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Thread: Need some advice on DE filter and potential scam

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    14

    Need some advice on DE filter and potential scam

    Hello. First time poster here. I just discovered this forum and it's been very helpful as going forward I plan on opening and closing my pool. I've had my pool for three years now (it came with the house) and knew absolutely nothing about pools. I've learned a lot about maintaining the water but haven't felt confident enough to open and close it yet. I've always hired someone. This year I tried someone new because the person from last year did not do a good job. Well, this second company was much worse and twice the price. They didn't properly start the pool up, overcharged me for every oring and gasket they had to change, and charged me labor fees for coming back to finish the job.

    I blame myself for not doing enough research, but the real question I have is this. I noticed that my DE filter was building up a lot of pressure and the return jets were very weak. If I backwashed it, everything would go back to normal but it would last maybe an hour before the pressure built up and the jets were weak again.. I asked the guy /company that opened my pool and he said based on what I said he thought the grids had to be replaced and it would cost about $34 each (8 total) plus labor and taxes. When I asked if he thought it could last this season he said it could, but I would have to add very little DE and maybe it would last, otherwise to call him to come replace it.

    Now I did a little research here and some other sites and learned that running the filter with no or little DE could actually make the grids worse and that the real tell tale sign of a bad grid is seeing DE in the pool (which I didn't see). So instead of following this guy's advice, I went ahead and backwashed it again, but this time added the full recommended amount of DE. The pool seems to be functioning normally now. It has been for the last 4 hours.

    So I'm wondering if this guy was telling me to put less DE knowing it would case more damage to my grid and force me to call him. Before I call him out on this, I was wondering of anyone has had a similar experience with a DE filter and if what he was telling me is legitimate or if he was telling me the exact opposite of what I should do in the hopes that I wouldn't do the research and call him back.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading this far
    25K Gallon
    Inground
    Hayward DE 4280
    Built around 1995

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Need some advice on DE filter and potential scam

    Welcome!

    Maybe the pool guy knew he did a lousy job and figures your filter looks like this one inside: http://www.troublefreepool.com/extre...lp-t60455.html If so, shortcharging it would be his expected response. After a backwash only -not a full cleaning - we recommend 80% of the startup quantity of DE because some of it doesn't wash out.

    How does the water look? If he left it looking green, dull, or cloudy, the filter could be loading up quick. Sometime this season, you'll need to work up the nerve to open it up yourself and do a full cleaning. It's only scary the first time.

    Live and learn. Go give the pool service some lousy reviews on google or yelp then take control of your 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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    14

    Re: Need some advice on DE filter and potential scam

    Thanks for your reply. The grid unit was out of the filter and pretty clean because the people that closed the pool cleaned it before giving it to me to store for the winter.

    They left the water cloudy, full of leaves and dirt and in pretty bad shape. It was my fault for leaving before they were done, but I had to go out. They didn't turn on the filter and told me they had to come back. Its now 3 days later and the water is still a mess. I think you are right in that the filter is overwhelmed with all the algae and dirt. Its started to slow down again and I think tomorrow morning the jets are going to be back to a trickle. I'm going to back wash it again and see what happens.

    I should mention that he also left the filter with two very small leaks and claimed that the DE would build up and stop them.

    At this point I'm treating this as a learning experience and one that will force me to do what you said, take control of my pool. If back washing again doesn't solve the issue tomorrow, I'm going to take the filter apart and see if the grid is damaged. Clearly the guy was incompetent, but I'm still wondering if he was malignant, trying to sabotage my pool so he can make more money. If that's the case, then I will do a lot more than Google reviews and Yelp. I will likely go to the BBB and report him to some state agencies.
    25K Gallon
    Inground
    Hayward DE 4280
    Built around 1995

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