Pool in limbo-new liner, water delivered, then....nothing

x Wild Bill x

Well-known member
May 5, 2016
71
Rochester, MA
Looking closely at your pictures, it looks like there is a gasket already installed on the pump basket, you can see the raised edges of the gasket in the first picture posted. You should be able to compress it with your finger / nail as it is rubber.

Usually there is no need for liquid sealant on a pool pump... I have a feeling there may have been a leak between the motor housing and pump basket and instead of replacing the leaking seal they gooped it up with liquid sealant. Will it work the way it is? Maybe, but the face of the motor is not designed to always be wet and I have a feeling the motor housing would corrode and fail quickly. I would try to get the equipment running and plan to look into this problem at a later date when you can plan for some down time to repair it properly.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
71
Knoxville, TN
I was not able to locate liquid chlorine yesterday, despite running around to three different places that all claimed they had it. 😒
I did find a brush that fits the extension pole I have, and a vacuum that doesn’t require the pump. It hooks up to a garden hose. I have no idea if it’s gonna “suck” but it HAS to help. A little. It was $20 so, if it’s awful, I don’t care too much. I can always use it on our frog pond if we ever have the need.
So I brushed all the sand that’s in there from the patio being under construction to one side, closer to the house so the hose will reach, and that’s when I noticed this:
View attachment 165868

The hose has been in the water for weeks. I haven’t added any water since we filled it (seeing as we’ll be draining it soon to close it, I’ve been letting it evaporate). This hose is relatively new, maybe two years old, and it didn’t look like this before. What are those crystals on the threads? They are kind of stuck on. I’d have to use a wire brush to clean that up so I can connect anything to it.

My test kit is supposed to get delivered today. I’m excited and nervous. Chemistry was never my subject (I NEVER figured out what the heck “mole” was-my teacher gave me a courtesy C mainly for effort bc I failed my tests with authority, lol). Our aquarium was more like an execution chamber for fish. 😬

Without test results, does anyone want to speculate what’s up with that reaction between the hose and the water? That’s some serious corrosion.
No pool stores in the area with chlorine?
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
No pool stores in the area with chlorine?
I located a place today. I was calling all around but so many places are closed due to covid, and it being past “pool season” here in Little Rhody. Google said a local place (that also sells propane so isn’t entirely a seasonal business) was open and I happened to be going that way so I took a chance. They were actually closed...but the owner was there. He agreed to sell me two containers of chlorine. Yay!!!!

The guy took a look at my pictures of the progression of the pool from blue to green and told me to add one whole container (5 Gal I believe) after dark, evenly distributed around the pool, and to swirl around the water until it was choppy with the brush. He told me to test my water before adding any more.

I added the chlorine after dark as instructed, and then I tried out that vacuum I bought. You know, for $20, it’s not half bad. I really expected it not to work at all. It doesn’t get super fine stuff, but it did get the sand, leaves, and small rocks that I was unable to get with the leaf net. The mesh filter (which looks like a lingerie bag for laundry) is a wicked pain in the butt to clean, and needs to be emptied when it’s only 1/3 full.

I’m gonna give it another try tomorrow when it’s light out. My 8 yo son was doing his best to keep the flashlight on the vacuum but...he’s 8. Easily distracted. I basically only got the stairs, and around the drain, and then he was off to see how many frogs are left in the pond. 🐸

I will post test results tomorrow.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
OH.MY.GOD. I opened my filter today. This is what it looks like:
AB80E59D-FE39-4AA9-A87D-59458A329F9F.jpeg
54CDCB25-3E7D-404F-BCEE-AC9A2B6088CF.jpeg
I have this feeling like this is not cool. What IS that in there?? It looks like mold to me.
And what’s the stuff that looks like...oh, never mind. I’m sure that none of it is good, or belongs in there. No sense in wondering what one particle or another is, lol.

PB still hasn’t shown up. He said “sometime this week or Saturday.” Problem is, I have somewhere to be tomorrow that cannot be rescheduled or cancelled. (We’re picking up our coal stove that will be our primary source of heat this winter since our furnace is ready for the scrap yard.)

I’m thinking this might be one of those times it’s appropriate to actually change out the sand in the filter. Thoughts?

TEST results (using strips bc it’s all I have still):

FC 10+
TC 5
Alk 40
pH 6.8-7.2 (color was in between these two shades of coral/orange)
TH 100; CYA 0-40 (in between colors)

The deep end and shallow end were slightly different-deep end had a slightly lower FC and slightly higher pH. I attribute that to the inaccuracy of these strips.

water temp is 60.

~J
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
71
Knoxville, TN
If you don’t have a reliable source for chlorine, you’re kinda hosed. You need a plentiful source of chlorine (like a gallon every day) and really need a good test kit. The strips aren’t giving you the info you need.

The filter has stuff growing in it and needs to be backwashed and sanitized with chlorine. If you change the sand without keeping high enough chlorine levels, the growth will just come back.
 
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EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
If you don’t have a reliable source for chlorine, you’re kinda hosed. You need a plentiful source of chlorine (like a gallon every day) and really need a good test kit. The strips aren’t giving you the info you need.

The filter has stuff growing in it and needs to be backwashed and sanitized with chlorine. If you change the sand without keeping high enough chlorine levels, the growth will just come back.
I didn’t specify in the post regarding my purchase of (2) 5 gal containers of chlorine but I can get more, all year if necessary, from the local pool supply place. I know it doesn’t last forever, but I could get enough for the next couple of weeks till I can close the pool, for sure.

Now, I have my work cut out for me in that filter.

Update: that little $20 vacuum I bought...worth every penny. It doesn’t get the fine dirt, but it has gotten all the sand, rocks, liner bits, sticks, pine needles, and insects off the bottom and sides of the pool. I used it to flush out the skimmers and then suck up whatever was floating around. I think if anyone is ever in a pinch with a broken pump, or has one of those inflatable pools w/o a pump, it would be a decent alternative to just the net. The only thing too “heavy” for it was a 1” washer that fell in the water from the old diving board.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
71
Knoxville, TN
I didn’t specify in the post regarding my purchase of (2) 5 gal containers of chlorine but I can get more, all year if necessary, from the local pool supply place. I know it doesn’t last forever, but I could get enough for the next couple of weeks till I can close the pool, for sure.
Ah ok, that’s good.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
As I suspected, the PB did not show/call today.

Test kit didn’t arrive either. It’s been “in transit” for days, within my state. I’m about ready to drive to the distribution center and just pick it up.

I went back to the pool supply place today and showed the employee there (not the same guy as I talked to before) my filter photos. He suggested that I just remove the sand (very carefully)and get new sand bc it’s cheap. I’d have to work so hard to get the existing sand clean-it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort. He also suggested it would be a good chance to examine the laterals and replace if necessary, before I blasted a bunch of sand into the pool.

He also told me I could try turning the pump on in “recirculate” to test it and if it works then I would be able to at least get the water moving.

I decided to give it a try. I turned the multi port on the filter clockwise to “recirculate” after I watched a few videos on how to prime it the pump, and turned it on. Here’s a picture of the pipe going into the multi port
03264154-DC6F-42D4-B007-E8E2A6E11E38.jpeg
You can see how the water is very bubbly/foamy and is not making it all the way to the top. I filled the basket all the way to the top and very quickly sealed it tight while my son flipped it on so I know it was full when it started.
I tried this a few more times, but each time I tried closing off one of the supplies. I have no idea which valve controls what. I mean, I know one valve is on the return side, And the other two are on the supply side but of the two...I can only guess that the one with only one pipe going into the ground is the main drain and the one with two pipes go to the skimmers. I don’t even know if it makes a difference, but I figured in an effort to be scientific I’d try one at a time. I did not close the return side.

I was unable to ever get the bubbles in the pipe to go away, but after I started it up the 2nd time, when I had just one of the skimmers going (on the left) plus the main drain I noticed large bubbles coming from one of the returns. Huge bubbles. They go for a few seconds then stop, then burst out again.
When I first turned the pump on, I noticed a very small leak from where the pipe comes out of the pump on its way to the multi port. It didn’t continue...it was just once at start up. I wiped it away and it didn’t come back. It wasn’t a splash from the fill up.
29EDF599-3CFD-41E0-AE80-F1FDFCB77FC1.jpeg

When I turn the pump off, I can hear a very faint hissing sound (like air leaking from a tire) in the vicinity of the intake pipe right at the joint before it enters the pump, or from the cover. They are close together. It changes when I press on the cover, And stops when I remove it. I wiped off the gasket and the underside of the lid in case there was any grit and pressed on the gasket to see if it was all dried out (it wasn’t). I ran it one more time and really tightened it but the result was the same. Bubbles out of just one return. Same hissing sound. Bubbles in the view pipe, and, I might add, no movement in the skimmers (even when the valves are all open.)

PB did a pressure test, when the liner was installed btw, and said “everything was fine.” FWIW.

It is entirely possible I am not doing this right.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,088
Laughlin, NV
Easiest first step is to lubricate the pump lid gasket with pool lube. It is a silicone base lubricant without PTFE in it. Home Depot, Lowes, pool stores, etc typically carry it.

The next thing is to determine which suction line is from a skimmer. It is easier to prime from a skimmer than a main drain.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
Easiest first step is to lubricate the pump lid gasket with pool lube. It is a silicone base lubricant without PTFE in it. Home Depot, Lowes, pool stores, etc typically carry it.

The next thing is to determine which suction line is from a skimmer. It is easier to prime from a skimmer than a main drain.
I will try to locate pool lube today, but I doubt I’ll find it at any place except a pool store. There’s only one around here that I’ll give my $ to at this point, and they are closed on Sunday. It’s ok tho-I have enough work to do on the filter.

How do I know which pipe goes to a skimmer vs the main drain? I had guessed that the single pipe was the MD. Does that seem right? I looked for labels, even if faint, but there is nothing.

The valves feel a little...gritty when I turn them, and I can’t seem to get the MD valve to the off position. I don’t want to force it, so I have left it open. I noticed the “turn to unlock” dial on the top of the valve and unlocked it before turning but it still won’t close, no matter if I turn it clockwise or CC. Do these valves require lubrication/cleaning? They are Jandy never lube.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,088
Laughlin, NV
The valves can be repaired. It is best to have a seals kit for them before you open them up. InyoPools or other online pool stores have the kits. You need to know the size of valves you have.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
I feel confident I can repair the valves. I have enough basic mechanical/plumbing skill & experience to get it done. I would think it’s not more difficult than most of the plumbing repairs/installations I’ve made on my own, just different.

I did some more testing with the pump today, and WAS able to get the MD valve closed, and it didn’t help.

Here’s what I noticed:

The seal at the pump itself is cracked/deteriorated. I put some soap on it, and then ran it. Bubbles:
58DEB65D-D8DE-4191-85C0-EB728D37B7B6.jpeg
I know that is not a good sign.

At the top, where the pump connects to the clear pipe going into the multi port I believe water is leaking. I kept wiping it away, but it came back consistently while the pump was running:
DFA9F0F5-D4D7-434B-9965-E48F4DAA24EB.jpeg
That’s actually the pic I took the other day, but it’s leaking on both sides. My hands were wet so I didn’t get a picture.

Finally, When the pump turns off, water flows out from under it somewhere. A gush. Then, it slowly drains until it’s empty. It was at 3/4 way up the basket (about level with top of the intake into the pump) an hour ago when I went in for lunch and now it’s empty. Is that normal? I would think not.

I would be ok resealing the two connections. Again, I have enough mechanical and plumbing experience to accomplish that. But, how do I figure out where else the pump is leaking?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,788
Tallahassee, FL
I am so in this one to follow along and cheer as you get things just right! LOL on the boys going on a scavenger hunt and finding the cover! How many ticks have you pulled off them so far???

I love your writing style and get it done way of thinking! Keep asking questions and trying things to see what works! :hug:

Kim:kim:
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
I am so in this one to follow along and cheer as you get things just right! LOL on the boys going on a scavenger hunt and finding the cover! How many ticks have you pulled off them so far???

I love your writing style and get it done way of thinking! Keep asking questions and trying things to see what works! :hug:

Kim:kim:
Thanks Kim! We have luckily had very few ticks this year. I think it’s the drought maybe? Who cares! Less ticks is good news, especially since moving to a more rural area, and having the kids outside more.

Anyway, I appreciate the encouragement. I’m out here scooping sand out of the filter. I want to puke. I don’t think they ever cleaned it. It looks like our cat box, but smells worse. Once I scraped through the 1” layer of 4 different colors of mold, I thought I’d get to sand. Nope. The “sand” is gray, mottled with black, and has large chunks of what looks exactly like turds in it.

Ive gotten 90% of 300lbs of sand out, carefully avoiding the laterals. Shop vac time. Wish me luck.
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
Ughhhhhhh. The bottom of this filter is like the pit of hades. It’s a thick green slimy paste. The smell...it’s overwhelming. I suppose it’s ok to hose this thing out? Maybe a bit of bleach? (Diluted of course.)

313C4A62-395B-407E-868C-3C33D27F96F5.jpeg
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
I reached the end! My shop vac officially hates me. It got clogged several times with that nasty green stuff.

Here is what it looks like down in the depths of my empty sand filter:
6F59748B-43D4-4AF7-BEA3-5ABB34E54CA3.jpeg
172A9431-F945-40B9-8B52-CD7AABAE1767.jpeg
Now it’s time for the Extreme Close Up:
57D98156-680A-4380-B3D9-801D7FD6B9BD.jpeg
54E108DA-73B9-4174-85C6-0A5F46705756.jpeg

I think the laterals look ok. Clogged with sand perhaps but nothing looks broken to my untrained eye. Anyone want to brighten my day and confirm SOMETHING isn’t broken? Or, give me some steps to take to confirm it’s ok?
Btw-there’s water in it bc I used the hose to spray down the crud stuck to the walls and finish getting the sand off the laterals more gently than I could with the vacuum in the dark. It won’t drain out of the drain At the bottom, even with the cap all the way off. Is it clogged? If so, suggestion on how to clear it? Can I just stick something in there and poke whatever it is out?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,788
Tallahassee, FL
If you are using a shop vac then you can add water to the sand/gunk and mix it up good then let the vac suck it up and out! Can you get the tube out yet? Some laterals unscrew and some kind of "fold up" so you can get them and the tube up. That will give you more room to get your hands down there to break up the mess at the bottom.

Good job taking on this nasty task! Glad you did it as there is no way that sand could be saved! Good call!

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,788
Tallahassee, FL
#2 as we were typing at the same time...............you are one step ahead of me. Well done!

I would get the laterals out so you can clean them up. If those are the fold up kind then you want to look very close for hair line cracks all the way around.

When it is time to put sand back in make sure to cover the pipe up so there is not chance of any sand going down it. Also fill the filter up about half way with water before you start adding the sand BY HAND. You do not want to drop the sand in kerplunk until the laterals are surrounded by sand by quite a bit.

As for the drain plug............I have never been able to get mine to work and gave up and just use the shop vac.

Kim:kim:
 

EzriJax

Bronze Supporter
Oct 10, 2020
31
Northern RI
#2 as we were typing at the same time...............you are one step ahead of me. Well done!

I would get the laterals out so you can clean them up. If those are the fold up kind then you want to look very close for hair line cracks all the way around.

When it is time to put sand back in make sure to cover the pipe up so there is not chance of any sand going down it. Also fill the filter up about half way with water before you start adding the sand BY HAND. You do not want to drop the sand in kerplunk until the laterals are surrounded by sand by quite a bit.

As for the drain plug............I have never been able to get mine to work and gave up and just use the shop vac.

Kim:kim:
My shop vac is not the best...I’ll probably end up siphoning most of that water or absorbing it with rags. But, at least I know I can just ignore the drain for now. I have bigger fish to fry, so to say.

I’m gonna go “fish” those laterals out. Carefully.

Kim-is that a beautiful flame point Ragdoll in your profile pic? 😻I have a seal point floppy cat myself.