Pre-Filter for Vacuuming Fine Dirt


Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
We live in an area where the dirt is very fine clay. When it's dry and all loose, it's like flour. I'm 98% sure that as I'm vacuuming, or the automatic vacuum is doing her thing, that it's simply running through the sand and back out again.

Vacuuming to waste is a solution, but a costly one in terms of water usage and time. Plus, it kind of defeats the "set it and forget it" nature of an automated cleaner.

I have the zeobrite media in the sand filter, and I just cleaned it all out yesterday, so it should be functioning at top performance (although I think the improve once they get slightly "seasoned."

Anyway, after the construction in the yard is all done, it won't be as big of an issue, but it will still be one, so I'd like to figure out how to address it. I'm sure a canister filter or DE might give better performance, but the sand is all I have right now, and I don't see a great reason to spend the money to replace it (beyond there's nothing I can do with this issue.

Thanks for the advice in advance!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
Search some of geekgranny's posts, she lines her cleaner bag with cut up tights or something like that to help keep her pool clean.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
North Central Texas
anonapersona said:
Search some of geekgranny's posts, she lines her cleaner bag with cut up tights or something like that to help keep her pool clean.
There are very few things that will capture all of our extremely fine "cementous" powder, and loads of it year round. Commercial Polaris bag liners (possibly can be used on other bag type cleaners) let virtually all the very fine stuff through. I experimented with different types of hosiery using my Pool Buster (blaster). The only liner that will catch a majority of our fine stuff is a very heavy women's tight. You can get at least two bags out of one leg. Any other hosiery lets, even heavy support hose lets virtually all of the stuff go through. I couldn't get the Polaris bag to clip on trying to use the heavy tights as liners for Polaris bags. But I bet with some creative fiddling one could do it.

There is one "fabric" that will catch most of it. The Nasty Bags, discussed below, are made of similar material. I've made several different types of liners and/or bags out if it but one problem, with the smaller bags, is that they filter so well, the bag clogs quickly. The fabric is white plant frost cloth, the cheapest way to purchase it in quantity. It is also similar to the material for allergy pillow and mattress covers.

What type of cleaner do you have?

For Polaris', that use bags the best you can do is the EZ disposable bags. A little bit goes through but not the majority. The bags are disposable but can be rinsed out. They are quite expensive. I can only get about 36 hours use from one bag before it begins to deteriorate.

For Aquabot type cleaners the best is the "permanent" cloth bag. If you have enough powder the bag will fill pretty fast. Almost as good is the "Nasty Bag", disposable, but I use them for months by cleaning them and then in washer cold/gentle. When we have only a little powder, I have to put a clean Nasty Bag in about every 5-8 hours of use BUT our dust is extreme. BTW.... Our "cementous" powder is much finer than DE.

For suction cleaners, if going through skimmer, or manual vacuuming about the best you are going to do is a skimmer sock, the heaviest with a vacuum plate, but a lot will still get through and it will clog up really fast.

If you have a dedicated suction port I'm not sure what to use. You could try different materials inside an in line leaf catcher.

I have a Quad 80 sq ft DE filter. That is a BIG filter. I use cellulose, which does filter finer than DE. I run the filter 21/7 on low (Pentair VF). The Polaris, which is the best for leaves, still stirs up some and it all doesn't go through the filter, even though pump is on virtually all the time. My suction Pool Cleaner does a good job and doesn't stir up much, but it fills the filter faster. The best job is with my slow moving, old Aquabot, but it is more hassle than the others, taking it in and out of the pool, at least once daily, to change out the bag (the robots are very heavy). Also, the dogs have no problems swimming over the Polaris and Pool Cleaner hoses but my best swimmer can get tangled in the robot power cord. Our cementous dust, using either DE or cellulose does not easily clear out of the filter backwashing so I have to take open the filter every 7-10 days, to power hose off the cartridges (Quad DE filters use cartridges instead of grids.) The more I use the Aquabot the longer the filter can go without opening and cleaning. Using the suction cleaner I can't go over 7 days without cleaning filter.

One other option is to vacuum to waste with waste line run back to pool, with slime bag attached for filtration. The Slime Bag filter down to about 1 micron, a little better than cellulose, but they are a real hassle to use. When they are filled with water, the very large one is almost impossible to get out of the pool. And still a little bit of stuff leaves through the pores when taking it out or if you disturb the bag. I have two submersible pumps, at a friends house, right now, with two Slime Bag, filter the water. Her filter is out of commission and we are trying to decide which filter to purchase. The pumps with the Slime bags are doing a great, but slow job of filtering, as the little pumps don't have nearly the flow and pressure that a real pool pump has. But the water is being kept circulating and some filtering is going on.

As questions and maybe we can come up with a solution.

Just thought of something. You could take your eyeball fittings off and tie heavy women's tights around the returns. I use pieces of women's hose to tie them on. If the tights don't work you could try some homemade frost cloth bags or even a cotton sock, trying different thicknesses and weaves.

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