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Thread: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

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    Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    I just bought a house with a pool and I am trying to take care of it properly (tons of great info on here thanks!!) After doing my first backwash I found that when the pump was turned back on lots of D.E. was shooting out through the return valves so after some research I decided to open up the filter and WOW I can see why there was a problem. I have tried to clean it off the best I can, but I cannot get the darn grids to come out. Anyone have a guess at how long it has been since the grids were last cleaned (I don't know how fast D.E. accumulates) and I would also love some advice on getting it out. Not sure if it is just stuck or just too heavy to get out still. Does the mesh bubble on the top need replaced since it is so smashed or is it okay? and ONE last question! How do I get the water out of the base? I have literally only owned a pool for a week so be nice :P

    Thanks in advance!

    Sorry that some of the pictures are sideways, but you get the idea!

    Also I took the manifold? off and the part attached to the PVC pipe is so stuck on that it pulled the whole pipe out and I still could not get it to separate...any advice on that?
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Wow .... just WOW!!!! Apparently someone did not understand that you backwash first and THEN add more DE.

    So, were you able to lift the set of grids out or not? The only thing holding them is was that PVC pipe which you said came loose. YOu should be able to lift everything out and then take the top manifold nut off. The the grids come apart. Getting it all back together is a bit tricky, especially if you were not able to see them together.

    There is an oring in the PVC pipe that seals it to the manifold, you are just going to have to work that pipe loose, replace the o-ring and lube it up.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Thanks!! I have not been able to get it out..I am thinking it is just too heavy for me as there is still a lot of DE stuck in between the grids. I will have to wait until my partner comes home to help I guess.

    The previous house owners meant well I think...they showed us how to open the pool before we moved in and told us how they took care of the pool. I guess it was just lack of education on how to take care of the filter on their part? I also think that they were adding too much DE each time. They suggested 9 scoops after each backwash, but from what I read a 36 SQ ft only needs 7 after a complete clean and less after a normal backwash. Is this correct?

    I am currently using their left over floater and chlorine tabs, but I will soon be switching to BBB method
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    There is no good definition of "scoop" you are best to weigh it for yourself and use the recommend weight after a full clean (3.6 lbs according to the manual) and then 80% of that after just a backwash.

    Since you already took the top manifold off, you should be able to lift out each grid individually now. Although you are going to likely need some guidance on how to put it back together
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Ah okay..hopefully I can find a manual online I believe the pool and filter is from the 80's and there was no manual left from old owners as far as I know.

    I will give taking the grids out separately a try thanks!

    Will I need to drain the water out before I restart the pump? I don't see any valves on it that would allow this.
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Bookmarked.

    There might be a winterizing drain plug on that tank down at the bottom somewhere. Mine is newer, but similar, and i have a backwash valve underneath. It's just a lever that slides back and forth. If yours does, and you uses it, I recommend moving it back and forth multiple times while running a hose through the tank so you get any crud that might stick in there washed out so it doesn't create a leak.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    OMG!!!!
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    WOW!
    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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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    I am making progress! I have everything out but there's still a bunch of DE inside so I'm trying to scoop it out. I have bags full of the stuff idk what to do with it. Seemed like too much to just put on the ground?
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Wow psi must have been like 60+! I would take what the previous owner said about pool maintenance and throw it out the window. With a filter like that...... Read pool school and ask as many questions as you like very educated and well informed group of people here. Did I say WOW yet?

    As far as getting the pipe off try some silicone spray around the area and light taps with a rubber mallet. When reassembling hit every joining piece with silicone spray. Inspect all rubber o rings and lube with some magic lube if ok or replace. Also you would definitely benefit from an acid wash. There is a sticky somewhere explaining in detail how to do so. Use search feature.
    pool size - 40kgal
    finish - Gunite
    pump size in horsepower and brand-Variable Speed, Hayward EcoStar SVRS3400
    filter size - Sta-Rite S8M150
    additional equipment - Hayward CL220 Chlorinator

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    surprisingly the PSI was around 30 before backwash and around 20-25 after we did the backwash

    Still sturgging to drain the water out I believe we found WHERE to drain the water from, but cannot get it open.

    We were able to get the (drawing a blank on what to call it) "nut" off of the bottom pipe which is what should let the water out, but it wont pull open because the top pipe is still tightened. When we try to loosen the top pipe the WHOLE pipe spins not just the "nut" it looks like they sealed it with something to stop a leak..unsure if this is causing the problem...
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    jmagoulas didn't see the bottom half of your post until after I posted again..Will have to try the silicone spray thanks!
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Those are called unions and looks like they used pipe dope around the threads to the multi port valve. If you have a pipe wrench throw it on the union nut and try to unscrew. Go slooooow and apply steady pressure. You will feel yourself start to break the seal. When repiping don't use pipe dope use three wraps of Teflon tape around threaded sections.

    Also the de is not toxic so don't worry about disposal. Once you break apart those unions tip it over and it will drain out.
    pool size - 40kgal
    finish - Gunite
    pump size in horsepower and brand-Variable Speed, Hayward EcoStar SVRS3400
    filter size - Sta-Rite S8M150
    additional equipment - Hayward CL220 Chlorinator

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    It would be best if you didn't remove the large nuts that hold the multiport on.

    The best way to get the grids out is to remove the 2 stainless steel nuts on the rods, Then, grab the manifold by the two handles (Labeled "Lift Here") and slowly lift while rotating back and forth a little and jiggling while lifting. The grids will separate from the manifold and the manifold will slide off of the pipe.

    Then you can remove the grids individually. You might have to spray water between the grids to get them out. Once you get them out, spray them down thoroughly and inspect for damage such as tears in the fabric.

    When reassembling, place the grids, one at a time, onto the bottom. Line up the center spine if each grid with the circular spot on the bottom. One circular spot says "Short grid", which is where the one short grid goes. It's short because it would hit the pipe.

    Then, put on the manifold and secure with the two nuts. There should be a drain near the bottom. If not, you can clean out the base with a Shop Vac once the grids are removed.

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Thanks JamesW I did already get the grids out and all cleaned out just need the base cleaned. Unfortunately there is not a valve to let the water out, but I love the wet vac idea
    Didn't think of that and at this point seems easier than trying to get that union off. Will have to continue this tomorrow. It's late, dark and raining :P
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Look at the further reading link at the bottom of Pool School. There is an article called care and use of DE filters. In it are detailed instruction on how to soak the grids to clean them. I would do the soap soak and then the acid soak.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Okay so I got everything out and cleaned and grids back in properly. I turned the pump on and huge air bubbles were shooting out of the return line. Turned it off to check everything was tight and when I turned the pump back on I just hear bubbling at the filter but nothing else is happening. Nothing is filtering no water coming out of return lines. Any advice?
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Is the multi-port set to filter? Did you shut off any valves or plug the return or skimmer line before you opened up the filter? Some detailed pictures of your equipment pad may help us figure out what went wrong.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Everything is in the right position and closed etc. water was shooting out from the return valves for a brief time but the huge air bubbles had me
    Worried something wasn't tight enough which led to me turning the pump off. When I turned it back on no water. I will post pictures soon I will have to get on my computer
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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    Re: Extremely dirty D.E. filter! Help!

    Ok heres the pictures..and the pump is working as far as I know it turns on and sounds like it normally does.
    21K gal, IG vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, 36 SQ. ft. Nautilus DE filter

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