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Thread: My D.E. Filter Wants to Explode

  1. Back To Top    #1

    My D.E. Filter Wants to Explode

    Hello all,

    I need a bit of advice on how I should handle the following situation.

    Some background info about my pool: 25,000 gallon in-ground pool, chlorinated, with a D.E. Hayward Perflex filter (with the fingers), and Sta-Rite Duraglas pump.

    On September 9th (exactly two weeks ago), I got home from work and noticed that my pump was outrageously loud, meaning the bearings needed replacement. It took until this past Saturday (9/20) before I finally got the pump back from repairs. This means that I had stagnant water for around 11 days, including 7 inches of rain during this period. At this point, the water was cloudy enough to where I couldn't see the bottom in the deep end. There was also some algae visible in a few spots in the shallow end.

    So, after getting the pump back, I was glad to get the water circulating. On Sunday (9/21) I shocked it, added chlorine to the chemical feeder, added some Borax and Baking Soda, and also backwashed the filter and added about 5 lbs of D.E.

    Sunday evening (9/21), after running some errands, I got home and noticed that the D.E. filter was leaking water, at a fairly rapid rate, around the whole top edge of the casement. I checked the pressure gauge on the filter (typically runs from 5-15psi), which was showing 35-40 psi! Needless to say, I shut off the pump immediately, until I could get a chance to clean the filter.

    So, yesterday (9/22), I washed the filter for the first time since opening the pool this spring. I unbolted the lid, pulled out the manifold with the fingers and rinsed it down thoroughly. There was quite a bit of caked D.E. stuck at the top of the fingers where they meet the manifold, along with a bit of green, slimey material (algae?) that looked like snot (sorry to be gross!). After getting the fingers & manifold looking nice and clean, I re-assembled the filter and added more D.E. (I backwashed before cleaning).

    I then proceeded to vacuum the pool, as it had been over two weeks since it had been cleaned, and there was quite a bit of dirt at the bottom. While vacuuming, I also noticed that the algae had not been killed from the Sunday night shock treatment. I tried to avoid running the vacuum head over the algae because I've heard it's better to remove it when it's dead; however, I did suck up a little bit of it accidentally. After vacuuming, I added some more shock and then added the last of my algaecide (8 ounces). The pressue of the filter at this time, before going to bed, was about 5 psi.

    Anyways, this morning, I got up and looked out the window and noticed that the water level in the pool looked a bit low. So, I went outside and saw that the filter wanted to explode (pressure of ~30psi)! Water was pouring out of it from all sides at a very high rate. I would estimate that I lost probably 3-4 inches of water overnight!

    1) So, I talked to a lady from a local pool store this morning, and she said that she thinks that the algae caused this problem. Does it sound reasonable that even just sucking up a little bit of algae would cause this much of a disturbance with the filter? I have never had any sorts of problems like this over the summer (only owned the house since January).

    2) I never noticed any of this prior to having the pump bearings / shaft seal replaced. Could there be an issue between the pump & the filter?

    I did notice water still coming from the jets in the pool this morning, so I would assume it is not a clog in the return line.

    I plan on performing another cleaning again after work today, in hopes that it is just the algae. It just seems drastic as to how much of an effect a little algae would make. Like I said, the pressure was still fairly low prior to going to bed last night, but then overnight, it shot up.

    Has anyone seen anything similar to this?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    monkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Shrewsbury MA

    Re: My D.E. Filter Wants to Explode

    Hey 777,
    I had similar pressure isssues with my DE filter while fighting may alge bloom in the spring, I also had a cover leak in the pool so there was all kinds of leaf decay and such. A real swamp
    While cleaning it though, I experienced pressure build up as you have. I actually had cleaned the gid three days in a row until the pressure would remian reasonable, then I let it run until the water was sparkling, then cleaned it again. Backwashing may give you an indication of a clogged filter if the pressure drops off afterwards. The crud and slime your seeing in the filter is the same as what I saw. I know it's a pain but you may just have to pull it and clean it,maybe each time it gets too high or try every other backwash. As far as the housing leaking, it shouldn't be (bad o-ring ?) but it might be what is actually keeping your housing from exploding. I would shut it down and backwash then check the pressure. If it gets better (or not)consider removing it and cleaning the grid.
    Does your filter leak all the time or is it just when the pressure goes through the roof?
    Has it always run at 5psi under normal (water) conditions?
    Can you post a set of numbers so we can evaluate the condition of your water?
    What method are you using to sanitize. You most likely have a serious alge problem that you'll have to attack, we won't know until you post some numbers
    Have you had a chance to read up on any of the alge fighting topics, you'll need to buy a lot of bleach to get on top of this. if your FC is "zero".

    Keep in touch

    14x28 IG Vinyl
    12.5k gal
    Hayward SP-Super Pump
    Hayward Pro-Grid 36sqft DE
    Hayward auto chlorine feeder (offline:using BBB)
    Hayward AG Gas heater

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: My D.E. Filter Wants to Explode

    P777, welcome to TFP!!

    jb is being helpful but may have overlooked the fact that your filter is a 'bump' style, it happens - other than the filter style, his info is right on. With your filter, you can't truly 'backwash' it. I wrote a post last spring on use and care for DE filters here - please read it and see if it doesn't help. (if you need any more info on the filter - never hesitate to ask )

    Again, welcome - we'll be here to help when you need it
    Luv& Luk

    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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