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Thread: DE filter not filtering

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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    DE filter not filtering

    I know this has been covered a few times, but mine is actually a more severe case than I've been reading.

    my filter doesn't filter AT ALL. I have been running the pump almost non-stop for a full week and it hasn't cleared at all, I still can't really see the second step.

    I have taken the filter completely apart and checked each and every grid very thoroughly, no torn fabric at all. replaced the top manifold about 12 months ago with a "new" model that has a breather valve on the top (man I hate this thing) so I bought a new breather valve to the tune of $25. put filter all back together and attack the multiport as I had water going through waste when on filter. took the multiport in and had them put on a new spring and washer (on top) and installed a new gasket. put everything back together and put it on "Rinse" to charge the filter (was told rinse to charge, then to filter after charged), and there is no DE running through the sight glass when on rinse. switch it to filter and clear water shooting back into the pool, thought all was fixed.

    go out 30 minutes later because my pool cleaner guy isn't doing his job, he's taking a nap in the deep. I pull his connection from the wall (after turning off the secondary pump) and his wall connector filter, for lack of a better word, is clogged with debris and some DE. clean it out and put him back on and again 30 minutes later same thing.

    the up pipe in the filter had lots of wobble to it, but it has always been like that since I owned the pool. the gasket at the top isn't "tight" and theres black marks all over the top of the up pipe, but they don't go past where the manifold sits so that is nice and tight. what could be the problem?

    btw, chlorine levels were raised to 15ppm (added 7 gallons 6% bleach) last saturday when I started running the pump non-stop. added 5 gallons of bleach after 12 hours, then 24 hours, and pool is a blue grey (very little green), but if its not filtering it, I'm just wasting my time.
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Ikeray,

    You know the drill here on TFP....Test Results are what we need!

    That said, I'm gonna guess at your problem. I would guess your chlorine levels have not been held long enough, high enough to clear your pool. Review the pool school article on how to shock your pool. It sounds like you're not keeping your FC up where it needs to be.

    The next issue is probably the nature of your DE filter. DE has the disadvantage of clogging up frequently in an algae-laden pool so I suspect you have a lot of "junk" in your pool for the DE to catch. Constant clogging is the result. Same problem with your auto-cleaner.

    Do you have junk on the bottom of your pool? Can you vacuum to waste without a killer water bill?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Ikeray,

    You know the drill here on TFP....Test Results are what we need!

    That said, I'm gonna guess at your problem. I would guess your chlorine levels have not been held long enough, high enough to clear your pool. Review the pool school article on how to shock your pool. It sounds like you're not keeping your FC up where it needs to be.

    The next issue is probably the nature of your DE filter. DE has the disadvantage of clogging up frequently in an algae-laden pool so I suspect you have a lot of "junk" in your pool for the DE to catch. Constant clogging is the result. Same problem with your auto-cleaner.

    Do you have junk on the bottom of your pool? Can you vacuum to waste without a killer water bill?
    well, I didn't post results because I haven't "tested" the water, I just shocked the levels up and did what I did last year to clear up the pool, didn't require much thought if you know what I mean.

    well, the filter was full of DE (and clumpy on it) when I pulled it apart to clean, but would that really cause DE to be able to seep back into the pool?

    I'm in a MUD district which allows 2 complete refills a year , I'll do a vacuum to waste today and clean off the bottom of the pool.

    what about the wobbly up pipe? I took it apart and tried to pvc glue it back together but its a 2" pvc pipe and the hole it sits in leaves for a lot of play. am I a victim of a previous owner's shotty work?
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    The up pipe shouldn't have very much wobble in it, a little flex for sure, but not a serious wobble. I wonder if something isn't broken or missing somewhere that is supposed to be holding that pipe in place.
    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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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The up pipe shouldn't have very much wobble in it, a little flex for sure, but not a serious wobble. I wonder if something isn't broken or missing somewhere that is supposed to be holding that pipe in place.
    thats what I thought, and I hope I didn't screw anything up putting the pvc glue on that pipe.

    like I said, its a 2" sch40 pvc pipe in there, and I dont' think it is like that from factory/ original part.

    the part per some websites, is $35 pre-shipping, which is understandable why the previous owner decided to put this pipe in instead if he did indeed do that since this pipe is like $10 at home depot (if even). but seriously, with all the money spent on a pool, $25 more for a real part isn't that bad.

    anyone who has or plans on taking apart their DE filter, would you look at the up pipe to see if it has marks on it (like pipes from big box stores have)?

    but would this be the cause of the filter getting through? I mean, its worked in the past (for at least 3 years now).
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Ike, you can't charge the filter on anything other than "FILER"! 'Charging' it on 'Rinse' sends all the DE you add out the waste line, leaving you with uncoated grids, and uncoated grids don't do jack to filter This could well explain the continued cloudiness however, please make sure you have enough chlorine

    The wobble in the stand pipe could be caused by a crack in the 90 that attaches to the bulkhead fitting - you might be able to use a clamp to seal the crack for now. If it is cracked it could allow a small amount of DE and debris into the pool or cleaner. Are we talking a Hayward 6020? - If so, the black marks are from the o-ring at the top of the standpipe, if that o-ring is no good, you could also get bypass there.
    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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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Ike, you can't charge the filter on anything other than "FILER"! 'Charging' it on 'Rinse' sends all the DE you add out the waste line, leaving you with uncoated grids, and uncoated grids don't do jack to filter This could well explain the continued cloudiness however, please make sure you have enough chlorine

    The wobble in the stand pipe could be caused by a crack in the 90 that attaches to the bulkhead fitting - you might be able to use a clamp to seal the crack for now. If it is cracked it could allow a small amount of DE and debris into the pool or cleaner. Are we talking a Hayward 6020? - If so, the black marks are from the o-ring at the top of the standpipe, if that o-ring is no good, you could also get bypass there.
    sorry, I guess it would help to know the model. its a Pac Fab Nautillus Stainless Steel 60 sqft DE filter. the multiport is a Hayward Vari-flo, but don't know the exact model (its white)

    I thought the multiport went:

    Filter: pool>pump>filter>pool
    Rinseool>pump>filter>waste
    Wasteool>pump>waste
    Backwash: pool>pump>reverse filter>waste
    recirculateool>pump>pool
    closed:no flow

    correct me if thats wrong. so by putting it on rinse it just goes to waste instead of going into the pool, so the filter still gets charged.
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

  8. Back To Top    #8
    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    welp, seems I'm an idiot because after just vacuuming the shallow end, the pool started to clear up and I could see past the third step to the blurry floor. vacuumed up a bit of the leaves that were apparently down there and thats when disaster struck...

    my leaf canister decided to come apart from my vacuum hose and plant itself on the bottom. mind you, the pool was nice and green (didn't take a pic). I had to Jacques Cousteau it, and deep sea dive in my own pool, if nobody has ever done it, its actually quite a rush. you can see maybe 6in in front of your face and the thing is clear...took forever to find, swap in there for about an hour. the algae smell started to get to me, reminded me of swimming in a river.

    well, anyways, got it all vacuumed up and now its clear enough the light shines all across the pool...its still slightly cloudy but nothing running another 24 hours won't fix.

    some test results, since you thrive on them. got them done at leslie's since I need to order reagents and I know this local one uses the k-2006 kit for all their testing.

    FC - 0 (duh)
    CC - not tested
    pH - 7.8 (but leslie guy wasn't surprised, said its probably just off because of algae and TA)
    TA - 200
    CH - 80
    CYA - 25
    temp - 84*F

    note, these were all prior to vacuuming, so they are all probably off since I vacuumed for a good 1-2 hours and replaced LOTS of water. since finishing with the vacuum, I added 1/2 gallon of acid and 6 gallons of bleach to raise FC to ~14. I'm also running a floater with Trichlor to raise the CYA some and keep chlorine levels up.

    I'm trying to price acid wash since I have some bad staining on parts of the pool. the only place I have found (or who answered the phone yesterday) quoted me $500 for a 30k gal pool, is this about right or high? also, I have read about acid washing by using a 50/50 mixure, pouring it down the wall with a watering can, and then scrubbing with a metal brush; how well does that work?
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Before you go the expense of acid washing.... you might want to determine the type of stains. They could very well be organic and elevated FC levels over a few weeks will cause them to fade. By the same token, if they are metal stains you can try other routes other than acid washing.

    Lastly, considering your water replacement, your PH could have been fine. In the future I wouldn't add acid without having an updated test result. Unless you know the PH of your fill water is high? Hopefully your reagents will arrive, by using the trichlor you'll need to monitor your levels.
    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
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    IkeRay's Avatar
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    Re: DE filter not filtering

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Before you go the expense of acid washing.... you might want to determine the type of stains. They could very well be organic and elevated FC levels over a few weeks will cause them to fade. By the same token, if they are metal stains you can try other routes other than acid washing.

    Lastly, considering your water replacement, your PH could have been fine. In the future I wouldn't add acid without having an updated test result. Unless you know the PH of your fill water is high? Hopefully your reagents will arrive, by using the trichlor you'll need to monitor your levels.

    I tested the fill water prior to adding for CH, TA, and pH, using a taylor kit for CH and OTO (?) drops for other. CH was 50, TA was 250+ and pH was 8.0+ (took 6 drops of #3 to bring it down to 7.5).

    updated test from this morning.

    (Using OTO drops)
    FC - ~8 (used 50/50 pool distilled water)
    CC - can't tell at this level, didn't really change
    pH - 7.8-8.0 (took 3 drops to get to 7.4)
    TA - 200+
    CH - 40

    pool was still slightly greenish blue (mostly blue) and some particles floating around, so I added 3 gallons of bleach. I also added 2 qts of acid to bring the pH back into range, but I'm going to have to buy another case to control the TA.

    is CH added just by mixing it in a bucket and then cascading over pool? also, the pool calculator said I need 50lbs of calcium chloride, that seems high.

    as for the staining, should I post pics of the stains?
    30,000gal In-ground Gunite Pool DE filter
    Polaris 380 APC

    BBB method all the way - Newb, like to absorb info and chatter, but take the experts' advise

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