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Thread: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

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    Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    I have a new Pentair Quad 100 filter and Intelliflo VS pump. When I open the pump to clean the basket, I hear a constant gurgling/bubbling sound, and the water level in the pump drops pretty much all the way down to the bottom. Is this normal? There is a check valve up stream of the pump, so I believe everything is plumbed correctly. I'm wondering if the water in the filter (which is higher than the pool) is "falling" down into the pool, which in turn creates a suction that pulls the water out of the pump when the basket is opened. Is this what is happening, and is it normal for this to happen in a correctly plumbed system where the filter and pump are at the same level as the pool deck?

    When I re-attach the pump basket cover and start the pump up, it re-primes fairly easily, but I get some very large DE plumes in the pool at the returns. I assume that some DE is "falling off" the filter cartridges during the "gurgling," and that this results in the DE plumes when the pump is turned back on, but my questions are 1) is this normal, and 2) is there a way to stop this? I was thinking that I could turn the hi-flo valve to the "off" position in order to prevent this from happening. Would this close the connection between the pump and filter, thereby preventing the water from being pulled out of the pump? Is this a reasonable approach to solving this issue, or is there something that needs to be "fixed"?

    Thanks,

    Larry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    It is normal for some of the plumbing to drain when you open the pump strainer basket. You can minimize the amount of draining that happens by turning the main valve to the off position before opening the pump strainer basket and then turning it back once the pump is sealed up again and before turning the pump on.

    If everything is done correctly, no DE should escape into the pool. But if you leave the main valve on filter and there isn't a check valve between the skimmer/drain and the pump, it is possible for some DE to get into the pool. If you do have a check valve there, or one between the pump and the filter, perhaps something is wrong with it.
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    It is normal for some of the plumbing to drain when you open the pump strainer basket. You can minimize the amount of draining that happens by turning the main valve to the off position before opening the pump strainer basket and then turning it back once the pump is sealed up again and before turning the pump on.

    If everything is done correctly, no DE should escape into the pool. But if you leave the main valve on filter and there isn't a check valve between the skimmer/drain and the pump, it is possible for some DE to get into the pool. If you do have a check valve there, or one between the pump and the filter, perhaps something is wrong with it.
    There definitely is a check valve between the skimmer/drain and pump (i.e. it's just upstream of the pump -- on the suction side.) It's new, and it appears to be working. Given this, what is your theory for how the DE is getting into the pool? It's definitely not getting in by backflowing into the pump and getting past the check valve. Is this what you were thinking? I don't "think" this is what you're saying, but I'm confused how a malfunctioning check valve UP stream of the pump could cause DE to come out the returns when the pump is turned on. This would mean that the DE still had to go "through" the filter to get to the returns, so how does the up stream check valve effect this?

    On that note, I can visually confirm that no DE is backflowing into the pump by looking at both the pump basket area and the check valve window -- these are always clear. The DE is coming out the returns, which means it has to be getting "through" the filter. My theory is that when the pump basket is removed and the filter drains a bit (i.e. the gurgling), some DE "falls off" the cartridges. When the pump is turned back on, some of it (the finer particles) makes it through the cartridge material before the "charging" is complete -- i.e. before the larger DE particles block the smaller DE particles from getting through the filter. Is this a valid theory, or should this not be happening?

    Thanks again,

    Larry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    Alright, I was on the wrong track. DE shouldn't be able to get out to the returns. That suggests a problem inside the filter. It should be completely impossible for DE to get through the filter. There can't be anything to seriously wrong or it would get through all the time, so there must be some very small leak inside the filter that lets a little DE through and then gets blocked up by the remaining DE. Have you checked that the cartridges are properly sealing in when you re-install them?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    I took the filter apart and thoroughly checked for any leaks in the cartridges, then I made sure everything was properly seated when I put it back together. I can't say with absolute certainty that there is "no" leak, but I can say that if there is one, it's REALLY hard to see. There is certainly nothing obvious.

    Are you certain that DE should "never" get through the filter? I thought that it was normal for "some" to leak through when it first goes through.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    DE should never get through. Did someone install for you? Where did you purchase the unit?
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    It was installed by one of the installers in my area recommended by Pentair.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    Perhaps you should start the pump back up on the rinse setting. Combine that with having the multi-port in off mode while the pump is open and that really ought to take care of it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Perhaps you should start the pump back up on the rinse setting. Combine that with having the multi-port in off mode while the pump is open and that really ought to take care of it.
    I've been closing the Hi-flo valve when opening the basket, and so far this appears to prevent the issue when the pump starts back up (even without using the "rinse" setting. It's not easy to tell at the moment because we've been getting unusually high winds for a few days, so I've been fighting with a lot of debris getting in the pool. it seems like the big DE puffs, however, don't happen when the pump restarts.

    I'm still troubled, however, by the posts that say that NO DE should be getting through the filter. Even if closing the HF valve prevents the puffs, it doesn't change the fact that without closing the valve, I DO get the DE puffs at the returns after opening and closing the basket. I'm really confused what the real story is on this. Is it normal for DE to get through the filter in the circumstances I'm describing, or is this a sign of a malfunction? I still don't know what the consensus is on this.

    Thanks again,

    Larry

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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    I continue to get different opinions depending on who I talk to. One Pentair rep stated pretty much unequivocally that NO DE should ever get "through" the filter -- ever. They also said, however, that opening the pump basket could result in some DE back in the pool. I explained that it was NOT getting into the pool by backflowing, and that this meant that it HAD to be going "through" the filter cartridges since no valves were touched when it happened. I asked what their theory was for how it was getting into the pool without backflowing and without going through the filter, but they offered no explanation other than that it was getting "through the plumbing." I tried to explain that there was no "path" for the DE to be getting to the returns without going "through" the filter, but they didn't seem to understand. They seemed to think that when the pump is off, DE can potentially go anywhere, including somehow getting downstream of the grids/cartridges without going "through" them. This just doesn't make any logical sense to me.

    The bottom line is that IF what that rep said was correct, and that no DE should ever get through the filter in a correctly functioning system, than NOTHING that I do upstream of the filter should ever result in DE at the returns. This, however, is contradicted by Pentair's own documentation, which says this in the troubleshooting section:

    CLOUD OF DIRT -- A brief "cloud" of dirt may appear immediately when the filter starts. -- This is a characteristic of diatomite filters.
    I was also told that no DE should get to the returns even when initially charging a DE filter. This goes against my admittedly limited experience, which has always indicated that some finer DE always gets through the grids/cartridges until the filter has had time to properly charge, at which point the finer particles get hung up amongst the other DE already stuck on the filter.

    I'm therefore left with the following questions. First, is it normal for a newly cleaned DE filters to allow some puffs of DE through when first charging the filter material? If this IS normal, then why would it not be normal for some DE to get through the grids/cartridges when DE was encouraged to fall off the grids, such as when opening the pump basket, allowing air to "bubble up" past the cartridges?

    For the people that have filters that you "bump" occasionally, does THIS ever result in some DE getting through at first? If it does, then once again, it seems like opening the pump basket would have a similar effect.

    Thanks again for further feedback on this. I'd really like to feel more confident about whether or not this new Quad 100 is functioning normally or not. My gut is telling me that this behavior is normal, but official feedback seems to be in disagreement with this.

    Larry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    No DE should ever get through a working filter, period. Fine dirt can get through right at the start when the grids are getting coated, but not DE.

    It is possible for an only mildly broken multi-position main valve to bypass water around the filter under some conditions. A bad spider gasket is sufficient for this to happen. Several more serious main valve problems could also cause this. And of course there are a dozen ways the filter could be broken that would allow DE to get through.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    I have the Quad De 100 and had an issue with DE passing through. I replaced the vent screen in the middle and the issue went away. I too have the gurgling and level drop but never get DE through since replacing the screen.

    BTW, the screen didn't look damaged to the naked eye, but it was a relatively cheap fix so I went with that fix first and it worked.

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    Re: Pentair Quad filter questions - puffs of DE at returns.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejmcaf View Post
    I have the Quad De 100 and had an issue with DE passing through. I replaced the vent screen in the middle and the issue went away. I too have the gurgling and level drop but never get DE through since replacing the screen.

    BTW, the screen didn't look damaged to the naked eye, but it was a relatively cheap fix so I went with that fix first and it worked.
    Before you replaced the screen, did the DE get through only in situations like I described (i.e. after opening the pump basket, for example)?

    Which actual part/parts did you replace? The exploded parts diagram just lists "Air Bleeder Assembly." Did you replace the entire pipe assembly, or just the little screen part? Does the assembly include the length of pipe below it, and is it possible that mine is not attached correctly in some way, or is it a straightforward attachment that either "is" or "is not" attached? Thanks for any details on this.

    Larry

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