Are you having trouble figuring out your DE filter?
Do you find yourself stuck between adding too little DE to do the job right and putting so much that it washes into your pool?
Whether you’re in the market for a DE filter or you just brought one home, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the right way to operate these excellent products. With this article, you’ll be able to learn all about how to calculate how much DE for pool filter use you need every time you clean your filter.
You’ll also learn a little bit more about what a DE filter really is and why it’s such a popular choice with pool owners everywhere. No matter what you hope to learn about these filters, this crash course article is here to help!
Read on to discover more information and determine if these filters are right for you.
You’ve probably heard the term diatomaceous earth, or DE, being thrown around if you’ve done much shopping for pool filters. But if you’re a little bit inexperienced in the different types of filters available, you might be wondering just what this actually means. Before you learn more about the filter, it’s a good idea to understand what diatomaceous earth itself is.
DE is natural sedimentary type of rock that crumbles very easily and can form a powder. It’s very porous and abrasive, which makes it a great option for filtering contaminants out of water. It’s found in a lot of different products, and it’s not just used for pool filters. You can also find it in toothpaste, dynamite, cat litter, and even used in some outdoor gardens.
DE can also be used to filter water in fish tanks and in large-scale drinking water treatment facilities, too. It’s not just for pools and hot tubs—any water has the ability to be filtered and cleaned up through the use of diatomaceous earth. It’s even used for filtering food and beverages like honey, sugar, wine, and beer, because it’s capable of removing unwanted particles without changing the taste or chemical makeup of any of these substances.
Diatomaceous earth filters can filter down to 3 to 5 microns, which is generally quite a lot more filtration than you can find with other types of filters available on the market today. But how do they do it? In this section, you’ll get a quick run-down of how these filters work so you can better understand just what you’ll be using the DE for when you install one.
You can tell when your DE needs to be changed because the pressure will begin to rise within your filter tank. This means that water isn’t flowing the way it should anymore, and your filter will need attention at this time.
There are a lot of different reasons why pool owners may choose DE filters over other types of filters. While it’s true that these are some of the more expensive filter options on the market today—although sand filters are often a little more costly, especially in the long run—they still remain very popular choices. Check out the list below to help you understand what brings pool owners back to these filters time and time again.
Computing the right amount of diatomaceous earth for your pool filter depends entirely on whether this is the first time you’re filling it or this is one of the many times you’ll be backwashing and cleaning it. The two formulas you need to use to compute how much DE to add to pool filter products in both of these instances are listed below, and each one has a couple of sample computations to help you better understand how to determine the answer. Remember that, if you don’t know how many square feet of water your pool filter covers, your instruction manual should tell you. If you can’t find your instruction manual, call your local pool store or search the brand and model of your pool filter to find this information.
When starting up a new filter, you need to add a little bit more DE powder than you would for an already established filter. This is just to be sure everything is functioning as it should, and to help “prime” the filter with DE, so to speak. You will need to use one pound of diatomaceous earth powder per 10 square feet of filtered pool water.
To get started with your new DE filter, use the formula below.
Let’s say your swimming pool filter is a 24 square foot version and you’re starting a new filter. We’ll use the above formula to figure out how much powder you should use.
What about a big 60 square foot pool filter? Don’t worry, the same formula works the same way.
No matter how small or large your pool filter might be, the same calculation can always give you the right amount of DE for your filter purposes.
A filter that has already been backwashed can have a little bit less DE added to it. This is for two reasons: because it’s already been established and is functioning properly, and because some DE is always going to be left behind while you’re backwashing. While some companies will suggest slightly different calculations than the one below, this one will give you a good starting point for adding the right amount of DE to your filter. If you find that this is too much or too little after a few uses, try adjusting the final result by just a few tenths of a pound.
To calculate this number, first calculate the amount you’d need for a new filter, and then find 80% of that number.
Let’s look at our two sample pools again. First off, let’s start with a 24 square foot pool filter that needs to be backwashed.
You would need 1.92 (or round down to 1.9) pounds of DE for backwashing this filter.
Now let’s try our 60 square foot pool filter.
You’d need 4.8 pounds of DE to backwash this filter.
Every time you clean your DE filter, you’ll need to replace the DE inside. This needs to happen every month. If you don’t clean and recharge the DE in your filter, you run the risk of a lot of contaminants building up on your filter media and causing the filter and, in some cases, the entire pool to quit functioning properly. Stay on top of this maintenance to keep your pool water safe, clean, and crystal clear.
By now, you should have plenty of information to help you get started with your diatomaceous earth filter. You should be well on your way to understanding the right amount of DE to add to your filter, whether you’re starting it up for the first time or backwashing it for the tenth time or more. With the right information to help back you up, it should be easier than ever before to understand how to add DE to your filter and why it’s such a popular choice to do this in the first place.
Although DE filters can be a little confusing if you’re used to simple cartridge media filters, they don’t have to be. Keep the right formulas in mind and you’ll be able to clean and recharge your DE filter the right way every time. You’ll be surprised at just how clean and healthy your pool water will be!