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Thread: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

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    Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    I just opened the pool (first time owner) and coated my DE filter for my first time. I ran the filter for 3 days straight and it seems to be functioning as I understood it would. My base reading after coating it was about 10lbs of pressure. It gradually climbed up to 20 almost after only a day so I backwashed it and recoated it. I read to use 80% of the normal amount after a backwash so I did that. Base reading went back down to normal. 2 days later it was up there again so I repeated the process. Starting yesterday I felt it was time to start running it for 8-10 hours a day instead of 24/7. I noticed after shutting it off that I got some DE in my pump. Letting it sit for awhile the DE actually seeped down into the bottom drain of the pool.

    If I start the pump back up it all got sucked up but I was concerned so I did a full clean of the filter. Drained it of air and water, took the top off, washed everything with a hose and repeated my initial startup sequence with the full amount of DE. I ran the filter for about 5 hours and then shut it off before going to bed. This morning I went out and there was DE in my pump. Didn't notice any in the pool but it could have just settled enough not to notice it.

    My skimmers don't get much suction (not enough to produce any kind of visible cyclone) so when I put the DE in I close off my bottom drain. The very first time I put a plug in my close skimmer to generate a good cyclone in the far one. I gradually just dumped in the required DE media a little at a time. I had read you should put it into the closer of the skimmers so the second time I plugged up the far one and slowly put the DE in the close one. This time I created a slurrly as the manual suggested and put it in the close one again. I am not sure how good the slurry was though as I got down to the bottom it was pretty thick and I had to keep adding water and mixing it more before pouring it in. I tried not to let any of the thicker stuff go in.

    I made sure the air is out of the filter and not sure what else I can do here. It's a 37.5 sf filter. I bought the recommended pre-measured scoop. It says 1 scoop per 5 sqft. I added 7.5 scoops on the fresh coat and 6 scoops on the re-coat after backwash. Should I just add less maybe?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    A puzzler, to be sure.

    DE will fall off the grids when the pump is off, but it should should pile in the bottom of the housing. I suppose if it's been years since the thing got a full cleaning, the insides could be overloaded with DE. I did check - you're adding the right amounts. But the grids never backwash 100% clean. So that's one idea.

    But that idea doesn't explain it all. Somehow water is flowing backwards through the system and carrying DE with it, and you've already eliminated an air bubble as a cause. Is the filter lower than the pool? Do you maybe have a solar system that is draining down and pushing DE out? It could be as simple as a bad check valve.

    Some pictures of your equipment pad might help us trace things .
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    The filter is above the pool level. No solar system. I don't have any full pictures right now while at work, but I took some pictures when I took it apart and cleaned it yesterday.
    Last edited by syntax53; 05-29-2017 at 11:20 PM. Reason: removing photos due to quota

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Do these grids look OK? Could they be too clogged to hold the DE? Wondering if maybe I need to do a full cleaning or even replace them all (~$180)?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    I go more by feel than by look. If they're not brittle and stiff, with no holes, then they're still good.

    The pictures should be of the plumbing and the valves and all. If the grids were bad, you'd blow DE into the pool constantly.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Wait, something just occurred to me. The scoop is supposed to be 1 pound. And I supposed to put in 3.7 pounds of the DE for my filter. Why am I putting in 1 pound per 5 ft. I should be putting in at max four scoops shouldn't I ? Or really 3.7.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Quote Originally Posted by syntax53 View Post
    Wait, something just occurred to me. The scoop is supposed to be 1 pound. And I supposed to put in 3.7 pounds of the DE for my filter. Why am I putting in 1 pound per 5 ft. I should be putting in at max four scoops shouldn't I ? Or really 3.7.
    That depends on what size the scoop is. Up above, it says 1 scoop per 5 ft2 and the math came out right at 7.5. But if the scoop is bigger, say a full pound, then you are overloading it.

    Borrow someone's kitchen scale and check it out.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    This is the one I got -- Blue Devil B8300 D.E. Rake Scoop with Handle Amazon.com : Blue Devil B8300 D.E. Rake Scoop with Handle : Swimming Pool Chemicals And Supplies : Patio, Lawn Garden

    It says both.

    Convenient DE scoop volume is equivalent to a 1 lb. coffee can
    One scoop per 5 square feet of filter area

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Quote Originally Posted by syntax53 View Post
    This is the one I got -- Blue Devil B8300 D.E. Rake Scoop with Handle Amazon.com : Blue Devil B8300 D.E. Rake Scoop with Handle : Swimming Pool Chemicals And Supplies : Patio, Lawn Garden

    It says both.

    Convenient DE scoop volume is equivalent to a 1 lb. coffee can
    One scoop per 5 square feet of filter area
    A one pound coffee can hold about half a pound of DE. So that idea is out.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Darn. Well I'm draining my pool to fix my CYA levels so I figured I may as well do a full chemical cleaning in the grids.

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    So I am really confused. I completed the chemical clean. I am glad I did because they were pretty cruddy once removed from the manifold. Once I got it all back together and was ready to put in the DE I wanted to double check the weight. I checked the cup again and confirmed it says, "1 scoop per 5 sq ft of filter area." However, my filter specifically says on it to use 3.7lbs of DE and not to exceed 0.1 lbs of DE per sqft of filter area (37.5 sqft * 0.1lb = 3.75lb). 1 scoop per 5 sqft = 7.5 scoops (37.5/5 = 7.5). I weighed out the 7.5 scroops and it weighed in at 4.8lbs! That's 1.3lbs (28%) more DE than the filter calls for. Am I doing something wrong here???

    I wanted to get the filter going so I manually weighed out 3.75lbs using a scale and put that in there.

    edit: I'll also add that I weighed two different brands. I have some clorox DE media "plus filter aid" which I was using at first and thought maybe they were adding stuff to the mix. So then I weighed out the generic pool store (leslie's) DE media and it was also way over the weight.

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    Re: Getting DE media in my pump after shutting off pump/filter

    Anyone have any comments on the discrepancy of the "1 lb coffee can DE scoop"? Should I just assume bad product? I purchased a true 1 lb scoop from the local pool store. Have yet to test the weight though.

    As for the DE back in my pump: I found that I had a suction leak through my chlorinator. I'm not actually using it but want to leave it hooked up in case I do, but the lid wasn't all the way tight and when the filter was off, after a couple seconds it would start to suck air through it and then the filter would start "gurgling" and draining and dropping DE back into the filter. Now that I have the suction leak fixed I never lose prime when it's off so I don't have the problem.

    Question is, do I still have a DE "sticking" / "overloading" problem? Or would this be normal when this happens? I feel like if I had to release the pressure in the system, to cleaned the pump basket for example, then I would have the issue again. Though I could change the multi-port to prevent flow from the filter. I just feel like the DE isn't "sticking" to the grids or something.

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