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Thread: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Hello everyone,

    My roommates have an in ground Doughboy swimming pool that is always neglected. I asked them if they ever clean out the pool filter and they said no. It has been years since the filter was cleaned (at least 5 years). The filter is a Hayward Pro Grid D.E. Filter however I am not sure of the model number right now. So onto my questions which hopefully someone can answer!

    Supposedly they never use the "filter" option. They always use "recirculate" or "backwash".

    The recirculate mode is supposed to bypass the filter right?

    The pool had loads of leaves, bugs, etc. one day so I turned the filter on. It was set to "recirculate".

    If the "recirculate" mode bypasses the filter then how did it get rid of the stuff? I am assuming it would just spit it right back into the pool after going through the hoses.

    I'd like to clean the filters as one time I changed the valve over to "filter" to see what it would do and it blew a large black cloud into the pool! They said it was all of the algae and debris in the filter. I notice it is a D.E. filter. I am assuming since the filter hasn't been cleaned in "who knows how long" and they use the "backwash" setting a bit that there is probably no DE in the system.

    Will the filter still operate good without DE?

    Obviously the filter will not be "as good" as if it had DE but the roommates will never clean the filters or put DE in so I am just trying to get it to where I can use the "filter" option to suck out stuff on the bottom of the pool. The pool is by no means a "sparkling oasis" and it never will be due to the lack of maintenance.

    Thank you for your help as I am a total swimming pool maintenance newbie!

    Mark

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    You are correct about recirculate - it bypasses the filter altogether. There is no reason to run the pump on recirculate like that - it's a total waste of electricity and money.

    Backwash mode will run water through the grids backwards to clean them - but the water will come out the waste line.

    Without DE the filter does no true filtering. The grids will collect all the leaves and sticks and bugs and stuff - but all the small particles will pass right through. Also - running debris through a DE filter with no DE will almost surely damage the grids. The DE protects the girds from sticks and debris that will punch a hole through the plastic under pressure.

    The black stuff coming out is all the disgusting water that is sitting inside that filter.

    If you are serious about doing this you'll want to open up the filter and inspect the grids. Most likely you will need a new set of grids for the filter. You will definitely need some DE. You'll definitely be cleaning out some serious grossness.

    Then you can shock the pool and get the water filtering correctly. You'll want to run the filter every day to properly circulate and filter the water in the pool.

    Good luck
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thanks lightingguy for your response,

    You are correct about recirculate - it bypasses the filter altogether. There is no reason to run the pump on recirculate like that - it's a total waste of electricity and money.
    How did it clean all of the bugs and leaves then? This puzzles me as the stuff wasn't shot back into the pool.

    I'm definitely not spending any money on this as it is just going to go back to the way it is eventaully since they do not maintain it (other than dumping gallons and gallons of chlorine in when it gets really green.

    Perhaps I will just use the "backwash" setting to suck the stuff out of the pool and not mess with the filter at all. Would this work?

    Thanks again,

    Mark

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Unless you are gonna go all the way with this project I wouldn't bother at all. Just kinda vacumming up the leaves and bugs and other **** isn't going to make the pool sanitary enough to swim in. Besides the grossness factor there is a real issue of bacteria growing in the water that can make you ill.

    Most likely what you are seeing in the recirculate mode is that you are sucking the gunk into the pump filter basket where the largest chunks are being stopped. It could make it seem that some things are being filtered. Eventually this basket will fill up to the point the the pump stops working.

    Also - sucking up leaves and sticks is a sure fire way to get a nasty plumbing blockage. They can be a real nightmare to try to get unclogged. You're better off netting the big stuff out first and then vacuuming.

    If you're only goal is to keep the gunk out of the pool and not use it - then by all means backwash it, dump in a few dollars of DE and filter away. Even if the girds are damaged a bit you;ll be doing a lot better than you are now. Again - I wouldn;t swim in it unless you are gonna go all the way with proper sanitation and filtration of the pool.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thanks a lot for your fast and informative responses. My only other question was:

    When you backwash the pool it drains to the street gutter. When you do this does it also flush out the DE? I'm just trying to get an idea "if" there is even any DE in the filter anymore.

    If the answer to the above is yes then I am assuming you need to add more DE every time you use the backwash setting. But how would I know how much to add?

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    You'll want to empty the skimmer basket, and open up the pump to get the pump basket out and dump it (there should be a pretty obvious cover for getting at the pump basket).

    If you are never using "filter" then "backwash" will do you no good.

    DE is relatively cheap, if you[*] are motivated to start using the filter properly. You are correct that backwashing flushes out the DE, which then needs to be replaced. How much to use depends on the size of the filter, which can be determined from the model number.
    [*] I should say, if the people actually responsible for it are motivated... if they aren't, then there's not much point in you doing anything.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Backwash pushes water backwards though the grids and expels everything - including the DE. So yes - everytime you backwash you need to add more DE.

    The amount to add is based on the size of the filter. For my 48 SQFT hayward filter it's 12 scoops of DE. The pool store can help get you set up with DE and scoop. That's about the only thing I'd advise buying at the pool store. Dont tell them about you're issues, they will have lots of products to push on you.

    One thing to keep in mind - if the filter is really dirty then backwashing might not fully clean it out. It's possible that it will just clean out enough of a path to get the water flowing but leave a lot of stuff behind. I've had this problem in the past. If that is happening then a full load of DE will clog the filter up. It will manifest in a big jump in operating PSI on the filter.

    And sad to say I'm with Paul - if the owners have 0 motivation, just let it go. A pool is a whole lot of work. Good luck
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    guamguy's Avatar
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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Does anyone SWIM in this pool
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thanks for your responses.

    As far as people actually swimming in the pool? Maybe about 3 weeks out of the year. They do the chlorine and shocker stuff. And sweep..etc. I think when they do the sweep to get the gunk on the bottom they put it on the "backwash" setting" so it goes straight to the street. Perhaps I'll clean the filters, add some DE and see how long it will stay clean for (probably not very long if "I" am not maintaining it).

    Thanks again everyone,

    Mark

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Mark,

    If you do not own the pool and the owners do not want to invest time (not money) in a regular maintenance program, you should RUN AWAY from that pool. All your hard work and good intentions will be quickly "swamped" and the pool will return to it's unusable status very quickly without a commitment by all to keep it clean.

    Pools are easy to maintain if everyone involved will give them just a little time each day but it doesn't sound like there's anyone there who can/will make that commitment.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thanks duraleigh and I agree with you 100%. What brought me onto thinking about this task is I cleaned the backyard and it looks really nice "except" for the pool and it drives me crazy! I figure I'll clean the filters, add the DE and see if "maybe" it will provoke them to take better care of the pool. If not then so be it..it will be their loss.

    Upon looking for the model number on the filter there are a number of boxes showing what the required amount of DE would be etc. however none of these boxes are marked showing which model this particular filter is. The options on the filter are:

    DE2420
    DE3620
    DE4820
    DE6020
    DE7220

    Now, there is a little box where it says "serial number" which is blank but beside that box in little writing it says "DE24201". I am not sure what the number 1 is for but is it safe to assume this is the DE2420 model?

    Thanks a lot,

    Mark

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    I kind of think this might be a good project for you.. they are already used to spending a little bit of money on chemicals, maybe you can feel them out to see if they would be willing to invest in a good test kit first, and then some additional things if you open up the filter and clean it. If they are getting free knowledge and work from you, it may be worth it for them to spend a little $$$ but in return get a cleaner pool that would be used more. As Duraleigh said, once you get on top of it, it just takes a little bit of time each day.

    At minimum, I think you'll need to open the filter, pull out the grids, give them an overnight cleaning, then refresh the DE and see how it goes actually using "Filter" mode! There is lots of information in the Pool School link, and you can even find some videos on DE filter maintenance if you google around.

    Not totally sure to confirm the filter model, but here are the latest dimensions for Hayward filters, and these are probably still fairly close to the older models:
    DE2420 – 24" W x 321/2" H ( 61 cm x 83 cm)
    DE3620 – 24" W x 341/2" H ( 61 cm x 88 cm)
    DE4820 – 24" W x 401/2" H ( 61 cm x 103 cm)
    DE6020 – 24" W x 461/2" H ( 61 cm x 118 cm)
    DE7220 – 24" W x 521/2" H ( 61 cm x 133 cm)

    Good luck!
    28K IG Vinyl lined pool - 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    Hayward DE 60sqft filter; Polaris 280 vacuum with booster pump

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Okay, so this morning I decided to dive in and pull the filter out and clean it. The filters had a lot of sand on them along with some other gunk. Didn't seem to be any DE in there but you really couldn't tell. The grids and filters all seem to be intact. I stood the filter up in the driveway and started rinsing it off. The trouble I am running into is there seems to be a lot of algae or something in the bottom of all the filters, so as I am rinsing them off they fill up halfway with water. I found some videos on youtube about acid washing a DE filter.

    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GDaBJLPabg
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cByKfdyC4Bw

    Part 2 is where he starts the acid washing part

    I am wondering if this would be my best route to go at this point as acid washing it would obviously eat away everything "inside" the filters as well. I have some questions about this though. If acid washing is a good idea I plan on using something environmentally friendly. I have a Leslie's Pool Supply nearby which I am sure carries something like he uses in that video. My questions are:

    Question #1,) Is it okay to totally submerge the "entire" filter assembly including the top plastic and bottom plastic parts? It will not harm the plastic at all I am assuming since he did in his video but I want to make sure I don't mess anything up.

    Question #2.) Do I need to take apart the filter assembly "completely" and rinse it first or can I just get the best I can with it all put together then dump it in a garbage can and add the acid and water? In the above videos, he just gets the bulk of the stuff off then dumps it in the can.

    I just want to make sure I don't break or harm anything in this process.

    Also, regarding the top plastic piece that holds all of the grid in place. The part of that plastic piece that slides onto the pipe inside the filter is split at the end where it slides on. The pipe inside the filter is angled to the left so when you place that top piece onto the pipe it is distorted. I have altered a quick image from the above video in photoshop to help you understand. (I don't have my camera right now)

    The image is here:


    Don't mind the typo on "plastic"

    Does this piece "need" to be replaced in order for the filter to work correctly? The up-pipe seems to go past the crack but still. Perhaps I can turn the pipe straight up and down and see what that does and maybe try some JBweld for plastic. What bothers me is why it is like this in the first place. Perhaps the filter top would not fit and they did this on purpose?

    Thanks for your input,

    Mark

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Hi Mark, welcome to TFP!!

    The angled 'stand pipe' is an easy fix (yes, it IS supposed to be vertical ) Just loosen the bulkhead nut (it's the top big black nut on the outside of the filter) adjust the pipe and retighten the nut.

    Check to insure that the o-ring on the top of it is there and in good condition. As for the crack on the top manifold, if it doesn't extend far enough up to bypass the o-ring, it's not really a problem If it does, you can try crazy glue and a stainless steel clamp as a band aid.

    Good luck with this! We'll be here to provide further help, if needed.

    Please feel free to check out Use and Care for DE Filters
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thanks waste I'll give that a shot.

    Any recommendations on my other questions? The link you sent me says to soak for 3 hours with acid while the youtube video I posted says to soak for 12 - 24 hours. This is possibly due to it being muriatic acid on the link you sent me. I plan on using the more environmentally safe kind.

    Edit: I just called my local Leslies Pool Supply and they have a chemical called De filter cleaner:

    http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...600030/I/14395

    The bottoms of every filter has about 3 inches of muck in them. Leaving the filter standing up takes more than 2 hours for the bottom portion of the filter to drain all the water. Does anyone have any experience using this product? Will it clean all that muck out of the inside of the filter?

    Also, does anyone know of a good tutorial on putting back together a Hayward DE filter? I am a bit skeptical to take the grids apart as it looks like a puzzle to put back together.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Hey Mark,

    I''d take the assembly apart and clean the girds separately. Putting them back together isn't all that hard. It is a puzzle - but not too hard to figure. The base at the bottom of the stack has grooves that hold the grids aligned. If you can mark where just 1 goes - all the others just go in the "next" set of grooves on the bottom.

    I'm not a fan of Leslies pool chemicals in general - cause they dont say what's in them. Save yourself $10 and get a gallon of Muriatic Acid and use that diluted in your trash can of water. Waste's method for cleaning your filter in the post he gave you is very well explained.

    As to the "muck" in the bottom. If it's just gross water trapped by algae build up and calcium it should be cleaned up when you soak the grids. If the girds have some punctures in them allowing larger material to get in you may need to replace the grids. You'll know more when you get them cleaned out.

    Good luck.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    The only thing that scares me about using muriatic acid is if it will cause any damage to the grids or filter. I suppose I'll give it a shot as the stuff from Leslies is way to overpriced for something I am just doing as a favor. If I mess it up..they would probably want me to buy new grids since "I" did it. That's why I was going the safe route.

    10 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid seems strong for those little grids but I am new to all of this and know nothing about it. I've already rinsed all of the grids pretty well. The only gunk that's left is in the bottom of the inside of each filter. Could I bypass the "degreasing" step in that tutorial? I would think the acid would eat away what little grime is on the top of the grids.

    Edit: After I made this post I found this on Answers.com

    If muriatic acid is used first in the cleaning process you will set the oils permanently into the filter material and ruin the filters. You MUST remove the oils from the grids (cartridge and DE) first then rinse with water. Next you can use the muriatic/water solution (1:10), then rinse again.
    I guess I'll be doing the full cleaning with the TSP and muriatic acid. Wish me luck!

    Mark

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    I can't help you on the filter cleaning - your getting good advice there. What I can say is I has hesitant to handle MA but have grown comfortable with it at least for adding to my pool to raise pH. Buy cheap rubber cleaning gloves and use in a well ventilated area.

    Below is a post on neutralizing the acid after you are done. Basically you add baking soda (alkaline) until water/acid mix quits foaming. When it does, you basically have neutral water that you can pour down a drain or whatever.

    what-to-do-with-acid-water-mix-after-cleaning-my-cell-t26083.html?hilit=neutralize%20muriatic%20acid
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    Thank you sportsman for the link.

    It's not the harshness of any chemicals I am worried about (I worked in a chemical plant for 10 years "unfortunately"). I just want to make sure I don't mess up the filters in anyway. The roommates, while happy I am doing them a favor, would probably be upset if something went wrong and I am a total newbie when it comes to cleaning pool filters.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Need information about maintenance of pool filter please.

    In order to insure you don't ruin the filter be sure to soak it in TSP or dishwasher detergent before ever putting a drop of acid on it. In fact the TSP/DD might just clean it up all by itself.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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