Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Pool pumps, pool filters and the plumbing of
swimming pools. Sand filters, cartridge filters,
fabric filters and alternative filter media.

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby sparkndex » Sat 04 Aug, 2012 10:48

This is Sparky

I just emptied my filter of Zeobest at 11:00 this morning and replaced it with Sand.
I have made no other changes. I will let you know if things change.

I am 100% confident that the issue is with the Zeobest or the filter.
I removed our Aquabot Filter Sock, cleaned it and then held it over our pool return for about 3 minutes to see if contaminants were returning to the pool without getting filtered by the Zeobest.
After 3 minutes I inspected the filter sock and it had a lot of contaminants returning to the pool.

I had tried backwashing my filter and no contaminants were coming out during backflush.
I inspected the filter and found no issues.

When I emptied the Zeobest from the filter, it was loaded with green scum and what appeared to be contaminants that would not release from the Zeobest with normal backwash.

I will keep you posted.


TSH Tech

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby TSH Tech » Wed 08 Aug, 2012 03:48

Sparkndex wrote:Did you have to drain you pool to get it to clear or will putting in new media and running it clear it up?

The clients I have replaced Zeo-sand to regular sand ranged from murky/cloudy to green. Never had to drain any of those pools, once the new regular sand was in place. From there, it was 24/7 filtering plus backwashing and rinse until the pool was crystal clear again. Then the time clock was put back to regular schedule.
Important - just a reminder, when putting new sand into a filter, always backwash the new sand for a while to remove that fine silt that comes with new sand. Do this step before any filtering.

When you get your pool sorted out and all clear again, the best trick up my sleeve for getting regular sand filter pools crystal clear, is to take the brand Super Blue water polish, pour about 4 to 6 ounces directly in the skimmer so it goes into the filter. The results are the best you will ever see from a sand filter.
TSH Tech

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby TSH Tech » Mon 03 Sep, 2012 02:24


It’s now September in the USA, winter will be setting in soon. I’ve been servicing Zero sand products for our remaining clients for over five years now and will wrap this subject up by entering my final opinion as pool industry tech. I’ve seen enough.

Short Answer: Don’t do it, just go regular filter sand and enjoy your pool.

Long Answer
I believe there were good intentions with Zeo sand. Originally, Zeo sand came from the live fish Aquarium industry and used for its ammonia scavenging filtering properties as well as fine water particulate filtering properties. I assume somewhere down the line, they thought this would be of benefit to the swimming pool industry and began plans to capture the pool market as well. What they did not understand, and it shows, is that unlike aquariums, swimming pools are an entirely different animal. Swimming pools have people that get into the pools and people get into the pools wearing greasy, oily suntan lotions, which eventually wash off and absolutely glop and heavily soil swimming pool filters of every type. Swimming pools often at times require chemical additives that are specifically designed to “trap” into the filter. Water clarifiers, liquid algaecides, mineral removers are designed to coagulate so they can be trapped. Trees, vegetation, shrubberies and other organic matter planted close to the pool by misguided landscape designers, deposit matter into the pool that clogs filters of every type. Analyzing all these dynamics of swimming pools, the evidence is clear they did not research pool usage, nor did they come up with a solution to clean Zeo media. If it was their intention to advise replacing Zeo sand, then they clearly do not know swimming pool owners. Unlike Aquarium people, who would gladly spend the money replacing Zeo sand for their children fish, swimming pool people on the other hand want work done for cheap, parts for free and any other special discount, but have no problem spending $24,000+ (USD) on a new boat, or $30K on a Europe trip. That’s just how it is.

In my opinion, every pool on a case by case basis must be qualified for Zeo sand media for pool owners that are absolutely sold on Zeo sand. The criteria range from usage, water hardness to the amount of yard landscaping that drops into the pool. Then there’s the gardener leaf blower factor. Eventually, what it comes down to is, you’re better off just going with regular sand unless you won the Zeo sand sweepstakes are getting the stuff for free.

The concept of having a sand filter with filtering properties of a D.E. filter is very attractive. I’ll be quite honest, I’m not at all fond of taking apart D.E. filters and cleaning them. They’re messy, they’re dirty, they soil my clothes with hose back-spray. Unless I look dressed like the Gortons fisherman, I’m going to get dirty. I would much rather move a backwash valve, adjust my tie in a James Bond fashion and be done with it. However, Zeo sand has a tremendous flaw. That flaw being, when those micro-fine jagged surfaces of the filtering media clog up, the water bypasses the Zeo sand and does not get filtered. The effective filtering of the media is gone. Regular backwashing will not clean it, resulting in pools that turn green no matter how many additives poured in(making matters worse inside the filter) frustrating techs and home owners who have not been told this media needs a special cleaning. Thus, the entire purpose of this forum thread. Zeo sand cleaners have been rolled out in recent years which have helped. Sometimes it takes three cleanings if the filter media is clogged badly. I would suggest this route if a pool owner already has Zeo sand installed and is in not that big of a hurry to replace it out with regular sand. Zeo cleaners are your only saving grace if for some reason, it is the intention to keep Zeo sand.

Officially, my company is permanently done with all Zeo sand products. I cannot recommend Zeo sand anymore due it’s unpredictable nature to turn a pool green on a whim in the summer swimming season. During this exciting adventure, in the very beginning, we lost four clients who grew impatient with cloudy and green pools. I speak for myself when I say that I don’t sweat loosing four clients, one I really hated(laughing), turned into a blessing in disguise and the rest, that’s just how the swimming pool business works in general. All of our existing clients we phased out of Zeo sand and changed back over to sand. Sand is cheap, we ate the cost to keep our clients. We now only have one client on Zeo sand, which is a complete freak of nature. This client’s pool is humming along just fine on the product.
I like the concept, but put into practice is a failure. Perhaps if I had an indoor pool, that was a show pool only, no swimmers, I might consider Zeo sand.

I’ll check back in this thread to answer any specific questions.
paul wahler

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby paul wahler » Mon 08 Oct, 2012 12:28

to TSH tech

After reading this blog and others like it, I think your comments on Sept. 3, 2012 seem to sum-up the majority of bloggers' experiences with zeolite products. I have over 40 years in the pool business as a service tech. I understand the variables in environment that make direct comparisons of filter types and filter medias difficult. I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with zeolite filter media.

I anyone wants to do further study on why some times the zeo products work great and other times they work less well than plain silica sand I would suggest including the filter rate (that's the GPM/sq.ft. of filter area) as a variable. I suspect that filter rates higher than 10-12 GPM/sq.ft. lets fine particles pass through the zeo media. And that includes the "fines" left in the new media which is why proper initial backwashing is so critical.

I don't have time to do that testing myself but I was surprised that not one of the bloggers reported what their flow rate was even though many did give good filter size and pump size information, but without a TDH number calculating flow rate is not possible. Without a flow rate number you cannot calculate actual filter rate.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby VAC » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 16:04

I am writing on behalf of the Vermont Achievement Center to let you know about our displeasure with a product recommended and install recently at our Mitchell Therapy Pool. In the spring we contacted a local pool service company to schedule some work on our sand filters. We called to request removal and replacement of the sand in our filters. During the conversation we received advice that installing Zeobrite in our filters would be a better product than sand and although more expensive than sand, Zeobrite would keep our pool cleaner and clearer, we would need less product , it would cutback on the amount of backwashing and it would not have to be replaced as often as the sand. Based on these recommendations we opted for the Zeobrite.

The day came and we replaced the sand with Zeobrite and since that change we have had nothing but problems with both the Zeobrite product and the installation of the Zeobrite. The water was constantly cloudy and we had trouble seeing the bottom of the pool and when we would vacuum the pool a gray residue was fond on the vacuum filters that were never there with the sand.

Because of the pool safety issue with the cloudy water, flow restriction of the filters, and a residue in the pool we found it necessary to incur the additional expense of removing the Zeobrite and replacing it with sand. Interesting that when the Zeobrite was removed it looked like mud and we kept a few sample to document how awful this filtering media had become in just a few weeks after installation.

We are pleased to report that since we had replaced the Zeobrite with sand that our pool is clear again and we no longer have a mess on the walls and the bottom of the pool.

I very rarely write these kind of letters but just wanted you to know about how poor this product performed and how we had problems during the install of the product both of which we had to incur an added expense to correct the problem. I would not recommend Zeobite for sand filters based on our experience and would hope that this product is not being recommended for commercial pool installations.

From the Zeobrite website they make the following claims, which we found none to be true and will be placing an online review of this product:
• Provides Superior Water Clarity
• Cuts Backwashing up to 50%
• Keeps Your Pool Sparkling Clear, Naturally
• Saves Water, Energy, Labor and Chemicals
• Easy To Install, Works In All Sand Filters
• Lowers Total Operating Cost
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and just felt it was necessary to let you know of our dissatisfaction with this product.

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby thaijack » Sat 24 Nov, 2012 05:59

I'm glad that I stumbled on this thread, as I was planning to buy 300 lbs of Zeobrite next week to replace my 5 yr old sand that is not doing it's water.
I should add a few details on my situation....I am in Thailand and it's damn tropical here and algae is an issue. My in ground pool is 84 cu mt and I am using a 2 hp pump 5 hrs a day running thru a lacron 30" sand filter and I just recently changed my source water from hard ground water [900ppm] to a nearby lake with softer [150ppm] water, but has a little algae as lakes do. I chlorinate with trichlor 90% on a weekly basis and PH is normal. My water was crystal clear until I did the change over to the lake and now getting regular, almost constant algae blooms that won't clear with shock chlorine and running the pump 24hrs a day.
Zeobrite seemed the perfect solution for my situation, but after reading this thread, I am thinking of saving money and just going with sand again. One problem with the sand here is that the pool supply shops sell river sand as crushed sand and you don't get the same filtration.
One possible solution would be to layer or mix the zeobrite with sand for a little more filtration as my pool guy suggested.
Any comments appreciated as it's so hard to get accurate info here in Asia.
thanks in advance.....

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby TSH » Sun 25 Nov, 2012 01:42

Hello ThaiJack, if I am reading this correctly, you had a crystal clear pool until you let the lake water in your pool. I would say the problem here is the lake water itself and pool chemical balancing, not your filter.

thaijack wrote: My water was crystal clear until I did the change over to the lake and now getting regular, almost constant algae blooms that won't clear with shock chlorine and running the pump 24hrs a day.

Though the water is soft, I would suspect there are other sorts of chemicals in the lake water that have accelerated your algae growth. What kind of chemicals? My guesses would be the lake has been contaminated with fertilizer nitrogen and phosphates. These two chemicals are food sources for growing plant life in water and if they are introduced to pool water, algae problems definitely follow suit. You will need to have your pool water tested for phosphates and nitrogen to be sure if this is indeed the situation.

If you are still considering changing your sand in your filter, my first suggestion is to do not consider Zeo-sand at all. Do not even consider it mixing part regular sand and part Zeo sand. For best results, do not use Zeo sand. My second suggestion is if possible to have genuine pool sand shipped or imported to your pool, this is the absolute best route to choose. Genuine pool sand has a life up to 20 years if properly backwashed as part of a regular pool filter cleaning cycle.

I hope this helps!

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby thaijack » Tue 27 Nov, 2012 03:47

Thanks for the feedback...
That could well be my problem......your theory on algae blooms. The lake is mostly filled with rain during the rainy season and during heavy rains, the near by ricefields overflow into it.
Due to this thread, I did decide to use sand, which the seller claims is not mechanically crushed, but fractured by heat. Anyone hear of that method?? Also, his records revealed that my sand is just over 5 years old. I have used that same lake as a source of filling my pool in the past and from empty to full, the water first appears quite green, but after 48 hrs of running the pump and using some PAC flocculant, it will eventually clear up.

Now, you have me paranoid about the phosphates and nitrogen....will that filter out with sand?? or any other kind of treatment?? And are there any health hazards that I should be concerned about??
Tomorrow, I will replace the sand in my filter and hope for the best.
thanks in advance....
TSH Tech

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby TSH Tech » Tue 27 Nov, 2012 13:01

I don't foresee any problems with the sand selection. If it kept your pool crystal clear prior, then it should keep your pool clear with the new sand.
As for health problems with Nitrogen and Phosphates, there are no health risks associated with swimming pool use, however algae does flourish. The only way to know is to test for the presence of those two chemicals.

Problems with zeobrite or zeobest

Postby thaijack » Mon 03 Dec, 2012 19:03

I changed the media to new sand and have been running the pump for 24 hrs now and still see ugly green water. I do feel that you are correct in your diagnosis of nitrogen and phosphates in the lake water, but it's hard to get testing way out in the rice fields of rural Thailand.
Can we assume that it is the nitrogen/phosphates that are making my water green?? So, what would be a safe treatment for that?? or can it be done??
BTW, my chlorine levels are in the dark yellow range and that is not doing the trick either, as it usually does.
Thanks in advance for any solution you may have to offer.

Return to “Pool Pumps, Filters, Plumbing & Piping”

Who is online at the Pool Help Forum

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests