Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

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relliott66
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby relliott66 » Sat 07 Mar, 2009 02:41

Hello all

OK, not a ton :) but about 8 of those blue pitcher like things that you can purchase in the pool shop to scoop out the DE. the scoop thing probably holds about a pound and I am sure a lot of it ended up in the pool. Here's the details. We purchased a house with a pool in it that needed resurfacing. I just had it done and was going about the process of cleaning out the lines and filter, as well as charging with DE, when I dorked everything up. I completely brainfarted and put the DE in the system when I was backwashing and not when I started filtering. Needless to say that when I turned the system to filter it blew a ton of DE into my newly plastered and newly filled inground 18000 gallon pool :cry:

Is there a way to get all that DE up so that it will be safe for my kids to go swimming or will I have to empty it again, clean up the mess and refill? When sweeping, very lightly and only with a nylon brush on the pole, it just kicks it all up and then the majority of it settles on the pool bottom. I have a polaris that I can throw in the pool after 4 more days (as per the guys that plastered the pool) but I think that will just throw up more clouds since the bag is porous. I'm also afraid this is going to hose my new plaster job as well. He made it very clear that we werent supposed to use ANY powder based stuff in the pool water since it could settle and mess up the finish. It was probably close to exactly 24 hours after them finishing the job that I hosed it. Any ideas? I am going to ask my regular pool guy next week but if I can resolve, and resolving without emptying the pool again is even better, I would truly be thankful to whoever helped me out.

One trick I was thinking of was attaching a water hose to one of my pool poles and turning on the water pressure just enough so that I could possibly push it to the center drain on the pool OR just keep kicking it up so that either the drain or the skimmer could start sucking it in. Better than having it sit on all the surfaces of the pool or? But I'd still be concerned about some of it remaining in the pool. Really concerned about the danger of the DE to my kids if they ingest it...

Thanks again in advance
Russ


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Larry
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Larry » Sat 07 Mar, 2009 02:55

Hi Russ and welcome to the pool forums

Have you tried vacuuming? If the DE is loose then sucking it up through the vacuum hose should send it to the filter where it will be trapped. You could try pushing it to the main drain, but that would be lot harder and more time-consuming.

I wouldn't leave it on the newly plastered surface for very long.

The DE is safe and poses no health threats, it is just unsightly and spoils the pool's aesthetic.

Larry
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby relliott66 » Sat 07 Mar, 2009 03:54

Thank you so much Larry for responding so quickly :D I was a little concerned about using the vac, since he didnt want me to use the polaris because of what marks it may make, but I guess that using the vac and getting it up now, rather than in 4 days, is better than letting it settle and maybe make the surface more gritty... After paying what I did for the work I def dont want to mess it up.

Thanks again for the tip. I'll check and see what condition mine is in and if I have to I'll borrow a buddy's (my most excellent pool guy is on a well deserved vacation) ..


Thanks again (told ya I'd be most thankful) <Russ runs off in search of a vacuum>
relliott66
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby relliott66 » Sat 07 Mar, 2009 04:04

Sidenote - the DE I use is silica based and is marked as having been known to cause cancer... Wouldn't the silica alone be cause for concern? Do you use something different that's safer?
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Larry
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A ton of DE in pool

Postby Larry » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 03:23

wikipedia wrote:The typical chemical composition of diatomaceous earth is 86% silica, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron.

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.
. . . .
Crystalline silica poses a serious inhalation hazard because it can cause silicosis.

There is no alternative to DE for a DE filter. There are several other filter types, however.

The health risks associated with DE are from airborne DE and not the dust in the pool water.

Larry
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Me... » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 10:48

Actually there are.

http://www.zeoinc.com/zeofiber.html

Played with this a while as both additive and substitute. Since this subject just popped up I can't remember what my take was on though. LOL Too early in the morning. Maybe others have comments on it. I think two added benefits were disposal and it absorbed body oils. Not sure of detriments other than cost.
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Larry
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Larry » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 16:03

Wow! That's the first I've heard of it.

The official website lists ZeoFiber as "powdered paper" and they say it can be used to replace DE as well as an additive to enhance cartridge and sand filters. Sounds impressive.

A quick search produced several brands of cellulose used with or in place of DE. I wonder why the local European market hasn't caught on yet. :?:
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Me... » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 16:55

LOL Maybe because DE is a PITA. Of course they rate DE as best filtration followed by Cartridge and then Sand. I think sand is the easiest to use, cartridges need to be properly cleaned and changed or they bypass and DE is a constant maintainence.

Any laziness at all and the benefits of DE or Cartridge are lost fairly quickly I think. Sand on the other hand is very easy to use properly and therefore at least as good of a choice. The biggest problem with sand is that it is very frequently undersized. The filter flowrate might not be exceeded but excess flow on backwash destroys them pretty fast. The first backwash starts the process and every one after that makes it worse until finally the filter bed is all but useless. Plugged and broken laterals, lack of media, channeling and so forth are not problems with the filter but with the system designer be it builder or engineer.

I have yet to see a pools cleanliness/clarity affected more by a filter choice than a chemical maintainence regime. You can flip a 30,000 gallon pool over in an hour if you like but if the chemistry is out it can be pretty gruesome.
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Larry
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Tiled deck

Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Larry » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 17:14

I agree that the best filtration system cannot compensate for incorrect water balance, although a poor filter can be somewhat compensated for by effective chemical dosing.

My personal preference is also for a sand filter due to ease of use. A good sand filter needs very little floc, and in pools where we use zeolite the water is just perfect. The zeolites really "suck" the dirt as well as the chlorination by-products out of the water.
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Please Help! Messed up bad and a ton of De in pool now

Postby Me... » Sun 08 Mar, 2009 19:42

Just going to do a 27,000 gallon pool. Customer will get a 36" sand filter and either 1.5 or a 2hp 2-SPEED pump. Everything will be plumbed to use the large HP but the pool will run on low. I always try to do it this way.

Result? The pool will filter more water cheaper than the 24" filter and 1/2hp or 3/4hp pump many would use. Pool will cost him $101,000.00 instead of $100,000.00 and he will recoup that in a year or two of extremely well filtered water.

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