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Thread: Adding DE to sand?

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    Adding DE to sand?

    1. How much better is filtering when DE is added to a sand filter? Is it worth doing? If its a good idea, how do you do it?

    2.Thoughts about replacing sand with ZEO sand or another substitute. Also on replacing DE with cellulose fiber or another substitute.

    Will be adding a skimmer this year to help keep the pool clean. Ever since I installed my sand filter it I spend more time cleaning than I did with the cheap Intex paper filter. It always has a fine dust on the bottom, its not real bad but enough to make me want to clean it before they swim. ( Don't believe algae is the problem. )
    I may be my own problem. Maybe I didn't clean the sand good enough when I started, maybe backwashing to often (did read somewhere not to do it until pressure goes up and will try) and also may not be rinseing well enough. Although I did follow instructions. Thanks for any thoughts and advice.
    16x48 Intex above groud 6500 Gal. w/Krystal Clear (Intex) 16" sand filter & SWG system (2650 GPH). Two different homemade sprinklers, will post pics when I learn to use the forum better.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    Welcome to TFP!

    I can speak from experience on adding cellulose fiber to a sand filter for specific instances and it does make a slight but visible difference that is most noticeable at night with the pool light on. The two most common instances that I add the cellulose fiber to the filter is when we get a fine silt caused by usually invisible (in the air anyway) dust blown in from West Texas dust storms (or washed out of the sky during a good rain) and high amounts of pollen. The cellulose fiber seems to filter out these elements faster and more effectively than my 15-20 year old sand filter. I only use the cellulose additive 5-10% of the year.

    When using either the cellulose or DE, make sure you have a working pressure gauge that is in good shape. I would follow the product label instructions, but they usually call for adding product until the pressure gauge increases by 1 PSI. From then on until your next backwash, pay closer attention to the pressure gauge than you normally would since it will likely rise faster than normal due to the enhanced filtering.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Adding DE to sand?

    Welcome to TFP !
    Here is an article on Adding DE To A Sand Filter
    In normal operation you don't want to back wash your filter until the pressure rises 25% above the clean pressure. Sand filters will filter better when they are a little dirty.
    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    Bo hit the nail on the head. I use cellulose fiber on top of my sand and it does polish the water nicely.

    It may be just me, but I can't see spending the money on sand substitutes. It's worked for years and never needs replacing.

    The only thing you may ever have to do is a deep cleaning of the sand.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    We don't recommend using zeo instead of sand. Often enough it works out just fine, but likewise it often causes some quite annoying problems. The problem rate is simply too high for use to consider it trouble free.

    Getting some dust on the bottom of the pool is quite common, and does not indicate any problems with the filter.
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Bo hit the nail on the head. I use cellulose fiber on top of my sand and it does polish the water nicely.

    It may be just me, but I can't see spending the money on sand substitutes. It's worked for years and never needs replacing.

    The only thing you may ever have to do is a deep cleaning of the sand.
    Any recommended name brand of fiber? Should a 3lb. bag be ok to start? What about loss in backwash? and last, type of lube to use? teflon or silicone base for o-rings?
    16x48 Intex above groud 6500 Gal. w/Krystal Clear (Intex) 16" sand filter & SWG system (2650 GPH). Two different homemade sprinklers, will post pics when I learn to use the forum better.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    The pool o-ring lube is Teflon based. Not sure if other Teflon lubes are the same formulation as the stuff meant for pools, so I would just get the pool stuff.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    I think the silicone based is a little better than the Teflon that gets sticky.

    Any of the fiber products are fine. You have to add it again after backwashing.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    I use cellulose in my DE filter, and the only difference I've seen between brands is the kind of scoop they furnish. The smallest bag you can find will be fine. You won't be using much each time, and you will lose it all when you backwash.

    Putting DE or cellulose in a sand filter is akin to putting a window screen over a barbecue grill. It will filter superfine, but it will also clog up fast. I don't know what's in it, but I just bought a tube of pool lube at the pool store. They had a basket of it on the checkout counter. A tube of it will last a long, long time. You use very little on O-rings. Why do you ask about it in this thread? Adding DE or cellulose to the filter is nothing more than pouring the powder into the skimmer while the pump is on.

    This dust you get: does it form in drifts? Is it fluffy? Does it disintegrate when you brush towards it, as soon as the water being pushed by the brush reaches it? Is it like sediment, or waterborne dust bunnies? Dust bunnies is algae. Are you keeping enough chlorine in the water for your CYA level?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    Just asked about the lube for a little info, I thought about it while typing. Sorry about that. As far as the dust goes its more like a sediment not a bunny. I do have a lot of little things to fix, like adding skimmer, deep cleaning sand and CYA which I had never thougt about ( I always thougt CYA was optional.) etc. Sorry if i'm posting wrong or bothering people. Just trying to keep a decent pool for my grandkids.
    16x48 Intex above groud 6500 Gal. w/Krystal Clear (Intex) 16" sand filter & SWG system (2650 GPH). Two different homemade sprinklers, will post pics when I learn to use the forum better.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    Quote Originally Posted by budman70526 View Post
    Sorry if i'm posting wrong or bothering people. Just trying to keep a decent pool for my grandkids.
    nothing to be sorry about. If we didn't want to answer questions we wouldn't be here. Ask away!

    We want you to learn so you can keep those kids swimming
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Adding DE to sand?

    The bag of cellulose that I have came from Home Depot in the garden section with the pool supplies. I have used the same bag for three years and I have about five cups left, which is great because I don't use it anymore. For your size pool, I bet you won't need more than a cup. When you backwash, you will need to add it again.

    How often are you backwashing? If you backwash to often, the filter becomes less effective. Whatever your clean pressure is, wait for a 25% rise above that pressure before you backwash. Even with 25% rise, if pressure is still strong coming out of the return, I wait another few days.

    There are certain lubes that are better than others and below is a thread that might provide some helpful information.

    You are no trouble and we are glad you are asking questions. Hey, we spoil our grandkids too!
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...nt-for-o-rings
    Last edited by f3justusc; 04-06-2015 at 05:51 AM. Reason: Changed to correct backwash pressure rise
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