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Thread: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

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    using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    So I have read about adding DE to a sand filter on this site and thinking about doing that to help speed of the process of filtering.

    I have also read elsewhere that the DE will pass right through the sand and end up in the pool and you can never get it out. Is this true? Does it even matter?

    I was going to buy some today but wanted to here what the experts had to say.

    My pool as been running non stop for 2 days, its improving but at this rate it will take a week to get clear. Its that pollen from last week that really that messed it up.

    Thanks
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    It is valuable in some situations (yours sounds like one of them) It should be used only to get the last remnants of debris from the pool and/or fine pollen.

    It will not hurt your pool unless you TOTALLY overdose.
    Dave S.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Using DE in your sand filter as we describe is just fine. It will only pass through the filter if the filter is broken or channeled (ie not working). If the DE does get in the pool you can simply fix the filter and then vacuum it up. That is a mild pain but not difficult. Make sure you read the directions in Pool School.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Although DE will filter down to 2-3 microns, the DE particles themselves are larger than that and can easily be seen with the naked eye. Under a microscope, the DE resembles a sponge with tiny little pores. The DE forms a partial layer on top of the sand. As the result, the DE will not pass through unless there is a physical malfunction with the filter itself (such as a broken lateral or similar issue) in which case some of the sand would also pass through.

    I have first-hand experience using cellulose fiber in my sand filter on occasion and I have not experienced any "pass-through" issues using that.
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Thank you experts for the fast reply. One more question. Do you think buying 25 lb is enough.

    Thanks again
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Yes, 25 lbs is more than enough. Actually, if you can find a smaller quantity for a reasonable price, I would get that. The typical supplemental dosage of DE to a sand filter is about 1-2 cups.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Thanks Bo!
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Ok, So I got the DE, I read the how to use it in a sand filter. My question this time is... When I backwash does all the DE get removed? Which I assume what happens. And then I re add more DE?
    And I continue this process until the water is clear?

    Thanks again
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Quote Originally Posted by samt
    Ok, So I got the DE, I read the how to use it in a sand filter. My question this time is... When I backwash does all the DE get removed? Which I assume what happens. And then I re add more DE?
    And I continue this process until the water is clear?

    Thanks again
    Exactly.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Thanks Richard, now here is a nother question. So I know I have killed any organic material in the pool and I proved that by my CC is at .05 ppm this am. The pool has been vacuumed and brushed.

    The particals in the pool I'm trying to get rid off with DE is from pollen. I just know that.

    My gut feeling is to turn the pump off tonight and let the small pollen particals go to the bottom and then revacume in the am. I'm getting the feeling my sand filter is not doing the job and I am just stirring the pot. Does this sound like a good plan?
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Quote Originally Posted by samt
    Thanks Richard, now here is a nother question. So I know I have killed any organic material in the pool and I proved that by my CC is at .05 ppm this am. The pool has been vacuumed and brushed.

    The particals in the pool I'm trying to get rid off with DE is from pollen. I just know that.

    My gut feeling is to turn the pump off tonight and let the small pollen particals go to the bottom and then revacume in the am. I'm getting the feeling my sand filter is not doing the job and I am just stirring the pot. Does this sound like a good plan?
    Couldn't say. I've never had a pollen problem.
    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: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Pollen constantly replenishes it's self. No matter how much you remove there is always more (at least until pollen season ends).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: using Diatomaceous Earth in a sand filter ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Pollen constantly replenishes it's self. No matter how much you remove there is always more (at least until pollen season ends).
    LOL
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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