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Thread: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

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    Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Hey all.

    I went to open my pool a little late this year due to a other obligations. I started to look at my current pump/filter setup and the filter is getting pretty old and busted.



    Key Info:

    -The Sand filter is a Baqua Pure High Rate Sand filter, around 300#. It was used and came with the house, and I've had it for two seasons already. The c-clamp leaks, the pressure gauge is busted and I've never replaced the sand so I imagine it needs a full clean-out and replacement.



    -I replaced the pump last year, but like a noob, I just got the best deal I could find, so It's a 1.5hp one speed Hayward. I have no idea if it's too much or too little pressure.



    -The pool is a 24x48 round AGP, so it's between 12k-13k gallons.

    -I also have run an intex swg for the past two years fairly successfully.

    I've already read the Pool School filter differences page and lots of posts here which just left me with more question marks.

    So here's my question. Should I:

    -Go DE
    -Go Cartridge
    -Keep Sand, but refurbish the whole thing to get it in good shape.

    I prefer to live life so I don't mind paying a little extra for less work. I also want to consider how fast each type of filter will help me open in the spring.

    I realize that I may need to get a different pump as well.

    Also, I can plumb the whole thing if need be, no problem. It's currently plumbed with 1 1/2 pipes and flex.

    Thanks!
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    I would refurbish first and get it going and if you don't like it, after the season replace it. I would go DE. I think 1.5 hp is probably a little to much but no sense changing it now.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Is that pressure gauge replaceable? If so, I don't think you need to necessarily do anything! Fixing the leak would be good (you could hard-plumb it if you wanted), but I don't think you have a disaster on your hands.
    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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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Thanks for the quick and awesome replies!

    As far as cost goes, I'm looking at around $215 for just a DE bump filter on Amazon, shipped (not sure on the rules on posting links for purchasing). Then I will need to buy the actual DE and set it up.

    Ballpark: How much would new sand and a gauge cost? (i dont even know if the gauge is replaceable, I just assumed so) Plus the time I would have to put in to it?

    I'm all for manual repair, but if it takes me all day to empty the sand filter, it may just be worth my time to get something new in there that takes an hour or so to install.

    Also, would the sand or DE help clear up that swamp faster? Thanks!
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    You probably dont need new sand at all!!!!! Just fix the leaks.
    Think of it this way: Sure a DE can filter to smaller microns, but require more maintenance,
    Sand filters cannot filter to that micron level, but require less maintenance.

    By maintenance I am referring to cleang grids and adding DE, or backwashing/rinsing on a sand filter.

    I personally woudl not change the filter.
    16 x 32 Grecian Vinyl. Salt-Aqua Plus PS-4, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter, Hayward Ecostar SP34000vsp, Gulfstream HE-125-T-A Heat/Cool heat Pump

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    There is no need to replace the sand...it doesn't wear out. You may need to open it and clean it up some but it doesn't need replacing.

    More importantly, you will have much better luck cleaning up the swamp with a sand filter rather than DE. A DE will clog up VERY quickly and you will spend your time backwashing and recharging. The sand can take a lot more debris befor it needs backwashing.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Ok, you guys confirmed what I thought of DE filters- they suck on bad startups.

    I am leaning towards just fixing the sand filter now, thanks to you geniuses.

    I did read on this very forum that sand can get tumbled and smoothed out over time, therefore losing some of it's abrasive cleaning power.
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerobull
    I did read on this very forum that sand can get tumbled and smoothed out over time, therefore losing some of it's abrasive cleaning power.
    I do not think that is a generally held consensus here. How long was that sand out tumbling in the ocean/lake/river ... couple million years??? Actually the only time the sand is tumbling in the filter is during a backwash I think too.

    You can clean it out very well, by taking the top off. And slowly shoving a hose down into the sand and moving it around. The gunk will float to the top and spill out of the filter. Doing this once a year seems to be a good idea.

    HERE is a good thread on the "wearing out" of sand.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Refurb...no question.

    That pressure gauge is a $5 part. If it is leaking around the collar, there is an oring that needs replacement, or you might be able to lube it up and get another year out of it. The parts that you need should be fairly inexpensive, and it will give you a good understanding of how all that works...

    The parts you need will not justify a new filter...unless there is something like the whole multiport valve that needs replacement - and you can usually get parts for that as well!
    Science and Math Teacher
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Ok, good info on sand! Thanks!

    I was able to just screw the pressure gauge off by hand. Is that a specialty item I need to get at a pool store or can I just get it at a big box hardware store?

    As near as I can tell the multiport valve and all other moving parts are working ok on the sand filter.

    The o-ring is absolutely shot. I made my own last year using some blue gunk gasket maker from the auto parts store. needless to say, it didn't seal well and leaked. I have it off and am going to go look around for another one.
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Hardware store might have one. If the pool store doesn't get away quickly. I sell those for $5 - if it is more than $10 get away too. It is a 1/4" NPT (30 or 50 psi) pressure gauge, back mount. The bottom mount will work as well, just make sure your face is up when installing.
    Science and Math Teacher
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Got the parts. Paid 9.99 for the gauge, but the pool store has done me some solids so I don't mind helping them out with my minuscule purchases.

    Anyway, here's something weird- since I took the clamps with me, the multi-valve port was just sitting on top of the main body. Well, I went to put it all together, and now there's a gap where the valve won't push down completely on to the pvc pipe that sits in the body. I'm not sure if this the original assembly or some hillbilly engineering. I looked at the exploded diagram of the whole thing and the 'sand fill guide' is just missing completely.

    I checked the multi-valve and there is no blockage (see pic).

    So does this pipe sit on some sort of free floating platform and somehow some sand worked underneath it? I'm not sure how to get the multi-valve back on to the body.





    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Your filter looks like an older version of ours, with the round tank design. Did you already put the sand in? The "PVC" pipe has a grove on the very bottom that it will sit in, then put the sand in (need sand guide so it doesn't go down the pvc pipe thing). But who am I to talk cause my filter doesn't work...maybe someone else can enlighten us both.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    You may have to twist the valve back and forth a couple of times in a horizontal circular motion while pushing down down on the valve body. If that does not work, it could be that you lifted up your standpipe (the white pipe in your picture) and laterals off the bottom on the filter. If you did that, you probably will need to remove most of the sand to get them to sit back on the bottom of the filter.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Thanks for the responses. After reading some on the anatomy of sand filters, I think that MN and linen nailed it. I'm probably going to have to empty the filter to re-set the standpipe.
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Xero, looks like the top is slightly tapered too. So at little lube and it should press after resetting the pipe.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Give a try of some lube and some "manual manipulation) before you empty it! If there is a bunch of sand in there, I have a hard time believing that the laterals moved....but it is possible!
    Science and Math Teacher
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    Ok, I'll try some lube and elbow grease. Hmmm... I'd get the eyebrow raise if my wife heard me talk like that.

    Here's a good step by step guide with pics for installing a sand filter. Helped me understand the workings of it a bit better.

    http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/how_ ... ilter.aspx
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    I lubed up the standpipe and tried to get the valve back on. No love. So I ended up emptying out the sand to fit it by hand. Sure enough, there was a bump that the standpipe fit on and when I put it back in the proper place, the pipe was much lower.

    So now my sand is all on a tarp. Some of it is fairly nasty although I'm pretty confident that I can scoop it and clean it in a 5 gallon bucket. When I drained it, it looked like the sand was about 60% of the height of the body.

    However....I'm not sure how much sand this thing SHOULD have. The label has long since worn off. It's a Baqua Pure, and I measured the height with stand at 32 inches. The stand is 7 or 8, but of course the body is round so it goes down a couple of inches, so I would say it's a 26 inch high body.

    Anyone know how much sand should be in this thing? I can't find the answer online.

    Edit...found it! Apparently this is the same model as a reabag: http://www.waterwayplastics.com/manuals ... 8.0209.pdf

    Thanks!
    24'X48" Round AGP. In the process of re-equipping pump, filter, etc.

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    Re: Need Help! Should I go Sand, Cartridge or DE?

    sand was about 60% of the height of the body.
    That would seem pretty close. Do you have that "sand fill guide" piece they refer to in the instruction sheet?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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