DE Filter Question

chriscard25

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2010
49
OK, I am slowly realizing I know nothing about pools! I filled my 24' ABG yesterday, and started the pump as soon as the water was high enough--however, it ran for about an hour before I realized i still needed to put DE in it--UGH. Any damage occure because of this?

Thanks.
 

Peter_S

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
70
NE Ohio
My Hayward manual says the DE needs to be added steadily but within two minutes (I think two but it's a short time) of starting the pump or damage may occur. I have no idea what kind of damage.

Did you put DE in? My guess is that if you don't see any DE flowing into the pool it's probably okay. I hope so.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

With a freshly filled pool, I seriously doubt any harm came to the filter!

Don't worry about DE going back into the pool at this time, I see no reason that it would :cool:

You made a small and harmless mistake, I don't think the Pool Gods will demand tribute in this case :-D

If it gives you any trouble, let me know and I'll walk you through fixing it (I assume you've got an EC 40 filter, correct me if I'm wrong)
 

Peter_S

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
70
NE Ohio
chriscard25 said:
Hello,
Yes. I put it in. What would the DE look like if it was in the pool?
You would see a white plume of fine dust where the return enters the pool. I think it would be pretty noticeable.

I looked again at the filter pre-coat instructions and did NOT see any reference to damaging the filter if the DE was not added at start up so I am VERY sorry if I caused you any unneeded stress.

However, it does say the filter should not operate for more than ONE minute without the DE pre-coat. Why? I just don't know :)

I think you are fine.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,068
Houston, Texas
If you have debris in your pool that is allowed to get in the filter before the grids are coated, the debris can damage the fabric on the grids. A rock or stick in there bouncing around could do some damage. Unless your pump is way overpowered the flow of water alone will not hurt the grids.

If you were cleaning up a swampy mess, running the filter without the DE could cause debris to become embedded in the grids and make it difficult to impossible to clean and reduce the grids functional life.
 

chriscard25

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2010
49
Thanks all! It is a Clearwater II (waterway) filter, and no damage was done. The pool fill was trucked in from a municipal water supply--came in with a PH of 7.5 and 74 degrees-----drinking water. This whole DE thing was a reccomendation, and I am quite sure Sand would be easier---but I hardly ever take the simple way!
 

tim_pool_newbie

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
164
Hey britinusa, I have a DE filter, so I'm not at all knowledgeable about how sand filters work. Can you explain how they work, how you add sand to them, and therefore why they are easier to use than DE filters. I'm just asking out of curiosity. When I backwash my DE filter, I simply mix the scoops of DE powder in a bucket of water and pour them into the skimmer closest to the filter. Never really had a problem with it. Although the DE powder is very fine and a bit of the dust always flies around a bit, I make less mess of it than I do in the kitchen measuring out flour to bake a cake (and I'm pretty good at that!!). :)
 

Jersey Devil

Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2007
61
Jackson, NJ
Sand is not better, it is presumed to be easier. DE filters particles down to about 1-2 micron (millionths of an inch). The most acute human vision can see particles only down to about 5 micron. Sand filters down to about 10 micron (at best). Therefore, DE filtration is better (more effective). An interesting note: Most bacteria are larger than one micron, so DE can actually filter bacteria, but if you maintain proper FC there is really no bacterial load to speak of.

Sand filters require less maintenance because when you backwash them (to remove accumulated dirt) you don't lose sand. Therefore, you don't have to replace sand like you do DE in most of that type of filter. (The exception is the Hayward Perflex filter, which does not use a backwash. You regenerate by "bumping" to remove accumulated dirt from the finger-like filter elements). Also, sand lasts quite a long time (a couple of years) before it needs replacement. DE filters should be emptied and cleaned from two to several times a season, depending upon dirt load. If you ever get an algae bloom and kill it via shocking, DE will clear the pool up much faster and without any added clarifier. It will also require more frequent regeneration or backwash because it is catching more particulate matter faster. In general, both types of filter work well if you keep your pool well-maintained and balanced.
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
One thing about a sand filter is that it actually becomes more effective when it's a little dirty; as the 10-micron gaps start getting plugged up, it will start filtering smaller particles. In fact some people will put a bit of DE (say 1/2 lb) into a sand filter to "dirty" it on purpose. This gives you a filter closer to DE in effectiveness while being hardly any more effort than a sand filter.
--paulr