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Thread: How hard to clean DE Filter

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    How hard to clean DE Filter

    I am looking at cleaning my filter by taking it apart before the swim season starts. I have heard the hardest part is taking the filter apart and then getting it all back together. I was thinking since you do this a few times a year have someone come out and do it the first time so I can see what is all needed to do it. If it seems hard and the price is not too high, I may have someone come out and do it. What do most people here do, which I assume as always do it yourself. I think it would help me to have someone come out and do it the first time and then if I feel confident I can do it next time. I seem to not be able to find much on the net.

    Here is the DE Filter I have


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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    It isn't too bad. To get a better idea of what is involved you can watch some videos on YouTube, for example:
    Grids: [youtube:r18vc7rn]X7UkjxU4tAY[/youtube:r18vc7rn]
    Fingers:[youtube:r18vc7rn]SRfNzYpBVyE[/youtube:r18vc7rn]
    I don't agree with the specific chemicals they suggest using, but the bulk of the procedure is clearly show in both of those videos
    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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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    This is a quote I got. Does this sound about right if I choose to go this route?

    Hi David, thanks for the inquiry
    Filter service is $99 + any parts needed
    we'll clean & inspect then mild acid wash to remove suntan oils / cosmetics
    reassemble & add the new DE

    Also since it is not swim season yet, but I suspect in the next few months it may be, is it too early to do it now or does it not matter?

    I was also looking at the videos and I see there is a plate at the top when you pull it out. Is there one at the bottom as well? Hopefully that made sense.

    Thanks.

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Also does anyone know where I could find a user manual for this filter? I think it may help show how stuff is arranged and to take it apart?

    Thanks.

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Also does anyone know where I could find a user manual for this filter? I think it may help show how stuff is arranged and to take it apart?

    Thanks.
    I googled "nautilus de filter manual ns36" and the first hit was http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_filt...utilus_nsp.htm which has a schematic. Nothing in the first page of the results looked like a manual but if you dig around a little more you might come up with one.

    Incidentally my plan is to do what you said first, have the local guy come out and do it for me while I watch. When he came out to do my orientation about a year ago, he said I could probably do it myself but he could do it for me the first time if I wanted. Personally, I have damaged enough things the first time 'round that I know I should watch it once.

    (Yeah, yeah, a year ago; I should've had him out here already.)
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    The problem is finding one to come out on a weekend so I can watch. The guy who gave me the quote only Mon-Fri.

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    I assume you should do a backwash prior to taking it apart?

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    I assume you should do a backwash prior to taking it apart?
    Oh, yes, most certainly. I've always done mine and it wasn't as easy as "normal" as it is under the deck so I have to remove it and drag it down the hill and from under deck to get the top off. I just replaced the exact filter you have. Removing the clamp is extremely easy. Just be sure you have released all pressure if there is any which there probably won't be if system is all shut down. Make sure no one is around to turn system back on and that, if on timer, it is disengaged or off. Might even want to shut the breaker off.

    Extremely important..... After you have rinsed the grids off first soak the grids in a solution of powdered dishwasher detergent. Then do an acid soak after rinsing the detergent off well. I forget how long to do each soak, minimum time, as I just do each soak overnight. You can get a cheap plastic trash barrel, not the largest, at Wally World for the soaking.

    It, also, helps to take a picture of each step of disassembling. Makes reassembly easier.

    Inspect all parts, including big rubber gasket for top, o-ring (only a couple, or maybe one, that are in slots on the pipe where the manifold slips over the pipe inside) manifold, especially the little filter screen, and nibs that hold the grids in proper place and grids. Inspect for holes and tears of fabric and then wiggle them around to check integrity of the plastic ribs. Over time the plastic ribs will start to get brittle and lead to filter inefficiency and/or tear the grid fabric. BTW.... the grids are much cheaper purchased as a full set, on line. If you don't need to replace all then you have spares when you need them.

    Putting the top back on, securing the big gasket, and tightening the clamp is a snap. The ss housing makes it much nicer to do as you don't don't get fiberglass particles embedded in your skin while hugging it.

    Oh, yes. The screw in pressure gauge, on top, is very cheap if you want to replace it. I think you can find them for around $10 for the non-fancy ones.

    When you open up all the valves in system, and turn on the pump be sure to stand back from the filter while it is building up pressure, just in case. The worst I've ever had is a bit of water leaking when I didn't get the gasket tucked in properly.

    Check the integrity of ss vessel too. Mine, the one I'm replacing, is almost 30 years old and looks almost new inside. There were a couple of rust spots but were easily removed with a scrubby.

    I'm sure there will be more suggestions coming. I'm a "super girl scout" and pretty mechanically inclined but I don't think it requires that. Every time I do it I still have to play a little with the placement of grids. Just expect that and don't get frustrated. I didn't have anyone show me how to do it 23 years ago and did just fine.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    The problem is finding one to come out on a weekend so I can watch. The guy who gave me the quote only Mon-Fri.
    Can you "use" a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance, member church or organization where you or family is/are member(s) who does their own, to assist you doing it the first time? Shoot, how about one of the kid's coaches, if applicable. The possibilities are endless. Offer him/her/them a meal and/or refreshments and some relaxing conversation around the pool. A lot of people get good feelings lending a hand. Besides cook-out time is here.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    BTW... the last time I looked at grids for our 36 sq ft Nautilus, a whole set could be purchased, on line, for some where between $99-$130. I was in a rush last year and purchased four individual grids at local pool store. It was somewhere close to $80 with taxes.

    These are pretty standard grids and probably the most common type used for older DE filters. The pool stores around here have never been out of stock over the years, but, of course, they are way more expensive purchasing them this way. I think one of the most expensive parts is the manifold. That's why I didn't replace mine, with broken nibs for holding the grids in place, when I knew I was going to be replacing whole filter soon. BTW.... my Nautilus has two long rods holding the assembly together. I've found that by tightening each bolt a little, then the other, and so forth you can get it all back together properly, with the manifold females (non threaded) being slowly worked down over the male tubes on grids. Occasionally people don't get them securely joined. It does help to mark the where the nuts are located on rods, both ends, with magic marker, so that you know you have them tightened down properly.

    Most people, around here, use DE filters. Most people I know do their own yearly cleaning. There were very few houses out here when we moved in and, I think, the only pool out here for many years. If there had been pools out here, and I thought I needed some "schooling", I certainly would have approached a neighbor and offered assistance cleaning theirs, so that I could observe how to do it properly. Back then there was no "Internet". Library, bookstores, and magazines helped a lot with all things "handy". I'll admit, though, that watching someone "do" something is nice for some things. "watch one, do one, teach one" is good.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    I assume you should do a backwash prior to taking it apart?
    Oh, yes, most certainly. I've always done mine and it wasn't as easy as "normal" as it is under the deck so I have to remove it and drag it down the hill and from under deck to get the top off. I just replaced the exact filter you have. Removing the clamp is extremely easy. Just be sure you have released all pressure if there is any which there probably won't be if system is all shut down. Make sure no one is around to turn system back on and that, if on timer, it is disengaged or off. Might even want to shut the breaker off.

    Extremely important..... After you have rinsed the grids off first soak the grids in a solution of powdered dishwasher detergent. Then do an acid soak after rinsing the detergent off well. I forget how long to do each soak, minimum time, as I just do each soak overnight. You can get a cheap plastic trash barrel, not the largest, at Wally World for the soaking.

    It, also, helps to take a picture of each step of disassembling. Makes reassembly easier.

    Inspect all parts, including big rubber gasket for top, o-ring (only a couple, or maybe one, that are in slots on the pipe where the manifold slips over the pipe inside) manifold, especially the little filter screen, and nibs that hold the grids in proper place and grids. Inspect for holes and tears of fabric and then wiggle them around to check integrity of the plastic ribs. Over time the plastic ribs will start to get brittle and lead to filter inefficiency and/or tear the grid fabric. BTW.... the grids are much cheaper purchased as a full set, on line. If you don't need to replace all then you have spares when you need them.

    Putting the top back on, securing the big gasket, and tightening the clamp is a snap. The ss housing makes it much nicer to do as you don't don't get fiberglass particles embedded in your skin while hugging it.

    Oh, yes. The screw in pressure gauge, on top, is very cheap if you want to replace it. I think you can find them for around $10 for the non-fancy ones.

    When you open up all the valves in system, and turn on the pump be sure to stand back from the filter while it is building up pressure, just in case. The worst I've ever had is a bit of water leaking when I didn't get the gasket tucked in properly.

    Check the integrity of ss vessel too. Mine, the one I'm replacing, is almost 30 years old and looks almost new inside. There were a couple of rust spots but were easily removed with a scrubby.

    I'm sure there will be more suggestions coming. I'm a "super girl scout" and pretty mechanically inclined but I don't think it requires that. Every time I do it I still have to play a little with the placement of grids. Just expect that and don't get frustrated. I didn't have anyone show me how to do it 23 years ago and did just fine.

    gg=alice
    Thanks for this information. It is just one of those things that I need to take it apart and look at what I have to deal with. Anyone around the Spring area willing to come along and give me a hand?

    Thanks.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    It is generally best not to do an acid soak unless you have visible calcium scaling. Acid can shorten the life of the grids in some cases and is only rarely needed.
    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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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    It is generally best not to do an acid soak unless you have visible calcium scaling. Acid can shorten the life of the grids in some cases and is only rarely needed.
    Good point. Prior to TFP I always had scale issues. So acid soak was a given.

    How about the powdered dishwasher soak for oils and lotions? I'm envious of people who can just hose off their grids. Mine have always needed extra soaking. Now that I have learned so much on TFP, maybe I can just do a "normal" cleaning on my new non-abused grids (actually four cartridges in the Quad DE.) BTW... look for low phosphate detergent, < 4%; environmental issues.

    How about suggestions, please, for anyone who may need to identify scale build up. Some people have inheirited pools and I suspect, many will run into grids that have not been properly maintained.

    As I remember, once you get the grids rinsed off well, if the water doesn't readily drain through the fabric then some kind of soaking is needed.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    How about the powdered dishwasher soak for oils and lotions? I'm envious of people who can just hose off their grids. Mine have always needed extra soaking. Now that I have learned so much on TFP, maybe I can just do a "normal" cleaning on my new non-abused grids (actually four cartridges in the Quad DE.) BTW... look for low phosphate detergent, < 4%; environmental issues.
    Hmmm... I've read elsewhere that you do want phosphates, either in the dishwasher detergent or by using TSP (and not TSP pf, phosphate-free version).
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Okay, all you experts...

    What about lubricating the O-rings? I'm a mechanic by trade and one thing we learned in school, and generally reinforced through one lapse, is that O-rings always get lubricated. Whether for oil, coolant, refrigerant - it doesn't matter what it holds, it gets lubricated.

    That said, if one dismantles the filter, what should he use to lubricate things for reassembly? I saw some sort of silicon grease in a tube on the counter at the pool store. It looks remarkably similar to this Sil-glyde stuff we have at work - which I could bring home, use what I need, and bring back the next day. For free.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    From what I can find out about Sil-glyde, it appears to be compatable for use on o-rings. From what I can gather from the MSDS it's safer than silicone grease. The major ingredient is propylene glycol which is RV/pool antifreeze. You'll have to decide if you're confident enough to use it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    I was also looking at my filter yesterday and noticed on the back there is a plastic plug that looks like a drain plug. Is this something that should be opened up when cleaning? It was pvc plastic and appeared to be maybe around 3 inches or so. It was opposite the piping on the front. Hopefully that made sense.

    Thanks.

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Anyone around the spring area willing to come help me. Lunch is on me.

    Thanks.

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    How about the powdered dishwasher soak for oils and lotions? I'm envious of people who can just hose off their grids. Mine have always needed extra soaking. Now that I have learned so much on TFP, maybe I can just do a "normal" cleaning on my new non-abused grids (actually four cartridges in the Quad DE.) BTW... look for low phosphate detergent, < 4%; environmental issues.
    Hmmm... I've read elsewhere that you do want phosphates, either in the dishwasher detergent or by using TSP (and not TSP pf, phosphate-free version).
    --paulr
    There are many benefits to having and using using phosphates. It is a necessary part of life forms too. But with the over abundance of factories pouring it into the environment and run off from agriculture and daily use by citizens in most industrial societies our natural and manmade bodies of water have become fouled by too much. The normal phosphate cycle is disrupted. Algae blooms and duckweed "choaking" bodies of water, cutting off sunlight to other organizms has become a huge problem. Lakes around here had a major problem several years ago.


    The increasing phosphor concentrations in surface waters raise the growth of phosphate-dependent organisms, such as algae and duckweed. These organisms use great amounts of oxygen and prevent sunlight from entering the water. This makes the water fairly unliveable for other organisms. This phenomenon is commonly known as eutrophication.

    I think it boils down to how the waste water is treated, with phosphates removed prior to releasing the treated water into a body of water. We consumers add only a fraction of phosphates that end up in bodies of water but why not help a little? When I had our new dishwasher installed the plumber told me to use no higher phosphate content than 4% "out here". I'm not sure of his reason. It may have been only to protect the dishwasher from our water and phosphate combination but I'm curious. We were aready using low phosphates in most products as our runoff and septic end up in the close-by lake and we have been told "less is better for the environment".

    http://www.ehow.com/way_5828753_shou...etergent_.html

    Interesting paper

    http://www.ceep-phosphates.org/Files...ophication.pdf

    and http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/p.htm
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: How hard to clean DE Filter

    I am fully in tune with the environmental aspect; the question is whether the non-phosphate versions still get the job done. The consensus (on another forum, I think) was no. Sounds like you hold a different opinion. I have no experience in the matter either way.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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