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Thread: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

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    Gooserider's Avatar
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    Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Hello, new user with my first post... Was sent to The PoolForum by another user on Hearth.com (where I'm a moderator) couldn't register but found the link to this forum there...

    We have an in-ground gunnite pool, free form, estimated about 16K gallons, using a DE filter. I'm not sure of the age on the pool or filter - both were put in by the previous owners, more than 15 years ago when the GF bought the place, but less than 30 years ago when the house was built. (we've seen an aerial photo that shows the house but no pool...)

    The filter is a different design from what I've seen described here in the various "DE care & feeding" threads - there is a valve in the base that gives the choice of "filter" or "backwash" modes. The body contains a manifold in the base (not on top) that mounts 8 curved fins in a sort of spiral pattern, with the entire vane assembly held together with a long stainless rod that holds a spacer bracket on the top of the vanes. The filter housing is thick fiberglass or PVC with a band clamp in the middle to hold it together - I think it's about 36sq feet of filter area - takes 7 one lb cans of DE to fill it (the way I've been doing it - that may change slightly based on the stuff I've been reading here)

    (Currently the pool equipment shed is under a load of snow, will try to dig it out and get brand / model info this weekend, but not sure I'll be able to get into it...)

    The vanes are essentially a plastic framework that has been covered with some sort of fabric, looks like a nylon or fiberglass knit.

    Since we've owned the pool, we have replaced all the vanes at least once, and last year when I did the anual breakdown, I found several of the vanes had gotten holes in them (which I was suspecting as I had DE getting into the pool) The last time we replaced the vanes, they were seriously expensive, and very hard to find (the pool store said it was an obsolete filter...)

    Aside from the fabric, the rest of the plastic frames are in good shape, I don't really see a need to replace the entire thing if it can be avoided, especially if I can save some money by repairing the existing vanes.

    Is it possible to re-cover the vanes? (or get them recovered?) If so, where do I get the fabric, what sort of thread do I use, and so forth?

    If that isn't a practical solution - any suggestion on inexpensive places to get the replacement vanes, or is it possibly time to bite the bullet and get a whole new filter? (If so, I'll probably start a different thread about what sort and all that)

    Thanks,
    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Gooserider's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    As promised, more info on the filter and pump specs... I couldn't get completely into the pump house as it was still snowed in, but I was able to open it up and get enough pictures of labels to read them after downloading and enhancing in Digikam...

    The pump is a Hayward Model SP1607X10, S/N 600A18. I don't know how old the pump is, but we've had to get it rebuilt and had the motor replaced at least once (thanks to incompetent pool techs leaving pump plugged in and turned on (on timer) after closing pool and draining pump... )

    The pump motor is an A.O. Smith, Model C48K2N143C1C, S/N 8604, 115/230V (wired to 115V), 1HP, 3450rpm, Rot CCWPE, Frame 56J, Class B, SF1.10, AMB 50*C, Time Rate Cont. Type UAC

    The filter is a PUREX DE Filter, Model SMBW 4036, S/N 04705, 36 Square Feet, Fresh Water Only, Residential or Public Pools, Max Working Pressure 50psi, Max flow 72gpm, Clearance required 39" vertical, 24" horizontal.

    The operation directions on the label explicitly call for a one lb coffee can full of DE for each 5 square feet of filter area

    Pool plumbing is all 1.5" as far as I know. The main drain is connected to the skimmer basket, and goes from there to the pump. From the pump I feed to the filter, from the filter I have a tee that feeds the Polaris booster pump on the branch, and three eyball returns in series on the main line.

    If anybody wants I have a pretty decent QCAD drawing of the pool (.dxf format) that I could upload, but it doesn't show the plumbing.

    I'm attaching a picture of the pool for general info... The machinery now lives in the little enclosure next to the steps, the top hinges up and the front and right side panels are removable to access everything. The plumbing used to live way under the porch where it was a real PITA to get at, but a few years ago we "tromboned" everything out to where it is now, except for the booster pump on the polaris.

    The pool is on the North side of the house, with lots of shade (and debris ) from surrounding trees. The general area could use a great deal of attention, but it's livable...
    [attachment=0:2svlliks]pool2-small.jpg[/attachment:2svlliks]
    Gooserider
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Gooserider, welcome to TFP!!

    I've never heard of 'refabric-ing' the DE grids but I have heard that for small rips you can use a 'hot glue' gun to seal them (I'm going to actually try it this season, if the opportunity arises). Replacement of torn grids is the rule of thumb everywhere I've worked. If they all need to be replaced, you may want to think about just getting a new filter (if you do this, check into cartridge and sand filters as well - if you go with DE or sand, think about getting a multiport instaed of the 2 way valve you have now )

    It sounds like you read what I wrote about "Use and care for a DE filter", (if not - I'll link it for you).

    The grids shouldn't tear so quickly nor easily... there may be a problem with the way you use them, read what I've said before and maybe we can figure out why yours are getting ruined prematurely.

    As you've obviously been doing reading here (as evidenced by already having your sig set up ) I trust you know enough to keep an eye on your cyanuric acid level while using the 1" tabs to chlorinate and have a good test kit.

    Please know that we are always here to help you when you have a question - if you need more info from me, all you have to do is post it here 8)

    Again, welcome to TFP

    waste - (a/k/a Ted)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Gooserider's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Thanks for the welcome Waste, and yes I have read your article... (Very good) I actually spend a couple days reading stuff here and on Pool forum before I posted - I like to do that because I see enough "Frequently Asked Topics" over on the Hearth from your side of the mod world Don't want to add to it...

    I saw the thing on using the hot glue gun, but I think mine are more shot than that - the rips look more like runs in a stocking, 2-3" long and maybe a half inch wide strip where the fabric went to threads... I should take a picture, but forgot when I was getting the pool label stuff... I don't know that the grids could be re-covered, but it looked possible assuming I could find the right fabric and thread - I'm not a master stitcher, but I have a sewing machine, and know how to use it, and it didn't look like these grids were doing anything that fancy. Of course if the fabric was way expensive, it might not be worth it, but I thought it would be worth asking.

    The last time I replaced the grids, at the advice of the pool dealer, we replaced the set - I did save the old ones that weren't bad, so I might see if I can combine the good ones enough to get a good set... After that I don't know, but we will be looking at costs. If we do replace the filter I don't know what I'd go with, but the idea of sand with a bit of DE in it makes some sense to me - given the amount we have to backwash our existing filter, I would be afraid of how fast we'd go through expensive cartridges for a cart filter, and I'm not that thrilled with backwashing a bag or two of DE into the back yard every season like we've been doing. If I do replace the filter, I definitely will need a new valve, as the current one is part of the existing filter... I would also need to re-plumb the entire equipment pad, and probably as much of the lines to the pool as I can dig up, as the current setup has a bunch of extra bends in it, and probably about 10-15 feet more length than it needs, not to mention being all 1.5"

    I haven't been doing all the stuff you were reccomending, as I've been doing a combination of the "pool store" thing and dealing with one of the big mail order places (the one named after where you are after falling off the diving board... - not sure if you allow direct names?) They are good at selling chemicals, not so great on telling you how to take care of the equipment.

    Among other things, I've been using strips rather than a kit, and even being cheap about that and not worrying about expiration dates - We don't heat the pool which means we end up with a short season so a bottle of strips is good for a couple years. Having found this site, I'm very strongly inclined towards going to a BBB approach, especially once we have used up our current supply of chemicals - lots of chlorine, and an assortment of other items, mostly partial bottles of things we were sold on the basis of those computerized reports that only told us to use part of the package...

    My current drill is to put the filter together every spring at opening, when I take the Meyco cover off to reveal the black lagoon / leaf tea swamp... Running the filter and the Polaris 24-7 and shocking a lot I get the water to the point where I can see the main drain in 3-5 days, usually backwashing about once a day as the filter clogs to the point where I don't have circulation. Once I can see the main drain, I start taking samples to the pool store and dumping in whatever they say is needed to get balanced, which usually takes a few weeks (at one-two samples / week) Once I have the water clear, I cut the time back so that the filter runs about 10 hours a day in two sessions, with the Polaris running about 6 hours centered in the filter sessions.

    After I get the pool balanced per the store, I've been using chlorine where I keep the floater filled, and the mail order place gave us a bucket of some sort of "balancing tabs" - I use one of those per baggie of chlorine... Over the course of the season I also dump in a few bottles of algecide. I will also need to backwash the filter 2-3 times, again as it gets clogged up. When backwashing I typically do about 3 cycles of back wash until clear, switch to filter mode for a couple minutes and repeat. I then dump in the full 7 cans of DE each time, maybe a bit extra... Usually I need to empty the skimmer basket (and possibly the Polaris bag) every day or every other day, as we get LOTS of tree debris. According to the reasonably new guage on the filter (I've replaced it several times after being clumsy and dropping the top on it ) I run about 8-10 PSI on a clean filter with a fresh charge of DE, and need to backwash somewhere around 15-20 PSI - as indicated by a lack of visible flow from the eyeballs and the Polaris getting sluggish.

    I would test with a strip about once a week but as long as I got results somewhat near the "normal" range on the bottle, I didn't worry about the results as long as the water stayed reasonably clear - by the time stuff started getting significantly out of whack, it would be time to close, when I'd break the filter down and hose all the caked on DE (which usually also had a lot of debris mixed in with it) off the grids...

    Sounds like I've been doing a lot of things partly wrong, so I will be doing a lot more reading here, and asking questions as needed.

    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Hey, Goose,

    Welcome to the forum.

    My current drill is to put the filter together every spring at opening, when I take the Meyco cover off to reveal the black lagoon / leaf tea swamp... Running the filter and the Polaris 24-7 and shocking a lot I get the water to the point where I can see the main drain in 3-5 days, usually backwashing about once a day as the filter clogs to the point where I don't have circulation. Once I can see the main drain, I start taking samples to the pool store and dumping in whatever they say is needed to get balanced, which usually takes a few weeks (at one-two samples / week) Once I have the water clear, I cut the time back so that the filter runs about 10 hours a day in two sessions, with the Polaris running about 6 hours centered in the filter sessions.
    You have a very good grasp of what's required to get your pool up and running and, generally, keeping it that way. Your regimen makes sense.

    You could probably save a good deal of money each summer by learning a bit more about pool water chemistry in Pool School (on the homepage) and then doing your own testing. YOu could eliminate the algaecide and perhaps several other chemicals you are purchasing.

    Naturally, I have a self-interest in that I sell a very good testing kit (So does Taylor...the K-2006) but, I promise, your results will be more accurate than the pool store testing and you'll surely spend less and have a better looking pool all summer.

    Then again, if it ain't broke........
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Gooserider's Avatar
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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Thanks for the welcome Duraleigh - I've been reading the Pool School stuff, and am very strongly considering going with your test kit and switching over to more of a BBB setup - I've never really felt happy with what I've been doing as it seemed excessive and I always felt like the pool store guys were hustling me in some way...

    I feel like I currently have sort of a "love / hate relationship" with the pool - I like taking a dip at the end of a long hot day, but I hate the amount of money that I feel like I'm pouring into it to keep it running, and the fact that I feel like I spend more hours running around the outside of the pool taking care of it than I do IN it... The idea of being able to cut down on both aspects sounds really good to me.

    I'm glad to hear that I'm doing the right thing in terms of my filter procedures, as again it is something I've more or less picked up without any real system to it.

    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Repairing / replacing damaged fins in a DE filter?

    Check out http://www.unicelfilters.com/ They have replacement grids for Purex filters. I need to buy a complete set for my Hayward and poolsupplyworld had the lowest price that I have been able to find.
    Pool Details: 25,440 Gal IG Vinyl 21x40 Mountain Pond (Graphex)
    Filter: Hayward Micro-Clear DE (48 Sq Ft)
    Pump: 1.5 HP Super Pump w/ 1.5 EcoTech VS Motor
    SWG: Circupool Si45
    Cleaner: Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820

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