Sand and dirt

Erin 36

Well-known member
May 18, 2021
47
Chesapeake Virginia
I just had my pool put in and the contractor accidentally knocked in sand/dirt when grading. Oops.

We have well water and bought water, spent over $1k for that. It's been cloudy since day 2.

Not realizing the sand was the issue initially, I spent a bunch of money and time. Shocked pool and used clarifier (the "natural" kind a couple times), bought filter socks, manually vaccuumed (and gotten up a ton) at least 3 times in a week. Bfore knowing any better, I ran robotic vacuum twice. Have had water tested 3x and bought what they said and found this place. (My test kit will be here in two days.)

Pool contractor said to floc it and I have googled it and since I have a cartridge filter, that's a big fat no.

Any suggestions to get the sand and dirt out? I'm at my wits end. This was supposed to be exciting and I've busted Rear everyday and gotten a fistful of sand every time I manually vacuum with filter socks but so much fine sand in there, I feel like it'll take a month of doing it every single day.

I have to figure out signature but it's approx 18k Gallon inground salt pool with cartridge filter. Any more suggestions? 🤯
 

Texas Splash

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Welcome to TFP! :wave: Glad to hear you avoided the floc, however clarifiers can gum-up filters as well. :( Something to watch for later. As for the dirt and sand, just let it settle naturally. You should still be able to simply vacuum it up and rinse the cartridge filter out. Might take a few passes but you'll get it. Other than looking dirty at the bottom it won't hurt anything. Now if you have junk floating in the water, it may already be algae, so we'll come back to that once you get your test kit.

Most importantly it's good to hear you have a test kit coming. Be sure to add that to your signature once you get that figured out. Remember new water has no CYA (stabilizer), so you should have a 30 ppm minimum. Then balance the FC to that CYA as noted on the FC/CYA Chart to avoid algae. That's most important right now. We'll watch for your new test results.

 

Erin 36

Well-known member
May 18, 2021
47
Chesapeake Virginia
Thanks the pool store already had me at stabilizer too. I know I need to add calcium but they said to wait till clear. It's been almost two weeks now though trying to get the funk out. I turned off pump a couple times to settle and got a fist full out of sand and mud each time before it became too cloudy to see ANYTHING. thanks, I'm feeling a little defeated. Week update with levels soon. Just wish there was a way to get it all out
 

Texas Splash

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Us cart filter owners are limited in that sense by not having a vacuum to waste option. Of course you could use (buy or rent) a sump pump, like a trash pump, connect a hose/vacuum, and use that to pull the junk directly out to the lawn. Just a thought.
 

Erin 36

Well-known member
May 18, 2021
47
Chesapeake Virginia
So looks like I can bypass to dump out and not through filter. The contractor said to do that floc and buy a new cartridge. Should I do that?
 

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Deb04

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Jul 12, 2008
428
Seacoast, NH
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Vinyl
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just a thought. Shouldn’t the contractor be either doing this work or paying for the supplies for you to do it?
 

Texas Splash

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Nice! You have a by-pass. :goodjob: Not all builders install that. The question now, do you wait or use a product to bind that stuff, settle at bottom, and vacuum? Certainly your choice. I personally don't like to use those products because even if you think you vacuumed it all to waste, some residual product might remain. But you already know you need to replace the cartridge's filter anyway. Before committing one way or the other, can you post a pic of the water? It would be good to see the water clarity.

By the way, don't forget to update your signature. See mine as an example if it helps.
 

Erin 36

Well-known member
May 18, 2021
47
Chesapeake Virginia
Ok hopefully that shows up.

So maybe a dumb question, but if I'm sucking it out to waste, do I still need to replace my filter? Im guessing the answer is yes, but if I'm going to have to trash the filter ((as a floc filter)) then why would I vaccuum to drain? Just trying to understand.


So I tested today with the kit that came with the pool (pentair rainbow 78) and my alkalinity was 120, pH was high (added qt of muriatic acid)... But my chlorine levels are super high and they were that way last week when I went to the pool store (@6000). I just turned off my chlorinator .. should I just leave that off til it comes down some?

Thanks for all the help!
 

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Texas Splash

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Erin, that pic seems to show water with algae more than anything else. When your test kit arrives, I would start a SLAM Process. Perhaps the delay in adding chemicals, coupled with sand/dirt that may have introduced too much organic junk, overwhelmed the water, but that really looks like a cloudy pool with algae. That said, you can fix this! I would wait for your test kit, not use any floc or other products yet, and prepare for a SLAM Process.

If you see sediment on the floor, you can vacuum to waste before starting the SLAM. Even though your current filter appears to be compromised from clarifier, I would keep it as a back-up for later or until this whole sand/dirt mess is resolved.

I am skeptical about that Rainbow FC reading. As soon as you receive your TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C) test kit, post a full set of water test results and we'll coach you from there.

For now, I would ensure there are no tabs, packs, or anything else in use. Leave the SWG off as well for now. I would add one gallon of liquid pool chlorine to the water today and that's it. One gallon is only enough to increase the FC by about 5 ppm or so and perfectly safe. You might try to get a few gallons of liquid pool chlorine or regular bleach for the SLAM Process as well. Prepare by getting about 5-6 gallons at first and we'll see how the chlorine consumption goes during the SLAM. Remember pool chlorine and regular bleach are the same thing just different % strengths. If you end-up getting some bleach, be sure it's regular/plain - no splashless or scented, and avoid the Clorox brand bleach.
 

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Texas Splash

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Ok I'm trying to read up and understand. If my chlorine levels are high, why would I add more chlorine?
Above you mentioned a store FC test of 6,000. That's impossible. Your liner would be obliterated at that level. I'm willing to bet your FC level is actually low for your current CYA which is resulting in the cloudy water. Once you get your test kit,, there is a specific test that will provide accurate FC testing at elevated levels (say 5 - 30 ppm or more). By the way, which kit did you order?
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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I know I need to add calcium but they said to wait till clear.
You have a vinyl liner. Unless the pool water is foaming, you do not need to add calcium.
 

duckcmmndr

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May 7, 2014
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FC is 6.83... that's high isn't it?
No...if your CYA level from the pool store is accurate, you need to maintain a FC level of 5-7 for normal operation and will have to raise it to 16 to SLAM.

Like others have said...wait for your test kit before making any drastic moves. Just keep adding the gallon of liquid chlorine each day till you can test and report good numbers.
 

Texas Splash

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should I turn off the chlorine generator for now? And if so when does it come back on
If you leave it on for now it won't hurt anything. Be sure to add that gallon of chlorine though. Once you receive your test kit, I'm thinking you may need to perform a SLAM Process at which point you will turn off the SWG and rely solely on liquid chlorine.
 

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