Filter becomes clogged after an hour

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
Pool filters are really not designed to clean the water. They are designed to keep the water clean.

In other words, they don't do well with heavy loads.

At this point, you need to take the filter apart and spray down the fingers with a hose to get them really clean.

There are a few videos on YouTube that show how to do the break down and cleaning.
 

microscopes

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2016
106
Buffalo, NY
Pool filters are really not designed to clean the water. They are designed to keep the water clean.

In other words, they don't do well with heavy loads.

At this point, you need to take the filter apart and spray down the fingers with a hose to get them really clean.

There are a few videos on YouTube that show how to do the break down and cleaning.
Oh I’m well aware of that process now! Haha
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,427
If you're vacuuming heavy debris and you don't want to clog the filter, you can rig up a waste line coming out of the drain. Remove the drain plug and screw in a valve. Then, run a waste line from there.
 

crusemm

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
342
North Texas
Filters get more efficient as they get loaded. Think of your DE filter as a giant net , like maybe an AC filter in your house. As it traps the algae, those grid squares get smaller, meaning that stuff that may have slipped through between the grids is now too big too fit and gets trapped. This in turn makes your grid squares smaller again, so you catch smaller stuff. If you started with a green swamp, and then killed it all with the FC, now that dead algae is collecting in your filter and clogging it up. The DE is working as designed. A more powerful pump will put flow through your filter longer, but you will also develop a higher filter pressure, and possibly damage your filter. What I would suggest is either some sort of prefilter - maybe you could pick up a reusable cartridge type filter you could plumb in-line, or a larger DE filter (more surface area).
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,476
SW PA
I have cleared a swamp in 2 days with my filter. I hook up the vacuum and pull the water through the filter and open up the waste line and shut the pump off and vacuum all the crud off the bottom. You need to give yourself time to babysit that filter. The only time you will hate it is clearing a swamp. I love mine. I'll never own a sand filter. Make sure you cover your pool this winter (close late) with a solid cover (open early).
 

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microscopes

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2016
106
Buffalo, NY
I have cleared a swamp in 2 days with my filter. I hook up the vacuum and pull the water through the filter and open up the waste line and shut the pump off and vacuum all the crud off the bottom. You need to give yourself time to babysit that filter. The only time you will hate it is clearing a swamp. I love mine. I'll never own a sand filter. Make sure you cover your pool this winter (close late) with a solid cover (open early).
You shut the pump off? So the vacuum that was created is enough to pull the crud from the bottom?
 

microscopes

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2016
106
Buffalo, NY
Filters get more efficient as they get loaded. Think of your DE filter as a giant net , like maybe an AC filter in your house. As it traps the algae, those grid squares get smaller, meaning that stuff that may have slipped through between the grids is now too big too fit and gets trapped. This in turn makes your grid squares smaller again, so you catch smaller stuff. If you started with a green swamp, and then killed it all with the FC, now that dead algae is collecting in your filter and clogging it up. The DE is working as designed. A more powerful pump will put flow through your filter longer, but you will also develop a higher filter pressure, and possibly damage your filter. What I would suggest is either some sort of prefilter - maybe you could pick up a reusable cartridge type filter you could plumb in-line, or a larger DE filter (more surface area).
Thanks for this. Good visual!
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,476
SW PA
You shut the pump off? So the vacuum that was created is enough to pull the crud from the bottom?
Yes. I put the vac hose up against the return n blow the water through the hose to get the air out. Hook it up the the skimmer and then open the waste line. Shut the pump off and vac to waste. I've cleared a swamp twice in less than a week by doing this.
 
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crusemm

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
342
North Texas
Yes. I put the vac hose up against the return n blow the water through the hose to get the air out. Hook it up the the skimmer and then open the waste line. Shut the pump off and vac to waste. I've cleared a swamp twice in less than a week by doing this.
The only down side to this is it removes a lot of water, and with the addition of fresh water, will require more FC to and possibly accid/soda ash to rebalance pH. If you have high CYA, not a bad solution, as you have to do the water change out anyway to lower CYA. If CYA is good, then additional CYA must be added to maintain it in band. I'm not saying not to do it, it is a viable solution, and would alleviate the filter issue, just making sure that you are aware of the trade off.
 
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swargolet

Member
May 28, 2019
20
WI
I was in a similar situation about a month ago when trying to get convert from Baquacil to Chlorine and even got so frustrated that I was starting to look into sand filters as I thought that issue was with the DE filter as mine also doesn't have a multi-port valve. It really is just a process of SLAMing and babysitting the filter. Bump (don't drain the DE) to get some pressure back so you can vacuum and skim. You'll most likely have to stop vacuuming and bump multiple times just to finish the full vacuum job. Then clean and hose out the filter completely once the pressure really can't be kept at a somewhat useful level.
You could maybe try using a hairnet or skimmer sock to filter out some of the algae and other stuff before it gets to your filter. I always have a hairnet around my skimmer now and just clean it out daily or every other day as I personally hate having to take the whole filter apart just to clean it out.

I know it's a headache now, but stick with it and once finished it will be much easier and you'll end up not hating your DE filter.
 
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Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,476
SW PA
The only down side to this is it removes a lot of water, and with the addition of fresh water, will require more FC to and possibly accid/soda ash to rebalance pH. If you have high CYA, not a bad solution, as you have to do the water change out anyway to lower CYA. If CYA is good, then additional CYA must be added to maintain it in band. I'm not saying not to do it, it is a viable solution, and would alleviate the filter issue, just making sure that you are aware of the trade off.
There is always a downside but to get through a SLAM with a DE Filter this is a very viable solution. I've cleared a SWAMP twice and I'd really not want to do it again. Especially with a DE Filter.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,465
Houston, Texas
With a DE filter you need to have a multiport valve or redo the plumbing so you can bypass the filter. When you need to SLAM, you bypass the filter until the algae is all dead, then do the marathon filtering to remove it.
Marty, smaller D.E. filters marketed for smaller pools do not use a multi port or slide valve. Instead they have a bump mechanism used to knock off the DE when return flow slows. The D.E. redistributes and gains you, in theory, more filtering time. Never worked that way for me. When the D.E. is saturated with dirt you open up the filter and hose everything off, no backwash function either. This particular model has “tubes” that look like giant mop strings that hold the D.E. filter medium.

If you can’t get any decent filter time between D.E. charges then you may need to soak the tubes overnight in TSP, or dishwasher powder. If you search DE filter grid cleaning you should be able to find the instructions.
 

microscopes

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2016
106
Buffalo, NY
Marty, smaller D.E. filters marketed for smaller pools do not use a multi port or slide valve. Instead they have a bump mechanism used to knock off the DE when return flow slows. The D.E. redistributes and gains you, in theory, more filtering time. Never worked that way for me. When the D.E. is saturated with dirt you open up the filter and hose everything off, no backwash function either. This particular model has “tubes” that look like giant mop strings that hold the D.E. filter medium.
Yep that's exactly right.