Questions After Manually Cleaning DE Filter

Surf Hawk

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 13, 2013
114
0
Santa Barbara, CA
#1
I have a 48sqft Hayward DE filter that I was told on this forum is too small, but I'm keeping it for now since it is only 4 years old. Previous owner used Leslie's brand cellulose instead of DE and I have been doing the same. Recently, I have been having to backflush every 1-2 weeks as the pressure rises from 22 to 28 psi in that time. When it gets to 30-31psi I can't even vacuum my pool.

Since I don't know how long it has been since the last manual cleaning, I took it apart this weekend and cleaned it after doing a few backflush/rinse cycles. I found a lot of clumping of the celluse material which I have heard people complain about. I think it was my fault as I was dumping the stuff in the skimmer instead of making sure it mixes well first.

After my manual cleaning (but no chemical cleaning) the filter pressure was 20psi w/o any cellulose and barely rose after adding cellulose very slowly to the skimmer.

A few questions, then some photos

1) Do these grid photos look normal? You can see some clumping of material where the backflush was not able to get it all out. One photo shows algae on part of the grid, this was pretty common with all the grids I cleaned.

2) After a manual cleaning, do I need to fill the lower half of the filter up with water before closing it up and starting the pump? Any other procedure I should do when starting up again?

3) I tried to do the test to see if I needed to chemically clean but wasn't sure how to do it. Do I pour water in through the inlet to a grid and see how long it takes to disperse? Or do I just spray water from the outside of the grid? I actually had a hard time getting water into the grid just from the outside. We have very hard water so I imagine I have a lot of build up.

4) What can I safely use to do the manual cleaning? Is a brush OK? I had a hard time getting the algae off with just a stream of water so I'd rub them down with my hands.

5) Is it better to just keep the grid array all together for manual and chemical cleaning? I thought dumping that whole array in a bath of MA sounds like a lot of MA, do people pull all the grids out and lay them down on each in a bath instead?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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#2
First your filter is not to small for your pool. The reason you see clumping on the filter grids is because when you drain the filter tank the dirt and cellulose will fall off the filter grid. You should do a manual cleaning before swim season and at the end of swim season every year. From your pictures I see you already know how to tare the filter down when cleaning the filter use a garden hose with a spray nozzle and wash down the outside of the filter grid. It is better to disassemble to each individual filter grid for better clening
 

jsb91010

In The Industry
Oct 15, 2013
29
0
#3
yup everything looks fine.. when you clean them use a hose with a nozzle, and take each grid out and clean them. no need for a "chemical" or rubbing down, just water and a hose with nozzle... make sure to clean the filter with the open end on the bottom that way the water can "run" out while your cleaning it and won't pool up inside the grids. I wouldn't get fancy, just use regular DE powder
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,197
4
Tucson, AZ
#4
We are kind of in-flux on the filter sizes we recommend. In the past we have been erring on the side of larger, in that they are the most trouble-free. Although likely your are fine with the filter you have (of course I like the 60 sqft that came on my 18k pool). If it every breaks, then you could consider going larger to reduce the frequency of required backwashing.

Your questions:
1) Yup they look normal, I have had worse stains on mine.
2) No you do not need to fill the filter up with water
3) You would put water inside the grid and see how easily it drains out. This would only be a problem due to calcium scaling and the grid material would be stiff. You are probably fine
4) I just use a spray nozzle and call it good
5) Easiest to spray if you take the assembly apart. Likely also easier to soak that way as well if so desired.

You have seen this right? use-and-care-for-de-filters-t4086.html
 

Surf Hawk

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 13, 2013
114
0
Santa Barbara, CA
#5
Thanks for the answers, glad to know my filter looks normal since this is the first time I've ever seen one. Yes I read and re-read the pool school on DE filters, very helpful and gave me the confidence to do it myself. Also, this youtube video was really helpful to learn how to pull the grids apart (and more importantly, put them back in): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCxhwuf5NM4
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,197
4
Tucson, AZ
#6
I used to get SO ANGRY trying to put my filter back together .... most of the problem was that many of the grids had internal cracks that would make getting things lined up a pain. Then I bought a set of new grids and the top manifold goes on so easily now :goodjob:

I am not sure what the video shows, but I prefer to put the grids back together right side up and then set the top manifold on. I have seen others suggest putting it back together upside down, but seems to me that it would be hard to get all the grids in the right small slots on the bottom piece.

Once you do it a couple times it seems to get easier.
 

Surf Hawk

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 13, 2013
114
0
Santa Barbara, CA
#7
The video actually shows opposite of how you do it. Before I watched the video, I tried to do the method you use and I could not align the 8 manifold holes, and I couldn't do it the other way to align the grids in the slots. I thought I was in deep doo doo until I saw the video. If you do it upside down the way the video does it, you can pop the grids in the manifold holes, and then you can kind of wiggle the bottom piece on. It takes a minute of wiggling but you can kind of feel which grid is holding you up, move it into the slot, and keep wiggling until it all pops on.

I would not have had the confidence to do any of this stuff without this site.