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Thread: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have well

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    Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have well

    Hi,
    I've got the PB coming over tomorrow to work out the final details of our IG Vinyl pool install. I've learned a lot reading Pool School and the forums. This is a great site!

    However, I'm still stumped on filter choices. I'm leaning towards a DE filter, but my #1 concern is about the safety of the backwash. Let me tell you about my setup and proposed equipment:

    ~18K Gallon IG Vinyl pool
    SWCG - Hayward Aqua Rite
    Heat Pump - AquaComfort 125K BTU
    I will be backwashing onto lawn + woods (About 0.75 acre is behind the pool half wooded)
    I have well water, also in the back yard


    So what filter type would you get?

    At first I was concerned about the SWCG and backwashing to the lawn/woods but I've now read the salt ppm is too low to harm plants, plus I have the ability to backwash to many different areas (lots of land, distribute the salt better).

    However, there seems to be some concerns over the safety of DE. Its not allowed in sewers. With my setup should I not backwash DE onto my land?
    26,000 gal 18x36' IG Vinyl Pool - Hayward S244T Sand filter - Hayward Tri-star 2-speed 1.5HP pump - Goldline Aqua Plus SWCG and Controller with Tcell-15 - Aquacomfort 125K BTU Heatpump - Hayward Color Comfort 4.0 LED - Zodiac MX8 suction cleaner - TF100 test kit
    My Build thread

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    DE is not dangerous unless it is an airborne dust.

    If you live in an area where there is a lot of dirt and debris in the air, a sand filter may be the best choice since sand can handle high dirt loads and cleaning is trivial.

    Before you make a decision, I would highly recommend that you have your well water tested so that you know what your make-up water source is going to be like. If your well water isn't suitable for filling the pool, you probably want to go with a cartridge filter to save the water that would otherwise be lost during backwashing. Calcium hardness, iron and alkalinity would be your main concerns.
    TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Dry DE is an inhalation hazard, otherwise it is used in gardening, etc. (well the gardening type is also a bit less of an inhalation hazard as it is more rounded), as to environmental issues, from what I have read regarding discharge to sewers it seems to mainly be a concern with it causing damage to treatment plants (I am not sure exactly how though), and when dealing with discharge into ecologically sensitive areas.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Ditto on the windblown dust and well water concerns.

    That being said, if DE looks viable, do it, but use cellulose media. Some ultrarefined sawdust won't hurt anything. My lawn seems to thrive on the backwash. Although I don't use salt in my pool.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Thank you all for the helpful advice.

    I do have water test results, but not with me so I'll post them later tonight.

    Richard, can you elaborate on how you judge whether a DE filter is viable in my situation? Anything other than my concerns or those raised in this thread? So far I'm interpreting the feedback in this thread to be "OK to get a DE as long as I have a good water source to refill water lost to back washing. ". I suppose the same would apply to a sand filter as well since it requires more backwashing.
    26,000 gal 18x36' IG Vinyl Pool - Hayward S244T Sand filter - Hayward Tri-star 2-speed 1.5HP pump - Goldline Aqua Plus SWCG and Controller with Tcell-15 - Aquacomfort 125K BTU Heatpump - Hayward Color Comfort 4.0 LED - Zodiac MX8 suction cleaner - TF100 test kit
    My Build thread

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Quote Originally Posted by MassNerd
    Thank you all for the helpful advice.

    I do have water test results, but not with me so I'll post them later tonight.

    Richard, can you elaborate on how you judge whether a DE filter is viable in my situation? Anything other than my concerns or those raised in this thread? So far I'm interpreting the feedback in this thread to be "OK to get a DE as long as I have a good water source to refill water lost to back washing. ". I suppose the same would apply to a sand filter as well since it requires more backwashing.
    Mostly it's the dust and debris. A DE filter will load up really fast if there's a lot of dust, like farmers fields or a dirt bike track nearby. You already know if that's the case - just look at the car, the window sills, and the patio furniture. Sure, the water is super clean, but you'll be backwashing constantly.

    Second, if you have poor quality well water, you'll be adding more metals or whatever every time you backwash a sand or DE filter. A cartridge filter needs less water to clean it, and it's not coming from your nice balanced pool water.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    To follow up Richards second point, this is true if your well water is so bad that you need to treat for metals, or haul water in, if it is below that point then backwashing with DE or Sand filters can help lower the levels in your pool, as they would otherwise build up due to water evaporation. As you would be refilling with somewhat lower concentrations from your well water.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by MassNerd
    Thank you all for the helpful advice.

    I do have water test results, but not with me so I'll post them later tonight.

    Richard, can you elaborate on how you judge whether a DE filter is viable in my situation? Anything other than my concerns or those raised in this thread? So far I'm interpreting the feedback in this thread to be "OK to get a DE as long as I have a good water source to refill water lost to back washing. ". I suppose the same would apply to a sand filter as well since it requires more backwashing.
    Mostly it's the dust and debris. A DE filter will load up really fast if there's a lot of dust, like farmers fields or a dirt bike track nearby. You already know if that's the case - just look at the car, the window sills, and the patio furniture. Sure, the water is super clean, but you'll be backwashing constantly.

    Second, if you have poor quality well water, you'll be adding more metals or whatever every time you backwash a sand or DE filter. A cartridge filter needs less water to clean it, and it's not coming from your nice balanced pool water.
    Not to impede on the original posters filter question but I have both of the conditions you mention. I currently have a sand filter but it and the pool are not setup yet. Should I purchase a cartridge filter instead? If so, what size and type do you recommend? 17,000+ gallone above ground SWG pool.

    Thanks to the original poster for asking the question.
    In Build Phase:
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    I have no experience with cartridge filters. Sorry, can't help you size one.

    How bad is your water? I mean...rust stains in the toilets and so on? Because a sand filter sure is easy to clean. Turn a lever and let 'er rip. No recharge, no breaking down to clean grids. And if you want a little better filtering, you can add a little DE to a sand filter.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    I bought a new DE filter a year ago. But based on what I hear from the pool pro's I talk to, buying a sand filter but using something like the glass spheres or zeolite makes the 'sand' filter close to DE, with filtration down to 3 microns. I like that you can backwash as much as you want without buying more DE.
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Quote Originally Posted by Bow_Extreme
    Not to impede on the original posters filter question but I have both of the conditions you mention. I currently have a sand filter but it and the pool are not setup yet. Should I purchase a cartridge filter instead? If so, what size and type do you recommend? 17,000+ gallon above ground SWG pool.

    Thanks to the original poster for asking the question.
    For 17,000 gallons minimum recommended sizes:
    252 sqft cart
    3.1 sqft sand (24")
    47 sqft DE

    For further discussion, please start your own thread.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    I have no experience with cartridge filters. Sorry, can't help you size one.

    How bad is your water? I mean...rust stains in the toilets and so on? Because a sand filter sure is easy to clean. Turn a lever and let 'er rip. No recharge, no breaking down to clean grids. And if you want a little better filtering, you can add a little DE to a sand filter.
    I would have stains if it weren't for my water softener system. Yes we have high iron levels in the area.
    In Build Phase:
    27' x 52" Above Ground Pool
    Pentair Dynamo 3/4hp 2-Speed Pump
    Pool Pilot Digital Nano RC-35 Cell SWG

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    I couldn't find the full water report from 2 years ago, but when I get my water softner/filter serviced this is what I've seen over the years for the untreated water:
    pH usually 7.5 but as low as 6.9
    Alkalinity between 60-100
    Hardness = 4-8
    Iron = 0.7-1.0
    We are known for high iron in the water in this area. If I didn't have the softener then we'd have pink stains on the sinks and toilets
    26,000 gal 18x36' IG Vinyl Pool - Hayward S244T Sand filter - Hayward Tri-star 2-speed 1.5HP pump - Goldline Aqua Plus SWCG and Controller with Tcell-15 - Aquacomfort 125K BTU Heatpump - Hayward Color Comfort 4.0 LED - Zodiac MX8 suction cleaner - TF100 test kit
    My Build thread

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    If your well water has iron, I would investigate having water hauled for the pool. Iron tends to precipitate when you add chlorine to the water, staining the pool surface.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    I've decided to go with a Hayward S244T sand filter filled with zeobrite. I will have the initial fill trucked in of course. Any pool top up I'll be doing from the garden hose I will filter through my 4.5" x 20" sediment filter. It seems you can get a $80-100 filter that filters out up to 3ppm iron for 40,000 gallons of water. So that is cheaper than buying cartridges ever few years and solves my water source concerns.

    Thanks for the input everyone!
    26,000 gal 18x36' IG Vinyl Pool - Hayward S244T Sand filter - Hayward Tri-star 2-speed 1.5HP pump - Goldline Aqua Plus SWCG and Controller with Tcell-15 - Aquacomfort 125K BTU Heatpump - Hayward Color Comfort 4.0 LED - Zodiac MX8 suction cleaner - TF100 test kit
    My Build thread

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    Re: Filter Type Choice - Backwashing to woods - Also have we

    Sounds good. Thats the filter solution I would probably do that too if I hadn't bought a new DE filter a year ago. DE's not a big deal, but I've had to backwash 3-4x this spring considering the algea I had (wasn't too bad, I just didn't shock before closing and the rain over the winter added a lot of water).
    16x32 Concrete IG
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

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