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Thread: Cellulose instead of DE?

  1. #1
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    Cellulose instead of DE?

    I'm thinking of switching over from DE to one of the fiber/cellulose products, but I have a couple of questions. First, having searched the forum for this topic I ran across this statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The alternative to DE is cellulose based products like Fiber Clear or ZeoFiber. They cost way more than DE and don't work quite as well but they are safe to use and biodegradable.
    This was posted last year, I think. I'm wondering if this comment is still valid, because the current prices I'm seeing both on the web and in the PS seem to be about the same between DE & fiber. Also, the websites for the fiber alternatives claim that the product actually filters better than DE. Just marketing hype?

    Second, for those who have made the switch, do you think that there is any difference between the 2 major brands that I'm seeing advertised: Fiber Clear vs. ZeoFiber? Again, it's hard to distinguish between fact & marketing mumbo jumbo. I wonder if it is basically the same ingredient from 2 different suppliers...

    Thanks,
    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Cellulose instead of DE?

    Prices have come way down since I wrote that. Cellulose used to be a premium product for people who were scared by DE, and it has now become a mainstream product with corresponding price reductions.

    I haven't seen anything that suggests that cellulose products filter better than DE, and I have seen hints that they aren't quite as good as DE, but nothing at all definite. Whichever way the comparison goes, they are fairly close to each other in filtering ability.

    There have been inconclusive reports about ease of use, with nothing dramatic pointing either way. Some people say it is a little easier to use than DE, some say it is a little harder to use than DE.

    All in all, nothing conclusive yet. I look forward to hearing other responses to your question.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. #3
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    Re: Cellulose instead of DE?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    All in all, nothing conclusive yet. I look forward to hearing other responses to your question.
    So how about ZeoFiber vs Fiber Clear? Is there any way to determine if the ingredients are proprietary to each, or if they are basically the same product/different packaging?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  4. #4
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Cellulose instead of DE?

    I have been using the Fiber Clear for about a year. I like it because it weighs less than DE, making it easier to carry and since the package is much smaller it saves space in my garage. As far as filtering quality I would say they are about the same. It hoses off the grids easier so my cleaning time is cut in half. I have found that when I use the recommended amount of Fiber Clear the start pressure is two or three tics lower than it was with DE and the clean return flow feels stronger. Overall I have been very happy with the Fiber Clear. I don't know about ZeoFiber, haven't run into anyone around here that sells it yet.
    TFP Moderator
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  5. #5
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    Re: Cellulose instead of DE?

    Well, just got off the phone with the folks at Zeo, Inc. And according to the person I spoke with, the ZeoFiber product is "somewhat" proprietary. I'm not totally sold on the company line, but I have decided to give it a try. I can get it locally at PoolPlaza, which is also an online retailer.

    Also, they maintain that cellulose filters finer than DE. They say that after switching you will see a faster pressure rise intitially due to the finer filtration. We shall see...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  6. #6
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    Re: Cellulose instead of DE?

    This year I switched from DE to ZeoFiber. I chose ZeoFiber instead of FiberClear because it was slightly cheaper at the places I could find online. I paid $19 for a 3lb. bag.

    Here are my comments:
    • - I'm finding I have to use a little more than the recommended amount to fully cover my filter
      - At the recommended amount, the cost is the same as DE since I was paying about $20 for a 25lb. box of DE, and the recommended amount of ZeoFiber is about 1/8th the amount of DE needed. Since I'm finding that I need a bit more than the recommended amount, ZeoFiber is costing me a bit more than DE, but not much (maybe 10-20%).
      - The ZeoFiber is a bit more difficult to clean off the filter grid, but not too bad.
      - Can't tell if it filters better. My pooll was very clean with DE and is very clean with ZeoFiber.
      - Clean filter pressure is the same with ZeoFiber as DE.
      - Main benefit is being able to dump ZeoFiber in the yard and not have to worry about it.
      - Overall I'm happy with it.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
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