uncovered over winter and does have some leaves and dried tree flower debris in it. The water itself is nice and clear. I'm going to leave the chlorine be for now and will work on raising ph and TA. By the time I have that balanced it'll be time to add Cl on a regular basis. It's still cool enough here to where algae growth is unlikely.

I have NEVER had such a clean opening before! Must have done something right at closing last year. Oh! I know what that was! I had been reading TFP and got Dave's test kit :)

AnnaK and the dogs who are nagging me big time to be let in the pool.
 

AnnaK

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#10
Yes, they sure are!

And yes indeed, I did bake the cake, a sunken cherry cake. And while that was baking I set some dark turkey meat to boil in the pressure cooker, for soup. Unfortunately, the pressure cooker malfunctioned and the pressure release safety valve spewed turkey broth all over the kitchen and soaked the stove and the floor. So then I had to wash down everything. And still I managed to catch CSI and ER!

The bad news is, the pool pump seems sort of weak to me. There ought to be more pressure to the water coming out of the return. Too much pressure on the cooker, not enough on the pool pump. What's up with that?

I won't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

/signed
Scarlet O'Hara
 
G
#11
why cant you move the multi port valve while the pump is on? i do it all the time, and dont seem to have an issue. since i have a backwash pipe plumed underground to the same pipe as the overflow valve on the pool. i just turn the right spot and let it backwash. i only turn off the pump to add cloirine tumbs to the auto clorinator and when we close for the winter. other than that, my pump can go for a month with out a break, goes just fine.
 

JasonLion

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#12
As you turn the multi-port valve there will be short periods when the pressure spikes up as one pipe closes more rapidly than the next pipe opens. These pressure spikes will stress the pump and the plumbing and shorten their lifetime. You also risk damaging the spider gasket because of the increased pressure against it during the turn.