When vacuuming fine, silty dirt or debris, you may notice a cloudy stream of dirt coming back into the pool via the return jets. This can continue slowly, long after you stop vacuuming, and can create a frustrating cycle for the pool man.

More common in sand filters than in other types, the dirt can be pushed right through the filter, especially one which may need a sand change. Indeed, this situation may indicate internal filter problems. It may also indicate a problem with the filter control valve. Old, loose multiport or stiff valves can allow water to bypass the filter and return to the pool unfiltered.

Another possibility is that the pump is over-sized for the filter, and is pushing the water so hard, it pushes dirt right through the filter medium.

A sand filter actually works a little better when it’s a little dirty; the added dirt helps to trap more dirt, so don’t backwash prior to vacuuming a pool with a sand filter. You may also use filter aids, added through the skimmer, which provide a gelatinous layer on top of the sand bed to help trap dirt.

Another tip is to vacuum to waste, especially if the debris is a fine silt that can clog the filter quickly. To do this, overfill the pool first, and set the multiport valve to the Waste position and vacuum the dirt (and water) right out of the pool…to waste.


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