15 August, 2013

Not Fixing - Just On-Going Maintenance

And now we come to the part of the show where we demo how to change the litter box... Wait a minit... Wrong sand pile. This is how to change the sand in your pool filter. Just throw the old stuff onto the floor. That's easy. At least that's the instructions for this model of sand filter - the Pentair Triton II Residential filter. Some engineer (no slur intended or implied - other than for the dufus who approved this concept) really worked overtime to come up with this one.

We'll eavesdrop a bit and learn how this genius plan developed.

"Let's see now. How're we going to empty the sand out of this thing. Hmmm. Let's see. We better have a meeting of the best minds in the business here at the Honorable People's Pool Filter Plant No. 1, and see how we solve this conundrum."

"Hey, Harry, Find Tom, will ya and then get your asses in here and help me. I'm stuck." "Sure thing, Boss. I'm right on it."

Sometime later in the HPPFP conference room, well, we'll join the meeting in progress...

"Dick, I dunno. The top opening is only six inches across. If you use a cup to scoop the sand out, you almost have to hold the it by the tips of your fingers to get the thing out of the filter."

"I hear ya, Tom. Keep in mind this thing holds three hundred twenty-five pounds of sand too. I'm just stumped. Harry, you've been quiet this whole session. Lost in thought?"

"Aww, guys, this is a tough problem. The only thing I can think of is how about we use the drain hole - you know, the little one-inch hole on the bottom of the filter."

"You mean the one we put in to easily drain the water out of the filter?"

"The very same. Why can't we just add water at the top and flush the stuff out the drain hole?"

"Harry, that's brilliant. That'll work. And we don't have to jury-rig anything to make it work. It's a built-in design feature."

"Y'think we need to change the specs to allow the user to hook up a hose to the drain?"

"Naw, why would we do that? It's just a drain fer Chrissakes." Call it good. Make a note on the drawing and I'll sign off on it in the morning. I'm thirsty. Let's go grab a brewski."

Now we know the extensive thought process that went into the design of this part of the filter. The good folks at Pentair (otherwise known as the HPPFP for this story) had to have divided the engineering design of this unit among at least two different shops. The rest of the filter works like a champ. I mean it's really first-rate. But, those guys in the filter drain section... Hoo-boy.

Here's what the Pentair Triton II looks like before being plugged into some user's system. That black thing with the pressure valve at the top is the part that's removed to add sand, flush sand, and do any other work needed inside the filter - which isn't much, thankfully.
Pentair Triton II Filter
Once I made up my mind that there was simply no other way to accomplish removing the old sand from the filter. I was resigned to having a rather large mess on the floor of the pump house. Here the sand has started coming out and beginning to accumulate on the floor of the pump house.
Np Easy Way to do It
Here's  what things look like while you're draining out the filter. You still have to insert your arm in there to direct the hose to move the sand. Remember, three hundred twenty-five pounds of sand is a lot of sand.
Hosing Out the Old Sand

Also, the opening. It's a fiberglass tank, so the opening is slightly rough fiberglass. Unless you wear a long-sleeved shirt or something, count on getting an armful of tiny little fiberglass particles embedded in your arm. They'll go away after a couple of itchy days.

Finally, you get to the point where it's  actually hard to see any sand inside the filter. Those black things peaking from under the white pipe are called 'laterals' and they guide the incoming water up through the sand inside the filter. Don't ever break one.
Sand All Gone From Filter
Heck no. It's all outside of the thing. You're standing in it. It's everywhere. And it still needs to be removed.
Accumulated Sand on Floor
Before you can clean up the  sand and stuff that's all over the floor, you have to replace it with new sand inside the filter. Oh, yes. First, you have to burrow through the sand on the floor to find the drain cock and re-install the plug, so that all that nice new sand doesn't simply come out and join the old dirty sand.

For that, as a sign that Corozal is becoming less third world every day, Prossers (a local agricultural chemical vendor) also carries a selection of pool supplies. One of those is fifty-pound bags of #20 silica sand by HTH. Just the stuff you want to stick back into your filter. Honest, you really do.
First of Bags of Silica Sand
What's cool with the bags of sand, is they come with their own built-in pour spout. Of course there's no label o the bag to let you know it's there. I discovered it quite by accident - just before I ripped into the bag top to pour the sand. It's pretty cool. You just reach inside and pull out this blue plastic tube, hoist up the bag and pour away.
Built-in Pour Spout
It only takes about 10 minutes or so to pour six and a half bags of sand into the filter. The shot below gives you a good idea just how small that opening really is.
Adding Sand Through The Filter Top
And, when you're done, it mighty satisfying  (alright, marginally so, but still...) to see all these bags piled on the patio. I saved the last half bag so I can get a head start a couple of years from now when I have to do this all over again. Oooh, I'm just all a-quiver with anticipation.
Six and One-Half Bags Go In
Finally the clean-up. Luckily, I have the luxury of having an employee who doesn't mind too much when I let him know he's the 'duty-stuckee' and he's going to be the one actually scooping up all that sand from the floor. In this photo, you see the detritus that  the sand catches when the filter is doing it's job. There's always a little bit left over. Turns out it was fairly easy to squeegee that stuff out the door, leaving the sand behind. It goes down the drain just outside the door of the pump house and empties into the canal behind us.
Dirt From Sand Going Down the Drain
Cody, my caretaker, is a good worker. he managed to not only corral all the sand, but to really spiff up the pump house. It fairly sparkles.
Cody Made it All Nice and Pretty
Talk about sparkling. The pool water, after this sand change, really does sparkle. It's always seemed clear (mostly), now it really is clear.

And, just as we finished that all up, guess who shows up? Why it's Amado Mena, owner of Easy Shipping to Belize, LLC, ( with some new hoses for Huey, our erstwhile automatic pool vacuum. Perfect timing to try out the new sand except Huey managed to break some minor parts of his that are on order as we speak.

Easy Shipping to Belize's Website has all the info you need to take advantage of their services.
Amado Mena Delivering Our Goodies


Anonymous said...

tried the and couldn't get it to work. Help please.

Anonymous said...

couldn't get the link to to work. Help please

Dave Rider said...

Hi Any Mouse,

I couldn't get it to go either. I've emailed ESTB. Waiting for an answer. In the meantime, their email is and phones are 941-740-2576 or 941-255-1031. Hope that helps.


JRinSC said...

I gotta tell you Dave, I was really ready to zing you when I saw what looked exactly like you had picked up a comb. This was the first pic of the inside of the filter. Doesn't it look just like my ACE comb!! Glad I read the rest before making an idiot of myself.

You remind me of a surgeon, where you do the delicate, detailed stuff and then leave Coby to close!

Looks good as always!


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Your comment made me laugh out loud - thanks.

I never thought about it in surgical terms before. I guess there are some similarities. It would have been cool if we'd both had scrubs on too.