Reoccurring layer of dirt at bottom of pool

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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Greetings,

In my short time as a pool owner, I've seemed to got my arms around my pool chemistry thanks to everyone here. However, I haven't got my arms around keeping it as clean as I would like.

We have a large ficus tree in our backyard, so if someone in California sneezes the tree will drop a lot of leaves and these little berries in pool. I love the shade the tree provides, but know eventually we will have to get rid of tree.

Each morning I get out any leaves and berries manually with leave rake. After I do this in morning, I start sweeping a reoccuring layer of dirt toward the main drain. The dirt isn't always visible (unless I let it collect for a few days). However, you see it get stirred up immediately when I start sweeping. It's pretty evenly spread everywhere, except there is usually a little more on the steps.

As you may notice in my signature, my pool has in-floor cleaning jets. In fact, those jets are the only return (other than an areator) for the pool. For some reason, they didn't install a side return.

So to my questions. First off, is pushing everything toward the main drain an effective way to remove dirt? I was concerned that my efforts were wasted because after I pushed everything toward drain it would then just get pushed back across pool by the infloor jets once I turn on pump. I have been running my pump at low speed (1725gpm or 1250gpm) since I think high speed pushes dirt back around bottom of pool. However, the pump still primes at high speed for 3 minutes before settling at the lower speed, so I let pump run first and then sweep once the speed as settled to 1725gpm or 1250gpm

Is it common to always get a layer of dirt on spread across bottom of pool every day? I don't know if it's just new dirt, if my in-floor jets are just pushing everything I swept back to shallow end of if my filter isn't holding dirt and it's coming back through the filter. My guess it's a combination of the three.

So is there things I can be doing to help with this or is there another cheap way to get dirt out manually? I have the dolphin on my Amazon wish list, but moving into a new house means I have a lot other new expenses that are going to delay purchasing one. Currently, my only method of cleaning is the leaf rake and I use one of those devices where you hook it up to garden hose and it sucks up leaves. I do that weekly or if there is a large number of leaves that I can't get out with rack. I figured that device doesn't collect the dirt since it's using a mesh net
 

Patrick_B

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Jun 7, 2011
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Midland TX
I live in West Texas. Lots of the same thing with the dirt. Plenty of leaf, and other tree fall all the time. I would suggest a Dolphin M5 or a Oasis Z5. I and a friend own these respectively and they are excellent performers. My nod naturally goes to the M5/500, and although a touch pricey, you'll never be unhappy. In floor cleaners can do fairly well, but they can't compare to a good robot. Brushing as you mention helps too.

Check out this thread: Dolphin Supreme M Series Owner’s Club
 

duraleigh

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Are you sure it's dirt? If so, you should be able to capture it between your thumb and forefinger. If you can't, it's dead algae.
 

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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Are you sure it's dirt? If so, you should be able to capture it between your thumb and forefinger. If you can't, it's dead algae.
Im pretty certain it's dirt. I recently drained pool. Check my levels twice a day and have have had levels perfect.

Also, we have had a lot more wind lately with air quality bad because of it. So I think it's blowing desert dust.
 

duraleigh

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Based on anecdotal evidence only, but about 85% of "dirt" on this forum turns out to be dead algae. Can you capture it or does it just "wisp" away?
 

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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Based on anecdotal evidence only, but about 85% of "dirt" on this forum turns out to be dead algae. Can you capture it or does it just "wisp" away?
It's a bit of both. There are clumps that collect but there is certainly the "wisp" away as a push it toward drain.
 

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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What is your daily FC consumption? CYA? water temp?
Yesterday
6:00am
FC: 7.5
PH: 7.8
TA: 100
CH: 190
CYA: 40

Added Muriatic Acid

7:00pm
FC: 5.5
PH: 7.4

Added 48oz of 10% Liquid Chlorine

Today
6:00am
FC - 9.5
pH - 7.8

Water temp is at 74

- - - Updated - - -


sorry forgot to add my CC is always 0. I test it each time but don't write it in log book unless it's above 0
 

duraleigh

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7:00pm
FC: 5.5
PH: 7.4

Added 48oz of 10% Liquid Chlorine

Today
6:00am
FC - 9.5
pH - 7.8

Water temp is at 74
I can't make that add up.

You added enough last night to increase FC by 2 ppm yet you show a 4 ppm increase with no loss???

Your pH test is erratic.....it will not change much if at all in a 12 hour period
 

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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I can't make that add up.

You added enough last night to increase FC by 2 ppm yet you show a 4 ppm increase with no loss???

Your pH test is erratic.....it will not change much if at all in a 12 hour period
I was wondering about those two as well. I have needed to add about the same amount ohlorine each night (48oz) and it usually comes back 7.5ish the next morning. Today was way higher. My only thought was that I opened a new bottle of liquid chlorine from different store last night and it was stronger.

PH has been erratic a lot lately. Some of it may be attributed to my ability to color match.

also, I do measure out everything instead of eyeballing chemical amounts so amount I add is pretty accurate.
 

duraleigh

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Eyeballing the correct pH will come with practice. Just be aware that the actual pH does not move like that.

The endpoint of the FC test is worth reviewing. You continue to add the drops until the last drop makes absolutely no color change whatsoever. Then you subtract that last drop from your total.....the result is your FC. It's often easy to shortcut that endpoint.

So, in lieu of any testing, I think I would raise the FC to about 12 and hold it there for 48 hours, letting it drift back down to normal. That may clear up that "dirt" once and for all.
 

triptyx

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Apr 12, 2016
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Tucson, AZ
I will note, Dave, that in AZ, we have a lot of actual very fine dirt that ends up in the pool. With a total lack of retaining ground cover, and landscaping in most yards that consists of gravel over loose dirt, it is not uncommon to see a fine cloud of dirt come up when you brush. Before I got the Kreepy, which runs every day with the pool pump, I had enough fine dirt in the pool, even with slowly brushing towards the drains nearly every day, that the pool would get visibly cloudy when people were swimming and stirring up the bottom. We recently had three or four days of high winds, which put a LOT of dust into the air - it's caked on the surface of my solar cover right now in the damp spots.

To OP - I'm not saying it's not algae, please follow Dave's advice to make sure you're not about to have an outbreak, but it is possible that it's dirt.
 

duraleigh

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+1 what you both say. Adding that FC is a good safety measure. It will also prove that it is one or the other and then you can work on solutions if it is dirt.
 

spinPHD

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Apr 20, 2017
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Thanks duraleigh and triptyx. I will do that this weekend since I am home and able to monitor levels to keep it at 12.

Whether it's dirt or dead algae, one concern I am having is if whether or not my filter keeping it from returning to the pool. I haven't taken apart the sand filter since I bought the house a few months ago, so don't know how well the previous owner took care of it or if it needs a cleaning. I was hoping to wait until after the summer to tackle that project, so in meantime I will just keep brushing and getting levels correct. Can't wait to see what monsoon season has in store for the pool
 

triptyx

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Apr 12, 2016
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Tucson, AZ
It may be worth an inspection to make sure there's enough sand, that it hasn't packed down or channeled, etc. A sand filter should be able to handle the dust, but you may need to increase run time to filter more water since the floor jets are stirring it up.
 

Patrick_B

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Jun 7, 2011
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Midland TX
I will note, Dave, that in AZ, we have a lot of actual very fine dirt that ends up in the pool. With a total lack of retaining ground cover, and landscaping in most yards that consists of gravel over loose dirt, it is not uncommon to see a fine cloud of dirt come up when you brush. Before I got the Kreepy, which runs every day with the pool pump, I had enough fine dirt in the pool, even with slowly brushing towards the drains nearly every day, that the pool would get visibly cloudy when people were swimming and stirring up the bottom. We recently had three or four days of high winds, which put a LOT of dust into the air - it's caked on the surface of my solar cover right now in the damp spots.

To OP - I'm not saying it's not algae, please follow Dave's advice to make sure you're not about to have an outbreak, but it is possible that it's dirt.
X 2

It's everywhere all the time here, and with the wind, it's magnified.