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Thread: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

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    Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    This year I decided to replace our 18 year old sand filter (came with the house when it was built in '97) with a Pentair DE one. I did so after a lot of online research and just the general notion that DE cleans better than sand.

    I was wondering if anyone has also gone through this process and if there are any tips or issues I should be aware of. Please keep in mind that this is my 2nd year of pool ownership so I consider myself still a beginner.

    When I had sand last year, I just backwashed it every 2-3 weeks and that's about it. I'm told for DE you have to clean the filter once a week (maybe 2 depending on usage).
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Backwashing obviously depends on quality of water going through a DE filter, but typically shouldn't be more than once every 3-4 weeks, and a deep clean of the grids 2 or 3 times a year.

    The only other consideration is that DE 'dust' should not be inhaled so take care in handling, and is is not bio-degradable so take care where you backwash (check local regs if it can go down sewer drain). If either of these bother you, then a switch to cellulose rather than DE as the filter media may be a consideration (though expect more frequent backwashing and cleaning).

    Mike
    Built 1980, 19' x 30' almost rectangular, screened 15,000 gal, plaster, Hayward DE 3620 filter (currently using cellulose), Emerson 1081 1HP pump, AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ110R heater, Zodiac T5 Cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    I love my DE filter. How often you backwash is variable, depending on the size of your DE filter vs the size of your pool, usage, keeping your FC at optimal levels, etc. You should deep clean the filter each year when you close the pool.

    That being said, you backwash when your pressure rises 25% above your clean pressure. The amount of DE at startup is more than the amount you add after you backwash. When you add DE, make sure to split the amount in batches a minute or so apart. I make sure that the skimmer runs clear before adding the next batch. You can clog the lines if you add it all at once.

    I suggest reading these tutorials:
    Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters
    DE Filter Cleaning Tutorial
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    How much DE do you add to the skimmer after you backwash? I was told like 8lbs or 8 scoops. Not sure. I have two 10 pound bags right now
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    80% of the manufacturers recommended amount on first install or deep clean
    Built 1980, 19' x 30' almost rectangular, screened 15,000 gal, plaster, Hayward DE 3620 filter (currently using cellulose), Emerson 1081 1HP pump, AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet SQ110R heater, Zodiac T5 Cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Got it. Do you guys ever use Rinse on your multi-port valve? The manual for my Pentair just says turn it to BACKWASH, let it go, then turn it back to FILER and dump DE in the skimmer so it replenishes. Is that right?
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Yes, you should use the RINSE after every "BACKWASH" setting. It moves water in a similar way as filter mode except the water goes to waste instead of going back to the pool. It does two things: a) keeps dirty water from going back to the pool, b) changes up water movement to increase the efficiency of next backwash.

    Here are my normal steps:
    Backwash until clear water in the sight glass
    rinse 15 seconds
    backwash until clear water in the sight glass
    rinse 15 seconds
    set to filter

    If I have a really dirty filter (like waiting too long to backwash), I'll add another cycle:
    Here are my normal steps:
    Backwash until clear water in the sight glass
    rinse 15 seconds
    backwash until clear water in the sight glass
    rinse 15 seconds
    backwash until clear water in the sight glass
    rinse 15 seconds
    set to filter
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Thanks kcindc. Much appreciated it.

    Well, the only thing that has me a little intimated is a deep clean (tearing off the top and hosing down the grids). How often do you do that?
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    You deep clean once a year and you do it when you close the pool for winter. I've done it twice, but I swear I'm not doing it again this winter. My mid-aged, female arms and hands have said no more!

    It isn't difficult or complicated, but it is dirty and wet. It is scary the first time, but there really isn't anything to be scared of... just make sure you've released the pressure before you open up the filter. The most difficult part for my aging hands is getting the bottom drain plug on and off.

    My pool company deep cleans the filter as part of the normal closing process, so if you have a company close the pool for you, you won't ever have to worry about it.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcindc View Post
    You deep clean once a year and you do it when you close the pool for winter. I've done it twice, but I swear I'm not doing it again this winter. My mid-aged, female arms and hands have said no more!

    It isn't difficult or complicated, but it is dirty and wet. It is scary the first time, but there really isn't anything to be scared of... just make sure you've released the pressure before you open up the filter. The most difficult part for my aging hands is getting the bottom drain plug on and off.

    My pool company deep cleans the filter as part of the normal closing process, so if you have a company close the pool for you, you won't ever have to worry about it.
    Got it! Thanks kcindc. Much appreciated.
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Even another perspective if you'd like....I have an indoor pool, so my filter doesn't get nearly as dirty as most I'm sure, but I'm OCD and I can't stand the idea of backwashing and not knowing how much DE (if any) is left on the grids.

    So I never backwash, except when I am about to break the filter down for deep clean (which I do once a year). Only then to I backwash to get whatever will come off the grids off, then turn off the pump and break the system down for a deep clean. Then I put the full amount in and start everything back up.

    I will add that I (personally) am not crazy about deep cleaning. I don't think its hard or difficult at all, its just messy and tedious. And then there is DE all over my patio weeks...or longer. That's why I'm going to go with a cartridge filter for my next pool, but that just depends on what you like. I'm sure I'll miss how clear my water looks at night with DE.
    8,700 gallon IG pool (including 2000 gallon spill-over spa), WetEdge Northshore Tahoe (Satin Matrix) finish, Hayward SwimPure Plus T-15, Jandy JXi 260k propane heater, Jandy FloPro 1.5HP 2 speed pump, Jandy CS 150 cartridge filter, TF-100, Borates added, BBB is the way for me!

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    Re: Going from sand to DE, anything I should know?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWave8 View Post
    Even another perspective if you'd like....I have an indoor pool, so my filter doesn't get nearly as dirty as most I'm sure, but I'm OCD and I can't stand the idea of backwashing and not knowing how much DE (if any) is left on the grids.

    So I never backwash, except when I am about to break the filter down for deep clean (which I do once a year). Only then to I backwash to get whatever will come off the grids off, then turn off the pump and break the system down for a deep clean. Then I put the full amount in and start everything back up.

    I will add that I (personally) am not crazy about deep cleaning. I don't think its hard or difficult at all, its just messy and tedious. And then there is DE all over my patio weeks...or longer. That's why I'm going to go with a cartridge filter for my next pool, but that just depends on what you like. I'm sure I'll miss how clear my water looks at night with DE.
    I hear ya! This is my first full year with the pool and a new DE filter. Other than opening, I'm told backwashing is pretty rare with DE (once or twice a season).
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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