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Thread: D.E. Returning through drain

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    D.E. Returning through drain

    Hello,

    Just bought a house last fall with a pool. Trying to get it going for the first time this year. I have been able to clear the water and balance the chemistry. However, I notice D.E. accumulating in the deep end of my pool. I thought that perhaps I should flush my filter (Hayward Perflex). First, I vacuumed the pool clean, then began the backflush process. It was then that I noticed the D.E. was coming out of my drain. I finished the filter cleaning and am currently running the pump. Should this fix the problem, or will I find D.E. returning as soon as I stop the circulation? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Best,
    Tad

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Welcome to TFP!

    DE in the pool usually means that there is a tear in one of the grids inside the filter that is letting DE through into the pool. I suppose someone could have spilled some DE into the pool instead, but that seems much less likely.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Thanks for the quick response. The filter in question has a number of finger-like projections. I have inspected them and see no obvious tears. Would I be able to notice such a tear?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The tears, if any, are usually, but not always, visible with a close inspection.

    You might want to wait and see how much DE is getting through and if it gets worse over time, instead of fixing it right now. Sometimes there are very small tears that only let a little bit of DE through when the fingers are first getting coated with DE. In that case it is usually worth living with it for a while instead of replacing all the fingers right away.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5
    And would a torn finger be responsible for d.e. returning through the drain? Or would that D.E. come back in through a return jet? Sorry for all the questions, but I have three weeks of questions built up and just found this great resource!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    I had a similar problem with DE returning to the pool. You are correct in that if DE is coming through a return, it usually means torn grids. But if you have DE coming back through the suction line, it could be different. I had this problem and it was solved by installing a check valve between the pump and filter. Do you have a check valve installed?
    Tucson, AZ
    20K gal IG Gunite with spa on same system
    Nautilus Stainless Steel 48 sqft DE filter
    1.5 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump

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    No. I don't believe I do. Would that be part of the exterior plumbing, or part of the filter system itself?

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    It would be part of the piping going from your pump to your filter. All it is is a valve that prevents any backflow, so that water cannot return to the pool through the suction lines. If you just have nothing but pipe going from the pump to the filter, you probably don't have one.

    You can buy them at most hardware and plumbing stores. I am not sure how comfortable you are with plumbing, but its not that hard to put one in. You would just have to cut into that line and install one. Hope that helps.
    Tucson, AZ
    20K gal IG Gunite with spa on same system
    Nautilus Stainless Steel 48 sqft DE filter
    1.5 hp Hayward MaxFlo pump

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    Thanks. I am not comfortable with plumbing, but know someone who is. I will ask for his help and see what happens.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Airmont, NY
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    1

    Re: D.E. Returning through drain

    One other reason I was told by the people who close my pool... DE that shows up at the bottom of the pool in the deep end can be caused by putting too much DE in when you backwash it. It is a tedious process but when this happens, we take our AquaBot over the drains where the DE is pooling and pick it up that way. It will take several days. Just did not want everyone to rush out and replace the filter grids. We are in the NY area and unfortunately, even when you may not need to replace something you are told that you do. That is why I recommend getting 3 estimates anytime you are having something done by an outside company. I do not mean to paint all pool maintenance companies in NY to be dishonest but unfortunately my experience has not been good here and I have done unnecessary expensive work when I did not need to. Once you find a company that does quality work, that you can trust and charges fair prices you can eliminate the 3 estimates.
    I do have a question for one of the experts on DE. I realize it can be dangerous when it is in the dry powdery state. Breathing it in means you are breathing in known carcinogens. How about when it is wet and down by the drain in the deep end. Sometimes we brush it and it dissipates into the treated water. Is it dangerous when it is in this state? Does anyone know a better way to get rid of the excess in the bottom of the deep end?
    Thank you and I wish you all good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by herold31 View Post
    Hello,

    Just bought a house last fall with a pool. Trying to get it going for the first time this year. I have been able to clear the water and balance the chemistry. However, I notice D.E. accumulating in the deep end of my pool. I thought that perhaps I should flush my filter (Hayward Perflex). First, I vacuumed the pool clean, then began the backflush process. It was then that I noticed the D.E. was coming out of my drain. I finished the filter cleaning and am currently running the pump. Should this fix the problem, or will I find D.E. returning as soon as I stop the circulation? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Best,
    Tad
    35,000 Gallons IG Gunite / Filter works with DE / Pool is Heated / 3 Level Waterfall

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    montville, Nj
    Posts
    3

    Re: D.E. Returning through drain

    I had the same month problem, open up your multiport valve, its only a few screws , inside is rubber washer which deteriorates easily and my valve was cracked. The new one now correctly closes the ports to the setting you want and prevents the dirty water and filter media from being blown back into your water

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