Occasionally, we will get phone calls from our customers regarding their swimming pools being dirty after their service day. Sometimes they will say " Our pool looks dirty! Noone came to clean it yesterday!". The customer is always right at Pool Heaven, so we have to investigate. If the pool is not clear and clean, swimming pool filter issues are always in the back of our minds!
All we need to know at Pool Heaven is the pool is dirty for us to respond. We make mistakes like every other pool service out there, but we own our mistakes and fix them as soon as we can. Our management will tell the customer that we will get out there soon and fix or figure out what happened.
We then call the service tech. to see what happened. It could be several things; windy, rain, service tech. got sick and is coming soon, etc. We have good contact with our employees, so there is always an explanation. One explanation is common though.
We find out that the service tech. was there and cleaned the pool. He vacuumed the pool and he left it clean. The next question our management better ask if this is the case is " did you happen to notice any debris coming back out the return lines?'. The service tech. says "no", but sometimes it is hard to see the debris coming out especially if you're not looking for it!
Is There a Problem With the Swimming Pool Filter?
We now wait to hear back from the service tech. going to the pool to clean and/or figure out. A filter issue is obvious when you see a trail or big clumps of debris and filter media at the bottom of the pool near return lines especially in the spa.
Once he gets the signal that there could be a filter issue, he will backwash the filter and add a little bit of diatomaceous earth to see if debris or earth returns back to the pool immediately after adding. If he sees either coming back out, we know there is a problem in the filter and we will need to tear down the filter, inspect, and replace whatever parts are bad.
Only Swimming Pool Experts Should Attempt Fixing Any of Their Pool Equipment! You Can Get Hurt if You are Not Careful!!
The filter traps all the micro and macro debris in the swimming pool and is what keeps the water extremely clear. Adding chlorine to this filtering is what makes the swimming pool water clear, blue, and sanitized.
Now that we know we have a problem in the swimming pool filter, it is time to turn the equipment off and tear it down to inspect all the parts. It could be bad filter grid(s), the manifold, the backwash valve piston or orings, etc.? One thing we know for sure if debris is coming back into the swimming pool is that the filter is not doing it's job!
We now spray off the grids and parts inside the filter and look for holes and cracks. Bad grid(s) are the most common filter problems and you will know if you see holes in them. Look for cracks or stress marks on the manifold and if the grids and the manifold appear fine, it is time to open up and inspect the piston assembly in the backwash valve. Look for black bleeding on the orings or tearing and then inspect the piston for bending and/or cracking as well.
We used to have problems occasionally with the valve body due to improperly plumbed or handled pool heaters, but these problems are rare now. Older pool heaters used to run very hot and water would boil in the exchanger after you turned the system off while the heater was on. This boiling would creep back into the plumbing with steam and would melt pvc plumbing if it was too close to the heater. This is why older heaters required 6 or more feet of copper plumbing before it converted to pvc.
They had fireman switches for these systems (which turned the heater off 15 min. before the pump would shut off, so the cooler water would cool down the heat exchanger in the heater before the system just halted), but many people would forget about this and just manually turn their systems off if they were heating the swimming pool outside of their normal operating time.
Nowadays, swimming pool heaters have fans and do not stay as hot after the heater turns off like in the past, so these backwash valve body issues are much rarer. You can read more about new swimming pool heaters here Best Swimming Pool Heater...
Plan Your Time Well, Because You Will Have to Get Parts at the Store if You Have a Swimming Pool Filter Problem
Now we replace all the bad parts including the filter tank o ring and put the clean filter assembly back into the filter and clamp it up. Confirm that the filter is not leaking around the clamp, the backwash valve, or the p trap where your swimming pool filter drains when backwashing.
Once together and not leaking anywhere, we turn the pump on and test the filter again with fresh diatamaceous earth and check to make sure that the earth is not returning back to the swimming pool. If no earth or debris returns back to the swimming pool, your swimming pool filter should be fixed and ready to filter the swimming pool properly!
Now just clean your workspace, put the timer on the right time, and mark your pool filter pressure gauge psi on your filter as a measuring post for when your swimming pool filter is at it's cleanest and most optimal state.
This is why many pool services clean your swimming pool filters twice a year. In areas with lots of wind and debris, filter cleanings are more needed, so need for them can vary. This is a very dirty and wet job, so be ready for that! Filter cleans are on my list of least favorite activities, but a clean swimming pool filter is a necessary part of keeping your swimming pool in Pool Heaven in Irvine, Ca.
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