D. E. Filter Rules Of Engagement!

D.E. Filters

Hayward D.E. 6020 Pro Grid Filter

Here are 9 Key rules for DE filter operation in order of importance:

Rule Number One- You NEVER run the DE filter without the DE powder in the filter.  (Tip: if you need to circulate the water and you do not want the water going through the filter and you have a multiport valve on the filter you may run it with the valve in the re-circulate position.   If you don’t have a multiport valve you cannot by pass the filter, sorry.

Rule Number Three- Always use the proper amount of DE in the filter.  This amount will depend on if you are backwashing the filter or you are taking the filter apart and cleaning it out completely.  If you are taking the filter apart and cleaning it out you must use the full amount the manufacture indicates in the owner’s manual.  If you are backwashing the filter take one pound off the manufacture’s recommendation and use that amount.

Rule Number Four- NEVER Vacuum the pool with the valve in the backwash position.  If you need to send something from the pool without going through the filter always use Waste.  If you do not have a waste position on your multiport valve you will have to use a separate pump to vacuum to waste.

Rule Number Five- There is no such thing as a partial backwash.  With backwashing it is all or nothing.  It is like flying a plane, at some point on the runway you are committed to taking the plane off the ground there is no turning back, you have to fly.  With backwashing once you start that process you are committed to finishing the process.  There is no way to gauge how much DE you backwashed out of the filter if you do not backwash it till the sight glass is clear, so you have to do the complete backwash so you know how much to put back in the filter.  Otherwise, you end up either not putting enough D.E. in the filter or too much.

Rule Number Six- NEVER add D.E. to the filter while the valve is in the backwash or the re-circulate position.  In the backwash position the D.E. will end up inside the grids and when you turn the pump on it will all blow back into the pool.  It is virtually impossible to get the D.E. out of the inside of the grids when this happens.  If you add D.E. to the filter while the valve is in the re-circulate position all the D.E. will end up in the pool.

Rule Number Seven- NEVER use a pressure washer to clean your grids!  The force of the water will drive particulate into the fibers and cause your filter pressure to run higher than it should.  Once you have done this there is no way to correct the damage you have caused and the grids will have to be replaced.

Rule Number Eight- Once a year chemically clean your filter grids.  We recommend you take the filter apart and hose all The D.E. powder from the grids then chemically clean the grids before using them again.  This cleaning will help keep the filter in peak operation.

Rule Number Nine- If you have a two speed pump make sure you use the high speed when you backwash and recharge the filter with D.E.

I hope you will take these 9 rules to heart and follow them like they are the golden rule.  If you do then you will have very little trouble keeping your pool clear.

Take some time to enjoy your pool today!

Jim Garrison

The Guru of Pools at  Aegean Pools, Inc.

© Aegean Pools 2015

4 thoughts on “D. E. Filter Rules Of Engagement!

  1. Jim,

    I installed a new Hayward 75 DE filter with all new plumbing and pump this year as we are new home owners and pool novices. I completely missed the startup point about having to add DE upon initialization (we thought it was included in the package). I was reading the backwash procedure in the manual when I realized that I never added the DE as instructed – the unit ran for 6 hours.

    Can you tell me what signs I should look for to see if my filter is damaged? Is it as simple as adding the 7lbs of DE now as instructed? If I add and I don’t see any DE discharged into the pool, can I assume that the grid is in-tact and that all is ok?



    • Hi Matt,

      Congratulations on becoming a new pool owner! Your pool will not doubt give you hours of fun and relaxation! It is unlikely that you ruined the grids, you may have clogged them up. The way you can tell if this is a problem or not is by how long after you charge the filter with D.E. that you have to backwash the filter. The average filter run between back-washing the filter is 6 to 12 weeks. This time frame will depend on the condition of the water (assuming clear water) and the size of the filter in relation to the pool. If we built the pool, we over-size the filter so you back-wash less frequently. If the pool water is clear and you have to back-wash hours after you recharge the filter then you will have to chemically clean the filter grids.

      To chemically clean the grids we recommend Bio Guard Kleen It. You will have to take the filter apart completely so that you have each grid apart from the grid assembly. Then you will spray the grids with this chemical and let them soak for 15 minutes the hose them off and reassemble the filter. Make sure you recharge the filter with D.E. after you start the system up again.

      Take some time to enjoy your pool!

      Jim Garrison
      The Guru of Pools at Aegean Pools

  2. What if rule number 6 was broken? Our pool guy did that. He’s cleaning the DE out of the pool, but will there be damage to filter?

    • Hi Monica,
      It depends on which version of rule number 6 you broke. If you added DE to the filter while the valve was in the backwash position, then you may want to consider replacing all the grids. It will take a long time to get all of the DE out from the inside of the grids and while you are waiting for that to happen you will constantly get DE back into the pool. By installing new grids you will bypass that problem quickly. Then make sure you don’t do that again! If you added DE to the filter while the valve was in recirculate then you will need to vacuum all the DE that is on the bottom of the pool to waste using the waste or drain position on your multi-port valve. You don’t want to vacuum it on filter because it will end up clogging up your DE grids and require a chemical cleaning of the grids, better to just vacuum it out of the pool on waste.

      I hope that answers your question. Best of luck!

      Jim Garrison
      The Guru of Pools at
      Aegean Pools

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