Opening a DE filter to inspect but not clean...

Floaty027

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
27
San Diego, CA
Morning everyone and happy coming swim season!

I am going to breakdown and clean my DE Pentair FNS Plus 60 today for the first time on my own. I have had assistance with pool guys in the past, but I realize it is pretty simple.

I have a question that I can't find online or through the forum searches:

Lets assume the cleaning is done, everything is reassembled, and the pump is flowing with new DE coated on the grids.

If I were to run into a problem as far as leaking O-rings or any situation where I would have to stop the pump and open the filter again just to inspect something...
does that mess with the DE distribution or require recharging the DE?
Meaning, can you just open a DE filter at any point and not cause disruption to the DE on the grids and simply slap the top back on?

Thanks!

Jake
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,214
Bedford, TX
Jake,

It is an all or nothing job... You can't really open to inspect it. You basically have to start over.

As you say, it is a pretty simple job..

The hardest part is if you decide to take the grid assembly apart for cleaning.. I usually do that, but it is not absolutely required. You can just rinse off the grids while still assembled between the upper and low manifolds.

I find that a dirty grid assembly is too heavy for me to lift out of the bottom half of the tank, so it makes sense for me to either backwash first, or to just rinse off the DE and let it go out of the filter drain plug.. The downside being that depending on the area around the pad, you might not want to dump the old DE there.

To add new DE, do not just dump dry DE in the skimmer.. Get a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket and add the amount of DE required for your specific filter. Then add water and stir to make a slurry.. With the pump running, slowly pour the slurry into the skimmer. You can almost get five gallons of water into the same bucket with almost 5 gallons of DE..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Floaty027

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
27
San Diego, CA
Thanks for the reply Jim.
All or nothing, if I just cleaned it? I guess what I am asking is not like a month down the road but literally I assembly it and add DE and then if there is an air leak or something I have to take the NEW DE off the grids and literally reapply?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,062
Don't add the DE until you have inspected the filter and you are sure that it is good.

It's not going to hurt anything to run for 10 minutes with no DE as long as the water is clean.
 

Floaty027

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
27
San Diego, CA
Thanks James, that is a logical point. I suppose any air bubbles or filter leaks would be apparent immediately upon start up.

I guess my question was too hypothetical. I just know a cartridge filter you can take the top off and put it back, I was wondering if it was the same for DE, open it up to maybe see how much DE is in there or something like that and put the top back on. But not really any reason that would be done.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,062
You can open the air relief and then remove the top if the water drains below the seal or remove the plug to drain the water.

You only have to add back the amount of DE that is lost.

In any case, wait until you have fully inspected the filter before adding DE.

Also, watch the returns for 5 minutes after adding the DE to make sure that nothing is bypassing the grids.
 

Floaty027

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
27
San Diego, CA
Well I am done.
Boy am I slow and methodical... or maybe just slow...

I think I reinstalled the grids correctly... pictures 2 & 3... I used the tutorial from jblizzle.

Also few more questions.

In the first picture, seems like a lot of wasted DE settled on the bottom, is that from my backwashing prior to disassembly or inadequate coating in the initial cleaning?

Also after I made a slurry and added to filter I did notice slight DE from returns but I know that is normal, but also some small bubbles coming from return which I figure is all the air coming out of the nooks and crannies:

How long after cleaning should bubbles not be coming out of return??

Thank you!
 

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Floaty027

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
27
San Diego, CA
Well in case anyone finds this post in the future... As most of my knowledge has come from researching on this site:

I let everything run awhile and the tiny bubbles did dissipate and no longer an issue. DE has cleared up from that initial cloud. Vacuumed and brushed and open for business!

First timers with cleaning DE filters be patient and use the tutorial that jblizzle posted in a sticky post under filters and pumps section.
Lube o-rings!
Make the DE slurry. Do not just dump in.

Good luck!

Jake