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Swimming Pool Care help & information, questions answers

Customer E-mailed Questions & Answers
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POOL Filtration Question 
We have a DE filter. The pressure has been running high (20) so we cleaned the filter as it was clogged pretty bad when we opened it up. We let it soak overnight, so it looked like new when we finished. We started it and put DE in and the pressure was about 12 which is what it usually runs after it has been backwashed. However after about 2 hours the pressure was back up to 20 again. We turned it off for a little while, then turned it back on and after about 45 minutes the pressure was high again. What would be causing the filter pressure to keep  increasing. Surely the filter could not have gotten dirty that fast after a chemical cleaning. Do you have nay suggestions?
 
Sharon
 
Subject: Re: DE Filter

A couple of questions. 
  1. How dirty is the pool?  Is there algae present?  If so, the filter is doing its job filtering all the way down to the really tiny matter.  It will continue to clog quickly until all of that fine matter is removed.
  2. What sanitizer are you using?  Chlorine, bromine, SoftSwim, etc..  If the filter is more than 2 years old, you're using SoftSwim or Baquacil & this is the first time it was chemically cleaned, you may need to put New filter elements in the filter.
  3. How old is the filter?  If 5 years or more, you should consider replacing the elements.  Especially if they've never been chemically cleaned before.
I hope that gives you a couple of directions.  If you need further assistance, give us a call at 203-377-0100.
Ron,
 
Just wanted to thank you and let you know you were right on the money. My daughter (this was actually her pool) was able to run the filter for a couple of hours at a time, so overall I think she ran it for about 3 hours total on Saturday after we finished cleaning the filter, and then on Sunday after a couple of more hours it started to take on a bluish tint, but the pressure went back up. I had told her to call the pool service and have them come out and check the lines to the pool, It was hard for me to believe what you were saying, so I thought maybe something else was wrong. I have a cartridge filter on my pool and it just never did that. well anyway she decided she would wait to call the pool service and let the filter run last night for about another 2 1/2 hours then the pressure went up, but it was starting to look much better. So tonight she backwashed it again and it was running another 2 hours and the pressure was fine and I went over there and could not believe how clear the water was now. There was some dirt in the bottom, so she brushed it and after about 10 minutes the pressure was creeping up, so we realized it was just that the pool was really dirty. I guess our hard work cleaning the elements paid off. Your web site gave us a lot of good tips. Her filter is working better than it has since she bought her house in September 2001. It really also made a difference in the pressure of the water returning into the pool and the rate at which the skimmer was sucking water out. It has just made everything seem to work better. I just really didn't realize the filter had anything to do with that part of the process. But thanks again for your prompt response and all the help your web site gave us. I am sure tomorrow she will be able to run the filter for a lot longer and get the little bit that is left all filtered out. She will be swimming this weekend!
Thanks so much!
 
Sharon
 
----- Original Message -----   Click here for more information on Pink Slime
From: Cragin & Kaye
Subject: Pool care question
 
Hello!  I have an inground pool (concrete) and have been told I had Pink Algae as we closed it for the season.  I'm being told we should drain, acid wash, and refill to get rid of it.  Do you agree?  This method is very costly!!!  The pool company is telling me we will fight with it all season unless we do it this way.
 
In addition, we at some point do need to resurface which is incredibly expensive.  Are you familar with any other surfaces other than plaster that good and less costly?
Thanks,
Kaye

 

Answer: Good morning Kaye!
 
If you had Pink Slime (sometimes referred to as Pink Algae), you SHOULD NOT have to go through the cost & aggravation of draining, acid washing & refilling.  If there are heavy duty METAL stains, MAYBE.
 
Taking care of a pre-existing or past Pink Slime outbreak should be as "relatively" simple as:
  1. Thoroughly brush the pool's total surface.
  2. Properly rebalance the Pool water (pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness)
  3. Thoroughly SHOCK the pool with chlorine.  Or if you are using SoftSwim or another biguanide, SoftSwim "C".  This means doing a double or even triple shock.  Let me know & we can walk you through the process.
  4. To help prevent another outbreak & to suppress the Pink Slime from showing its ugly head, add Optimizier Plus to the pool.  Optimizer Plus will also help the water balance.
I'd be curious to find out what sanitizing system you're using and some facts of the pool itself (age, size, type of filter, heater, source water, etc.)
 
I hope this information helps!  Have a great season!
Par Pool & Spa

Click here for more information about Cloudy Pool Water

Question:
I don't know if you can help but thought I would give it a try. I have a 13,000 g. pool and the water for the last two days has been cloudy, kind of milky.  my local pool service suggested that I super-chlorinate it and run the pump for 48  hours.  I have put in 6 gallons of liquid chlorine and 4 oz. clarifier in the skimmer but I notice this a.m. the water is still cloudy.

Prior to this we  have had a lot of rain and I did use some magnet to get the copper out.  At one time the ph was low, around 6.2 so I added some soda ash to bring that up.   I think my sand filter is working okay as I notice in the backwash that it too is turbid.

Any suggestions  on what I might do next?  Thanks.

Louis Mason, Phoenix, AZ

RESPONSE: Hi Louis,
Let's see how I can help you.
A couple of questions first.  How long has the pool been cloudy?  How cloudy is it?  Can you see bottom, just a foot down, etc.?  Let me know the rest of the water balance, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, TDS if known.  What do you normally chlorinate with, liquid, dichlor, trichlor, Cal hypo?

Very often, after heavy rains, the water balance goes completely out.  That's why it's so important to get back into balance ASAP. Unless you have a heater, I don't understand your concern with copper in the  water.  Rain water is not going to introduce ANY metals into the water (rain is essentially distilled water).  If you do have a heater, then get that low pH of 6.2 adjusted to 7.6 immediately; THAT will definitely put copper into the  water.  Water with a pH of 6.2 is 10 times more acidic than water with a pH of 7.2.  Don't simply try to adjust the pH either, get the Total Alkalinity up first, 100 - 125 ppm.  A proper TA will keep the pH from slipping especially with a lot of rain.  This is your most important step.

If you are backwashing every day, STOP.  Let the filter get completely clogged first, then BW. As more stuff accumulates in the filter, that added stuff will actually help to filter finer particles.  Let the filter run CONTINUOUSLY (don't shut it off or turn off the timer) until the pool clears, it may take several days.  Also be sure to use the pool; the additional circulation will definitely help.  If using the pool is not something you want to do, then get your automatic cleaner in there or just brush & vacuum to aid the circulation.  Make sure the jets are pointed down & toward the center of the pool.  Whatever you can do to eliminate dead spots is crucial.

I hope that helps.  PLEASE get back to me with answers to the first questions, that will give me more information to help you.  By the way, if you're using cal hypo as your regular sanitizer, let me know the water temperature.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Ron

Continued:
Thanks for the quick reply; I am going to take a container of water in early tomorrow and see if I can get a printout of ph, TA, calcium.  and then I will fwd this info to you.  normally I use 3" tablets for chlorination but now with cloudiness I have used the liquid chlorine for superchlorination; I have poured in six gallons.  There seems to be a slight improvement and I am continuing to run the filter, will do it for 48 hours or more.  We don't get much rain in Phoenix but I think on this last rain a bit of dirt, etc from the deck got washed into the pool.  Yes, I think the copper came from my heater.  The copper is gone
now and I will take your advice and try to get that ph up to 7.6.  I usually keep the chlorine at about 3.0.  I will try to get the total alkalinity up to 100+ ppm.  I backwash once each two weeks or when the need goes 5 points higher than my usual 12.

Tomorrow a.m. I will brush down the sides good and get the water stirred up good.  Maybe that will help.

I appreciate you taking time to write me with such a nice long list of suggestions.

I'm wondering if I might have to change the sand in my filter.  to my knowledge it has never been done.  or, perhaps, I might have to drain the pool and refill; to my knowledge that has not been done and I've been in this house six years.

Again, thanks.

Louis Mason

Response: You're doing great!  If you don't know when the sand was last changed, change it.  Normally it should be done every 4 to 6 years anyway, even when the sand is chemically cleaned about every 8 weeks.  Strip Kwik works well
in cleaning the sand.

And remember, keep that water balanced!
Ron Parrs

Follow up: Thanks for you note; I think with the shock. Raising the pH and allowing the filter to run for 48 hours did the trick. Thanks for your suggestions. I've tested the balance and I think everything is pretty good except TDS and hardness which is a bit high. Thanks.

Louis Mason

Topic: Pink Slime & Chlorine Demand       Click here for more information on Pink Slime & Chlorine Demand

Question: PLEASE HELP - I LIKE YOUR WEBSITE - WE HAVE A 20 x 40 INGROUND POOL - 36,000 GALLON WATER - WE HAD THE PINK ALGAE AND THE POOL HAS CLEARED UP WITH PINK ALGAE ALGAECIDE - BUT NOW WE CANNOT KEEP OUR CHLORINE LEVEL UP. WE HAVE SUPER SHOCKED IT SEVERAL TIMES. WE LIVE IN ZANESVILLE OHIO AND OUR LOCAL POOL DEALER CAN'T SEEM TO HELP US - THEY SAID WE MIGHT HAVE TO DRAIN OUR POOL, WE DON'T WANT TO DO THIS AND WE SAW WHERE YOU SAID A POOL SHOULD NOT BE DRAINED. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US WITH THE BEST WAY TO GET OUR CHLORINE TO STAY IN THE POOL. THEY WERE HAVING US PUT 6 LBS OF SHOCK IN OUR POOL EVERY 3 HRS FOR 24 HRS, BUT AS SOON AS THE SUN COMES OUT, OUR POOL GOES BACK TO ZERO LEVEL OF CHLORINE.

HOPEFULLY YOU CAN GIVE US SOME ADVICE. THANK YOU.
BERNITA & BILL ELLIS

 

Response: Hi Bernita & Bill,
 
You most likely have a chlorine demand problem.  This would be pretty normal considering the pink slime issue you dealt with. We've dealing with a lot of these over the past couple of weeks, both online & in our store.
 
The bottom line is that you haven't reached "Breakpoint" chlorination yet.  When trying to get to breakpoint, you have to reach it at one time.  It cannot be reached incrementally.  6 pounds may sound like a lot, but in reality, you may need to add 60 lbs!  Don't say yikes yet!  Please read our article on Chlorine Demand .

My advice to you is to find a local BioGuard Dealer who has a Chlorine Demand station.  The test takes a little while to run.  If you can't find a dealer, you can send us a water sample & we would be happy to test it for you at no charge.

Don't worry!  It's not hopeless.  But you've got to get it under control NOW.  If you don't you will continue with the problem next year.  Whatever you do, DON'T drain the pool!  That action is NOT necessary.

Let us know how we can continue to help you.
Ron
 

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