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Thread: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

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    DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    I just purchased a home with a DE filter and I know very little about them. I'm used to a basic Hayward 1200 cartridge filter and am thinking of getting rid of the DE and replacing with cartridge and here's why... when the mutivalve is on Filter the water pressure comes to a crawl. When switched to recirculate it's GREAT. I've taken out the DE fins and cleaned them and it seemed to work great for about a day. After that, back down to low pressure again. I didn't even put DE back in it after I cleaned it so I would think the fins would be clogged already. That said, do the fins go bad with age? I don't see any rips or tears in any of them and I hate to spend a couple hundred bucks on fins when I can get a cartridge filter for about that and solve all the problem, or so I think... basically, I need some advice on whether or not to replace the DE system with a cartridge filter and why. Can someone please help?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    Welcome to TFP.

    Before I get into the filters I have to ask. What does the water look like?

    My bet is that the filter isn't the problem.

    P.S. You can ruin a DE filter by running it without DE. I don't think that has happened yet, but it's definitely not good to run it without DE.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    I didn't realize that. The water is cloudy but chlorine level is fine. I did a backwash yesterday and it seemed to help the pressure but plan on taking out the grids again this weekend and seeing if they need cleaned again. when I got the house, it had been empty for 2 years with filter running non-stop. that said, the DE was like a brick in the middle of the grids. I've since cleaned them out but have yet to have crystal clear water.

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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    EDIT: I am repeating bama's good advice but posting this anyway for emphasis

    Welcome to the forum.

    First let me say that once you are used to a type of filter, it takes some time to get used to a different type and sometimes, you never do.

    I suspect your issue might not be in the filter but in your water quality.
    I've taken out the DE fins and cleaned them and it seemed to work great for about a day. After that, back down to low pressure again.
    That suggests they are working correctly by starting clean but then become quickly clogged cleaning the debris (sometime you can't see it) from your pool water.

    Can you post current test results?

    What does your water look like?

    When your filter is very clean, you should have 8-18 or so of psi on the gauge and a lot of flow. When the filter is clogged, your psi will go up a lot and the flow will slow very noticeably.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    I agree with Dave,

    If your DE filter is clogging up after just one day chances are something is wrong, either:

    1, You had too much DE in it, you really should weigh DE with a good digital scale, those scoops are nearly usesless.

    2, Your filter is WAY under sized.

    3, You have added some "magic in a bottle" stuff that has clogged up the filter.

    4, Your pump is undersized for the filter, DE filters do tend to have a bit more back pressure than sand or cartridge filters, but not a lot more.

    5, Your water has lots of stuff in it that needs to be filtered out and it is doing its job.

    If you post general information on your pool, and equipment, including model and size of pump and model of the DE filter in question we may be able to help more.

    Ike

    p.s. cloudy water makes it sound like it is working fine, the fact it is clogging up so fast is just proof at how good the DE filter works. Think of it like a vacuum cleaner, if the if the bag took forever to fill up when cleaning a dirty floor it is sign much of the dust is going right through it and back where it started
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    The filter is a Pentair 180007 (36) and the pump a Pentair 1.5 hp. Pool is about 10k-12k gallons.

    I'll post what the pressure is running at tonight.

    Thanks for all your help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    Check out this article in Pool School. It may help with your understanding:
    use-and-care-for-de-filters-t4086.html

    You MUST put DE back into the filter every time you backwash or break it down. Likely since you have clogged it up with no DE in it, you should completely break it down and spray it off VERY well to open it back up.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: DE vs Cartridge Filter - Yes, no, maybe...

    I'll post what the pressure is running at tonight.
    Maybe even more important is giving us a current set of test results. Without them, there is always a degree of speculation but with them, the responses are much more certain.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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