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Thread: slow flowing ec40 DE filter

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    slow flowing ec40 DE filter

    i just bought a house and it came with my first pool (y'know, i've read about 100 posts that start this way) and i'm having trouble keeping any kind of flow from the filter. it comes out at what feels like "medium garden hose" strength. the pool previously had bacquacil, which i almost continued to use until i did some research. the home had not been occupied since october of last year. it's a 21' round above ground vinyl pool, about 3.5' deep (9600-10k gal) with a hayward ec40 DE filter and a ge 1hp pump.

    when first starting out, i checked the baq levels, and they were very low to the point of nearly not registering. i had a lot of algae, or at least something was green in there. there was a cover on the pool, but some of the muck and debris fell into the pool during removal. i cleaned out as much as i could and started the pump. i've been bleaching the heck out of the pool for several days, although with my work schedule, i'm not able to hit it as often as i'd like. in the past couple days, i am finally able to keep very high CL levels overnight (12-15ppm measured with an OTO kit). my pool is tealish, not quite green, certainly not blue, but i am now able to just see the bottom. so at least i know i'm making progress. i have some scummy looking stuff on top, not nearly as bad as the pics i've seen from other baq conversions. it looks a bit like algae clumps. actually, some of the nearly finished conversion pics look similar, so that gives me a little relief.

    now, here's where it gets fun: when i turned on the pump for the very first time, i'm am not sure whether or not it had any DE in it. the more i think about it, i'm thinking it did not as the pump had been unhooked for the winter, and it would only make sense to have drained the thing. then again, the previous owners seemed to not take very good care of things, so who knows? anyway, i ran the pump for several days, probably without DE, and it's always had the same low flowing feel at the nozzle. since then, i've put DE in, taken it out, put in more, etc, and still have not gotten it to keep good flow for more than a few minutes. it seems to run anywhere from 23 to 30 psi, but has never shown lower since i've used it. after changing out the DE, it had great flow prior to putting more DE in, and after adding 2-3 lbs, it starts slowing down. at the moment, i've got 3 lbs of DE in there because i know i'll be changing it again soon. i've backwashed it, opened it up, hosed off the fingers, and soaked the fingers in a rough 5:1 water/muriatic acid mix for 3-5 minutes. unfortunately, today i've read that you need to soak the fingers in dishwasher detergent for 4 hours prior to using acid. apparently, i'm bound and determined to do this wrong. nevermind the look my wife gave me when the acid solution ran off into the lawn giving me a nice dead spot.

    so, the questions at hand: did i mess up my filter by running it for several days without DE? or by soaking in acid before cleaning? as it stands, it's nearly impossible to use the pool vac... it just can't move enough water. from what i read, it should be moving enough water to filter the whole pool in 5-8 hours, but i can't see that as possibly happening at the moment. i'm going to attempt to soak it in dishwasher detergent on my next day off just to see if it'll help. the confusing thing is when there is no DE in there, the flow seems pretty good! so i know the flex tubes aren't completely clogged. also, the pump does make a little noise, but i'm not sure what's normal. it sounds like it could be a bearing or cavitation, but it's not in the motor, it seems to be in the pump mechanism itself. i put my finger in the inlet side and did not feel anything weird, but i could not really tell what's going on in there. is some noise normal?

    hopefully, we can figure how to make what i have work properly. if i've got to buy a new filter/pump/whatever $$$, i think the pool will just end up being taken down and sold. thanks to everyone who dared to read my first post/novella, and thanks in advance to anyone who can help me get a clue!

    greg
    21' Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, Hayward EC40 DE filter, GE 1hp pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    also, between the OTO test kit and the strips, it would appear that the ph, alk, and cya all appear to be at the low end of "ok", if that helps at all. i've been holding off on adjusting these until i get the chlorine situation nailed down.
    21' Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, Hayward EC40 DE filter, GE 1hp pump

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    Join Date
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    Greg, while I usually know the answers to DE filter questions - I've never had to deal with one that has been converted from Baqua-Goop, so I don't know if the membranes on the fingers are shot I'll try and ask around about the effects of conversion on the fingers. I hope that you won't end up getting rid of the pool, but I understand that some things just aren't worth saving when the cost gets too high.

    BTW - welcome to TFP!!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    If the grids/fingers have been used for any length of time with Baquacil then they very likely need to be replaced. Acid washing a seriously dirty filter without soaking in detergent first can also ruin the grids/fingers.

    If you haven't tried soaking the grids/fingers in automatic dish detergent then you should try that before giving up on the grids/fingers.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: slow flowing ec40 DE filter

    after a VERY long day, i've made some progress! i opened the filter up yesterday and started hosing it off. i wasn't making any headway with that, so i packed it up and headed to the pressure bay at the local car wash. i figured at worst, i'll ruin it (which i thought it may already have been), at best, it'll get clean. the fingers came out much cleaner than anything else i'd tried. then i came back home and soaked it for 4 hours in auto dishwasher detergent. while it was out, i might as well do everything possible. i even thought about hitting it with acid again, but our water here is pretty soft, and acid seems mainly for mineral buildup. so i skipped that, popped it all together, and turned it on. holy smokes! this thing made an instant whirlpool in the skimmer and was putting out fantastic pressure at the nozzle. the reading said 17psi, which is the lowest i've yet to encounter. i did have some leaks at the top, and the bump handle would not go down. so i took it all apart again and noticed that the last owners did not have the large ring gasket installed properly. who knows how long that was going on? finally put it back on, and the bump handle felt much better. vacuumed the pool, pressure got up to 27psi, bumped it, and back down to 17psi. shocked the heck out of it overnight, checked this morning, and it's up at 27psi. bumped it, back down to 17psi. it's alive! ALIIIIIIVE! the pool is also looking cleaner than it ever had, just from one night at full power. i still have a leak on top from an old o-ring on the bump shaft, but i'll grab one of those today. i even had to scratch build an e-clip as the old one was not there to begin with.

    thanks to waste and jasonlion for the help! after all the disassembly and reassembly i've done on this thing, i'm feeling a bit like an expert now. if anything, my filter is no longer a mysterious contraption to me. and yes, it does look possible to switch from baq to chlorine with an ec40!

    come sunday, i'll be in the pool

    greg
    21' Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, Hayward EC40 DE filter, GE 1hp pump

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    Re: slow flowing ec40 DE filter

    update: i've stopped shocking the pool nightly as it appears that the baq is dead. i also put in my first batch of borax to increase ph a little, and my water was crystal clear when i woke up this morning! the neighbors said that the pool has never looked so clear. my wife and i took a swim last night under the glow of the tiki torches... i think i can get used to this!

    thanks for the help everyone!

    greg
    21' Above Ground, Vinyl Liner, Hayward EC40 DE filter, GE 1hp pump

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
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    Re: slow flowing ec40 DE filter

    Greg, congrats on keeping the pool going !!!! We will be here for you if you ever need any help with the pool!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: slow flowing ec40 DE filter


    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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