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Thread: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

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    Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    I have a bit of a dilemma. I really enjoy the polished water I get from my D.E. filter, but the hassle is getting to be just too much. I just found out that the only legal way for me to backwash my filter is to do it directly into my yard. Not ordinarily a big deal, but I don't have a) much grass and b) good drainage. Plus I am adding a SWG in May and what grass I do have, I'd prefer not to have to add salt to it. I realize that at the concentrations of salt I'll use, back-washing *may* not hurt the grass in one or two seasons but the accumulation will probably cause future problems as we don't get tons of rain here in the DFW metroplex (not withstanding this past rainy season). Given the caveats above, I am considering moving to a cartridge system and would like to get thoughts on your experiences.

    My current rig is a 48SqFt System with a multiport valve and a 1HP pump. My pool is about 30,000 gallons. What size should a replacement cartridge filter be? Must I replace the valve with one that just allows filtering and waste functions or can I keep the current valve? What brands are you all using and are you happy with them? Is it possible to add D.E. to cartridge filters as you would a sand filter for that polished water look? Would I be making a mistake by going the cartridge route?
    28,500g IG Vinyl Grecian
    48ft2 Purex Triton D.E. Filter
    Dolphin Dynamic
    PS234 Testkit

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 420 SF cartridge filter. You are going to love it! Welcome to the dark side

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    You can keep your current valve as long as it isn't built into the filter. It will be just a little more plumbing work to do that then to simply remove it, but shouldn't pose any problems. The main reason no one normally does that is that putting the valve on backwash can destroy the cartridge.

    A few cartridge filters are designed to take a little DE, but generally it isn't a good idea to add DE to a cartridge filter. Cartridge filters are already quite a bit better than sand filters, so there is much less need for tricks like that one.
    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: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Ditto what simicrintz said. You will like it!
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Hey Thilbert,

    I have a 500 sf Sta-Rite filter and cannot imagine using any other type of filter. My pool is approximately the same size as yours. From the day we installed the pool, I always checked the pressure gauge in anticipation of having to take the filter apart and clean the carts. Well, after 1 1/2 years of the gauge seemingly locked at 15 psi, I began to suspect something might be wrong and took everything apart to have a look. There are two carts in this filter and about 1/2 hr with a garden hose everything was nice and clean....not that it seemed that dirty in the first place. After putting it all together and restarting the pump...15 psi. These things can filter for an unbelievable amount of time especially if you oversize things a bit. I do use borates in my pool and the water is sparkling clear. I receive compliments all the time about how clear the water looks. I can't imagine how much "clearer" the water can get. However, if you're one of those guys who swims at night, with scuba gear, and a specially designed micrometer to measure particulate size that might not be there with a DE filter, maybe the carts are not for you . Personally, I find them a great combination of minimal maintenance and super filtration.

    Rob
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Quote Originally Posted by rkgdmd
    if you're one of those guys who swims at night, with scuba gear, and a specially designed micrometer to measure particulate size that might not be there with a DE filter, maybe the carts are not for you .
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    thilbert,

    How often do you need to backwash with your current DE filter? Are you using borates? I have a 60 sf DE filter and need to backwash every 3-4 months or so, but only because I call the filter "dirty" at a 5 PSI increase. I could wait until 10, but then it might be 5-6 months.

    The borates have made a huge difference for me and following the suggested BBB levels really keeps things clean. Does city code require that you backwash to your yard or does it give you the option of backwashing to sanitary sewer?

    I haven't had experience with cartridge filters, so I am not speaking with authority regarding the difference, but with the infrequent backwashing needed with a properly (BBB'ly) maintained pool, DE filters are of great benefit with low effort.
    31000 Gal IG L-shape w/ spa, Riversand finish (PebbleSheen clone)
    Jandy 60 sq ft DE, 2.5 HP (uprated) Stealth pump, Polaris 280 w/ booster, Jandy PDA PS4 controller

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Aren’t there also some non-DE media that you could use in a DE filter that you can backwash into the storm drain or sewer?
    20,000 Gallon kidney sort of a sand filtered gunite in ground pool w/ hot tub.

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Boy, I sure am glad my backwash line is plumbed into the sewer line! I naively thought that was normal...I would hate to give up my DE filter!

    I use the "waste" feature on my multiport often. During messy times of the year(spring and fall) I can't empty my skimmer often enough. Therefore, when I do empty it there is always debris and murky water floating in the skimmer. I used to use a small net and spend time trying to fish everything out until I had a bright idea: Now I just turn the multiport to waste, and flush the crud down the drain! (Pardon the analogy...)
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Grape Ape
    Aren’t there also some non-DE media that you could use in a DE filter that you can backwash into the storm drain or sewer?
    I use cellulose and love it. We are so sandy/silty/airborne clay and chalk particles that adding more fine stuff to the air is not a great idea. In addition my property drains into Joe Pool Lake. I started using the cellulose when I was having to backwash my very old, way undersized 36 sq ft filter weekly. I now have a way over sized (not really) filter, VF pump so I can run it more slowly, and I'm still using the cellulose. Water is great and cellulose does seem to clear the finer particles a little better (as much as possible). When I backwash the cellulose comes out so fine one can't see it on the ground. It is, also, a good addition to soil and doesn't go airborne like DE. I get mine at Leslie's, brand Fiber Clear.

    Beside the basic topic but FYI I went from a 36 sq ft DE filter to an 80 sq ft. We did some re-plumbing to take out almost 30 years of frankenplumbing at pumping station and added 2" pipes at the pad but added some head by moving the filter needing an addition of about 10 ft in and 10 ft out but 2" 90s and new multi-valve. When my old DE filter was in prime condition, with new grids, and 2.23 HPSF pump the lowest clean filter pressure I ever had was 14 psi. (When I crank up the new pump to >3000 rpms it doesn't even get to 10 psi.) With new filter and pump, running 1555 rpm, 316 watts, 34 gpm, for 2 turn overs per day (24K water), the clean filter pressure is almost 5 psi.

    I would think if you have only a tiny fraction of the blown in and carried in fine particles like I have, your current filter and pump set up using cellulose might be a MAJOR big GOOD surprise for you and you will save some money. With "normal" environmental conditions, as most people have, you will potentially be able to go at the very least a month and possibly several months between backwashing. And when you do back wash you'll be enriching your soil and not depositing a substance that is harmful to lungs, especially when stirred up by traffic or wind.

    I would say you can't really lose anything by giving cellulose a try. You do though have to thoroughly clean the grids prior to switching between cellulose and DE.

    Also, the cellulose, in my new filter clears off of grids (cartridges actually in the Pentair Quad) a lot faster than the DE ever did and doesn't leave as much stuck in there like DE does. It may be a function of the filter innards but virtually all of the cellulose is cleared out with a normal backwash. That's a huge savings in water.

    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: Thinking of replacing my D.E. filter with a cartridge filter

    Quote Originally Posted by rkgdmd
    However, if you're one of those guys who swims at night, with scuba gear, and a specially designed micrometer to measure particulate size that might not be there with a DE filter, maybe the carts are not for you .
    Rob
    you know, I do tend to do that a few times during the summer to get the corners.
    28,500g IG Vinyl Grecian
    48ft2 Purex Triton D.E. Filter
    Dolphin Dynamic
    PS234 Testkit

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