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Thread: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

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    TravisD's Avatar
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    DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    I have been having a real problem so far this season ever since I opened the pool mid March. Dirt/dust/pollen has been collecting on the bottom of the pool in large amounts. I vacuum it up and within hours, it's back. It has been very dry here, we haven't had rain in a few weeks now. I know it is not algae and my CC is at 0 with no overnight FC loss. The "fine powder" collects in the wrinkles of the liner then gets stirred up and clouds my water and it takes a while for it it clear again, then the process starts over again. I think the powder is so fine it is passing right through my cartridge filter. Anyway, my question is can I add DE powder in the skimmer to try and collect the fine powder and keep it from returning to the water? And if I can, how much should I add?
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    I wouldn't. Your cartridge filter shouldn't be letting anything through. Have you inspected the cartridge for damage or to ensure that it is seated properly?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    I have used a product called Sparkle Up (BioGuard) in my cart filter and had good results. It wasn't cheap ($28) but it was worth it for me. One jug of it will treat a 200 sq. ft. filter.
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Have you tried skimmer socks? Only certain brands/models of cart filters allow the addition of DE. For others it will clog the cartridge.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Yea, I have tried skimmer socks. It helps a little. I was thinking of just adding some DE powder, brush to stir it up, then after it seems to clear and the "fine powder" is all gone, rinse the filter and be on my way. Maybe I'll try the stuff made for the cartridges, but DE powder is much cheaper. I mean the worst that could happen is it would clog the filter right?
    I have inspected it and it seats very nicely. It is actually a new filter. I had this problem last year, but not as bad. It has been much dryer thus far since I opened the pool.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    The worst that could happen is that the DE would get permanently jammed in the carts. I wouldn't do it.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Alright, you guys have talked me out of it. I'm sure it's for the better too. I'll keep brushing, vacuuming, and I guess the water will clear eventually. It is just frustrating to get the floor of the pool all vacuumed up and get the water sparkling, only to have the floor littered with the powder again hours later. Then when you want to get in, it stirs up and clouds the water, then repeat it again the next day. Looking for some other way, any suggestions? I guess I could try the Sparkle Up.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Can you see the gunk coming out of the returns when you vacuum? If not, it's probably new stuff falling in, and not a filter issue at all.

    I'd say save your money on the Sparkle up.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    I guess I could put a skimmer sock on the return line. I just don't see how that much could possibly fall in the pool in that short amount of time.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Some people use Fiber Clear with their filter cartridges. I use it about every two weeks with my sand filter. It really gets the fine stuff but you have to watch for a pressure rise and backwash when it gets to high. With a cartridge I guess that means tearing it down and cleaning it. Meaning not a great solution if it keeps happening every few days.

    So you might think about a flocking agent like Ultra Blue. Yes it will cause some of the stuff to be trapped by the filter meaning cleaning the filters sooner, but most of it will settle to the bottom to be vacuumed up.

    Are you vacuuming to waste or filter when you vacuum the bottom? With a sand filter you can do either, with a cartridge (unless I am about to clean it anyway) I vacuum to waste.
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    All I can say is that the Sparkle Up worked for me. At the time I had an undersized cart. filter (I was Pool Stored.) I followed the directions for cart filters and kept a good eye on the gauge. I noticed a big improvement in one day & noticeable improvement in hours. It took about four days before the pressure went up by about 4#. I rinsed the filter off, added fresh Sparkle Up and was good to go.
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. Unfortunately, i do not have a vacuum to waste option. I mean I could take out the filter, take off the return hose, plug the eyeball, and then vacuum. That would work, but I don't have a setting for waste.
    I think I will just blame it on the extremely high pollen count and lack of rain at the moment and see if it doesn't clear up in a few weeks. I remember this from last season, but it just wasn't quite this bad.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Can you post water test results? That's the VERY first place I would start.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    TravisD's Avatar
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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    Sure I can post them:
    FC - 7
    CC- 0
    PH - 7.5
    CYA - 50
    CH - 100
    TA- 90
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
    100% Trouble Free Since The Baqua Conversion

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    Re: DE Powder in cartridge filter?

    I know it's a couple years old but they tossed out a number of suggestions and then the thread ends. Did you try any of the suggestions and if so did they work for your issue ??
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