problems keeping cartridge clean

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Dave,

I absolutely agree with you -- chlorine is the first and primary way to clear a pool. There is one situation, however, where it seems a floc is called for and that is when there is a LOT of algae (i.e. a full-fledged bloom) AND the circulation is very poor in the pool, typically in an above-ground pool without a floor drain. In such a situation, a floc just helps you dump a lot of junk to the bottom that you then vacuum up (to waste). I agree that you could also just manually aid circulation by brushing or running a pool cleaner, but getting everything into the skimmer so it can get filtered out when there is no floor drain can sometimes be difficult. At least this is the sense I get from reading many users experiences -- the ones that seem to take a very long time using chlorine alone are the situation I described -- for everyone else, chlorine gets you there in a reasonable time.

Richard
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Hi, Richard,

I agree with that scenario you describe. That, coupled with the notorious low filtering capacities of AG's, is a situation for floc and I had not seriously considered it before.....Thanks.
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
I think my algae bloom is finally gone. The green color seems to be gone. I can't see the bottom yet, but I can see further down than I could before. I was able to shock the pool yesterday afternoon and again when I got home today. It seems to be holding the CL levels better, but it still is not staying at 15. I will shock it a couple more times tomorrow and see how it looks. If the green is still gone, I will get some flocculant. I am also going to pick up that new filter. Strange thing though, when I took the filter out today to clean it, it was gold colored instead of the usual green, however, there isn't any yellow or gold color to the water. Any idea what that could be from?

ETA: One more question about the flocculant, I can't vacuum to waste, so can I just vacuum normally and clean the filter a lot?
 

gonefishin

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Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
great job heatmisr!

But be sure to maintain shock levels until your chlorine holds overnight. Even if it looks pretty clear...it's better to be sure.

congrats!
dan
 

MikeInTN

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May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
heatmisr said:
I think my algae bloom is finally gone. The green color seems to be gone. I can't see the bottom yet, but I can see further down than I could before. I was able to shock the pool yesterday afternoon and again when I got home today. It seems to be holding the CL levels better, but it still is not staying at 15. I will shock it a couple more times tomorrow and see how it looks. If the green is still gone, I will get some flocculant. I am also going to pick up that new filter. Strange thing though, when I took the filter out today to clean it, it was gold colored instead of the usual green, however, there isn't any yellow or gold color to the water. Any idea what that could be from?

ETA: One more question about the flocculant, I can't vacuum to waste, so can I just vacuum normally and clean the filter a lot?
The gold color is probably a mixture of dead and dying algae, which is also what's still clouding your pool, I would think. Keep your FC at shock level as already mentioned. You're doing great!

Yep, just vacuum and clean the filter as you have been. Those of us with cartridge filters can't vacuum to waste, unless you have a special valve between the pump and filter ( I don't have this valve, either).
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
I don't think we have a valve on ours either. We inherited everything from the previous owner except the paperwork. Still trying to figure everything out. It would be nice if we could vacuum to waste. It would make things much easier.

I'll keep shocking. Hopefully we will have it cleared up so we can swim next weekend. We bought this house last July and have never been in the pool. To say we are looking forward to it is an understatement...LOL.
 

MikeInTN

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May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
heatmisr said:
I don't think we have a valve on ours either. We inherited everything from the previous owner except the paperwork. Still trying to figure everything out. It would be nice if we could vacuum to waste. It would make things much easier.

I'll keep shocking. Hopefully we will have it cleared up so we can swim next weekend. We bought this house last July and have never been in the pool. To say we are looking forward to it is an understatement...LOL.
I can only imagine how much y'all are wanting to jump in the pool. :) Just a bit more patience, and you'll be swimming in no time.

I doubt you have a valve like that either. It would make keeping up the filters easier, that's for sure. Do you have a spare filter that you keep clean and ready to pop in? That helps, as well as using skimmer socks. You'd be surprised at the Crud that gets caught up in a skimmer sock.
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
Looks like a good topic of conversation might be how cartridge filter folks without the ability to vacuum to waste can install a valve to be able to do so. I would think that wouldn't be such a big DIY thing (maybe I'm wrong).
 

heatmisr

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Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
Good news! It held the CL overnight. Even with the pouring rain we got. Hubby's home today, so he will check it a couple times today to see if it is still holding.

As far as the spare cartridge goes, we need a new one. The old cartridge is green and I think that it was contributing to the problem. We have been using the newer cartridge we bought this year and the results have been much better with that one. We are going to completely dump the old cartridge, buy another new cartridge and use the current cartridge as a back up. I'm also going to see if I can pick up some flocculant today.
 

heatmisr

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Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
Ok, I'm a little unsure, so I figured I should get some clarification before preceeding.

The pool held the CL level overnight.
This afternoon, around 1p, hubby added one gallon of 12.5%. Don't know what the CL level was because he forgot to test it first. (I guess I got him programmed to shock, shock, shock....lol)
Got Dave's test kit today (thanks, Dave that was fast!) and tested CL around 7pm. Here are the numbers:

FC= 5.5ppm
CC=2.5ppm
TC=8.0ppm

I picked up a new cartridge and some floc. The water has been blue for about 3 days now. Should I:

-floc and then tomorrow change to the new cartridge and vacuum?
-change to the new cartridge and shock?
-floc and then tomorrow leave the current cartridge in and vacuum?
-leave the current cartridge in and shock?

Don't want to make a misstep now that I am so close to the finish line.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You still have CC above 0.5 so you should maintain FC at shock levels.

If the water is clear and blue there is no need for floc.

Changing the cartrige for a new one might as well wait till everything has settled down, clear water, no CC, done shocking.
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
Ok, so I should shock until CC is .5 before stopping.

I don't have clear water, however. It is blue, but cloudy. I have a so so cartridge and no floor drain, so I believe I will need some assistance getting all the dead stuff out.
 

The Mermaid Queen

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Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
If you are going to floc, you might as well wait to change your cartridge.

The general recommendation is shock until you can hold an FC overnight and cc's are <.5
With 2.5 cc's I would still be shocking.

Are you running your filter 24/7? (maybe you said this, and I forgot)

Usually shocking and filtering 24/7 is sufficient, but I know you are having cartridge issues! I would wait until I cleared the cc's before I floc'd... maybe you wont need to!
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
ok, thanks for the advice.

I shocked last night around 7pm. Checked the CL levels this morning around 7am. FC= 14, CC= 1.5.

I will check it when I get home this evening to see how the levels look. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to shock it.

Yes, actually my filter has been running 24/7 for the last 2 weeks (my electric bill is going to be astronomical) I was using the cal-hypo shock for almost a week before I found this forum.
 

MikeInTN

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May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
heatmisr said:
ok, thanks for the advice.

I shocked last night around 7pm. Checked the CL levels this morning around 7am. FC= 14, CC= 1.5.

I will check it when I get home this evening to see how the levels look. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to shock it.

Yes, actually my filter has been running 24/7 for the last 2 weeks (my electric bill is going to be astronomical) I was using the cal-hypo shock for almost a week before I found this forum.

I ran mine 24/7 for the last two pool seasons before I wised up. You can only imagine what my electric bills were like.. :cry:
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
Eek! :shock:

I know how my bill looked last year from running the filter for days while trying to clear the swamp. I can't imagine running it all day, everyday for 2 summers.
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
Well, we finally got to see the bottom of the pool tonight. Now we know why it is taking so long to clear up. It was clear around the edges and cloudy in the middle, so now we could see the mountain of leaves that are on the bottom of the pool. We pulled out the leaf rake and vacuum and got up as much as we could until the pool clouded up so much we could no longer see anything. We shocked it and will do the same thing tomorrow. Hopefully it will clear up enough that we can get the majority of the junk that is still in there out.
 

MikeInTN

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May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
heatmisr said:
Eek! :shock:

I know how my bill looked last year from running the filter for days while trying to clear the swamp. I can't imagine running it all day, everyday for 2 summers.
That's what my wonderful pb told me to do. "Run your filter 24/7, shock every week with MPS regardless if you swim or not, use baking soda to raise pH".
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
heatmisr said:
Well, we finally got to see the bottom of the pool tonight. Now we know why it is taking so long to clear up. It was clear around the edges and cloudy in the middle, so now we could see the mountain of leaves that are on the bottom of the pool. We pulled out the leaf rake and vacuum and got up as much as we could until the pool clouded up so much we could no longer see anything. We shocked it and will do the same thing tomorrow. Hopefully it will clear up enough that we can get the majority of the junk that is still in there out.
Hate to hear about the leaves, but at least you've found your problem. Keep your chin up. :)