Is Sand Filter Working With 50 Gallons Of Bleach

by Robin Puckett

We have put 50 gallons of bleach in the pool and all of the readings are low or don't even register on the strip. The pool was really dirty when I started. Should I go ahead and buy all the chemicals if the filter is messed up or will I just lose them?

Thanks for the question Robin

I had to read the question a couple of times to try to understand what it meant. It says 50 gallons of bleach was put in the pool, but how big is the pool? Is it 1000 or 100,000 gallons?

If you need to raise the levels, you can go to these pages. They give you step by step instructions on how to raise your chlorine, alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness.

Swimming Pool Chlorine

Pool Shock

Pool Chlorine

Chlorine Tablets

Pool Chlorine Tablets

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Pool pH

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

Calcium Hardness

Water Testing
Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

Bleach is good for maintenance when chlorine is not readily available, but you probably need to shock with Dichlor. The above chlorine pages go into detail about that. They also have the charts you need for all of your adjustments.

When the question says "the filter is messed up" what does that mean? There could be 100 different things that can go wrong. What kind of filter do you have? Sand, cartridge, or DE?

You need to get the filter running properly, but I can't help unless I know what the problem is. Without a properly running filtration system, your pool chemicals won't be as effective.

If you can contact me again with more details I'm sure I can help. Hope to hear from you soon.


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Jan 14, 2015
All the Dirt & Green Yuck Goes Back Into The Pool When I Vacuum
by: Robin

I have a sand filter and the pool holds 18,000 gallons. The readings are all low. The reason I am wondering if it is dirty sand, even though we changed it last year, is because when I vacuum it all the debris and green yuck off of the bottom goes straight back into the pool while I am vacuuming.

The pool shop in town doesn't want to help because the pool was given to us and we hired someone to help us put it up. I know nothing at all about pools and I am reading lots of info. but there are so many ideas I am confused.

Also, I read to put the pump on WASTE when I vacuum. Is this correct? Thank you for your help.

Thanks for the question Robin. I don't know if it's the same Robin that asked the above question. If it is, welcome back. If not, glad you're here.

First, I would need to know your chemical readings. Some readings that might be considered low may not be.

I'd like to have your chlorine, pH, alkalinity, cyanuric acid (stabilizer), and hardness levels. There could be a few things that can cause sand to go back into the pool. I've answered very similar questions in these posts:

Why Is Sand Going Back Into The Pool After Backwashing?

The one below is very good and has alot of troubleshooting:

How Do I Stop Sand Going Back Into The Pool..Pool Keeps Getting Dirty..

And the rest:

Sand Returning Back To Pool After Replacing With New Sand

Swimming Pool Sand Filter Degreaser

Swimming Pool Sand Going Back Into The Pool

The short of it is this:

1. Broken lateral and/or diffuser

2. Channeling

3. New sand

4. Old sand

5. Not doing the RINSE after back washing

6. Not having the correct amount of freeboard

All of the information you need is in the above posts. Some have different models of sand filters, but they're basically the same design and filter the same way, and face the same issues.

How to check for channeling and what to do about it, what freeboard is and how to check it, checking the laterals, etc... Vacuuming to WASTE is fine. This means that the dirt and debris bypasses the filter and goes straight out.

I vacuumed to WASTE after the bad windstorms in Arizona. If I didn't, I'd have to backwash every 5 minutes because the filter would get clogged up so fast. But, when you do vacuum to WASTE, the water level will quickly drop so keeping the water level up is very important.

1/3 - 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer is best. What you could do is fill the pool up as far as you can, then vacuum to WASTE. This will give you a little more time before you need to top it off once again.

Hope this helps.


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