Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Story of the Filter...Part One

Filter Cleaning #1
About a month into my pool career I had managed to drain it, remove the leaves, refill it, and vacuum it, all ready for chemicals (details on these events to come later). I had gotten all the chemicals from Thompson Pool and Patio I would need to open the pool and was sent home to clean the filter, a standard procedure to do at the beginning of the season as well as every 8-12 weeks. I have a Diatomaceous earth filter (aka DE), which I have been told is the best. What I know about it (from last summer) is that every time you backwash you have to dump a ton of this powder stuff into the skimmer.

I am informed this year there is a new stuff, called EcoClean and you use a whole lot less and it comes in a much smaller bag (not the 20 pound bag from last year!) Yay! I was sent home to clean the filter. A seemingly simple process: take the ring from off the filter, remove the top, take the filter grids out, spray them down with the hose, put it all back together. Well NOTHING with this pool was easy the first time (or second, or third...) I go home with my mission. First thing I realize, taking off the bolt that holds the filter together was not the easiest thing.

I, naturally, have an alternative plan: BOLT CUTTERS!!!! I go purchase a pair and off the ring comes!

 Woohoo! I spray that sucker down and put it back together. I got new bolts (bolt cutter, of course killed the original) and screwed them back in, turn on the filter, and water comes rushing out the sides. ARG! I call Thompson's and talk to Mike, God bless his patience. He explains how close to get the bolts, so I go back to work. Still doesn't work. I end up calling a friend who comes over with a ratchet set and we get it all closed up. It was pretty late that night and it was Norman Music Festival so off we went to NMF 3, away form the dear, wonderful pool.

It was a Tuesday, at lunch to be exact, that I went out to the pool to dump in all the chemicals that I had been sent me home with. The pool was crystal clear, an amazing accomplishment! I turn the filter on and...NOTHING. I felt really horrible that day and ended up calling into work and falling asleep...for three days! I did not go anywhere near the pool, or even roll over to look out the window until Friday. I went out and the pool is green and about the opposite of clear. I go into Thompson's with this PITIFUL look. My dear favorite pool expert Zac meets me as I come in and says "I don't like that look" I say, "I don't like it either!" I explain the current state of the pool and ask if I will have to drain it again. He laughs and says no, I have done everything I can (by this point I'm ready for them to just come to the house and fix it, but those guys had a lot more faith in me than I had in myself). I need to bring the "innards" of the filter in and they will chemically clean it and replace any grids that need to be replaced. Home I go to open the filter up. On the way I run out of gas...really??? I get through that, get home, remove the bolts in a reasonable manner: bolt cutters again. Take it in, and magically they get it fixed. Pool filters like a charm! (I also learned during this episode that you can put the pool on recirculate and magically the pool turned from green to blue!)

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