DE Stainless Steel Filter clamps leaking

RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
Attempting to open the pool the first time by myself this year. I think I've got everything working so far except for 1 major problem. I have a old (likely extremely old) Nautilus Stainless Steel DE Filter and I can't get the clamps around the middle of the filter right. Water starts shooting everywhere out of the middle of the filter when I turn it on. I can't get the clamps sealed right around the middle of the canister.

The clamps connect on both sides. One bold is rusty and I'm guessing hasn't moved in forever (Pic 1). The other side is some kind of T-bolt with like a brass sleeve nut (Pic 2). (I assume this is not some kind of original part and the pool guy just gave me whatever he happened to have on his truck last year when opening.) There was a spring (Pic 3) involved somewhere on the T-bolt/sleeve (Pic 2). I tried putting it in the middle but in the made problem even worse.




Any suggestions? Am I missing something completely obvious here? Or do I just try my best to tighten the living heck out of both sides of the clamp?

Apologies in advance if I'm butchering any of these terms. Thanks.
 

BassPlayingDude

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Jun 13, 2018
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@RobHudson DANGER!!

☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️

There are two washers, one on either side of the spring... the tension is correct when the spring coils just touch. Too loose can be VERY dangerous, because 20psi of pressure is enough to eject the top with TREMENDOUS force. It can be deadly. I HIGHLY suggest you either replace the filter or buy new clamp hardware and a new o-ring gasket from inyopools.com.

PLEASE turn off your pump IMMEDIATELY before that fails catastrophically and injures you or others!
 
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RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
@RobHudson DANGER!!

☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️

There are two washers, one on either side of the spring... the tension is correct when the spring coils just touch. Too loose can be VERY dangerous, because 20psi of pressure is enough to eject the top with TREMENDOUS force. It can be deadly. I HIGHLY suggest you either replace the filter or buy new clamp hardware and a new o-ring gasket from inyopools.com.

PLEASE turn off your pump IMMEDIATELY before that fails catastrophically and injures you or others!
No worries. I turned it off immediately when firing it up after a second of water shoot it out.
 

BassPlayingDude

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Whew. Good. My buddy works with a pool company and knows a guy with half his face smashed in because of this. Dude was in ICU for like 6 weeks and was lucky he survived. The top let go while he was working on it with the pump running and it caught him square in the face. Lucky for him, he was working with a partner that day who could call 911 instead of working solo, or he might have bled out right there.

 
Last edited:

RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
Whew. Good. My buddy works with a pool company and knows a guy with half his face smashed in because of this. Dude was in ICU for like 6 weeks and was lucky he survived.
I see your in Media. I'm in Lansdale. In case I don't get this myself, do you have a pool company that you trust?

I've been googling clamps for what I believe is filter model (pac fab ns48 ) for about an hour now and none of them look like mine. Or if the clamp resembles mine, the screws do not. I haven't seen anything where the clamp is 2 halves with a normal screw on one side and spring loaded assembly on the other. I have to wonder if mine is both super old and half rigged (w/ screw) by pool guy.
 

BassPlayingDude

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Jun 13, 2018
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I use Yarnell Pools for doing my closing because I don't have a blower. They are pretty good guys. They may very well try to sell you a filter replacement though. How old is that thing?

It's possible that someone Jerry-Rigged it and that the original clamp looks different. As long as the width of the ridge and circumference are correct for your model, it should work. Mine actually is spring-loaded on BOTH sides of the clamp, so yours probably was also at one time. :unsure:

Like I said before, I would NEVER run that thing under pressure without the correct clamp properly installed on it. This is nothing to fool with, it's just too dangerous. I only take my filter down for cleaning about once per year, and after I put it together I stand WELL clear when I turn the pump on for the first time even though I KNOW that I have it on correctly and have done it several times. I also take a photo before removing it and compare it with that photo when putting things back together just to be certain I have gotten it right.
 
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BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
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If you DO end up replacing it, I would make sure that you are getting a multiport valve with the new filter so you can recirc, backwash, rinse, filter and vacuum to waste. I would also very seriously consider getting a SWCG plumbed in at the same time. If your pump is also old and krunked, consider getting a Variable Speed Pump .. they save a ton of $$$ on electricity.
 

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RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
I use Yarnell Pools for doing my closing because I don't have a blower. They are pretty good guys. They may very well try to sell you a filter replacement though. How old is that thing?

It's possible that someone Jerry-Rigged it and that the original clamp looks different. As long as the width of the ridge and circumference are correct for your model, it should work. Mine actually is spring-loaded on BOTH sides of the clamp, so yours probably was also at one time. :unsure:

Like I said before, I would NEVER run that thing under pressure without the correct clamp properly installed on it. This is nothing to fool with, it's just too dangerous. I only take my filter down for cleaning about once per year, and after I put it together I stand WELL clear when I turn the pump on for the first time even though I KNOW that I have it on correctly and have done it several times. I also take a photo before removing it and compare it with that photo when putting things back together just to be certain I have gotten it right.
I wish I could figure I how old it is. All the info on the sticker was already worn off when we moved in 8 years. I've looked at tons of Pac Fab Nautilus DE Filter manuals online and I've never seen anything that matched it exactly.
 

RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
I wouldn't get rid of something just because its old, but if it can't be made safe, better to trash it and get a new one. That applies to spouses too! LOL
Do you (or anyone) have a trick for getting parts quickly? I tried intheswim, which is my usual go-to. Even if I pay for overnight, that's overnight only AFTER 3-5 days to pack and ship the order. Currently waiting for discussion with inyopool rep.
 

BassPlayingDude

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2018
439
Media, PA
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Sorry nope. It's possible that a service like Yarnell or similar may have a local source for parts that I am not aware of. They may also have to rely on the same supply logistics chain, who knows?
 

RobHudson

Active member
Aug 25, 2020
38
Philadelphia, PA
Sorry nope. It's possible that a service like Yarnell or similar may have a local source for parts that I am not aware of. They may also have to rely on the same supply logistics chain, who knows?
Got the new clamp and I'm back in business. One question on air pressure at start up. What's the correct way to set the air pressure relief valve? I'm reading correctly, I start the pump with it closed. After the pump has primed, open the valve till water comes out (which means air has been let out), and then close. Turn off the pump and repeat until water is the only thing that comes out.

Do I have this correct?
 

BassPlayingDude

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Jun 13, 2018
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Media, PA
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You don't turn off pump... just open valve until only water comes out, then close it. Take note of pressure now. When it rises 25% from this point, time to backwash and replace 80% of DE.
 

IUsedToSail

Bronze Supporter
Jul 22, 2020
85
Maryland
I see your in Media. I'm in Lansdale. In case I don't get this myself, do you have a pool company that you trust?

I've been googling clamps for what I believe is filter model (pac fab ns48 ) for about an hour now and none of them look like mine. Or if the clamp resembles mine, the screws do not. I haven't seen anything where the clamp is 2 halves with a normal screw on one side and spring loaded assembly on the other. I have to wonder if mine is both super old and half rigged (w/ screw) by pool guy.
Funny... I saw his picture and the location and it reminded me of my late father's pool filter. He lived right next to Lansdale... Bumpy Pools built his pool.
 

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