D.E. Filter question

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  #1  
Old 05-27-08, 11:12 AM
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D.E. Filter question

I'm hoping I can get some help....

I recently bought a home with a pool. I have no experience with one unfortunately. I have a D.E. filter for it that is not running properly.

I have read that when the pressure goes UP, it means you need to backwash and add more D.E. But what could it mean if the pressure is way down?

According to the badge on the filter, normal pressure is 45lbs. Mine is running at 15-20lbs. I have cleaned out the skimmer baskets next to the filter, and for the waterfall, but no change.

If it helps any, I did notice that one skimmer (poolside) has much stronger suction than the other poolside skimmer. Also, if I want to run the heater, I have to put the filter on "recirc". If I don't, the heater will start up, then the pipes leading to it rattle (as if not getting enough water) and then the automatic safety shutoff kicks in. It will continuously cycle like that. If I recirc, it works fine.

Not sure what to do....as far as I know it has been more than a year since it was last cleaned out. Maybe that needs to happen? Any help is VERY appreciated!!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-27-08, 11:27 AM
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I've never seen a normal pressure of 45psi, normal is usually around 15-20psi. You should open your filter and clean all grids with a water hose to get all D.E. out. Then put back together and add d.e. to skimmer, this way you know you are starting with a clean filter. The heater issue is that it is not getting enough circulation, another reason to clean filter, it is probably caked with d.e.
 
  #3  
Old 05-27-08, 04:39 PM
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Smile

We have an D.E. filter for our pool and regular working pressure starts at 10 lbs and reaches approx. 20lbs. At that time we "BUMP" the filter with the handle attached at the top, Three times quickly after working pressure reaches 20lbs plus. After we bump the starting pressure resumes at 10lbs. However before the bumping process we turn off the pump.
hope this helps
Jim
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-08, 06:41 AM
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Thanks guys. I may have the pressure amount wrong. I'll have to double check.

I have never done the bump thing. I have tried to backwash a couple times. In the little glass "window" it runs dirty for about 5 seconds, then goes clear.

The weird thing is...isn't the backwash water supposed to drain somewhere? I let it run, but no water comes out anywhere...i thought that there should be a drainage pipe somewhere???!!! I probably screwed the pool up....
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-08, 06:50 AM
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You might not have a bump filter, what model do you have? Either way you should open and clean like mentioned.
 
  #6  
Old 05-28-08, 08:35 AM
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Thanks Tod...

My local pool service guy charges $90 to clean out the filter for me. I have heard for someone with no experience its an all day job and messy...i might take him up on that!

So, should I see some kind of drainage somewhere when I backwash?
 
  #7  
Old 05-28-08, 10:13 AM
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It is pretty simple to clean filter if you want to save the money. Yes you should have a backwash line that flushes the dirt out.
 
  #8  
Old 05-28-08, 11:07 AM
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You didn't mention what make/model of filter, but they are not that hard to clean. I have a Hayward like this:

http://www.poolmart.com/productdetai...&ProductID=553

I can remove the lid, pull the grid assembly, disassemble & clean the grids, and reassemble everything in under an hour. It is not a dirty job.

Yes, when you backwash it should be draining (under a fair amount of pressure) to the outside. Check your selector positions. If you have very low pressure there is a possibility there is no DE powder on the grids and/or you may have one or more failed grid. They eventually wear out and/or break. Just replaced all my grids last year. Whenever you backwash you need to recharge the grids with fresh powder. If there is the bump feature as mentioned previously you can extend the time between full backwashes. Side note: the grids are fairly inexpensive if you do plenty of web browsing.
 
  #9  
Old 05-28-08, 11:17 AM
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Thanks again Tod....Much appreciated!

Hmm...I wonder where the water is going when I backwash... Probably into my neighbor's garage or something. I better check that out...lol...thanks again!
 
  #10  
Old 05-28-08, 11:28 AM
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Thanks a lot towguy.

Maybe there is a pipe all the way to the street...i'll have to check that out.

I believe mine is a pentair nautilus. I'm pretty sure it is the filter that was put in when the house was built about 1998, so it's at least 10 years old.

I was stupid and didn't learn anything about it. I have a pool service that charges me $90 a month but only puts in chlorine, not much else. I've experimented with the backwash and tried it about 6 or 7 times, and never replaced any of the DE powder...hmm...wonder why it's not working right??!!

I think I'll have my pool service do this cleaning and see what he says. Given the age maybe I need a new filter? I can also watch him so I can do it myself next time. I probably screwed the filter up big time...we shall see...

Here's a question/statement that may provide some clues if the filter is bad...not sure if you read my original post, but when I run the heater I have to put the filter on recirculate so the heater doesnt cut out. When I do that, I notice that the filter at the top of my kreepy crawler hose gets clogged with all kinds of stuff and i have to clean it out to keep it running...not sure if that helps in "diagnosing" this problem...

I think bottom line I better clean it ASAP.
 
  #11  
Old 05-28-08, 02:04 PM
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Couple of observations.

If in fact the backwash is working, then by now there is no DE on the grids. Which means, of course, that all manner of things may be caught in the grids. May just need to be recharged; the proper amount of DE (based on filter size) is fed into the skimmer.

The logistics of making the heater work in relation to the filter I don't know. Is the creepy crawley filter clogging with DE maybe??? If so the filter may have bypassed back into the pool. Hopefully not; when my grids failed I got a bunch of DE into the pool and it took a while to get it all back out.

If that filter is 10 years old the grids could very well need replacing. I installed my DE as a retrofit in (I think) 2001. I had to replace the grids last year I think it was, so six years of operation. The way the grids failed was that the plastic fittings where the grids meet the manifold got brittle and cracked.

I never thought about whether the backwash line could be plumbed somewhere for drainage. On mine the outlet is open and I stick about a 6 foot piece of 2" pvc pipe on it and it flows out into the adjacent vacant lot.

Here's the Nautilus if that's what you have. Very similar design to my Hayward:

http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...ist.php?id=232
 
  #12  
Old 05-28-08, 05:00 PM
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Yep, that's mine all right!

The creepy filter is the one right at the connection for the creepy hose on the pool wall. It usually clogs with these little brown somethings that fall off a tree in our yard by the millions. I am constantly skimming for them!

Basically with the heater problem, if the lever is set to "filter", the heater fires up, then makes a chugging sound from not getting enough water, and that must trigger a safety switch because the gas shuts off. It then tries again and fails again. When I switch to "recirc", the heater works fine and blows warm water into the pool...damn, this is so confusing!

I will take a look and see if I can figure out what's going on...thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 05-28-08, 05:55 PM
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everyone seems to be giving you fairly helpful advise, ill add by trying to explain how your filter operates with the particular backwash you have, as there are 2 diffferent kinds you have a multiport type valve, they in themselves can be a problem, but they offer advantages that a simple push pull valve [ the other kind ] can't offer.

on filtration , the water from your pump enters your backwash valve then into your filter , heater, and returns to your pool, when you move the handle , by pressing down & rotating it to backwash the water enters the filter in reverse dislodging the d.e. from the grids to waste, most locals want the waste line plumbed to the local sewer NOT Your SEPTIC TANK, ...... note: when moving the multiport handle your system must be turned off. after backwash with the multiport you have a position labeled RINSE when on this position the water enter as if in the filter mode , however the exception being the water also goes to waste therby preventing any d.e. residue from entering the pool, the other position you are talking about , RECIRCULATE, the water enters the multiport valve but does not go into the filter , instead it goes directly to the heater & from there to the pool , the other position is CLOSED this would be the position you would use when working on the pump, changing out the pump as the d.e. would not drain out of the filter.

however back to RECIRCULATE, when you placed your selector lever in this position you proved that your filter is in dire need of a thorough cleaning, as your heater fired without " banging" = overheating from lack of water.

sometimes this position is good due to the fact you can flow more water when using the spa thus realizing better jet action.

sorry to be so long winded. hope this adds to your clearity,

steve
 
  #14  
Old 05-29-08, 09:40 AM
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Thanks Steve...that was great info. I plan to have the pool guy come out and do this first cleaning.

Can anyone tell me how I will know if the filter should be replaced completely? I don't want this guy to tell me it does if I can get another year or so out of it.
 
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