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Gavin

Can A De Filter Still Work Without De Powder?

39 posts in this topic

just wondering. If the pool doesn't get dirt much can a DE filter still work without DE powder? Could it work like a cartridge filter?

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spa savant is exactly right. Yes it will work, no not as good as a cartridge. A cartridge is usually, at least 450 sq ft of filtration (yes I know there are smaller and larger) DE on the other hand is usually 48 sq ft of filtration (again smaller and larger available. think of a DE filter as 3 dimensional, and a cartridge as 2 dimensional (absolutely no relevance as to how each of them appear, but hypothetically). DE is what makes a DE filter so precious. On the other side of the coin never ever put de in a cartridge! You're fortunate to have a DE filter, and DE is cheap! Use it! Spa Savant's statement that your psi will climb rapidly is exactly right, because it gets the fabric dirty rather than the DE functioning, high pressure destroys, grids, manifolds and diminishes flow rendering it's purpose useless.

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spa savant is exactly right. Yes it will work, no not as good as a cartridge. A cartridge is usually, at least 450 sq ft of filtration (yes I know there are smaller and larger) DE on the other hand is usually 48 sq ft of filtration (again smaller and larger available. think of a DE filter as 3 dimensional, and a cartridge as 2 dimensional (absolutely no relevance as to how each of them appear, but hypothetically). DE is what makes a DE filter so precious. On the other side of the coin never ever put de in a cartridge! You're fortunate to have a DE filter, and DE is cheap! Use it! Spa Savant's statement that your psi will climb rapidly is exactly right, because it gets the fabric dirty rather than the DE functioning, high pressure destroys, grids, manifolds and diminishes flow rendering it's purpose useless.

Thanks guys. This is a 5,400 gallon fiber glass pool. hardly ever gets dirty. had some problems finding a DE leak and basically my repairman gave up and said it was best to remove all de and run it without like a cartridge filter. I guess I will have to open it up and clean it on a regular basis...maybe every 6 months?

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not a chance! more like every month! with DE you would go every six months with a backwash every month. A de leak comes down to 3 things. A air relief filter missing, a cracked manifold or a grid with a hole in it. should be a simple inexpensive fix!

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not a chance! more like every month! with DE you would go every six months with a backwash every month. A de leak comes down to 3 things. A air relief filter missing, a cracked manifold or a grid with a hole in it. should be a simple inexpensive fix!

we replaced the cracked manifold and replaced two fingers. Haven't tried checking the air relief filter. where is that located? seems when I bump de might be going back to the pool. is this something to do with this air relief filter?

Thanks! B)

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not a chance! more like every month! with DE you would go every six months with a backwash every month. A de leak comes down to 3 things. A air relief filter missing, a cracked manifold or a grid with a hole in it. should be a simple inexpensive fix!

we replaced the cracked manifold and replaced two fingers. Haven't tried checking the air relief filter. where is that located? seems when I bump de might be going back to the pool. is this something to do with this air relief filter?

Thanks! B)

You should probably find another repair guy. The advice to run the DE filter without DE was bad. And if you have to replace the manifold and 2 fingers, I don't know why he would not have recommended replacing the entire assembly. That makes sense because:

A- the whole assembly as a package is usually favorably priced compared to replacing it a couple pieces at a time

B- If 2 fingers and the manifold were bad, it's a good sign the rest isn't going to last that much longer

C - An hour or two of the guys labor when he has to come back is equal to the difference in cost between the 3 parts and the full assmebly

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not a chance! more like every month! with DE you would go every six months with a backwash every month. A de leak comes down to 3 things. A air relief filter missing, a cracked manifold or a grid with a hole in it. should be a simple inexpensive fix!

we replaced the cracked manifold and replaced two fingers. Haven't tried checking the air relief filter. where is that located? seems when I bump de might be going back to the pool. is this something to do with this air relief filter?

Thanks! B)

You should probably find another repair guy. The advice to run the DE filter without DE was bad. And if you have to replace the manifold and 2 fingers, I don't know why he would not have recommended replacing the entire assembly. That makes sense because:

A- the whole assembly as a package is usually favorably priced compared to replacing it a couple pieces at a time

B- If 2 fingers and the manifold were bad, it's a good sign the rest isn't going to last that much longer

C - An hour or two of the guys labor when he has to come back is equal to the difference in cost between the 3 parts and the full assmebly

I agree. Unfortunately the whole assembly over here costs almost as much as a new filter....around $1,500.

But I should have recommended just changing the filter for a cartridge filter or letting the owners know that we could replace the cracked manifold but might end up having to replace more parts and might be cheaper just to change the filter one time.

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"where is the air relief?". Well that's a good question. On a val-pak manifold (a much better after market manifold in most cases) it's built in and looks like pin holes in the top of the manifold. hayward uses a "hose" kind of thing with a "sock" over it and a zip tie. Pentair uses a metal screen sometimes on the end of a short pipe off the top of the manifold. If you see a spot you could push something into your manifold through, then theres a problem. pull a schematic of your filter, or post your brand and model, and I'll tell you what to look for.

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Fireman, he's got a different kind of DE filter, Perflex, most likely. It's not built the same as the DE filters you're referring to and doesn't backwash the same. It does have an air relief assy, called "vent valve" in the parts diagram.

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I think I have damaged my grids by running isufficiently low amounts of DE. My back wash just does not clean the grids well enough anymore and R pressure creeps up in just a few days. I have ordered a new set of Pentair grids (249.00) and will install them this week. The filter specs state the DE amount is 6LBS,I will measure out 6LBS on a scale and make sure to always put the right amount back in. Obviously, during normal backwash the actual amount of DE added should be slightly less than 6LBS. I know, I know, I can clean the grids with acid but its a pain.

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Don't clean the grids with acid. After disassembling the filter and grid assy, use a good detergent/degreaser and a stiff plastic bristle brush to clean the dirt and oils off the grids. Acid isn't nice to the fabric and should only be used as a last resort.

Grids aren't normally "ruined" unless they have holes or tears in the fabric, or have crushed internal supports. Usually your bag of DE will have a chart for measuring the proper amount of DE. It's heavily debated about how much to add after backwashing, but you want the proper amount for coating and for depth on the grids. Many people only use half, but this isn't a good practice. DE is cheap, so don't scrimp on something that protects a more expensive item. No manufacturer of DE filters recommends less than a full coating. Since the filter manufacturers don't make/sell DE, there's no reason for them to recommend more than actually needed. A little over or under won't make a difference, but try to get reasonably close.

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That may be too much D.E. for "traditional" filter grids. For years, the rule of thumb was to take the filter area, and put a decimal in the middle of it, and thats how much D.E. to use. Example 60 square foot would be 6.0 lbs. of D.E. Now we are in the 21 century, and they are making filters with different designs. Example, the Sta-Rite Modular D.E. (not the vertical grid) filters resemble a cartridge filter, only they are covered in the nylon, and they require significantly more D.E. to precoat. Example: a 60 Sq. Ft. requires 9 lbs. of D.E. And the Bump filters are probably different as well. So the best advice would probably be to find out your particular requirement from your owners manual. Too much D.E. can be harmful as well as too little.

So read that manual!!!

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That may be too much D.E. for "traditional" filter grids. For years, the rule of thumb was to take the filter area, and put a decimal in the middle of it, and thats how much D.E. to use. Example 60 square foot would be 6.0 lbs. of D.E. Now we are in the 21 century, and they are making filters with different designs. Example, the Sta-Rite Modular D.E. (not the vertical grid) filters resemble a cartridge filter, only they are covered in the nylon, and they require significantly more D.E. to precoat. Example: a 60 Sq. Ft. requires 9 lbs. of D.E. And the Bump filters are probably different as well. So the best advice would probably be to find out your particular requirement from your owners manual. Too much D.E. can be harmful as well as too little.

So read that manual!!!

some of them tell you how much de to add on the filter...at the haywards seem to.

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Fireman, he's got a different kind of DE filter, Perflex, most likely. It's not built the same as the DE filters you're referring to and doesn't backwash the same. It does have an air relief assy, called "vent valve" in the parts diagram.

Its a Hayward ec64 with bump handle and a bleed...I guess thats the vent?

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Refer to your owner's manual for proper amount of DE. If you don't have one, you can usually download a copy from the manufacturer's website. The depth of the DE coating on the grid is beneficial as well, so using less forces more frequent disassemble/cleaning than if the full amount is used, too much overloads the grid and can cause damage.

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These DE numbers come straight from the manufacturer's recommendations.

Tx, I've looked at the Sta-Rite, The Hayward, and the Purex (now Pentair) sites, and can't find in the online manuals of their filters requiring the amount of D.E. you suggest. Which Manufacturer are you referring to, with those amounts?

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I stand corrected. I think I backwardized the terms "volume" and "weight", due to an aging brain. I'll go weigh a bunch of DE today to make sure I'm not misinforming anyone. Agred, too much DE is as harmful as too little.

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so far so good. the pool is better than its ever been. keeping fingers crossed. might have to clean it more often but its working great so far with no DE.

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so far so good. the pool is better than its ever been. keeping fingers crossed. might have to clean it more often but its working great so far with no DE.

This will be a good experiment.

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Interesting... with no DE, filtration quality should be far worse than with sand. Kind of like using a screen door to filter water. Might take a few days/weeks for enough particulate to accumulate, but let us know.

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Interesting... with no DE, filtration quality should be far worse than with sand. Kind of like using a screen door to filter water. Might take a few days/weeks for enough particulate to accumulate, but let us know.

This is a 5,400 gallon fiberglass pool. There are no trees around and doesn't get dirty. Its a clean pool and easy to maintian. I would not run without DE on a gunite pool or if this pool was a dirty pool. Its been like 2 weeks so far and the pool is looking better than it ever did. I will take pics next time I go by. The owner is very very happy now.

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Just a little info on that statement. The type of particulate that is currently invading your filter right now is the type you can't even see. Visible debris, (if any) of course is going to be picked up. Plaster vs. fiberglass makes little difference here. As the particulate in question is coming from the environment.

You asked the question "Can a D.E. filter run without D.E.?" No one said yes, and you started to run it w/o D.E. anyway. I suppose you are doing this to keep from having to do some sort of maint, but in the long run, may cause you to have to do more.

Good luck with this, i hope it wont be too expensive...

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