Skimmer Sock in Filter Basket?

CUTiger78

Well-known member
May 24, 2009
464
NoVA
Can I use a skimmer sock in my filter basket to catch some very fine debris? Not permanently, but only while vacuuming?

It's been about 3 weeks since I opened the pool. Water is almost completely clear, with just a bit of cloudiness in the deep end. The filter isn't catching some very fine, dirt-like debris (could be some dead algae). The Polaris is doing a very good job picking up most of it in the fine silt bag, but I'm going to have to vacuum some areas the Polaris isn't getting to. I could vac to waste (which wouldn't hurt my high CYA level), but that will waste a lot of water. So, to help trap this very fine debris, what does anyone think about putting a skimmer sock inside my filter basket while vacuuming?

I don't currently use a skimmer plate for the vac (I plug it directly into the skimmer suction port), but if I did, what about using a skimmer sock in the skimmer basket while vacuuming?

Add'l info: Finished shocking the pool about 10 days ago. Overnight FC levels remain constant, with 1 ppm (or less) FC loss each night. .5 ppm (or less) CC level has also remained constant. Using a TF-100 test kit.

Today's numbers:
FC = 10
CC = 0
TC = 10
Ph = 7.6
TA = 120
CH = 140
CYA = 80
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You can use a skimmer sock as you describe, but I don't think it is going to help anything. If the filter isn't catching the debris, then a skimmer sock isn't going to work either.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
I used to do this, and encountered two problems:

(1) When I'd shut the pump down to remove the vac plate, all the dirt that was trapped by the skimmer sock would come up and start floating back out in the pool.

(2) If there was a lot of dirt and leaves in the pool, then the skimmer sock would clog and the pump would either bog down or the vaccuum pressure would cause the bottom of the skimmer basket to break away.

So now, I pull the skimmer sock off when I'm going to vaccuum. The dirt gets caught in the filter, and the leaves get caught by either the skimmer basket or the leaf pot on the pump.
 

CUTiger78

Well-known member
May 24, 2009
464
NoVA
Thanks for the feedback. Doesn't sound like a great idea, but I had to ask.

Jason's reply makes me think that the skimmer sock filter ability isn't any better than the Zeo media (3 - 5 microns).

Mike's experience is similar to mine. Even during normal skimmer use, the skimmer sock would get clogged with debris & dirt and the suction pressure caused the bottom of the skimmer basket to break away.

I did find on the Zeo manufacturer's website that both "regeneration" and routine (at least annual) cleaning is necessary. I'll be trying those soon.

For you ZeoBrite/ZeoSand users, here are the links:
"regeneration" - http://www.zeobrite.com/PDF/Zeobrite Regeneration.Bed Cleaner.Procedure.pdf
annual maintenance procedure for cleaning - http://www.zeobrite.net/faqs/detail.asp?iFaq=215&iType=19

Cheers!


edited on 07/03/2011 to update url's
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
If you always maintain chlorine in your pool, then "regneration" should not be necessary because virtually no ammonia will be getting to your filter to be captured since chlorine will combine with it in seconds to a minute to form monochloramine in the bulk pool water which will then get oxidized by chlorine to nitrogen gas. The filter does not remove monochloramine -- it only removes ammonia. The whole spiel about "no ammonia -- no chloramines" on most zeolite websites is terribly misleading. Yes, if there were ammonia in the water then zeolite would remove it, but with chlorine in the water the ammonia will never make it to the filter so the filter will do nothing to help reduce chloramines, at least not through that mechanism. The filter's ability to remove organics would help reduce chloramines, but that's true of any good filter, not just zeolite.

Some shady "consultants" claim that monochloramine is removed, but it has been demonstrated that this is not the case. There is a slow equilibrium of monochloramine with ammonia, but even assuming all ammonia were instantly removed, the half-life is around 9 hours so when factoring in the small amount of water exposed to zeolite at any time in a pool, it would take over a month to remove half of the monochloramine through this mechanism while chlorine will have oxidized the monochloramine to nitrogen gas within hours.

I suppose that if one were to let a pool go over the winter and had bacteria convert CYA into ammonia, then the zeolite would be useful at helping to remove that ammonia. That's about the only practical use I can see for zeolite's ammonia removing capability in pools.

Also, zeolite's claims to filter to 3-5 microns is dubious. It is a claim by manufacturers that has not yet been substantiated by NSF or other standards. DE has been shown to filter better than cartridge or regular sand, but it has not yet been demonstrated that zeolite does equal to or better than DE.
 

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
I've had good results with using a small amount of DE powder in my sand filter - a cup or less added through the skimmer. Just be careful and watch your pressure. Backwash when it starts to rise.