When to Clean a DE Filter?

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#1
Is this on a set schedule or based on changes in pressure on the tank pressure gauge?

(I'm leaning towards the latter)

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Scoop

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2012
180
Dallas, TX
#4
Sammy2

I do the same as your leaning; I use my PSI Gauge as well as my Flow Meter to determine my Backwashing as well as the necessity to pull the DE Grid Assembly for a complete cleanup.

Here's a couple of threads where I provided my information regarding the frequency of Backwashing & Filter cleaning.

Backwashing

is there a consensus?

Since switching to TFP methodology (Bleach dosing / CYA ratio), my Backwashing frequency has dropped from using the old rule of thumb pool store once-a-month, to averaging ~3-5 months.

The last time I pulled my DE Grid Assembly (cleanup) was Sept 2013. With my pool's DE Filtering tracking, I have seen no indication of a requirement to pull the Filter more frequently or Backwashing at 25% increase although I'm aware that is the forum recommendation method and am not disputing that stance.

Perhaps my pool is an anomaly regarding DE filter characteristics (Backwashing / cleaning frequencies), or perhaps the pool isn't exposed to as much organics / pollen, etc as the majority of pools. I do have an overhanging Pecan Tree that seasonally drops pollen, leaves, blooms into the pool.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,888
Bedford, TX
#5
Scoop,

Our backwashing rule is designed to cover all types of pools and filters and because of this is on the conservative side. It is not a do this, or your pool will go up in smoke type of rule. :eek:

If you have found something that works well for you, then you should keep using it. Our goal is to provide guidelines that help owners maintain their pools with the least amount of issues.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Scoop

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2012
180
Dallas, TX
#6
It wasn't my intention to imply a 'going up in smoke' scenario if someone's DE cleaning experiences appears to run contrary to the established forum advice as I said "I don't dispute the forum recommendation."

Thanks,
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,888
Bedford, TX
#7
Scoop,

Sorry, I think you took what was supposed to be a joke the wrong way... I thought your post was great and was just trying to agree with you.

No offence intended..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Scoop

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2012
180
Dallas, TX
#8
Jim,



I think I owe the apology here, as I assumed the wrong way.

The topic is diverse, pov's appear to be somewhat opposite on DE Backwashing/cleaning frequencies. As you said, the pool owner's decision is the determining factor.

One thing's certain in my pool's case; since switching to TFP dosing / CYA ratio, my pool's filter maint & overall water condition have been amazingly free of issues.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,669
Tucson, AZ
#11
The forum recommendation of a 25% change in pressure is just that, a recommendation. In my own pool, if I waited for a 25% increase it would take over a year for that to happen since my DE filter is very much oversized in relation to the pool volume being filtered. I have literally gone one full year without cleaning my filter or backwashing and the filter pressure has not changed more than 25%. My normal mode of operation is to tear down and clean the filter twice per year (I do not backwash). Doing so keeps the Quad cartridges clean and I use precisely one 10lb bag of DE with each cleaning. If I back washed as the pool store recommends, then my DE costs would be a lot higher and my filter quad cartridges would be under more frequent stress. Remember that for a DE filter (grid or cartridge style), backwashing is not the normal flow pattern and puts a lot of stress on the filter medium. This reduces the life of the grids or the cartridges are is most often responsible for torn fabric or blown out cartridges.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#12
The forum recommendation of a 25% change in pressure is just that, a recommendation. In my own pool, if I waited for a 25% increase it would take over a year for that to happen since my DE filter is very much oversized in relation to the pool volume being filtered. I have literally gone one full year without cleaning my filter or backwashing and the filter pressure has not changed more than 25%. My normal mode of operation is to tear down and clean the filter twice per year (I do not backwash). Doing so keeps the Quad cartridges clean and I use precisely one 10lb bag of DE with each cleaning. If I back washed as the pool store recommends, then my DE costs would be a lot higher and my filter quad cartridges would be under more frequent stress. Remember that for a DE filter (grid or cartridge style), backwashing is not the normal flow pattern and puts a lot of stress on the filter medium. This reduces the life of the grids or the cartridges are is most often responsible for torn fabric or blown out cartridges.
:goodpost:

Great points. Lots of pools out there, and no two are exactly alike. :goodjob:
 
OP
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Sammy2

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#13
So I won't/don't need to backflush the filter. I need to check but my filter is quite large, maybe oversized even. I'd love to be able to go a year without cleaning it. My pool doesn't get many leaves at all in it as there's not a whole lot of trees around. We get cottonwood "cotton" in the spring and an occasional piece of debris on the bottom or floating on top but not a whole lot actually. I am thinking that my pool guy was cleaning the filter too often at $70 a pop so I will be monitoring this. He just did it last week, or so he said, so I will make note of the pressure on the gauge tonight and call that my baseline for this run.
 
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Sammy2

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#15
Currently mine is at 14~16 psi running at 2200 RPM if that matters.

So I should get prepared to clean it when it hits 17 psi and clean it before it hits 20 psi?
 
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Sammy2

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
#16
BTW, my filter is a Pentair WMBW 2060, with 58SF filter area. Is it big enough for my pool, which is probably a little less than 16k gallons.