New Members - Pool Wo'es

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Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
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.
But realistically with all new sand, I'm not filtering down to 10 microns, I'm probably around 40. At 40, I can see some dirt getting through.

The problem is, I vacuum and it comes back after running the pump/filter. Every time. If I don't run the pump/filter the pool stays clean. How can a filter or pump suck dirt in, when it's on a polyformed stand off the ground.

I've vacuumed to waste 6 times now, and the dirt keeps coming. Pool vacs aren't great, but even if I was getting 40% of the dirt and the other 60% was getting stirred up, I should have a diminishing return of debris, and I don't.

I'm close to the point of closing the pool.

Unless there is a leak in an O-Ring somewhere on the valve or fingers assembly/tube that's preventing the water from being filters, and it's just recirculating so everytime I run the filter, anything floating or suspending isn't getting filtered, but just ground up and spit back out the return.
How can I check this?
 

aeh0603

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
348
San Diego, CA
You can try putting a sock or nylon over the return to see if you catch any of this stuff coming into the pool from the filter.

Also, someone asked earlier in the thread and I don't remember seeing an answer. Have you used any flock or clarifier recently? If you have, then it's possible there is still some left in your water and the circulation from the pump is causing the flock/clarifier to attach to dirt/tree particles in your water and sink to the bottom.
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
You can try putting a sock or nylon over the return to see if you catch any of this stuff coming into the pool from the filter.

Also, someone asked earlier in the thread and I don't remember seeing an answer. Have you used any flock or clarifier recently? If you have, then it's possible there is still some left in your water and the circulation from the pump is causing the flock/clarifier to attach to dirt/tree particles in your water and sink to the bottom.
I used about 3 oz of clarifier straight into the skimmer basket to try and help catch the dirty.
 
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frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
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Portland, Oregon
I feel you're onto something @Shirker. If your sand is clogged with clarifier goo, it can't filter because it's goo'd up. Imagine sand clogged with channels from clarifier goo. Like ants.

Might try a deep cleaning, or you may want to replace the sand. It's not that expensive. Deep cleaning should work however.
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
I feel you're onto something @Shirker. If your sand is clogged with clarifier goo, it can't filter because it's goo'd up. Imagine sand clogged with channels from clarifier goo. Like ants.

Might try a deep cleaning, or you may want to replace the sand. It's not that expensive. Deep cleaning should work however.
The sand was brand new already.

It looks like topsoil, it almost looks like the pump/filter is causing a vacuum and pulling dirt up from the ground through a hole in the liner. But what doesn't make sense, is I'm not loosing water. But the dirt has to be coming from somewhere.

This happened before, with the "old" sand, and before I added clarifier. Happened with the new, fresh sand before I added clarifier.

It's the end of August, I'm in new England, it might just be time to close the pool.
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
Well, I decided to try something new. Instead of vacuuming, I used a pool toy, the giant syringe squirt guns, to suction all the top soil out of the pool. I took probably an hour and a half, instead of 5 minutes with a pool vacuum, but then I ran the filter for 4-5 hours.

Only a small amount of this dirt came back. So I used the same syringe to suck it out of the pool again and ran the filter again. EVEN LESS!

Now we're making improvements. So I'll suction out the little remaining, and try again.

So my question, if the pool vacuum is just stirring up the dirt in the pool, why doesn't it settle out? Why does running the filter cause the debris in my pool to clump together. I have to believe it's not getting pulled through the skimmer and pulled through the filter. What about running the filter, causes it to clump together.

Running the pump and the valve on recirculate instead of on Filtration, does not accumulate the dirt. It stays clean.
 

frogabog

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Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
OK, so you added clarifier, then changed out the sand, and then added clarifier again but haven't checked/changed the sand?

If clarifier gooed up your sand once, and then you added it again, why are you not looking back to the possibility of gooed up sand again? What makes you think it didn't do the same as the first time? You're describing sand on the floor that clumps up. Sounds like gooed sand to me.

Tie a sock over the return and see if you get sand in the sock. That will tell you where the sand is coming from for sure (although running on circulate without issues kinda confirms this anyway). Open the filter and see if it's gooed/channeled. Change the sand if needed, and don't use any more clarifier!
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
OK, so you added clarifier, then changed out the sand, and then added clarifier again but haven't checked/changed the sand?

If clarifier gooed up your sand once, and then you added it again, why are you not looking back to the possibility of gooed up sand again? What makes you think it didn't do the same as the first time? You're describing sand on the floor that clumps up. Sounds like gooed sand to me.

Tie a sock over the return and see if you get sand in the sock. That will tell you where the sand is coming from for sure (although running on circulate without issues kinda confirms this anyway). Open the filter and see if it's gooed/channeled. Change the sand if needed, and don't use any more clarifier!
When I changed the sand it didn't look gooed up at all. There were small amounts of green stuff in the filter (I assumed algea). I cleaned everything, bleached the heck out of it (to try and kill the algea) and replaced the sand. Yes, I have added some clarifier afterwards, but it's not sand that coming out. It's dirt. I've posted a photo. Yes, there is a couple of bits of tree debris, but the rest looks like topsoil.
 

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Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
551
Athens, GA - USA
The clarifier can cause the sand to develop channels. These channels can allow the water to pass through the sand without being filtered properly. I recommend doing another sand deep clean and possibly replacing the sand again. In the future if you use a clarifier you should vacuum to waste bypassing the filter.
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
So I wanted to bump this thread. I'm having the same problem with debris in the bottom of the pool. The sand was replaced, I checked and inspected all the vanes in the bottom of the sand filter, everything looks fine. All the lines have been inspected, etc.

But, when the filter runs, I'm getting find dirt/debris that's settling onto the bottom of the pool. I've even bought replaceable skimmer basket liners, and added the insides of a pillow to the skimmer basket to aid in collecting debris before entering the pump. I get a lot of junk out of the skimmer basket, bugs, dirt, etc. I can take photo's tomorrow.

But the bottom of the pool continuously collects dirt. The pool isn't losing water, and it doesn't happen unless water is circulating through the pump/filter. I've attached a couple of photo's it just keeps coming back. It's almost like nothing is passing through the filter when the pump is running.

I collected the samples using one of those kids pool squirt guns, that are really like a 3' long plastic syringe. I don't know what else to do, it's so fine, the automatic pool vac just stirs it up, it just turns to dust in the pool, as does using the pool vacuum. If you're not careful when you try and collect it, it just goes "poof" and you have to wait for it to settle out again.

I don't know what else to do, but spending an hour every day or every other day syringing this out of the pool for it to come back seems ridiculous. The filter was backwashed when I opened the pool 2 weeks ago. The sand was brand new last year.


While, I don't necessary expect the sand filter to catch it all, It seems very strange to me that the filter can create enough agitation to circulate the debris, and not catch a lot of it. What I mean is, if there was a smaller and smaller amount each time, I could understand. But it seems to be constant. I feel like a sand filter should be able to catch a lot of this. But then, if I don't run the filter, it never settles out into the bottom (if it's clean). I've gone 3-4 days without running the pump and the bottom remains clean.

I will say, it seems to be slightly better if I just run the pool on recirculate, instead of filter. I've tried attaching the same skimmer basket bags to the return jet, but the pressure on them just blows them off. That's why I have them on the skimmer basket, I figured if I could prevent the dirt from going in, it might help.

It's almost like the locations on the valve are swapped. I know that sounds crazy. The return jet stream is much more powerful on recirculate than on filter, which makes sense to me, because it's not pumping through the sand. So I don't believe that to be the case, but I'm having a hard time figuring out why a sand filter isn't catching this.

Again, this is my first pool, and maybe this is something super silly.
 

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Kellyp

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Jul 5, 2018
86
Acworth ga
"SharpAndCunning", did you ever get a test kit? You are not likely to get much help without one, not because we don't want to help, but w/o accurate test results, we are guessing and can do more harm than good.

Your description, that it poofs away when you try to collect it, that it keeps coming back in the same amount, sounds like algae to me.

When I read your thread I saw you were considering to spend $60.00 on a scum buster bag, do yourself a favor and spend just a little more for a proper test kit. Once you do, and post some test results, we can help you properly and happily.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
In this long continuous old post, you have never posted test results. All the advice-by-computer we should EVER be giving is to start with a complete set of tests that are usable. Your tests, please......we seldom even read pool store tests anymore.....they are simply bogus.

I have an idea or two about getting the dirt out of your pool but let's see the current chemistry status like this...

pH
FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA

I think we can solve the issue but we need to start with basic water conditions.
 
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Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
"SharpAndCunning", did you ever get a test kit? You are not likely to get much help without one, not because we don't want to help, but w/o accurate test results, we are guessing and can do more harm than good.

Your description, that it poofs away when you try to collect it, that it keeps coming back in the same amount, sounds like algae to me.

When I read your thread I saw you were considering to spend $60.00 on a scum buster bag, do yourself a favor and spend just a little more for a proper test kit. Once you do, and post some test results, we can help you properly and happily.
I do have a test kit.

My only though about Algae, is, when I suck it up and post photos it looks like dirt. Last year, I did explore this and do a mustard algea treatment, no change. The dirt keeps coming back. Why would algea have to go through the filter in order to come back? Last summer, I took apart the pump and filter, cleaned it, and added two gallons of algaecide(over the course of a week or two, i can't really remember). to the pool. It never changed. That's why I started collecting samples, because it's either super resistant algea, or it's dirt coming from somewhere.
But I'm not losing water, so I don't think it's coming from the liner. If this was an inground pool, maybe I'd have a different idea.


In this long continuous old post, you have never posted test results. All the advice-by-computer we should EVER be giving is to start with a complete set of tests that are usable. Your tests, please......we seldom even read pool store tests anymore.....they are simply bogus.

I have an idea or two about getting the dirt out of your pool but let's see the current chemistry status like this...

pH
FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA

I think we can solve the issue but we need to start with basic water conditions.
You're correct, I never posted results. I'm sorry. My most current test (was done Friday)

pH - 7.7
FC 2.47
CC .23
TA 96
CH 128
CYA 58

I realize the CH is low. I did have some hardness increaser left over from last year, about 7.5lbs, which according to the container should bring it up into range (lower end of the range, but in range). I just added that this morning, and I left the pump running. I'll try and do another test tonight, or I can do it tomorrow.
 
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duraleigh

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pH - 7.7
FC 2.47
CC .23
TA 96
CH 128
CYA 58

These look like pool store tests. We really need YOUR test results from a Taylor K-2006C or the TF-100 from tftestkits.net
 
Aug 12, 2019
23
North East
Algaecide does not eliminate algae once you have it in the pool water. Only chlorine does.


Thanks for those links. I appreciate it. Makes sense! The photo's I posted don't particularly look like algea to me, do they to you? I'll bring it to work next week and look at it under heavy magnification.


pH - 7.7
FC 2.47
CC .23
TA 96
CH 128
CYA 58

These look like pool store tests. We really need YOUR test results from a Taylor K-2006C or the TF-100 from tftestkits.net
With all due respect, why do you need test results from a specific kit? Do you own stock in those companies?

These aren't the results from a pool store. I have results from a pool store which are close to those values within reason. Some are a bit off. I have access to a testing lab at work, it's ISO 14385 certified and checks chemicals, particulates, etc. I promise you, the multi-millon dollar testing lab is going to give you an accurate reading to what's actually there. Better than a $150 test kit. The problem is, it can't tell me where this dirt is coming from.
 
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