When it's time for cleaning, a simple backwash is followed by the addition of DE through the skimmer. Disassembly of the filter is not required during the standard cleaning process.
When added to your pool filter, DE powder functions as a sponge, allowing water through but straining out even the tiniest particles of dirt and debris. It's essential to replace DE powder in your pool filter regularly to keep your swimming pool from getting cloudy.
If you do not add enough DE to your filter, then the grids are not totally coated with DE and the dirt that goes into your filter will attach itself right to the fabric on the grids and will not backwash off. This will cause your filter to short cycle (go very short times between backwashing).
Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filter
The D.E. needs to be replenished once the filter is turned back on. Every three months the filter should be taken apart, the grids should be hosed off, and visually inspected for any rips or tears that will cause D.E. to blow back into the pool.
Sand filters are least effective but also the least expensive to buy and use. Cartridge filters are more effective but are more expensive to buy and use. DE filters are the most effective but are the most expensive to buy and use.
Small amounts of DE can be added to a sand filter after each backwash to improve the filtering. The first time you use DE, you need to figure out how much DE to add to your filter. After the first time, you can simply mix the full amount of DE with water in a bucket and pour that slowly into the skimmer.
You should backwash your DE pool filter about once a month during pool season. In addition to the regular schedule, you'll want to perform additional backwashing if: You've been running your pool filter for 48 hours straight. This can cause a pressure build-up, even if the filter grids look clean.
After backwashing, new DE must be added to the filter. Add the entire amount of DE the filter recommends. If you see DE returning to the pool, vacuum it to waste, after it settles. The next time you backwash and recoat, decrease the amount by 1 pound.
DE Blow-Back: If DE powder is coming into the pool, you may have torn filter grid fabric. Or, you could have a cracked top manifold, or missing air bleeder. The standpipe o-ring could be missing, or the filter valve could be allowing some DE powder to bypass the filter as you add it new.
The 3 main types of filters that can be used with your salt system are sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth or D.E. When considering each type of filter for your salt water pool they each have their distinct advantages, ideal application and disadvantages.
This leaves your pool a cloudy, muddy-looking mess. Luckily however, the powder usually sinks to the bottom of the pool. The only way to remove the earth from your pool is to vacuum the pool with the filter release valve open. This will allow the earth to flush from the filter.
Do not operate your filter pump without having the D.E. powder coating the grids, or you will see the filter pressure rise very quickly, and if left in this manner the grids can collapse or the fabric can become clogged or damaged. As the pressure gauge on a D.E. filter increases, flow rate decreases.
The most common reasons why a cartridge, sand, or DE filter's pressure rises quickly, even after cleaning or backwashing, is a clogged or blocked filter, algae or old filter elements. If any of these things are wrong, the pressure can rise rapidly in minutes, hours or days.
Those with DE filters are probably extremely happy with the quality of water that a DE filter creates, but there comes a time when you will need to replace the filter grids. This is usually after 7-10 years of hard work.
Backwashing a sand or DE filter is a simple task. Shut off the pump, set the multiport valve or slide valve handle to the backwash position, roll out the backwash hose and turn the pump on again. Backwash for 3-4 minutes or until the water runs clear, then shut the pump off and return the valve to the filter position.
Generally speaking, a pressure reading between 10 – 25 psi can be considered normal. Once you have installed a new filter, turn everything on and take a baseline reading. Each time that you change your pool filter take a new baseline reading.
Adding too much DE to your pool may cause multiple negative results. These ramifications include a clogged skimmer, turning the pool cloudy, reducing the circulatory pressure in the pool and putting too much work on your pump that may result in eventually breaking the pump.
Whether you have a sand, DE, or cartridge filter, you'll need something to sanitize it. Chlorine is effective, as is a salt system. Swimming pool salt systems turn the salt into chlorine, which means you have to use some form of chlorine with any sand filter.
Diatomaceous Earth, used in D.E. pool filters, can also be used in sand filters and cartridge filters to trap particles down to 3 microns in size. Use 1-3 cups depending on your filter size, by pouring it into the skimmer after backwashing, and it forms a layer on top of and down into your sand bed.
The dead algae is likely too fine to be vacuumed through your sand filter, therefore owners of sand filters must vacuum on the waste setting. Cartridge filter owners can vacuum up the dead algae but need to clean the filters thoroughly after doing so.
It is recommended to wait at least 20 minutes to an hour after adding water balancing chemicals. You should wait 2-4 hours (or one full cycle through the filter) to swim from the moment you use calcium chloride in your pool.