Oldie but goodie, Hayward Perflex DE filter spews dirty water on startup...

dcaputi

Member
Aug 2, 2021
5
New York
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
I found this post (and this forum) as the top hit for a google search of the problem I'm having with my DE filter:
Newbie, Hayward Perflex DE filter spews dirty water on startup...
Unfortunately, the moderator deleted my inquiry/reply to it because the post is "too old".
Not sure what the point of deleting it was (the topic is unanswered and EXACTLY matches the problem I'm having) but I was invited to type the whole thing in again. :rolleyes:
Hayward still makes the same model filter and it's probably one of the most common DE filters in my area. My next door neighbor has one, my mother in law has one, and this is my 3rd EC model I've had in my 30 years as a pool owner. (maybe I'm too old and should be deleted :LOL:) ... Needless to say I've never had this problem until now and so I turn to the power of the internet and all you smart people to help solve it.

If you haven't read the aforementioned post by now, I'll summarize the problem here:
Every time the pump is started, I get a large plume of a green-brown DE cloud spewing out of the return nozzle. It usually stops within a minute after starting up. It doesn't matter how long the filter was off. I've taken apart the tank and inspected the fingers, gasket, diaphragm, etc. and there's no obvious cracks or splits in any part of the assembly and the parts all fit together soundly.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or clues to this frustrating problem!
 

Panzer

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2009
92
South Chicago burbs
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Have you been cleaning your filter media support (filter fingers) Flex Tubes, as prescribed in the Preventative Maintenance section? Additionally, you may want to check the fingers for a slight tear if the DE is actually entering the pool. My old filter would do it on initial precoating of the season but, then no clouds going into the pool. I replaced that filter with another EC40 and do not have any issues with DE entering the pool.

Preventative Maintenance-
While Perflex filters are basically resistant to the difficulties often encountered as a result of chemical build-up in swimming pools, it is important to keep in mind that the mineral content in a pool increases every day as a result of the chemicals and the normal water evaporation process.
If the concentration of minerals is allowed to get too high, the minerals will form deposits on the Flex-Tubes inside the filter, and will eventually result in shortened filter cycles. To guard against this, a yearly chemical cleaning (soaking) of the Flex-Tube assembly is suggested. Use commercially available 20% muriatic acid added to water in 1 to 1 ratio; OR use other commercial filter element cleaner mixed in accordance to the package instructions

I usually add some Dawn dish soap to help cut the oils/sunblock/etc that get into the water and coat the fingers as well. Additionally, if you haven't disassembled & cleaned the filter in some time, it's possible that you've got some nasty stuff growing in there. At the end of season I pull it all apart and give the fingers a good soaking in a 5 gal bucket of dilute muriatic & dish soap and clean the body and filter discharge out. Put it up for winter and ready to roll as soon as it's reassembled in the Spring.

Do NOT use high pressure water or streams to clean the Flex Tubes. If you open the weave on that material, you will get bypassing of your filter.
Respectfully,
 

dcaputi

Member
Aug 2, 2021
5
New York
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
Do NOT use high pressure water or streams to clean the Flex Tubes. If you open the weave on that material, you will get bypassing of your filter.

I think you hit the nail on the head with that advise. I was trying to remember when this problem began and realize it started shortly after I opened the tank and used a garden hose to clean the fingers. Incidentally, the reason I thought I needed to do that was because I had used a DE substitute and it was not performing well. So thinking I needed to unclog the mesh fabric with a high pressure hose was quite possibly the death of my filter.

Luckily, my mother in law is going to abandon her pool and I can have her EC40 :sneaky:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Panzer

dcaputi

Member
Aug 2, 2021
5
New York
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Vinyl
So I replaced the filter with my mother-in-laws 2 year old EC40. What's weird is it's doing the same thing - not nearly as bad as mine and perhaps it won't cloud the water over time but we shall see.

I wonder if the DE material is a problem. We had a shortage in the beginning of the season and the local supplier was selling Perlite. I'm not using that stuff anymore because I needed to rule it out as the problem with my original filter. But are all DE brands created equal? I'm beginning to suspect not. Another goof I had was trying to use DE powder marketed for gardening. That was a disaster! - It immediately clogged the filter.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
12,297
SW PA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
So I replaced the filter with my mother-in-laws 2 year old EC40. What's weird is it's doing the same thing - not nearly as bad as mine and perhaps it won't cloud the water over time but we shall see.

I wonder if the DE material is a problem. We had a shortage in the beginning of the season and the local supplier was selling Perlite. I'm not using that stuff anymore because I needed to rule it out as the problem with my original filter. But are all DE brands created equal? I'm beginning to suspect not. Another goof I had was trying to use DE powder marketed for gardening. That was a disaster! - It immediately clogged the filter.
I hate that Perlite Crud. I go straight to DE. I grabbed some one day to clear a swamp with my DE filter and it took me 5-7 days instead of 2 with regular DE. So I'm with you right there. Perlite is not the same. If I remember correctly it is a lot lighter than DE.
 

Panzer

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2009
92
South Chicago burbs
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The restrictor plate comes installed on the unit. My unit was purchased from Hayward with the 1 hp motor. They even sell it with a 1.5 hp motor optional (which I'd agree is a waste of money)
Unless someone removed the plate (when replacing the check valve?) and forgot to reinstall it.

I've always used the Celite or Dicalite DE for loading my filter.
Respectfully,
 

hwy17

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2021
176
Northern California
The restrictor plate comes installed on the unit. My unit was purchased from Hayward with the 1 hp motor. They even sell it with a 1.5 hp motor optional (which I'd agree is a waste of money)
Unless someone removed the plate (when replacing the check valve?) and forgot to reinstall it.

I've always used the Celite or Dicalite DE for loading my filter.
Respectfully,

Mine came dangling on the plug that comes in the pressure valve port, not installed in it. I didn't know what it was at the time. I now use a 3/4hp pump with no restrictor.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread