Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

  1. Back To Top    #1

    TFP Guide

    Nursenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Bixby, Ok
    Posts
    2,122

    DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Well, 3 hours later, hubby and I barely survived cleaning our DE filter for the first time. Pretty sure we almost got divorced (j/k).
    We followed the tutorial on here to the letter.

    We had a major problem right off the bat. Our "wonderful" PB placed the filter so close to the pumps that we cannot get the drain plug unscrewed. SMH They will be getting a call Monday morning.

    So, I baled out the water and dirty DE that was left in the bottom of the filter, all but an inch or 2.

    We disassembled the manifold and sprayed off the grids well. I inspected them and saw no damage or holes.

    We reassembled it without too much difficulty. DEFINATELY a 2 person job, at least for me.

    Lubed the O rings and the manifold pipe, put the grid assembly back in the case, put the top back on, reseated and tightened the clamp.

    So far, so good, except the filter drain plug issue.

    Mixed my 9lbs of DE into a slurry. Made sure the air relief valve was open. Turned the breaker back on and started the pump. When water started to come out the air valve we closed it, turned the pump off.

    I remixed the DE slurry, turned the pump on high and poured the DE in the skimmer. Went back and reopened the air valve for a few seconds to make sure all the air was out, closed it, and now we should be golden.

    Nope.

    My previously beautiful sparkly CLEAR TFP water is now cloudy. Not a ton, but definately noticeable.

    I want to cry.

    What went wrong???

    Will this filter out? Pump is still running on high to try to clear it.

    I'm so done with the stress of this pool. I thought cleaning the filter would be a confidence builder but it has just caused more anxiety.
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    20,296

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    You might have gotten some of the old sludge down a clean passage while bailing and scooping, since the grids were out at the time. As soon as the thing started flowing, it would be flushed out to the returns. Let it settle out and vacuum it up. If it doesn't clear up, then you get to disassemble it all again and see if there is a tear in a grid or if something wasn't seated right. Just out of curiosity, did you have a vent tube with a screen on the end of it? If so, did you remember to thread it up so the tube is at the top?
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide

    Nursenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Bixby, Ok
    Posts
    2,122

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    There was a white mesh covered tube at the top...I didn't read anything about what to do with that....it was upright when we put the lid on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So, should I turn off the pump and just let it settle?
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bedford, TX
    Posts
    9,252

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    N,

    It is pretty normal, for me anyway, to have a little DE blow back into the pool.

    As Richard says, it should clear up soon and will not have lasting effect on your water clarity.

    I think you may have broken my record... It took me about an hour and a half to get the grids back together in the manifold the first time I cleaned a DE filter. I almost gave up, when like magic they all fell into place. Takes about 5 minutes now that I an used to it..


    edit... I would let the pump run and capture as much as possible and then robot or vacuum up what is left tomorrow..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    20,296

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nursenini View Post
    There was a white mesh covered tube at the top...I didn't read anything about what to do with that....it was upright when we put the lid on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So, should I turn off the pump and just let it settle?
    If it's run its usual schedule, yes.

    Want to know my secret to vacuuming? Move the valves so you empty the spa into the pool. You can brush most stuff into the spa drain as the water gets low. Then reverse it when you connect the vacuum. I can get most of the pool vacuumed before water starts coming over the spillway. The advantage is: no crosscurrents from the pool returns or the spillway to stir things up while I'm vacuuming.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    TFP Guide

    Nursenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Bixby, Ok
    Posts
    2,122

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Thank you both both for your speedy replies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    N,

    It is pretty normal, for me anyway, to have a little DE blow back into the pool.

    As Richard says, it should clear up soon and will not have lasting effect on your water clarity.

    I think you may have broken my record... It took me about an hour and a half to get the grids back together in the manifold the first time I cleaned a DE filter. I almost gave up, when like magic they all fell into place. Takes about 5 minutes now that I an used to it..


    edit... I would let the pump run and capture as much as possible and then robot or vacuum up what is left tomorrow..

    Jim R.
    Jim, this gives me hope and settles my anxiety somewhat.


    Our big issue (fight) was over whether or not to disassemble the manager fold or just hose off what we could. I wanted the full disassemble, hubby just to anted to hose off what we could in like get of our drain situation and do a full disassemble once we could open the drain. We ended up doing the full disassemble. On one hand, it was still filthy where the hose wouldn't reach but, on the other hand, maybe we wouldn't have this issue if we had just done what hubby wanted. This caused a bit of a delay
    It all still took longer than I expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    If it's run its usual schedule, yes.

    Want to know my secret to vacuuming? Move the valves so you empty the spa into the pool. You can brush most stuff into the spa drain as the water gets low. Then reverse it when you connect the vacuum. I can get most of the pool vacuumed before water starts coming over the spillway. The advantage is: no crosscurrents from the pool returns or the spillway to stir things up while I'm vacuuming.
    We usually run most of the day on medium speed and had it off for a few hours while we monkey'd with the filter.

    Those are great vacuuming tips!

    Confession- I have only vacuumed the pool twice. Since getting Wall-E, he does all the cleaning now.
    Is it ok if I just run him after I shut the filter off and let thing settle? His fine filters are great at trapping all this fine Oklahoma dirt.
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    14,080

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Denise,

    Good Job!! I mean it, you tackled a hard part of DE filters. Here's a couple of suggestions -

    1. Next time, backwash the filter first for a few minutes and you'll expel most of the DE in the filter body.

    2. Leave the backwash valve in backwash when you open the air relief valve before removing the lid. The water will flow out of the filter into the backwash line and completely drain almost the entire filter body of water.

    3. When recharging, it's ok to just turn the pump on and run it while you mix the slurry up. You're not going to damage the grids by running it for a few short minutes without any DE. With that said, never turn it on and off like that. Just run the pump (slow speed is fine) and add your DE to the skimmer (SLOWLY). Then let the pump run for 24 hours...do not turn it off.

    It is totally normal to get a little DE shooting back from the returns on recharge. The DE gets into the return path through the grids and the air relief assembly. Until the DE fully coats the grids, the system will take time to get back to normal. After the pump is turned back on, brush the pool a lot to mix up any DE that may be there. It will eventually get into the pump.

    I would not run your robot. It's just going to get plugged up with DE and the filter screens in them are not designed to work with DE. Just pull it out and rinse it off.

    Use a manual vacuum head to clean the bottom of the pool and help suck up any DE around.

    Let us know how it goes.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Leave everything running overnight, have a few cocktails and see what it looks like in the morning.

    It's usually pretty easy to tell if the filter is putting DE back into the pool. You can hold a sock over one of the returns for awhile for example.

    Or just follow my above advice. You might be pleasantly surprised in the morning. Or maybe not but either way I doubt it is much of an issue.


    10,000 gallon
    Viking Freeform Fiberglass Inground Pool. FNS Plus DE Filter Pentair Challenger .75hp pump

    NC KANSAS44

  9. Back To Top    #9

    TFP Guide

    Nursenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Bixby, Ok
    Posts
    2,122

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Update-
    DE was cleared up by morning. Before I could stop him, hubby put the robot in the pool. I was at work and he was trying to help. Wall-E's filters cleaned up well, so it looks like there was no harm done.

    Matt, the on/off/on of the Filter are the exact steps from the DE cleaning tutorial here on TFP...maybe it needs to be reviewed?? I just followed the instructions step by step. Hope I didn't hurt my pump motor...

    Pool company is sending someone out on Monday to see what they need to do to enable us to open the filter drain plug. To me it looks like they need to move the filter over and shorten the distance between the filter and the heater.
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    14,080

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Nah, you didn't hurt the pump...I just think it's a waste of time. Plus, with my variable speed IntelliFlo, if you turn it off and then back on, it goes into high-speed priming mode for 20 secs. Therefore, I'd rather just turn the pump on once and be done with it. You're really not going to damage anything if you run it for a few seconds with no DE. If the filter were truly that fragile, then I'd say they did a poor job engineering the filter. And, as proof, I have been doing it my for years with no ill effect on the filter whatsoever.

    Whatever you feel comfortable with....up to you. Good job tackling the filter cleaning and figuring out that the drain plug was blocked by a bad install. They should definitely move the filter as it's really not that much work.

    As for Wall-E, poor little guy was probably choking up on all that DE...I'm sure the filter on it is fine.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  11. Back To Top    #11
    foobert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    143

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nursenini View Post
    Pool company is sending someone out on Monday to see what they need to do to enable us to open the filter drain plug. To me it looks like they need to move the filter over and shorten the distance between the filter and the heater.
    When I had my pool re-plumbed, I did a full dimensionally accurate 3D model of how I wanted the pump pad laid out and plumbed. The pool company literally laughed at me. Whatever -- the layout sucked before, and I'm the one that has to deal with it for the rest my time at this property. The worker that actually did the plumbing was cool about it and nailed the layout, with few minor tweaks to the plumbing routing to make his assembly easier without compromising the spirit of what I wanted.

    It's infuriating to me me when work is done with no thought to make things usefully accessible.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

  12. Back To Top    #12


    TFP Guide
    ctrav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Northlake TX
    Posts
    2,231

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Hello...I am new to the site and considering a DE filter. If you had it to do over would you still choose a DE filter...Thanks and when you can would you take a look at my post for new pool in Northlake....
    Cliff, IG, 22K gal, Pentair WF 2HP 2 Speed Pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, Hayward PL Plus Pool Management, SWG T Cell-15, 2 LED Hayward Color Logic 4.0 Lights, Water Features, Diamond Brite Black Onyx pool finish, TF-100 Test Kit, PoolMath App, Dolphin S200 Robot (Phin). Northlake, TX New Pool Build
    I support TFP Forums ♥ Has the info saved you $? You can support too!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    In the Industry
    kevreh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Annandale, VA
    Posts
    412

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Quote Originally Posted by ctrav View Post
    Hello...I am new to the site and considering a DE filter. If you had it to do over would you still choose a DE filter...Thanks and when you can would you take a look at my post for new pool in Northlake....
    Ah, that's easy. No, I would never go with a DE filter again. Many folks here are happy with sand filters, and better yet (more expensive) cartridge filters. DE is too fussy and messy to deal with, IMHO.
    16x32 Concrete IG 24k Gallons
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
    Automation: Hayward Prologic Controller

  14. Back To Top    #14

    TFP Guide

    Nursenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Bixby, Ok
    Posts
    2,122

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Quote Originally Posted by ctrav View Post
    Hello...I am new to the site and considering a DE filter. If you had it to do over would you still choose a DE filter...Thanks and when you can would you take a look at my post for new pool in Northlake....
    Hi! Welcome to TFP!!! This is the best place with the very best people!!

    This is my first pool, so no prior experience. I did a lot of research, asked a lot of questions, and settled on the DE in spite of my PB's objections. I think, as a nurse, I have a heightened awareness and caution regarding bacteria, so the finer filtration was appealing to me. Having backwashed a couple of times plus doing one breakdown cleaning, I didn't find it horrible. The breakdown is something that I need my husband's help with solely due to his strength and my lack of it as well as being short. Otherwise, I could/would just do it myself.
    When we eventually need to replace the filter, as of right now, I wouldn't choose anything else.
    With that said, Kim and others here LOVE their sand filters and wouldn't change it. Many add a little DE to the sand to get a better polish on their water.
    I also have a good friend who had an above ground pool with a sand filter. It was easy and she loved it. She then sold her home and bought a house with an existing unground pool with a cartridge filter. She absolutely HATES the filter. Her plan had been to replace it with a sand filter. However, after researching sand vs DE, she has now decided to replace her cartridge with a DE filter.
    Just do your research, know what you're getting into in terms of maintenance. The sand is easiest, but in my opinion, the DE is not too bad, just a bit messy.

    I'll look for your thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Nah, you didn't hurt the pump...I just think it's a waste of time. Plus, with my variable speed IntelliFlo, if you turn it off and then back on, it goes into high-speed priming mode for 20 secs. Therefore, I'd rather just turn the pump on once and be done with it. You're really not going to damage anything if you run it for a few seconds with no DE. If the filter were truly that fragile, then I'd say they did a poor job engineering the filter. And, as proof, I have been doing it my for years with no ill effect on the filter whatsoever.

    Whatever you feel comfortable with....up to you. Good job tackling the filter cleaning and figuring out that the drain plug was blocked by a bad install. They should definitely move the filter as it's really not that much work.

    As for Wall-E, poor little guy was probably choking up on all that DE...I'm sure the filter on it is fine.
    Thanks again, Matt! You always make me feel better!

    They came out yesterday and did exactly what I thought needed to be done. Problem solved. We can now unscrew the plug!
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

  15. Back To Top    #15
    foobert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    143

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Huh. I guess you don't know how green the grass is till you really get on the other side of the fence. I've only ever had a DE filter; I don't find it to be terribly fussy at all. The biggest issue was not having a hard-line plumbed for the backwash. Finally dug the trench and installed one. It's now cheep and easy to maintain for regular servicing. It certainly keeps the water pretty.

    The real advantage I see to a cartridge filter is the substantially lower back-pressure (head) it puts into the pumping system. But, having to disassemble to wash the filter every time it's dirty feels just as messy as the (much) less frequent DE filter deep-clean.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    14,080

    Re: DE Filter cleaning nightmare for noobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nursenini View Post
    Thanks again, Matt! You always make me feel better!

    They came out yesterday and did exactly what I thought needed to be done. Problem solved. We can now unscrew the plug!
    You're welcome. Glad they got you fixed up. Next time you do the tear down it will go a lot easier.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •