Questions Re: In ground pool, filter, and vacuum...

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Phlimm
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Questions Re: In ground pool, filter, and vacuum...

Postby Phlimm » Fri 18 Apr, 2008 20:57

I recently moved into a new home and it has an in ground Pebble-Tec pool that is cleaned by a "Triton II High Rate Sand Filter" (according to the label). It also has a dual waterfall that we use as the return instead of the normal jets on the sides.

I am learning all things pool as I go along...I am having some issues and was wondering what the best approach is:

1. What is the deal with backwashing? I was told to do it every once in a while if the pressure goes below 10. Is this the only time I should do this? Do I need to add anything to the pool after a backwash?

2. We moved in last July and used the pool a lot. It is now swim season again, and I want to know what I need to do to keep the filter happy. I have no idea how well the previous owners maintained it, and they are not really contactable. I hear things like grids and get all freaked out, afraid to touch anything. WTH are the grids?

3. There are (obviously) two lines connected to the large sand tank from the pump, etc. The TOP line...it is I think a large screw gasket connection...whenever the pump comes on, it takes a good 10-20 seconds before the pump will actually run water through the waterfalls. Water will spray out the side of the gasket though and down along the side of the sand tank. When the pump goes off, it is the opposite...the gasket sucks air and I hear a lot of water action in the lines for 10-30 seconds or so. While the pump is running, it will run at a certain noise level, and then there is a lot of splashy sounds in the pump and then the waterfall comes on. Is this in any way normal?

4. I have cleaned the pump basket out twice so far and I think it is reasonably clean. How often do I do that?

5. Whenever the pump goes off, water is vomited up out of the skimmer basket all over the pool deck. Is this normal?

6. The Hayward was working just fine, but last night he stopped moving. I took the vacuum line off and felt the hose, and almost got sucked in by the arm, so there is plenty of suction. The pump is running at about 15 for the moment and once the waterfalls get moving, they seem to run fine, so I think the issue is with the little guy itself. I lifted him up while he was running and the legs are moving, but I can stop them if I apply a little pressure to the bottom. It is almost like it cannot produce enough force to push against its own weight once it hits the bottom. Any ideas on fixing it, or am I in for a brand new unit? :(

7. I have had to shock it twice so far this season due to greenness. One time, there was a rock stuck in the Hayward and it could not drive around, but in general it does not look as pristine as I recall last year. I checked the Cl level with a kit and it showed way high, like it was really dark yellow with the test chems. So I let it sit because I heard that full sun will reduce Cl over time. But then it went green. Urgh. I do try to keep at least 2-3 large Cl tabs in the floating basket at all times.

Sorry to blast in with all the n00bish questions, I am sure you get it a lot. Hopefully I can pick up on this and not have to be a pest!

Thanks in advance!

Phlimm


muss08
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Postby muss08 » Sat 19 Apr, 2008 07:30

Okayt, i can help with some of your issues. First, backwashing cleans the sand of debris that it caught while filtering. You have a sand filter so you dont have to worry about grids (that is for DE filters). You backwash when the pressure runs about 10 psi higher than normal. Turn the pump off, move the valve to filter, turn the pump on and run until the sight glass is clear. Turn the pump off- move the valve to "rinse" and run the pump for about 20 seconds. Turn the pump off- move the valve to filter- turn the pump on. Never move the filter valve while the pump is on! The screw gasket connection you speak of is a union. It should not be leaking at all- no water out no air in. Chances are the O-ring in the union needs to be replaced. The union should unscrew- then you will see the o-ring. You can try rinsing it off, lubing it up, and putting it back in. If it still leaks you need a new one. You clean the pump basket an needed. If you notice debris then clean it out- same with the skimmer baskets. Water shooting out of the skimmer is not normal and is probably from the waterfall water flowing back towards the equipment. What kind of test kit do you use to test the water? Usually liquid test kits show chlorine as pink. A high level is not always a bad thing. It really depends on the rest of your readings. If you can post all of your numbers I'll be able to help you more. I need to know- Free Chlorine, Total or Combined Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid levels. If you dont have a kit that tests all of these I recommend getting the Taylor K 2006 test kit (around $50). It tests for all of these and is very accurate. A good test kit is a must for pool owners.
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Postby Phlimm » Sat 19 Apr, 2008 10:51

Thanks so much for your help!

Turn the pump off, move the valve to filter, turn the pump on and run until the sight glass is clear. Turn the pump off- move the valve to "rinse" and run the pump for about 20 seconds. Turn the pump off- move the valve to filter- turn the pump on.
Hmmmm, not sure what you mean on this, all I have is an up/down handle that says Lock/Unlock. To do a backwash, I push the handle in and the water runs out a line from the ground and boils up through the yard and out to the street. No sight glass, no other positions on the handle.

The union should unscrew- then you will see the o-ring. You can try rinsing it off, lubing it up, and putting it back in. If it still leaks you need a new one.
So just unscrew the union swap out the gasket...Do I need to crack open the top of the sand tank first or anything?


Water shooting out of the skimmer is not normal and is probably from the waterfall water flowing back towards the equipment.
So this would actually be no problem while we use the waterfalls as our return then?

I made a mistake on the Cl test...yea it was dark red, over what my cheapo test kit showed. I'll see about getting a better one.
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Postby muss08 » Sat 19 Apr, 2008 17:20

Sorry about the confusion with the valves. Thought you had a multiport valve but you have a push/pull valve. Disregard what I said about backwashing. Turn pump off, push valve in, turn pump on-backwash. Can you see the backwash water at all? Its hard to know how long to backwash without seeing the water. Anyways, I forgot to mention the waterfall previously. I would not recommend using the waterfall for the only return. The return lines in the pool are designed to circulate the water- usually in a circular motion around the pool and slightly down to reach deep areas. This ensures the chemistry is consistent throughout the pool and the chlorine reaches all areas of the pool. Certain types of algae, especially black algae, will look for "dead zones" (areas where water is not circulating) to take root. About your filter- let me take a look at the schematic for your filter and I will be able to tell you exactly what you need. You do not need to crack open the filter to replace the oring. I'll get back to you tonight. Definitely, definitely, definitely invest in a good test kit. I cant really help you much more on your chemistry without the other readings. Exactly what kind of kit do you have now and what does it test for?
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Postby muss08 » Sat 19 Apr, 2008 18:07

Hopefully all you need is what is called a valve adapter o-ring. It is pentair part number 274494. All you need to do is unscrew the union (should be hand tight but you may need to use a wrench) and the o-ring will be seated inside.
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Postby Phlimm » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 16:44

OK I am working on the filter schemos. I changed the return from waterfalls to jets and today, the pool does look better...I dunno if it is wishful thinking or what. I will be changing the gasket today.

Leslie's said the Hayward's feet were a only little bit worn, and the reason it won't move is probably something inside it like the drive mechanism. They say they can fix it for the cost of parts. Estimated $70-90 depending on what they find when they take it apart. Is this something that I could do myself?
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Postby Phlimm » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 17:43

Hrm, well that did not go as planned. I could not at all budge the union. Is there a special wrench I need? Should I open the manual pressure release first? The gauge reads zero when the pump is off.

The exact model is a Triton II TR100-HD, the manual is located here.

http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/TritonIIOM.pdf

If you want me to get something more in the way of schematics, let me know.

Thanks a lot! :)
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Postby muss08 » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 18:25

I would go ahead and let Leslies fix your cleaner. Working inside of the units can be tricky. Yes, open the pressure release valve and try turning the union. If it still doesn't budge you need to get a large wrench such as channel locks to turn it. The wrench needs to have a really good grip and your going to have to put some elbow grease into it.
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Postby Phlimm » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 11:31

Pool vac is at the doctor's...hope we get him back soon!

I got the K 2006 and did some testing - pH is 7.8, one drop acid demand to get to 7.6 and one more to 7.4

Total and free Cl read zero...yes the water was clear after adding the drops and mixing for both tests. I did not bother with the Cyanuric Acid tests yet because I need to get that Cl up.

EDIT: After reading the Cl thread I diluted the sample and retested. I diluted from 4.5 ml to 9 ml and got a 1 ppm reading, so after multiplying it is 2 ppm total...is this right? Free Cl reading was also a 2 after multiplying. So I guess combined Cl would be zero.

Cyanuric Acid is about 80 ppm.


Alkalinity is 100ppm Calcium Carbonate, Hardness is 500ppm Calcium Carbonate.

I have a floating Cl thing (NOT in the skimmer) with the 3" trichlor tablets, and usually have at least 2 in there at all times.

There is a lot of leaves and stuff on the bottom due to the autovac being at the shop. I got a manual one and have been trying to keep up with it, but I missed a day and so there is stuff to vacuum.

On the surface, there is a LOT of what appears to be clumps of dust all over the place. Very likely from our winds here today. Time to use the skimmer net again.

The water looks...I guess you could call it blueish green...not like pond scum green. It is clear, just not "indoor swimming pool blue". Is it possible that some of that color interpretation may be being thrown off by the Pebble-Tec bottom?

I brush the sides at least once per week, lately there has been a brownish cloud when I do this on every stroke. Hopefully that is getting eaten up by the filter.

Do the trichlor tabs also have Cyanuric acid? Can I dump bleach in the pool or do I need to use the shock powder? Any other tips are as always appreciated more than I can put into words.[/b]
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Postby muss08 » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 18:27

First things first- retest your calcium hardness levels to make sure they are correct. If it is still at 500 then you need to drain half your pool and refill. Calcium hardness should be between 100-400ppm. Draining half should get it down to 250ppm. This will also lower your CYA which is a bit high. This should drop to about 40ppm which is pretty good. With a CYA level of 80 you need to keep your FC level at about 8ppm. The general rule of thumb is to try to keep your FC level 10% of the CYA, 7.5% minimum. More than likely the bluish green color is algae. Shock the pool and keep it at shock level until the FC level holds overnight (shock at sundown and test the water- then test first thing in the morning). This ensures that all the algae is dead. If you are using the powder shock then make sure you dissolve it in a bucket first and pour it in over a skimmer. Keep up the brushing so the filter can catch everything. Unfortunately with leaves in the pool the chlorine is more than likely attacking them and not any algae. Yes, the tabs you are using have cyanuric acid in them- which is why the level is high. You can pour bleach into the pool just do it over a return line. Alkalinity looks great but the pH should be 7.4-7.6. But- if you need to drain the pool do that first and retest the water once it is filled. Then go from there. Any luck with the filter leak?
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