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Category List: DE Filters

Diatomaceous earth, or D.E. for short, is a natural substance that traps dirt and debris as small as five microns (1/10 the width of a human hair). That means body oils, suntan lotions, pollens, dust and even some bacteria are caught in a D.E. filter, leaving behind sparkling clear, healthier water.

D.E. Filters | D.E. Filter Grids | Sand Filters | Cartridge Filters

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Note: All of these D.E Filters listed above are available in stainless steel tanks and are also available in larger sizes. Call 1-888-POOLMART or Email for more information.

The D.E. filter is the most efficient type of pool filter on the market. It can trap particles down to 3 - 5 microns; well below what the naked eye can see. DE filters, like most pool filters, use a pressure gauge to indicate a need for backwashing when it reads 8 - 10 lbs. higher than its clean reading. After backwashing a D.E. filter, a new application of D.E. filter powder is added to the filter by pouring into the skimmer. An annual breakdown of the filter is necessary to thoroughly clean D.E. filter grids.

The D.E. powder is what does the filtering. A D.E. filter requires that the operator (you) add D.E. powder to coat the filter grids inside of the filter tank. This widely available, inexpensive powder is actually the microscopic skeletons of Diatoms, an ancient, sub aquatic creature. Under the microscope, these skeletons appear to be tiny sponges. This is where the dirt gets trapped in your filter. The powder, which is added at your skimmer, dissolves in the pipe on its way to the filter tank. When it reaches the grids, which are covered with a nylon type of fabric, the powder stops, coating the grid. DE Grids are also called Elements or Septums. The water continues to pass through, first through the powder, then the fabric covered grid. As the water passes through the D.E. and enters the grid it leaves the dirt, trapped in the D.E. powder "cake" or coating. The powder is the filter.

The D.E. powder is what filters your pool water in a D.E. filter. Do not operate your pump without having the D.E. powder coating the grids, or you will see your pressure rise very quickly, and if left in this manner the grids could become damaged. As the pressure gauge on a D.E. filter increases, flow rate decreases. Eventually the flow rate will allow the water quality to suffer. You will need to backwash the filter to remove the D.E. that is clogged up with the dirt.

After backwashing thoroughly, add new D.E. powder to the filter through the skimmer. If using biguanides (Soft Swim or Baquacil) you will need twice annual, very thorough cleaning to prevent it from gumming up. All D.E. filters should have this done at least once per year. Thorough cleaning is accomplished by turning the pump off and draining the filter. Remove the tank top half, and remove the grid assembly. Hose the grid assembly thoroughly. If you want to do an extra good job, after hosing, soak the assembly in a trash can filled with water and a filter cleaner product. (or use TSP {trisodium-phosphate} from the hardware store). Rinse thoroughly before reinstalling grids into tank.

Also important in ensuring an effective backwashing is to make sure skimmer baskets and pump baskets are clean to allow for full flow entering the filter.