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Thread: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

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    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Listed below is the scenario:

    I have 2 main drains, 2 skimmers, 8 returns. The pool was opened on April 26th, 2015. After the first few days, the pressure rose slightly and I backwashed just because it was the beginning of the season. Pressure usually runs around 13 psi. During the summer, I thought something was wrong with my gauge, and in order to rule out the "bouncing needle syndrome", I backwashed again. This was about 45 days later. There was no pressure change at all after backwashing. Sight glass cleared up real quickly (less than 1 minute), and water was not that dirty to begin with.

    Since then, I have not backwashed the filter as the pressure has not increased more than 15% (at most). The pool stays relatively clean and I use skimmer socks to catch all the debris and swap them out weekly. When I vacuum, everything is caught in the skimmer basket (with the sock) and then replaced if needed. Have 3 sets of skimmer baskets with socks ready to go. Decided this during pollen season as the accumulation is quick and almost needs to be changed every few days, if not daily. I will backwash when closing the pool as water will need to be drained.

    I know that the TFP rule is about 25% over normal starting pressure, while others tell you 10 psi over normal starting pressure. My "bouncing needle", (really not that much) all has to do with the plumbing and vibration. When I shut down the main drains, one skimmer, plus 4 returns, my pressure increases dramatically (over 20 psi) and the needle is fairly stable. The system was clearly oversized and pressure also changed after they added the 4 circulating heads. This kind of rules out the needle is defective. Needle always goes back to "zero".

    In this situation, should I backwash at least every 30-60 days, even though pressure really does not change that much? Thank you.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Nope. With a properly sized filter many members only clean the filter once a year.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    What I think is that your pool is a very clean pool AND the skimmer socks are catching most of the stuff so your filter is not really doing any "work" as far as having to filter out stuff.

    If you did not have the socks I bet your filter would need to be backwashed more often as there would be something in it. As it is the socks are doing a great job for you.

    If it's not broken don't fix it! LOL Is it easy for you to work with the socks? Do you think it would be easier to just let the filter do every thing? It is up to you. Do what works best for you. It seems to me you have found a wonderful system that is easy to do and very effective.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    daleyfolk's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Things are going similarly for me. I vacuum EVERY DAY with a battery handheld vac or my robot so most of the debris never makes it to the sand filter.
    17.5 K gallons (16x32) vinyl inground pool with 1 hp pump and an old Triton sand filter. >20 years old. New 2015 Rheem gas heater. TF-100 Test kit. Little red robot and a Pool Blaster Max.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    perfectly normal. Easier than you thought?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    It is easier to work with the socks as the water stays clear, and I do not loose any water. Also, it is a PIA to unravel the backwash hose. At one point, I was going to hard pipe everything to the street, but it is not necessary at this point. For a few times a year, easier to deal with the socks.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    You have found what works for you and your pool! Nice job!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Haven't back washed since June, and I only did it then because I needed to get rid of water and didn't want to waste it.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Dang. Ive had water in for almost 3 weeks and have backwashed my DE filter 5 times.

    Built Aug 2015- 20x40 26000 Gallon free form gunite, White plaster w/ 50% blue quartz, 2hp Jandy Stealth, Polaris 280, 2 skimmers,2 floor drains, 5 returns, bubbler, Grotto waterfall. 2 24" sheer decents, Jandy 48 DE filter, Jandy Aquapure PLC1400 SWG, 2 Color changing led

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Similar experience.

    As others have said, if you use skimmer socks (I do) and other trapping devices (I have a leaf canister on my suction side cleaner), you are catching like 90% of the stuff that would normally go to the filter. So your filter is working a lot easier.

    When mesquite flower/pollen season hit, I was emptying 1 to 2 lbs worth of pollen/flower gunk from my skimmer basket every day (not to mention dead beetles and cinch bugs). In previous seasons, all that gunk would have go into the filter.

    So if you're ok doing the extra work of emptying skimmer socks, then you're all good.


    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fordracing19 View Post
    Dang. Ive had water in for almost 3 weeks and have backwashed my DE filter 5 times.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
    A. New plaster will clog it up as the water clears.
    B. Your filter is much smaller than we would have recommended for a pool your size in TX ... which is the 72 sqft version.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    I was just considering this same question. I did a full disassemble and clean of our DE filter in March, and the pressure is pretty much the same today. It's actually easier for me to pull it apart and clean it than to hook up that ridiculous blue hose and find somewhere to drain all that water, so I might try to just do a full clean every 9 months and skip the backwash. And plus that way I get the correct amount of DE in there. The "add 80% after backwash" just doesn't seem very reliable to me.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeChris View Post
    I was just considering this same question. I did a full disassemble and clean of our DE filter in March, and the pressure is pretty much the same today. It's actually easier for me to pull it apart and clean it than to hook up that ridiculous blue hose and find somewhere to drain all that water, so I might try to just do a full clean every 9 months and skip the backwash. And plus that way I get the correct amount of DE in there. The "add 80% after backwash" just doesn't seem very reliable to me.
    I got fed up with the blue fire hose too and decided to go grab a few lengths of 1-1/2" PVC pipe and some unions and make my own backwash line. I can disassemble it for storage behind the equipment pad and attach it as needed. Now when I backwash (like you I can go months without the pressure rising) I get the water in the same spot every time....right in my neighbors backyard (joking of course)


    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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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible not to backwash for months at a time?

    My "norm" is 21psi. After 4 months of summer it just hit 28, so cleaned it today. Probably should have backwashed 2 months ago. It was really dirty, large and almost rock particles. I also use a skimmer sock, but must be pulling the dirt from the drains. Just never thought the kids were that dirty! At least the 48' of filters was easy to clean since I'm using Zeofiber instead of DE. I typically don't backwash unless I plan on pulling the lid and cleaning the filters. Normally just once per season, but may start doing it twice now.

    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
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