Question - Bad pump, filter pool combo

Jun 21, 2012
I have been banging my head against a wall now for about 6 mo. Every time I vacuum, I get very fine particles back into the pull. The vacuuming part is fine, its the filtering.So much that my once sparkling water with a very dirty floor, becomes very turbid. I have backwashed a few times. I have used a lot of clarifier, netting over the skimmer basket, and this gel block from in the swim. Nothing filters this water clean. The guys at the local store say fill it up and then vacuum the dirt and water out. Seems like a waste to me. This has not just started, but began when I first started vacuuming when the pool was new last July.

So, I was wandering if there could be some channeling going on in the filter. Here is my setup stats.

Above ground 54", 27'
Gal 19300
Pump - Hayward Powerflo (EP1550LX)
Sand Filter - Hayward SW256t / vari-flow xl valve (filter flow rate 80 gpm, max pressure 50 psi)
Pipping - 1.5" flex intake, pvc out to Hayward auto-clorinator then two returns right above each other

Pressure stays around 11 psi regardless of backwashing.

I have seen elsewhere that the pump is rated at 86 gpm and then in other places only 40 gpm.

I figure I need 40 gpm to turnover that much water 3 times.




Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Welcome to TFP.

I doubt it's channeling since it started when the system was new.
If you tie or hold a sock over the return(s) when vacuuming does it catch anything? Use a thick sock.


Well-known member
May 24, 2009
I've had the same problem and the only solution I found was to vacuum to waste.

I have considered vac to waste, but return the waste to the pool through a Slime Bag. That way I won't lose lots of treated water. For some reason, I'm not having nearly as much debris return to the pool this year during vacuuming, so I haven't put the Slime Bag option into play.

Good luck!