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Thread: DE substitute

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    kkpjm's Avatar
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    DE substitute

    Any recommendations on a DE alternative? Doheny's flyer shows Zeofiber as being something that's easier to handle, and 1 pound replaces 8 pounds of DE. I'm a little skeptical but like the sounds of it. Pool guy says he doesn't sell much of it.
    20x44x8 Cardinal vinyl IGP, 33000 gal, 2 hp Mustang, 60 SF CrystalWater DE, Zodiac LM3 SWG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DE substitute

    There are a number of brands of cellulose fiber: Fiber Clear, ZeoFiber, PuriFiber. All of them are essentially the same stuff and work as a DE alternative. For the most part they get very good reviews, though the occasional person finds that their filter won't backwash well when using fiber instead of DE.

    Fiber is definitely easier to handle and more eco. It has been catching on is some areas, not so much in others.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: DE substitute

    I used Fiber Clear all last year and switched back to DE this year. I couldn't get the stuff to backwash out of my filter and it just didn't seem to do as nice a job at polishing the water as DE. The water had a funny smell as well (it wasn't just me, the kids noticed). My grids were caked and really hard to clean after a season of Fiber Clear as well.

    One of the nice things about the cellulose alternatives to DE is that they will absorb/filter out oils. So, I'm using just a bit of my left over Fiber Clear mixed in with DE. Don't know if it really helps, but I need to use it up.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Re: DE substitute

    I use PuriFiber in my cart filter. Love it. Hoses off well and my water sparkles. Never have a problem with pressure going up either.
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
    TF100 Test Kit And Speedstir

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    Re: DE substitute

    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieO
    I use PuriFiber in my cart filter. Love it. Hoses off well and my water sparkles. Never have a problem with pressure going up either.
    How does that work with a cartridge system?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DE substitute

    Fiber products can be used in cartridge filters to enhance filtering in the same way DE can be used in a sand filter. Since cartridge filters are better to begin with, the improvement is not as large as it is with a sand filter, but still detectable.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: DE substitute

    Quote Originally Posted by ocgamer
    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieO
    I use PuriFiber in my cart filter. Love it. Hoses off well and my water sparkles. Never have a problem with pressure going up either.
    How does that work with a cartridge system?
    Instructions say to use 2 cups per 25 sq. filter area for moderate bather load. There are also instructions for light and heavy use. Just measure out how many cups you need and start putting it in through the skimmer with the pump running. Take a long handled spoon along and stir it while you're putting it in.
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
    TF100 Test Kit And Speedstir

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    Re: DE substitute

    I started using Fiber Clear this year and have been happy with it. have backwashed a couple of times, opening the filter each and found that it was a little better than DE in cleanliness, some caking on top and between the grids, but was able to wash out easily with a hose. The only thing to be aware of is to make sure you read the manufactures instructions. For Fiber Clear, they say not to use clarifier, for it causes the fibers to gel and cake really bad, and makes it very hard to clean. So I do not use any additives other than BBB, and my water looks great, as good as, if not better, than with DE. The other benefit is it is not hazardous, so when I clean my filter on the grass, and let the residue dry (it like paper mache'), once or twice over with the bagging lawn mower and it is all picked up. It is worth considering.
    15k gal, inground plaster, 15'x30', attached spa (w/spillover); Pentair FNS-48 DE filter(using Fiber Clear); w/1.5hp Whisperflo pump; gas heater (MiniMax 250); solar cover; location: El Paso,TX

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    Re: DE substitute

    I switched to Fiber Clear about a year ago. With a balanced pool using the BBB method. If you start with a clean filter, we brushed and hosed the grid elements and all parts of the grid assembly. Used the wet vac to vacuum the bottom of the filter enclosure. Thoroughly cleaned the skimmer and the pump skimmer. The instructions on the bag say for our filter size (48 square feet) use 9 scoops, we started wit 6 scoops. Some people have mentioned that Fiber Clear clumps right away, we used a bucket, water and a length of PVC as the mixing stick, WEAR a FACE-MASK and mixed, mixed, as the pump was running we - slowly - poured the mix into the main skimmer, and let it run for about 10 hours.
    The filter pressure valve showed 10PSI. Next day the water was clean but not perfect, we pre-mixed and added 3 more scoops (total 8) and ran the pump for another 10 hours, valve pressure went up to 12-13PSI and the water was close to hotel quality.

    I agree with others that it does not back wash very well, and if you judge the backwash by how clean the backwash water comes out, you'll be mislead and over charge the filter as you reload.

    Happy Summer to Everyone!

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    Johnl's Avatar
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    Re: DE substitute

    I use Fiber Clear and didn't realize until this year that you are not supposed to use Phos Free or other products like it because it binds the FiberClear and reduces its filtering ability. That may be why you are seeing the caking on the filter grids.
    23K Gunite IG Pool
    Waterway Crystal Water SVL56 Pump/1.5HP AO Smith Motor
    Hayward Star-Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C17502
    Aquarite 40k SWG
    Polaris 360

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