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DE Filter clogs up within an hour upon spring startup

DE Filter clogs up within an hour upon spring startup

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  #1  
Old 05-06-11, 05:00 PM
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DE Filter clogs up within an hour upon spring startup

This never happened to me before. Had this pool for 18 years. Have a 25,000 in-ground with a Hayward diatomaceous earth filter. Got everything started up, put the earth in the skimmer, and I noticed the next morning there was no water from the returns, but the pump was running (straining.) I did have a pretty dirty pool this year (leaves and algae) but I hadn't even started vacuuming yet. So today, I backwashed the earth I had just put in, and vacuumed the pool, setting the filter to discharge to waste. Then when I was done, I put another batch of earth in, and within about 2 hours, the pressure had risen 5 psi and the returns were barely discharging water. Something is causing the filter to clog up quickly. I did notice that when I took a garden hose to rinse the discharged earth off my driveway, it almost seemed to have formed a sticky, yellow-redish film. Could my earth have gone bad over the winter? This never happened to me before. Did the algae cause this? Twice in 2 days? But I really suspect the earth. Anyone ever experience this? And if so, do you think I need to open the filter and rinse the fingers or would backwashing be sufficient? Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-06-11, 06:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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The below is from pool solutions.com ( posted by waste. lifetime member) Also troublefreepool.com is similar. I have been a member for some time on these sites. They only talk pools and there is a vast amount of knowledge there. They have helped me with my pool and saved me tons of money.

I am saying from my experience and have not really looked at the pool forum on this site. I sure there are knowlegable people here. Possibly some from those sites.


Bump filters:
1) open the air valve on the top of the unit for ~ 5 sec. and close (bumping with the unit full of water will harm the unit!)
2) Slowly push the handle down and quickly raise it up 4 – 6 times.
3) Now turn the pump back on and see if the psi went down, if it didn’t drop more than 2 psi, you need to dump the used DE.
4) (if you need to dump the DE) – Open the drain outlet on the filter after doing steps 1 and 2 and run the pump for 20 seconds. Close the outlet and run the pump for a minute (don’t do this if you have an algae problem! The uncoated parts of the fingers will collect algae too quickly and clog), then repeat the procedure (make sure you open the air relief while the pump is running until water comes out of it)
5) At this point, you have removed ~ 80% of the old/ used DE so only add 80% of the DE you would use in a new or fully clean filter!!


When bumping/ backwashing doesn’t work:

Sometimes just ‘dumping’ the old De isn’t enough to get you back to proper filter performance – this can be caused by algae (or some other fine debris clogging the DE), or neglect (you didn’t clean the filter soon enough), or the grids/ fingers getting clogged up.

At this point, you need to take the filter apart and manually hose them off (it’s a wet process – so be prepared to get ~ soaked). I recommend the manual hosing every year (I like doing it in the fall when the pool is being closed because, then you know the filter is ready for another season)

If , when manually rinsing the grids, you notice that water is staying in the membrane for more than ~30 seconds, it’s time for a chemical cleaning!

To chemically clean the grids/ nest:
1) Have a bucket/ container large enough to hold the entire assembly
2) #1 Add some TSP (tri-sodium-phosphate) to the water or some electric dishwasher detergent to the water and soak the grids for 3 hours – this will ‘de-grease’ the membranes and is the first step in cleaning them, rinse with hose and get ready for step 3.
3) Dump the container, refill with water and add muriatic acid* to the water so that you have a 10:1 water: acid mixture and soak the grids for another 3 hours, this will clean any calcium off of the grids. Rinse grids again and reinstall them in the filter.
4) Now, run pump and bleed off the air from the filter and add 100% of the DE the filter calls for.


Hope this info helped you.

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-11, 03:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Thanks for taking the time to respond. Maybe I didn't phrase my question clearly. The earth I used to prime the filter this year was from an open bag in my shed from last year. Is it possible for the earth to go bad over the winter and cause the filter to clog up within a few hours? --or-- Is it really possible that there was so much algae in my water that that is what caused the filter to clog up more than once? I do know how to bump and/or open up and clean the fingers, but I hate that job, because I have to unscrew 24 bolts and then rescrew them. It chops my fingers up. Dave
 
  #4  
Old 05-07-11, 05:46 AM
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DE has a unlimited shelf life provided you keep it dry.

Mike NJ
 
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