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Thread: Question about DE safety

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    Question about DE safety

    I just got a brand new hayward De4820 filter, and my wife and I were discussing DE - specifically the fact that there's food grade, and pool grade - and pool grade is known to be hazardous if ingested.

    Her concern of course was that if it's hazardous when ingested, what happens if some of the DE is in the pool that people are swimming in? Does that DE in the water not irritate skin, eyes, etc and cause problems if water is swallowed? I know the reality is thatthere would be a ridiculously small concentration in the water if I use 6 lbs in my filter for a 12-15k gallon pool, but still, she's kind of an anxious person once she has an idea in her head, and Im not finding much info online about pool grade DE to put her at ease.

    Also, I did see "fiber" mentioned in another theead, it seemed as an alternative to DE... does anyone know much about this? Is this simply a different media that can be used in "DE" filters?
    Appx 15,000 gallon (odd shape) IG Plaster, Hayward DE4820 DE filter, Hayward TriStar 1.58Bhp/1.0FRHp
    Pool built by previous owner, home purchased 11/2013
    Houston, TX - 2 dogs - Palm Trees

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Question about DE safety

    DE is an inhalation hazard. It has microscopically sharp particles, like asbestos, that scar the lungs. Try "inhalation" in the search box and you'll find plenty of threads, and probably some good links to read. It isn't dangerous when it's wetted.

    The replacement fiber is highly processed cellulose. Wood pulp. It's even used in food. It's very light and fluffy, and probably isn't good to inhale, either, but it's just superfine sawdust. It strongly resembles blown-in insulation. I use it. It filters well and I backwash onto the front lawn and the stuff just rots away since it's biodegradable. DE will pile up wherever its backwashed and then there's that dust problem again. If you search "fiberclear" you'll find some threads that discuss it.
    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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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Question about DE safety

    I've just switched to FiberClear in my DE filter. The reason for the switch is I just wanted to try it out.
    The thing with DE is you don't want to breath it in. When I charged my filter with it I made a slurry out of it and then slowly poured it in the skimmer. The only why you should get it in the pool is if you have a tear in one of the grids.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Question about DE safety

    My understanding is that the risk of the DE is of concern with the lungs. You arent supposed to breath it as you pour it into the skimmer (or any other time for that matter). I would suspect any DE in the water that made it's way into your lungs would be of secondary importance if that were to happen, since you would have inhaled water along with it and in fact likely be drowning, or on the verge of it.

    To my knowledge, there is no danger of it to the digestive tract if diluted in pool water.

    Some of the other folks here have used the fibers. Im sure some will chime in soon.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Question about DE safety

    There should be no DE in the water. When you add DE to the skimmers, watch the returns closely for about two minutes. Any DE getting past the filter will be visible as it comes out of the returns. Even if some gets in the water, it's not any sort of hazard. The fiber substitute is a good alternative if you don't want to use DE.

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    Re: Question about DE safety

    How much of this product do you use in a DE filter? I have a 60 sqft Pentair and not sure what amount of the fiber it would take to coat this unit.

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    Re: Question about DE safety

    Usually the same volume as the correct amount of DE.

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    Re: Question about DE safety

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Usually the same volume as the correct amount of DE.
    Seriously? DE called for about 8-9 one pound coffee can scoops. I hope fiber isn't that much?

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    Re: Question about DE safety

    DE has a bulk density of about 48 ounces (volume) per pound. If a filter requires 6 pounds of DE, you would use about 9 quarts of DE or fiber.

    The fiber is less dense, and therefore, the weight will be less but the volume will be the same.

    Also, the bag of fiber has a chart showing the proper amount of fiber per square foot of filter area.

    Edit- FiberClear says (2.5) 9 oz bags for a 60 square foot filter. Jacks Magic Filter Fiber Stuff says (5) 1 lb DE scoops for 60 square feet.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Question about DE safety

    Usually the bags have a scoop in them and a chart that tells you how much to use printed right on it. I use the kitchen scale, myself.
    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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