Opened to a green/black pool and my filter is not working right.....


New member
May 16, 2017
Danville, IN
Hey everyone, so glad to find this site. I opened my pool and discovered my water was a lovely shade of dark green/black. It did look like this last year. I will never cheap out on the chemicals again. I went to the less pricey box store instead of my normal pool store...anyway here are my issues
1. last year we had bugs blowing into the pool from the return so we did a sand change this year. Hooked it all up and every thing appared to be woring fine. Added my chemicals last if the cheap algiecide and 5 lbs of the 99% instant chlorinating granuals (disolved in warm water) I also had 3 gallons of liquid chlorine I added. Water is crazy dark but I could see the bottom if I looked hard enough untill the chemicals hit then it turned cloudy and green gray. I tested my ph and it was at 7.4 and everything but chloine seems to be in line.

2. nothing to now but wait right..... well I was keeping a eye on the skimmer basket because it was filling up pretty quick (my cover was in pretty bad shape this spring lots of small holes) did my best to fish out what i could with my net. the filling up of the skimmer basket had gone back to a normal rate when I left it last night. I get up this morning and go to check the basket, turn off the pump dump the basket and turn it back on and now water is comming out the backwash.... I have read up on the spider gasket but i just dont think that is it this pool and equipment is only on it's 3rd season. So decide to backwash & rinse just incase some sand or something got in there or someone moved the handle with out turning off the motor. did not work. and now my water has this almost oily look spots in it and all this stuff I assume is algae particals trying to die but my filter is not filtering properly.....

are phosphate removers worth the $$? should i get more aglecide or just keep shocKing the heck out of? should I wait to add more chemicals to until if figure out the filter issue, i just don't want the $ I spent on chlorine to be wasted .....

Thanks in advance for you advice.


Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
West Bloomfield, MI
Hi Jennifer - welcome! I'm glad you found this site too.

It's a good thing that TFP is such a busy and active place, because you have presented a LOT to talk about! My first concern is the pump. What "didn't work"? Is your pump functioning properly?


Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
West Bloomfield, MI
Some lighting reading for you: Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

And a few of the things we'll talk about:

- The foundation of TFP is that we use quality test kits to know exactly what's going on with our water. The Taylor K-2006 (K-2006C, larger bottles) or the TF-100.
- you can "cheap out" on chemicals! they just have to be the right ones
- bugs through the filter? I'm concerned not about the sand but the integrity/health of the internals of the filter itself
- Patience is good, but lots to do aside from waiting. We call it a SLAM Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
- You don't need phosphate remover. Phosphate is algae food, but we concentrate on keeping algae away in the first place


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome! :wave:

A few things.
First: do not waste any money buying phosphate removers or algaecides or anything else until you have test results. You don't want this to happen to you:

Second: your filter must work and water must be circulating or you'll never ever get the pool clear. If water is coming out the waste pipe when the handle is set to filter, there's a problem with the backwash valve, most likely the spider gasket. That has to be fixed before any chemicals are added. There are plenty of threads here and a bunch of youtube videos if you search "spider gasket." If you aren't handy, you'll have to call a pool pro.

Third, when you get the filter working right again, run all the tests and post the results. The format for test results is
FC - Free Chlorine
CC - Combined Chlorine
TA - Total Alkalinity
CH - Calcium Hardness
CYA - Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer)
Borates - (if you are using borates)

What test kit are you using?