All About DE Swimming Pool Filters  

by Pool Builders on 03-06-2012 in Articles

The pool filtration system is just as important to proper pool maintenance as keeping the pH well-balanced. The most common type of filtration system that is used today is called the DE filtration system.

The first type of pool filtration systems, used dense sand to help trap particles and keep them out of the water that went back into the pool. Today's DE pool filters operate in the same way pretty much, but instead of using sand they use DE, OR diatomaceous earth. This material is made up of the remains f fossils of animals that were once in the oceans. DE is most often found in the states of California and Arizona. This new innovative material is much more efficient than the traditional sand filters. The use of DE is not only found in pool filtration systems. The fine powder that DE is ground into is also used in breweries and various functions of dry cleaning facilities.

A DE filter is made up of more than just densely packed powder. The filter is actually made up of several grids, each of which have a polypropylene cloth. These grids are generally square but can also come in a curved shape depending on who manufactured the filter. The network of grids is covered by a manifold that has grooves for each grid to fit into in order to keep the grids securely in place. The filter also features a perforated tube that goes down through the grids. This is what sucks the water into the filter to be filtered through.

When the filter is turned on the water will come through the tube and then be pushed through the DE in each grid. Any inorganic or organic particles that come in with the water get trapped in the densely packed DE. Then the clear water is pushed back into the pool. If your swimming pool has a water heater the water will go through that pipe after being filtered so that the warm water is pushed back into the pool.

Eventually, the filter will get full of particles and you will have to clean it out. You can tell is time to clean it when you see the filtration system's pressure gauge reach 18, 19 or 20 psi. If you fail to clean it out at this point, the pressure in the filter will keep going up until the pump automatically shuts off. In some cases, this can cause one or more parts of the filtration system to break. When you see the gauge rise, you will need to set the system to €backwash€ and then remove the DE that is full of particles.

Today, there are two different models of the DE filtration system. On of them uses a bag inside the pressureized tank that holds the DE and all debris it has collected. The DE is transferred to this bag once you set the system to €backwash.€ You must throw out the entire contents of the bag and then put new DE in the filter. Another type of DE filter system uses a vacuum pump that is already used to clean the pool with. The water goes through the vacuum as it moves around the pool. The water goes into the filter, goes through the skimmer and finally the filter. Backwashing is generally not needed with this type of DE filter.

It is important to read the manufacturer's instructions well, because you will need to use the exact amount of the DE as they have outlined in order for it to work most efficiently. If the system was already set up when you bought your home, it would be wise to take some time to talk to the salesperson at your local pool supplies shop as they should be able to tell you what to use or print you out some instructions. Using the incorrect amount of DE can affect the pressure in the filter and damage various parts of the system, including the grids. Grids, while not the most expensive part of the system, can be a bit pricey so it's best to just follow the instructions. It is also important to routinely clean the grids to be sure no algae or calcium carbonate accumulates on them.

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