Use and care for DE filters


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2012
Dallas, TX
FamilyGuy said:
Awesome i will try that. Much appreciated


Based on my experience, a chemical cleaning isn't necessary very often unless it's needed to eliminate the Grid set for high PSI/excessive Backwashing-required issues.

I went through this stuff last summer when I had what was for me, a tough problem that was causing the same symptoms with my D.E. Filter PSI. I had a "pink algae" problem in the pool, which isn't an algae, but an organic problem. It required me to change/clean the D.E. Grids numerous times last summer until I identified the root cause and used a chemical product to eliminate the organic issue in the water.

What was tough for me, were a couple of factors:

- During the time of the problem, the pool water looked great. The reason for that was due to the D.E. Filter capturing all of the organic issue in the water ("pink algae") so the water had no appearance of the problem.

- No local pool store tech or manager was able to identify the exact culprit in my pool. One regional Supervisor for "Leslie's
Pool Stores did identify the problem as an organic but was unable to steer me in the right direction as to a solution. This was after I had provided all of the information that I could, including observations of a pink-colored substance on the grids when I was cleaning them.

The problem that I had, was that I didn't have a chronic problem with the "pink algae", so the other visual indications weren't present in the pool, such as a pink slime on the gunite surfaces or cloudy water issues.

I found the root cause with a Google search in another forum. The poster described the exact symptoms that I was encountering in my pool. The only problem was the poster didn't mention the product he used to eliminate the organic issue in his pool.

After further searches online, I found what cured the problem which was a product called "Pink Treat", produced by United Chemicals. It worked but also converted my pool into a "bromine" pool which masks normal chlorine testing so I wasn't able to determine proper chlorine levels. Draining the pool got me back to normal operations.

Many thanks to "Scott Hamilton" at United Chemicals for helping me identify and fix my "summer of '12" pool problem.

I have since learned that there is another product, called "Yellow Out" that is advertised to treat pink algae. There's another product called "Yellow Treat" that, I believe, is the same composition. From what Leslie's has said, this product eliminates pink algae and doesn't use a bromine-based chemical in it's composition.

The way I looked at this, is the old saying that "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good", since I learned a lot about D.E. Filters and the cleaning & assembly of the filter.

The only real surprise that I encountered last summer was that there aren't many pool techs/advisors, that have heard about pink algae so that slowed me down during the learning process.

Enjoy your pool


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Coastalish 'down easter'
I also had the "floating' issue with my grids. I flipped them upside down about halfway thru the soaking time.

I also have a couple of those trash cans that are dedicated to D.E. Grid cleanup use. I store the spare D.E. Grid Assembly inside one of the trash cans.

A good idea is to keep the acid mix (if you have a dedicated container) :)


Jun 12, 2014
Gouvernuer NY
I think we've had our pool for 12 years now and have had numerous issues with the Pac Star ST50 DE filter. I have learned more in 15 minutes reading this thread than I got from 3 different, and increasingly expensive, pool stores! Thanks to all!

FWIW- We have a "bump" type filter and I've pretty much given up on the whole bumping idea. It just doesn't work in ours. It's just way more effective to take it apart and hose it out than to stand there twisting and bumping. Plus, bumping seems to be what causes tears in the screen. I'm considering rigging up a home made back wash system which has got to be at least a zillion times better than bumping.

FWIW V2.0- Damp DE will get moldy. Maybe some folks never had this issue, but I've learned to transfer the DE from the ubiquitous cardboard box to a plastic can of some sort (kitty litter cans work fine). Saves a lot of headaches. Moldy DE just doesn't seem to perform well at all.

Thanks again to all. Never again will I be spending $60.00 on "special filter grid cleaning agents"!


New member
Jun 13, 2015
Jacksonville, FL
That is pretty much the method that I follow since it was taught to me 10 years ago by the original home and pool owner. I only use the acid treatment once a year and usually in early March as it is the first spring cleaning that I perform. I finally learned this year how to keep DE powder from backfilling into the bottom of the pool when changing out the filter. Just close the darned valve. Felt pretty stupid on missing that one but hope to remember that next year.


Well-known member
Apr 8, 2013
Battle Creek, MI
Why the need to partially drain the filter before bumping? Hayward doesn't mention this in their description of the process. How can that damage the filter?


Well-known member
Jul 6, 2008
Pflugerville, Texas
I think it worth mentioning that after you have opened your filter the first time it's a lot less intimidating from then on. I open mine about every other time it needs to be recharged and hose it clean. We have never had any serious clogs or issues and our pool cleaner operates better. The Hayward Navigator is a suction-side device and needs a strong flow through the line to work properly. Opening the filter more frequently has eliminated the problems I was having with it stalling.
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