New Members - Pool Wo'es

Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
Hey All,
1
Been lurking on the site since last year ( I bought a house with a 24' AG pool). When I opened the pool there was a lot of dirt on the bottom, I vacuumed it all out twice, through the sand filter, then backwashed the filter. Great, no big deal.

Well as off recently, I've been getting what I thought was algea in the middle of the pool. One store even promised me it was mustard algea and to use two bags of this chemical. Well, it came back. So I found a kids pool toy (It's like a 3 foot long syringe) and I used that to take a sample of the bottom of the pool. It's some kind of dirt. I've already baskwashed and rinsed the filter multiple times. This weekend, I even changed out the filter sand ( I cleaned and bleached everything because I still thought it was algea). When I vacuum it out, I vacuum to waste.


The photo shows what is accumulating in the bottom of the pool. It only happens if the pump/filter run. If I run the pump for an hour, I'll get a little of it. I did not run the filter for the past 24 hours and it has not come back.

Where in the world could this dirt be coming from? Anyone have a clue what it could be? I was going to seperate the pump from the motor (Hayward SP1592 and S180T92S ). The pump/filter do not leak. And I've vacuumed to waste probably 5 times, so whatever it is, is coming back. It's sandy, and doesn't feel like plastic, but I was hoping I might find something in the pump..

If I change the eyeball outlet, the foreign dirt does disperse differently through the pool. It it's all new sand.


Please help. I'm at wits end.
 

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Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
Anybody? (It's possible my thread wasn't approved yet, because if I'm not signed in, I can't see the thread. I get an "Ooops this page cant be found").


In case this posts, I did take the pump apart yesterday, expecting to find sludge inside, but I didn't. The pump, the impeller, and even the motor shaft all look good. I really thought I'd see signs of something failing. I took the valve off the top, looked inside, all clean. All the lines are clean too. I can see down each of them. There was a tiny bit of "gook" in the sand, which was greenish. I drained the water from the sand filter and I took a sample and it's drying out. Just for good measure, I added a gallon of pool shock right into the sand filter when I refilled, just to hopefully kill anything that's in there.


I've got some of of the disposable filter bags, I might secure one of those into the jet screw and see if it catches the Crud when it comes out.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,932
Northern NJ
Yup, we see it. Welcome to posting. If you have been lurking on the site for a year then you know the drill.

Let’s rule out algae. What test kit are you using? Post your water chemistry.

Have you done a Overnight Chlorine Loss Test and passed?

Put the details of your pool in your signature.

If it is sand it is coming out of your filter. I don't know why you are pulling apart your motor.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,116
Evans, Georgia
You've got a sand filter...right? I wonder if the gaskets are damaged? Or the laterals in the filter are damaged allowing the sand to come thru.

By the way- sand almost never needs changing. A good deep cleaning once in blue moon is helpful, but changing it is a waste of money.

Maddie :flower:
 
Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
Yup, we see it. Welcome to posting. If you have been lurking on the site for a year then you know the drill.

Let’s rule out algae. What test kit are you using? Post your water chemistry.

Have you done a Overnight Chlorine Loss Test and passed?

Put the details of your pool in your signature.

If it is sand it is coming out of your filter. I don't know why you are pulling apart your motor.

I forgot to grab the water printout this morning. I'll post this evening. Everything was good, but Chlorine was high (from the supershock/algeacide) we did. I haven't done a Overnight Chlorine Loss test. Sounds like a good idea. My local pool store their reader is broken so I have to make a special trip to a further away store. But I can.

Well, it's black sand but it's kind of slimy. I was expecting to find the wear ring of the pump impeller all burned up, causing the black sooty/slimy mixture.


You've got a sand filter...right? I wonder if the gaskets are damaged? Or the laterals in the filter are damaged allowing the sand to come thru.

By the way- sand almost never needs changing. A good deep cleaning once in blue moon is helpful, but changing it is a waste of money.

Maddie :flower:
I know, I only changed the sand because I had no idea if it had ever been done, and the pool store has sort of scared me into thinking this was mustard algea, and I figured bleaching the inside of the filter and replacing the sand was a good idea, after shocking the pool. I expected a jungle inside the filter, there was a decent amount of Crud. But now with fresh sand, the dirt is still coming out black, and it really doesn't feel like pool sand.

I checked the laterals, and I was very careful to gently put them back in.
 
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Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,128
Fresno, CA
The debris could be bird droppings or organic matter from trees.
Regardless you need to be able to test your pool water yourself with a quality test kit. This is the foundation of pool care.
 
Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
I do not mean to sound sarcastic, but how is a $70 at home test kit going to be better than the digital analyzer the pool store uses, that actually gives me a readout in PPM of the sample? Is there a reader that comes with the kit that can't be seen in the photos?

The kit listed, sort of looks like a complicated test strip tester, which I have and use, but I got to the pool store to get a more specific reading.
 

5odaw1s

Active member
May 6, 2019
31
Gainesville Georgia
If you’ve been lurking here for a year then you should know why TFP thinks a $70 test kit is better than pool store test results. Pool store water analysis is notoriously inaccurate. If you take your water sample to both of those pool stores, I’ll bet the analyses will be different. You have no way of knowing when those analyzers were calibrated...
A good test kit also gives you results as ppm of the sample. And calling a quality test kit a complicated test strip tester would be like calling a computer a complicated calculator.
TFP can help you use the test kit, but only if you are willing to use one.
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
316
Athens, GA - USA
The photo shows what is accumulating in the bottom of the pool. It only happens if the pump/filter run. If I run the pump for an hour, I'll get a little of it. I did not run the filter for the past 24 hours and it has not come back.
What does it feel like? Does it always show up in the center of your pool? Could correlated with pump runtime b/c the circulating water pulls all the debris to the center. My guess is something falling from near by trees.
 
Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
If you’ve been lurking here for a year then you should know why TFP thinks a $70 test kit is better than pool store test results. Pool store water analysis is notoriously inaccurate. If you take your water sample to both of those pool stores, I’ll bet the analyses will be different. You have no way of knowing when those analyzers were calibrated...
A good test kit also gives you results as ppm of the sample. And calling a quality test kit a complicated test strip tester would be like calling a computer a complicated calculator.
TFP can help you use the test kit, but only if you are willing to use one.
By lurking, I sort of meant, I came here, searched for specific topics for advice, or suggestions, or how do I do this better.

To my question, is there like a manual for that test kit? It looked as if there wasn't any sort of annalyzer that would provide a PPM readout.


Take identical water samples to 2 different pool stores with digital analyzers........you’ll have your answer.
Ahhh. Gotcha.


What does it feel like? Does it always show up in the center of your pool? Could correlated with pump runtime b/c the circulating water pulls all the debris to the center. My guess is something falling from near by trees.
It's gritty, when its completely dry. Otherwise it's kind of like gummy with dirt in it. I thought it was from tree's too, but why is it only when the pump/filter run? My pool filter hasn't run now for 48 hours, and the water is clear and the bottom is clean. When I put the pump back together and run it, I'm going to put one of the skimmer baskets over the return jet and try and collect the Crud. I'm also going to wrap the skimmer basket in one too, and try and pre-screen as much Crud as I can and see if it changes. The holes on the skimmer basket are big enough to let all of this Crud through, whatever it is.

If I move the eyelet not 45degrees down and to the right, the location of this dirt changes. Some will still settle in the center, but the concentration will change.


Should I add some DE to my sand filter, now that the sand is all new?
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
316
Athens, GA - USA
is there like a manual for that test kit? It looked as if there wasn't any sort of annalyzer that would provide a PPM readout.
The test kit does come with instructions. It might look intimidating at first, but once you do each of the testes a couple of times it gets super easy. Like following a recipe card. And there are tons of people here on this site that will be more than happy to walk you through it step-by-step if you have any issues.

I'm still betting that it is something falling into the pool. Or... Have you used any type of floc recently? Maybe the circulation/agitation of the pump is causing stuff/algae to coalesce? Not an expert in this area so I don't really know. But with a good test kit you could do an OCLT to rule out organics.
 

5odaw1s

Active member
May 6, 2019
31
Gainesville Georgia
...To my question, is there like a manual for that test kit? It looked as if there wasn't any sort of annalyzer that would provide a PPM readout.
You are the analyzer. The Taylor K2006 kit uses a FAS chlorine test. You fill the tube to the prescribed level. Then you add the prescribed amount of powder to the sample. Then you drop the prescribed reagent into the sample, swirling after each drop, until the sample turns clear. Then you multiply the number of drops by .5 or .2, depending on the sample size you chose and that will tell you with accuracy how much chlorine you have.
There is an additional reagent you use to test for combined chlorine.
For ph you fill the tube to the prescribed level then take the ph reagent and drop 5 drops into the sample. Then you cap and shake the sample and compare the color to the color chart right beside the sample tube.
For total alkalinity TA and calcium hardness CA you fill the sample tube to the prescribed mark. Then you add the reagents. In the case of TA, the reagents will turn the sample green. Then another reagent is added drop wise until the sample turns red.
Same thing with CH, except the sample turns from red to blue.

There are instructions on a card glued to the inside of the top of the kit that tells you how to perform each test.
There is also a booklet in the kit. You take the results of the tests performed and go to the charts in the back of the book and they will tell you how much chemical to add, based in the number of gallons of water in your pool, to achieve what you need to do...like raising the FC level of raising or lowering PH, TA, etc,

But a much easier way to tell how much of a chemical you need would be to put the Pool Math app on your device, fill out the information for your pool, then take those test results and plug them into the app and it will tell you how much chemical to add. Or what to add if PH or TA needs to be lowered.

And with the TFP method, all of this can be accomplished with household products. Bleach or pool chlorine, baking soda, borax, Muriatic acid, etc., so no more trips to expensive pool supply stores..
 
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5odaw1s

Active member
May 6, 2019
31
Gainesville Georgia
By lurking, I sort of meant, I came here, searched for specific topics for advice, or suggestions, or how do I do this better.

Should I add some DE to my sand filter, now that the sand is all new?
How to do this better:
A good start would be to read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry , PoolMath , FC/CYA Chart and the other articles in the pool School.

As for adding DE, it will help the sand filter filter out much smaller particles. Sand filters are rated at 20-40 microns. DE media is rated at 1-3 microns.
I use a product called fiber clear.
But you must be sure that you don’t add to much de or it will raise the filter pressure too much and restrict the water flow back to the pool.
 
Aug 12, 2019
16
North East
So in the meantime between getting an at home test kit, I took the sample and it's definitely dirt. Topsoil is my guess, with a few bits of tree seedlings from the oaks in the yard.

There's no way a sand filter is going to catch or trap this.

If I had an In ground pool, this would make sense, there would be a crack in the pool. But I don't. It's above ground. And this only happens when the filter is running. All the lines are clear. I've taken everything apart, the pump, the valve, and there's no dirt in it.

I didn't run the filter for 72 hours and the pool remained clean and clear. I ran the pump for 22 hours, and the bottom had a lot. I vacuumed to waste, ran the pump for another 12 hours, and there's more. I added a skimmer basket cover, and even added some inards of an old pillow(fluffy cotton type) to try and trap some of the dirt. Mildly effective. I get a little bit. Like a spoonful.

If this was suspended in the water, I would have cloudy or dirty water. The samples I've collected have dried out from the photo's above. I'll post photos.

They make a scum buster bag, for $60 that traps everything down to 1 Micron. I hate to do it, but I might have to try it, attach it to the eyelet, and run the filter for 72 hours and see if it stops coming out.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
349
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Titration based tests are very accurate if done properly. You can learn to do them properly. A pool store test can be as accurate but only if everything is calibrated correctly, and there isn't often a lot of incentives for the store to adequately care beyond selling supplies.

In general, like anything else the more you personally take control of the situation, the better the results will be.

The titration method is actually how most labs do the testing if you send it in. If you sent the pool water to a Ward labs or other very reputable lab then I would be convinced their results would be more accurate and precise but I can assure the group they manually test the water more like we do and don't use a pool store machine.

The only thing that isn't directly recommended here (but are sold pre made at TFTestKits) that can be useful is making known calibration water samples occasionally test your methods and reagents. Start with distilled water and add up whatever you are testing for and you can directly verify the measurements. So you can see you can get extremely accurate measurements with a titration kit if you are willing to put in the effort.
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
316
Athens, GA - USA
There's no way a sand filter is going to catch or trap this.
A sand filter will absolutely catch dirt down to about 10 microns or better. So unless your sand filter is a flower bed, the filter is not the culprit. You are getting dirt in your pool and it needs to be vacuumed. Your skimmer is not going to catch it unless it is floating.
 
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