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Thread: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    New Freedom, PA
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    New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Hi there,

    My wife and I bought a home last fall, and we're trying to open our in-ground pool for the first time. It's not going as well as expected for us pool newbies.

    A pool company opened it for us, but I noticed that my filter pressure increased from about 10 to 20 after I added stabilizer. We have an older Hayward DE EC-65 filter. Bumping it sent the pressure back down to 10, but it kept climbing back up and causing the flow to decrease. It's still moving, but not strong enough for me to use the vacuum hose to pool the smaller dirt off the bottom of the pool or to have the most effective results from the skimmer. The water is pretty clear besides the dirt on the bottom of the pool, so it looks as if the shock helped and the chlorine is at least circulating enough to keep it fairly clear.

    I backwashed the filter yesterday, and it was running fine for a couple of hours. Then, the pressure started climbing again. I'm at 20 right now, and the flow is again too slow to use the vacuum. I noticed when I backwashed it that some stabilizer granules came out with the DE.

    My next move is to take apart the filter to clean the fingers, but I'm just wondering if there's something I might be missing here. I'm also wondering what the best way to clean the fingers might be? A pool supply store said to use muriatic acid, but I've read elsewhere that I shouldn't use that.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. We're hoping to have it ready for swimming by Memorial Day weekend.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Welcome to TFP!

    It is common enough to see rapid filter pressure increases for a little while on opening in the spring. Often there is dust, etc, in the pool, and the filter pressure goes up rapidly as the filter removes the debris from the water. Normally a few cycles of backwashing and recharging the filter will clear things up (assuming the water is clear to start with). If the water was cloudy/murky to start the same applies but it can last much longer.

    If you want to do a more through cleaning, you can open the filter, rinse throughly, soak the fingers overnight in a solution of one cup of automatic dish washer detergent for every 5 gallons of water, rinse throughly again, and put the filter back together. However, nothing you have described suggests that is required.

    You will have lost some of the CYA you added when you backwashed the filter.
    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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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Since you added the stabilizer (CYA) to the skimmer, you only have two options.

    1. Wait. Your filter pressure will eventually come back down on it's own once the CYA is completely dissolved.
    2. Clean the filter, add more DE.

    You already lost some CYA when you backwashed but there's no way to know how much. If you choose to clean the DE filter you will lose even more.

    Either way, you'll have to wait about a week after the pressure returns to normal and re-test for CYA, then you'll know how much more to add to reach your target.

    This time do it by filling an old sock and hanging in front of the return!
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    We suggest never adding chemicals to the pool via the skimmer. Stabilizer should be hung in a sock in front of a return jet. To clean your fingers you should take the filter apart and using a garden hose rinse them off as best you can. If that doesnt work soak them in dishwasher detergent for several hours then rinse off very good.
    Nathan
    15x30 gunite 18k gallons Hayward star clear plus 120sqft cart

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Quite familiar with that filter... the DE can form a large massive clump the texture of clay, at the very top in the center of the finger grid. Soaking it and hosing it off, and doing a fresh fill should do the trick. If you can post a pic of the fingers before you reassemble... that would be helpful. I've used a diluted acid solution to soak after trying the detergent, for a pool where the filter was left uncleaned in a foreclosure for 4 years. It was pretty bad but the 2 soakings in combination did the trick.

    Watch your bolts when you disassemble. Tricky little suckers like to vanish... lol

    For every day use - if you have to bump 3 times in less than 24 hours - time to flush and refill. So when clearing up a swamp, etc - you'll likely go through a lot of DE at first.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I agree, wait a week retest the CYA and add as needed, via sock method.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Welcome!

    The others have covered it all.
    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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    May 2014
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    Re: New pool owner, struggling with filter flow

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I might try cleaning the filter fingers tonight just to get a sense of how to do the job and see if there is anything clumped in there.

    And I'm definitely going the sock route with the CYA next time.

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