SLAMing inground pool with DE filter, no recirculate...

Medsy

New member
Jul 13, 2018
3
Wakefield, ma
This is my first time opening a pool. I think I closed down too early last fall and therefore opened up my pool to a nice shade of dark green. Never fear! I am a true believer in the TFP SLAM method and have stocked up on liquid chlorine.

I went through my first day, lots of sweeping and testing and pressure monitoring. That is where I am running into trouble. Throughout the day, I have been putting thin cloth skimmer socks on my skimmer baskets to try to save my DE filter. With all the stirred up algae, those get clogged up quickly (within an hour or two) and make my pump struggle badly. In the evening, I took the socks off and let the water/algae run through my filter. When I checked it before bed though, my filter was already up past my typical backwash pressure.

I know I am supposed to keep the water circulating 24/7 during SLAM but I am afraid of burning out my pump or breaking something. I only have a push/pull valve (no recirc option) and don't want to be constantly backwashing my filter and ditching brand new DE. Any advice on how best to handle this situation would be much appreciated, I can monitor the pump all day tomorrow but after that it's back to work and leaving the pump to fend for itself...

One thing I considered was removing the DE grid fins from the filter while I am not watching it but that sounds like a lot of work taking the filter apart every 24 hours.

Thanks in advance!!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: I wouldn't remove the grids either (or try to run the system without DE) to save on pressure. Since you have no MPV, during this early SLAM time where you have to be away from work, this may be a rare time where you may have no choice but to shut the system down. I just don't see any other option without a MPV. Hopefully soon, when you have a day or two to babysit the pool in the early SLAM, you may be able to keep the pressure managed better.
 

Medsy

New member
Jul 13, 2018
3
Wakefield, ma
Thanks for the confirmation TS! I dedicated the whole weekend to this and have been able to keep the FC levels at SLAM levels for the weekend. I have already backwashed my DE filter three times though and it's getting quite costly. I have turned off the pump for a little bit now and did an aggressive brushing to keep the water moving. I don't know what else I can do to "keep the pressure managed" without very frequent DE replacements...

I plan on turning the system back on for a bit in a few hours with intermittent brushing until then. I am hoping that giving the chlorine more time to kill the stuff should improve the situation.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
While DE filters are known for their exceptional filtration abilities, it comes back to haunt us at times like this when the filters grab ALL of those organic materials. At some point the massive clogging will slow down and you'll be able to manage the SLAM much better. Hang in there.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,802
SW PA
I own a DE filter and I've cleared my swamp two years in a row. I'm unclear as to what kind of pool you have but nonetheless... my advice would be the same. Hook up your vacuum to the skimmer and open the waste line like you're back washing to clear the DE. Catch all the algae and debris in your skimmer basket. Brush the pool at the end of the day and vacuum to waste in the morning so as to give it time to settle. I went through a 25lb of DE during my first swamp but I cleared it in 2 days. I literally had to babysit the pool. I'd clean the filter add DE and have to repeat within a half hour. They can be horrible but I guarentee you, if you stay the course you'll clear the pool faster than someone who owns a sand or cartridge filter.
 
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Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,053
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I own a DE filter and I've cleared my swamp two years in a row. I'm unclear as to what kind of pool you have but nonetheless... my advice would be the same. Hook up your vacuum to the skimmer and open the waste line like you're back washing to clear the DE. Catch all the algae and debris in your skimmer basket. Brush the pool at the end of the day and vacuum to waste in the morning so as to give it time to settle. I went through a 25lb of DE during my first swamp but I cleared it in 2 days. I literally had to babysit the pool. I'd clean the filter add DE and have to repeat within a half hour. They can be horrible but I guarentee you, if you stay the course you'll clear the pool faster than someone who owns a sand or cartridge filter.
Whoa!

He only has a push-pull backwash valve. There is no waste option. Vacuuming on backwash will just fill the insides of the grids with debris and ruin them.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,802
SW PA
Whoa!

He only has a push-pull backwash valve. There is no waste option. Vacuuming on backwash will just fill the insides of the grids with debris and ruin them.
Ok... so then don't do it. But this is the easiest way I've found to clean a swamp with the pump off while pulling water "into the skimmer basket"!
 
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Medsy

New member
Jul 13, 2018
3
Wakefield, ma
Definitely making progress. It's been slow going since I can only run my filter when I am at home and awake (I run it a couple extra hours on each side of that with my timer when I know I can check soon and I brush vigorously to give the water some swirl before going to bed). Luckily, it's cold up in Mass and my 55deg water is keeping this from being a losing battle. Just did my fifth backwashing though, my wallet will be happy when this is over...