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Thread: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

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    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    In anticipation of the 4th of July holiday, I decided to install a new set of filter cartridges because the previous ones had just gone through the battle of replastering the pool, filtering iron, and the associated mess from that. Anyway, I purchased a new set of four Pentair Clean and Clear 420 cartridges. The installation manual says the following:

    Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 12.34.56 PM.jpg

    I did not think to check here first to see if there were recommendations one way or another and so I followed the manual to a "T." I didn't have any DE on hand so I had to make a special trip to the store to get some. Before I added the DE, my water was perfectly in balance, and had been for the past month. (Friday's numbers: FC 5, TC 5, TA 80, Ph 7.6, CH 325, CYA 40.) Once the new cartridges were installed, I diluted 2 lbs of DE powder into a 5 gallon bucket and slowly poured into the skimmer. Closed the cover for the rest of the day and left the pump and filter running over night.

    Next morning (Saturday the 4th), opened the cover to find a cloudy mess. First thought was FC level had fallen and some algae had taken hold. However, the levels were unchanged from the day before. Decided to SLAM and perform an overnight test just to be sure. Immediately raised CL to 16 and checked every 2 hours to see if there was any loss. There was not. Last check was around 9pm Saturday night until this Sunday morning, when I was still showing no CL loss and no CCs, but pool was still just cloudy. NOTE: I turned my SWG off during the slam. Continued with the slam Sunday into today, since I hadn't met all 3 criteria (water was not clear.) I did show a 1FC loss this morning, but figured that wasn't sufficient to be of concern, given I had not added any chlorine since Friday.

    I have just about concluded that my pool water is chemically fine, but full of DE that didn't get trapped in the filter when I poured it into the skimmer, as instructed by Pentair's own manual. We are now 48+ hours out since the DE was added and there seems to be no improvement in the clarity what so ever. I'm out of ideas. Can anyone provide some advice? I'm willing to do anything at this point. Thank you!
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    There are been previous discussions about this and I just do not see how adding DE to a cartridge filter is ever needed or a good idea. It will do a fine job filtering a pool without this hassle.

    Although if it is DE, it should settle to the bottom of the pool when the pump is off.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Right, like I said, I was just following Pentair's instructions. I didn't have an opinion one way or the other as to its effectiveness.

    So given I have no option to vacuum to waste, once the DE settles, what's the procedure to remove it from the pool?
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Add a 3-way valve between the pump and filter so that you can vacuum to waste?

    It really should not have passed through the filter in the first place (you did use pool DE and not gardening/pest DE right?). So, I would check that there is nothing misaligned in the filter.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    (you did use pool DE and not gardening/pest DE right?).
    Uhhhhh...good question. I did a quick google search and found some at my local health food market. It is food grade. I assumed DE was DE. Just great.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    DOH!!!

    Well, that may explain why the problem developed, but now I am not sure how to fix it without being able to vacuum to waste.

    I hesitate to suggest maybe adding pool DE to the filter and then vacuuming up the food grade DE????
    Let me see if I can get any other input.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One option could be a slime bag to catch the DE as it comes out of the returns.
    A clarifier / flow might work to make the particles bigger so the filter can catch it. But, some MUST be vacuumed to waste and others may not actually help.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Thanks for the suggestions, J. I am so angry at myself right now. A slime bag won't work because the water returns to my pool through the floor cleaning system. I think a clarifier and/or adding pool grade DE may be my only alternatives. At this point, I'll try anything to avoid a drain and refill.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Food-grade DE is not calcined (heat treated) and is amorphous silica. Pool grade DE is calcined which transforms it from amorphous silica to crystalline silica. It is the process of calcining that removes any residual contaminants from the naturally mined product and hardens the silica making it a better filtering agent.

    I would recommend a clarifier as opposed to a flocculant since you don't have the ability to vacuum to waste. A clarifier will make (hopefully) the DE particles bigger and keep them suspended so the filter can catch them. A floc will cause them to drop. I suppose both would work, but I'd be inclined to try the clarifier route first.
    Matt
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    At this point I would consider a floc (follow the directions carefully or it could damage your filter) and renting a small pump to vacuum everything to waste. I think you would have more luck this route than with a clarifier.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    At this point I would consider a floc (follow the directions carefully or it could damage your filter) and renting a small pump to vacuum everything to waste. I think you would have more luck this route than with a clarifier.


    I actually like that idea A LOT better!
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    A few weeks ago I almost made a trip to the store to buy food grade DE and put in my sand filter.

    Then I did a lot of reading here and chose not to do any DE.

    Lots of folks have done this accidentally...might search on those threads.
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Thanks, at least I have some options now. I will keep y'all posted as things progress! Really appreciate everyone's help. What a stupid mistake!!
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    I have to ask but have you taken the filters out and cleaned them?

    You can also get a sub pump and let the stuff settle and pump it out that way.

    Kim
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Hi Kim - I have not cleaned the filters, as they were brand new when I installed them Friday. And since none of the DE is collecting in them, I'd imagine they are perfectly clean.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    I really have nothing to add to this discussion other than wishing you good luck with getting that stuff out.
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    I'm confused! I just did a search for food grade DE & found a company that sells 'no grit superfine food grade DE'. It says the particles are less than 300 microns & 90% are less than 200 microns. This site has an article that says cartridge filters can filter down to 10 microns. Seems like it should be filtering it out without any problem. Same article says DE filters can filter less than 5 microns. Either one should be able to clear this up.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    BUt, but, but................how do you KNOW the filters do not have any DE on them? What if there is some stuck/coated on the them so they cannot do a good job of catching the DE?

    I am just going on my gut feeling and it has helped me and others in the past. Use it as you will.

    Kim
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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Thanks, bigglesworth, I appreciate the support, haha.

    Mike - I found the same information as you, but it may have something to do with the DE not being calcined, as noted by JoyfulNoise, above.

    I added a clarifier about an hour ago. I'll give it overnight to see if things have cleared up any. If not, I will have to buy a pump and vac head to try the floc method.

    - - - Updated - - -

    LOL @ Kim. Ok, ok, you've imparted the urgency to check the filters! haha. I'm more than happy to follow your gut since mine obviously is out of whack. It's raining now, but will head out as soon as it stops - which in NM is likely to be 15 seconds, lol.

    Thanks, Kim!
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Quick question - are you sure your cartridges are seated fully and nothing is wrong with the filter?


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: DE in Cartridge Filter -- Now pool is completely cloudy

    Some DE on the cartridges should help filter out the smaller DE particles. I'd let it go overnight & try pool DE if you're not seeing improvement.
    16' x 34' vinyl in ground - 16,500 gal.
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