DE filter getting sand in pool

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-04-08, 01:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
Question DE filter getting sand in pool

I have a 4-year-old DE filter on a large spa, small pool (3000 gal). There is plenty of flow and jet pressure, but for the past 4 months I keep getting sand settling in swirls on the flat areas of the spa. I have vacuumed it and usually use the spa right away or cover it so did not notice until lately that within minutes after vacuuming I can feel sand again and in 60 minutes I can see it. I have back washed several times and added some new DE, but wonder if there is not enough material in the filter and the sand goes in and comes right out the jets? I have noticed a little gurgling from the heat pump unit which may have been there right along, or may be a new sound! Any ideas on how to fix this problem?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-04-08, 01:25 PM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,555
Need to disassemble and clean your grids. Then inspect for cracks in the plastic framework and tears or holes in the grid fabric. Also check o-rings where the grid seals to the plumbing in the tank. Four years is a little young, but eventually the grids will deteriorate and need replacing. Had to do mine last year due to cracks in several of the individual grid outlets.
 
  #3  
Old 07-04-08, 05:06 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
Are you getting DE in the spa or pool?? It sounds like your plaster may be deteriorating. Where is the sand coming from???
 
  #4  
Old 07-05-08, 05:02 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
I appreciate the replies! Never having had a DE filter before, I need more help! For starters, last August we had the pavers replaced in the lanai (and around the spa). I taped plastic sheeting on top of the spa and it really kept the paver saw dust and paver sand sand from getting into the spa, but by the time I removed the plastic it had rained and puddled in depressions and made removal of the plastic difficult without spilling some of the dust and sand into the spa. That's where I think the sand came from unless there is another source within the filter or heat pump!
That being the case, I still don't know why I can vacuum the sand up only to have it get through the filter and back into the pool again!
To disassemble, clean and inspect the grids, I assume I must take the top half of the filter off by removing the clamp band and the screws. If so, will the DE material be just contained in the bottom half? Do I dig the material out, rinse the grids and put in new material? Are the grids an easy-to-remove stack of screens? I am somewhat mechanical, but when I get in there, is it obvious what to do and are special tools needed? How much DE will be needed for replacement?
One other thought occurs to me! Could ALL of the DE be gone from backwashing and now the sand blows right through unfiltered ?

PS: I do not believe there is DE material mixed with the sand on the bottom of the spa.

Thanks board members.
 
  #5  
Old 07-05-08, 06:05 AM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
If you have been backwashing and not replacing DE then yes there is no DE in filter. DE must be replaced every time you backwash. That would explain the sand returning to pool. Recharge the filter with DE, filter should have a sticker stating how much DE for your size filter. I would still open it up and inspect, it is not good to run filter with no DE in it. No special tools needed and it is pretty straight forward, removing the clamp and top of filter. If this is an older filter, reply back before dismantling.
 
  #6  
Old 07-05-08, 07:34 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,555
Agree with all todrut's comments. I was reading the "sand" as DE material. If you can give us the make & model of filter it may help. Disassembly and cleaning of my Hayward DE is pretty straight forward, although the work is a little tedious.

Here's an exploded view of a typical DE filter; yours may or may not be similar:

http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_filt...icro_clear.htm

On the outside chance you have bad grids, be sure to do a lot of web shopping. They can be had for a pretty reasonable price, but many places sell them at an enormous mark-up.
 
  #7  
Old 07-05-08, 09:05 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
You guys are great and I am pleased that I found this site!

When one of you asked for the model and what the label said for amount of DE, I looked harder! This filter is tucked in a dark corner and on the back side is the label that I did not know existed. I needed a mirror to read it! It is a Hayward Model DE2420. It calls for 3 lbs. of DE. I went to the poolcenter.com site and found the exploded view. There are reference numbers like 15, 18, and 19 that all seem like the grids. Which is the correct one? Do I purchase a set or just replace one or two that may appear damaged?
I probably am wrong, but I reason that even without DE material, the sand would get trapped by the grid or whatever normally holds the DE and keeps it from returning to the pool. So without DE material the sand being more coarse would be retained in the filter unless it has a rip in the fabric or bypasses some way!
I am feeling better about attacking this filter, but will wait until Monday in case I need to purchase a part locally.
Again, thanks for the quick response. I don't know how you are able to help so many of us, but I'm glad you are there!

PS: I like your qoute about the micrometer, but I had always heard that it was "Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a piece of chalk, and cut it with an axe!" Funny either way!
 
  #8  
Old 07-05-08, 10:08 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,555
I think it could go either way an just needing DE or whether you have a bad grid. There are (using my memory and your diagram) 8 grids. Seven are the same and one is slightly different due to how they nest together and where they connect to the manifold. Looks like $70 for a set for yours. Will see if I can locate where I got mine and check price.
 
  #9  
Old 07-05-08, 10:20 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,555
Looks like $70 for a set is a good price; they're $84 on the site I got mine from. Found them on one site for $70.95 delivered.

You'll want to check the outlet elbow o-ring (#12 on the diagram), too. That's another possible filter by-pass area.

When you get the lid off look for the grab handles on the top manifold. I think they even say "Lift here" or something like that. May have to wiggle the assembly or rock it/rotate it some to get that outlet elbow oring to release, but there's nothing holding the assembly in the tank.

Once you have the assembly out you can rinse out the inside of the tank through the drain plug. For the grids you can rinse them off while still assembled or remove the center nut on the manifold and dismantle everything for a better cleaning. Also by disassembling it you can get a better look at the grid outlets that may be broken and the grid fabric. Might be a good idea to take some digital pics before disassembly. Getting all the grids back in place and staying aligned while you reinstall the manifold can be a pain.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 07-05-08 at 10:44 AM.
  #10  
Old 07-05-08, 10:56 AM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
You can add about 1/2 lb de to skimmer and see if it blows back in pool. If not keep adding 1/2 lb and check for blow back till you get 3lbs in there. Then vac sand and see what happens.
 
  #11  
Old 07-05-08, 12:21 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
That sounds like a great test! I'll go one step further and tie a piece of cloth (old sock) over the vacuum nozzle when I pick up the sand. As it accumulates, I'll drop the sand into a container and it will not return to the filter.

I assume that as I add a little DE, if it's coming back I will see a white cloud from the jets. If it comes back, only THEN I should pull the filter apart and look for grid or o-ring damage? If no return, add the balance of 3 pounds.
 
  #12  
Old 07-05-08, 04:19 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
your correct, you will se it coming in pool from returns, if it does then breakdown filter if not add the remainder. Let me know what happens...
 
  #13  
Old 07-12-08, 12:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
Collecting the sand with the sock pre-filter was very time consuming because it plugged easily and pump needed to be shut down and restarted again over and over. I took out lots of sand so about 90% of it is out of the system. I put in one scoop of DE and nothing happened so I put in about 2 pounds. It took awhile, but the pool got cloudy and after settling and continuing to run the filter the water cleared and I would say that only 5 to 10% of the DE was visible on the bottom flat surfaces. I vacuumed and now 2 days later I have just some smaller percentage visible.
As I an going away for 2 weeks, I chose not to open the filter canister as if I needed something I may not get it up and running before leaving. Now, I question if there is grid damage or not? I'm thinking yes, because the sand kept coming back in, but I'm thinking no, because ALL of the DE has not come into the pool! What is the consensus?
Any advise would be appreciated!
I will tackle this again and report on what the status is along the way.

Thanks!
 
  #14  
Old 07-12-08, 03:22 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
If any of the DE came into pool like I think you said it did, you have bad grids which is not surprising knowing that it has run without DE for some time. You can get replacement grids for around $10 each give or take a couple dollars.
 
  #15  
Old 07-14-08, 12:54 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 23
Get rid of that D.E Filter

Dont spend any money on that filter. Why would someone put that on a spa? You need to get a Cartridge filter and be done with it!!! I have replaced more D.E. Filters because of clogged or torn grids and the hassle of backwashing, which never gets the grids clean anyway until you disassemble filter and power wash. Thats just my opinion. Here in the Midwest we prefer Cartridge and Sand filters.
 
  #16  
Old 07-14-08, 03:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
That's another consideration! How do I size the cartridge for this larger size 3000 gal. spa or spool? What kind of material cost could I expect? Between myself and my "McGiver" neighbor, I think we will be able to plumb it!
I guess I don't know how DE filters work, because what blows my mind is how all of the sand kept coming back in, but now that I added lots of DE, only a small amount of that came back into the spa! Why doesn't all of it return?
Againg thanks for the help. I will get this up and running properly, for sure!
 
  #17  
Old 07-14-08, 04:08 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
What exactly do you have? A spa or a spa and pool? I would not go with a cartridge filter as they will have to be removed and soaked and cleaned often depending on usage and the cost is pretty high.
The de when in powder form is light and fluffy, when added to filter it gets like mush and sticks to the grids in the DE filter. Dirt and debris is then caught by the DE then backwashing removes all the dirty DE. You probable have some small holes in your grids that are plugging with DE however some is getting through. I would repair DE or consider sand filter.
 
  #18  
Old 07-14-08, 04:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
It's called a spool! It is 8 by 14 feet and 4 feet deep with seats for 10 and 6 jets with bubbles at one end and suitable for kids to swim at the other! About 3000 gal. It runs every day on a clock timer and has been so easy to take care of until now. Four years with hardly a problem once I got the salt system and timer adjusted properly. It was great!
I'd like to keep it this way, but am open for suggestions.
I am wondering if when I originally vacuumed up the paver sand, wheather the sand acted like a sand blaster and cut holes in the grids! When I get this filter restored, I don't think that should happen again!
 
  #19  
Old 07-14-08, 04:34 PM
todrut's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,212
The old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Your setup sounds good, I'd replace the grids that need replacing and you should be good to go...
 
  #20  
Old 07-14-08, 07:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 23
I dont know filters they are installing on a 3000 gallon swim spa but it should have a 75 or 100 square foot cartridge filter. Who puts on a D.E or Sand filter on something that small? I know you have had this D.E filter on this application for a while but I was simply stating my opinion. You are supposed to clean grids and soak them also but who does? I have many 20,000 to 36,000 gallon pools running cartridge filters and they only need to be taken apart once or twice a season. I never soak them in anything just hose them off and your good to go. Unless you like backwashing the whole 3000 gallons out just to clean the filter then keep with what everyone else is saying but I disagree.
 
  #21  
Old 07-14-08, 08:01 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 23
Hayward filter DE2420

Here is a pdf file on your filter. Its the owners manual with parts.

http://www.haywardnet.com/products/m.../Manual116.pdf
 
  #22  
Old 07-15-08, 06:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
I like your analysis, but when I take this filter apart to determine what the problem is, I think that my expense will only be new grids for around $80. I will probably go that route and if it lasts 4 more years I'll be happy. If it fails again before 4 years, I'll find out the cost of a cartridge filter and determine what is involved in its installation.
The pdf manual is great! I have jus scanned it quickly and see that it goes into great detail. Just what I need. Thank you very much!
 
  #23  
Old 08-10-08, 07:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 10
Thanks to this site, my spool de filter/pump system is back to running like new and I saved a bundle of cash too!

Upon disassembly, I could see that one grid nearest the PVC elbow had lots of damage. One other had minor damage and the rest looked reuseable.

The Pinch-A-Penny in Palm Coast, Fl matched the online grid set price adjusting for shipping and tax, but they included reassembly. Nice people over there. All I had to do is drop the assembly in and button it up. I added my 3# of DE and some of it and some residual paver sand returned. After 2 more vacuum cleanings my water is crystal clear.

I conclude that the excessive paver sand that entered the spool inadvertantly was too aggressive for the aged and fragile grid material, and that caused the initial problem.

Again, thanks for all the great help.
 
  #24  
Old 11-18-09, 07:32 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 23
Here is the new link for the owners manual

http://www.haywardnet.com/products/m.../Manual362.pdf
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'