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Thread: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

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    mtheaded's Avatar
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    Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    Hi, everyone

    I’ve been lurking around here for a couple of years since I bought a house with an in ground pool and have learned so much which I have to thank everyone for! I think I spent at least twice what I needed to the first year of ownership before I found TFP.

    I have a DE filter question that I have never seen posted here and I imagine it is an easy one for one of the experienced gurus here.

    I have a Hayward DE4800 DE filter and I have had it apart for cleaning and closing multiple times but I have the same ‘challenge’ every time I go to reassemble it. I have one dickens of a time getting the filter tank head back on when reassembling. It always seems that the filter tank o-ring is slightly too large. I use Teflon lube liberally. I replaced the o-ring last season and the head went back on pretty easily the first time. After that, it was the same old struggle. When I close the pool, I always remove, clean and store the o-ring indoors until next season. They are too expensive to replace every time I have to open the filter up!

    So, gurus, are there any secrets to doing this? Am I missing something? How often should I expect to have to replace the o-ring under normal circumstances? Should I get a new one every year at the start of the season? I’ll be dealing with this again in about 30 days and thought I should seek some advice before I crack a rib trying to force the lid back into place this year!
    26,000 gallon IG Vinyl Lined, Hayward DE2400 Filter, Hayward SP2610X15 1/2 HP pump, Dolphin Sprite robot, open May to October

  2. Back To Top    #2
    I haven't used the same brand filter as you but I deal with DE filters plenty and I'll just let you know I haven't replaced the tank o-ring on any of my filters in 3+ years.

    My filters are the SS Pentair FNS Plus which I'm able to climb up on a ladder and actually sit on the lid popping it into place.

    With the SS tank lid I can also seat the lid on the back side of the filter, hook the band over the tank and lid to hold that end closed then with a pair of channel locks pop the front part of the lid down and quickly slap the band on the tank.
    If your tank is fiberglass I would be careful using that method. I don't know what pliers might do to your tank.

    I have a theory that Teflon grease causes these rubber o-rings to expand slightly.

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    Mtheaded, welcome to TFP!!

    A couple of things come to mind. When you lube the DEX2400K o-ring do you by any chance pull or stretch it while lubing? When you store it for the winter, do you lay it flat or hang it on something? Is the problem getting the band back together, the band should squeeze the top and bottom together entrapping the o-ring. If you have the band that has 2 tightening bolts, you've got to back the other bolt off before trying to get the band back on, and tighten them alternately keeping the gap ~ the same on both sides. The ring shouldn't stretch out that quickly, most of the ones I have to replace are 'squared off', and therefore useless, but not too big I would have mentioned that Vasoline expands the rubber, but you say you use teflon lube, so that's not an issue.

    Sorry I don't have anything definitive at this point, but the questions I asked, and the answers you provide , should help us figure out why you seem to have 1 time use o-rings, when they should be good for years???
    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!)

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    mtheaded's Avatar
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    Hey "waste"

    Thanks for the welcome!

    I certainly don't think I'm stretching the o-ring when lubing it (not using it for a sling shot or anything ) and I simply lay it out flat for storage, not hanging it where it might stretch naturally. The problem isn't getting the band back on - it's simply getting the top cover back on snugly enough over the o-ring to get to a point where I can put the band back on. When I try to put the cover on, it sits on top of the o-ring instead of setting down on the bottom of the cover completely. I think the gap is too wide to put the band back on at that point, but maybe I am wrong. If I can get the band started, should tightening it draw the 1/2 to 1 " gap that occurs when I sit the tank top on the tank bottom close? Am I wrong in assuming that I need to have the lid fit fairly snuggly prior to tightening the band? I've certainly been wrong before and will no doubt be wrong again!
    26,000 gallon IG Vinyl Lined, Hayward DE2400 Filter, Hayward SP2610X15 1/2 HP pump, Dolphin Sprite robot, open May to October

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    sammm's Avatar
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    My top can be a pain putting back on too even with a well lubed O-ring. Have you tried opening the air bleeder valve on top? That may help it slip on a bit easier.
    WetEdge Satin Matrix, 16K gallon, Pentair NSP-60 DE filter, Pac Fab Challenger, 2HP pump, BBB, Polaris 360

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    As long as you can get the band to go on and start tightening it, it's not a problem I was thinking that there was a lot of o-ring 'slop' hanging off the sides, which would prevent a positive seal on the filter. If you'd care to check the owners manual, they recommend purposely putting the lid on with no gap in the back and a huge gap in the front (where the bolt tightens the band) -- I say put the lid on as close to horizontal as you can (no, it won't sit on the bottom of the tank without the band) and let the band draw the top to the bottom. As long as the filter isn't leaking from the seam, it's all good If the lid fit on as you'd like, the o-ring would probably be too small to fully seal the top and bottom - you get a 'free-bee' with a new o-ring, but there's nothing wrong with yours, as long as the tank doesn't leak and you can get the band to tighten on.
    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!)

  7. Back To Top    #7
    mtheaded's Avatar
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    Thanks, waste!

    Owner's manual? What's that? I inherited everything when I bought the house and have been winging it ever since!

    If the weather holds this weekend I'm going to be replacing all the filter elements (Which I found on ebay from a small pool company in Arizona for 1/2 the price of any online pool store web site I visited, BTW) and I'll give it a try. I think you are probably right and I'm just going about this wrong. Let's see what happens if I try letting the band do ALL the work. It makes sense.
    26,000 gallon IG Vinyl Lined, Hayward DE2400 Filter, Hayward SP2610X15 1/2 HP pump, Dolphin Sprite robot, open May to October

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    I've got the same filter and have had the same problem. I attributed it to stupidly using vasoline to lube it up and I think the petroeum in it caused the rubber to stretch. I replaced it and now only use expensive lube I get from the pool store and have not had a problem. Maybe there is some chemical in your lube that is causing it to grow.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    I opened my pool yesterday and had the same issue described here, only my o-ring somehow shrank over the winter. I lubed it up pretty well with Magic Lube (from the pool store), and then had a heck of a time getting it stretched out enough to sit in the groove from the lower half of the DE filter tank (PacFab 48). I stretched it by hand for about 30 seconds and then it seemed to be the right size, but through stretching, I think I rubbed off most of the lube. Anyway, once the top was on (a chore to get that thing lined up!), and the bands were tightened, I had substantial leaks around the middle.

    I added DE through the skimmer, which slowed the leaks, but had to tighten the bolts on the bands with a wrench to get the big leaks to stop. Last year, hand-tightening the bolts worked like a charm - no leaks at all. It's now a steady, but slow leak, which keeps the cement pad wet, and is probably more annoying than anything else, but I know I can get the top seated better.

    1) Should I replace the o-ring with a new one? I'm guessing mine is at least 5 or 6 years old, but I've always taken good care of it and don't use Vaseline (although I can't speak to what the former owner did). There are small cracks when stretched, but not really anything terrible. I'm guessing that the ring contracted while I was trying to put the top back on, and maybe isn't entirely seated in the groove (although if this were the case, I'm sure the leaks would be a lot worse).

    2) Is there a way to try again and get the top half of the tank reseated without unloading a mess by lifting off the top cover, or otherwise unscrewing the drain plug at the bottom of the tank? I just added the DE yesterday, and the filter is right up against my foundation (which was just repainted!)

    Thanks, as always. I love this site. Converted from Baquacil last summer, had a fantastic summer with the pool, just opened yesterday, and although my FC was 0, all other levels were just about in line!
    15,000 gallon in-ground, vinyl; PacFab Nautilus INS48 D.E. filter, Goldline Aqua Rite XL SWG, Heat Siphon SX5.0

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    I used to have this problem... the o-rings get bigger (don't ask me why) with time, and make it harder to put on. I just cleaned my filter and fought with it for an hour, then went to the pool store, got a new o-ring, and it slipped right on - with almost no hassle. Best $15 I spent that week.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    Hi
    My method is a lot like subslug's.

    I have a stainless steel DE filter. I get the ring hooked on in the back, and then use a pair of vise grips to "help" to bring the front down. I usually need to use it in a few places, and get one side of the ring seated, and then the other.

    I live in LA, so no need to winterize, but my seal is been there since we bought the house, 16 years ago. It is streched out, and bigger then the filter, but I am able to get it seated with my vice grip methed.

    Steve,
    If it was me, I would take the top off, relube the gasket, and try putting the top on again. You shouldn't lose the DE. At this point, the DE should be caked onto the filter elements, and won't go away just because you take the cover off.
    My "easy" trick to get the cover off is to remove the hold down ring, and then run the pump for just a split second. I usually end up doing this 2-3 times, until the top of the filter comes loose. I did read a warning about this, to be carefull so you top doesn't become a missile, but I have not had a problem, just run the pump for a fraction of a second in the beginning, and work you way up as you get a feel for what it takes to loosen the top.

    Randy
    25,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 200k BTU H200FDN gas heater, Pentair CCP520 520 sq ft Cart filter, Max-Flo VS2303VSP pump. iWave wireless remote,

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Hayward H200FDN heater

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    5 years is pretty good for one of these o- rings. What you want to check is for it being squared off, once it's flat on one of the edges, it can't do it's job - but lots of lube may get you another season.
    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!)

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    The O-ring was in pretty good shape. It's not flattened at all, and there aren't really any visible cracks. What's odd is that it shrank over the winter while in my shed. In any case, I'll probably try to re-lube it and use the lube liberally to get a better seal.

    Is there a way to drain the water from the top half of the tank before I take the lid off? Otherwise, I'm going to have a ton of water pouring out when I separate the halves. There's the drain in the bottom, but that would be worse because that would drain the whole tank (unless I just took it off for a few seconds to drain half the tank).
    15,000 gallon in-ground, vinyl; PacFab Nautilus INS48 D.E. filter, Goldline Aqua Rite XL SWG, Heat Siphon SX5.0

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    If the filter is above the water level of the pool, just turn off the pump and open the air vent on the top of the filter and most of the water will drain out (back into the pool).
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    It is above the pool water level. That makes a lot of sense - thanks for the tip! I hate to have all that water splash out against the foundation of my house....
    15,000 gallon in-ground, vinyl; PacFab Nautilus INS48 D.E. filter, Goldline Aqua Rite XL SWG, Heat Siphon SX5.0

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Getting tank lid back on DE filter

    Hi, So I too had a bear of a time putting the filter lid back on. After spending way too much time and reading various posts we found that a combination of suggestions worked best. Lubing then placing the o-ring in ice water for 20 minutes, putting o ring on without stretching it. Then filling the tank to the top. You will be able to get portions of the lid over the O-ring on, make sure the portion that is seated it to the back of the filter from where you are standing. Next, get the clamp ring and place it on that back portion. Really tamp it in well with a rubber mallet. Have someone hold it in place with pressure while you get vice grips at the front and while squeezing the vice grips keep working the clamp ring until you can get the screw/bolt into place. Then just start turning the screw/bolt and the lid will seat itself. I hope this saves someone some time and frustration. At least this doesn't have to done too often.

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