DE Pool Filter Maintenance

Easy DE Pool Filter Maintenance & Pool Pump Motors. Learn Swimming Pool Pumps and Filters For Cleaning Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter.


Depending on the bather load and other factors like trees, sand, pets, dirt, you may need to backwash as often as once a month.

Backwashing your D E pool filters needs to be done whenever the pressure of the filter rises 8 – 10 pounds above the normal operating pressure.  

DE Pool Filter Maintenance

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Cleaning Your Swimming Pool Filter Systems

  • First step in cleaning your DE pool filter system is top off your pool because you're going to be using alot of water.  By not topping off the pool, you run the risk of sucking air through the skimmer if the water level gets too low.
  • Clean out the skimmer baskets
  • Turn the filter pump OFF and clean out the pump basket. Replace the pump basket and screw or tighten the lid back on the pump. 
  • With the PUMP TURNED OFF, put the backwash valve into the BACKWASH position.  The slide valves are pulled up for backwash and pushed down for filter.  If you have a multiport valve, it should be clearly marked BACKWASH.
  • Turn the filter pump back on and run the pump until the water in the site glass is clear.  If there is no site glass, the water at the end of the backwash hose or line needs to be clear.  Once the water is clear turn off the pump.  Cleaning the swimming pool filter grids has less to do with backwashing for a certain amount of minutes, you need to do it until the water runs clean.
  • Be sure the filter pump is off BEFORE changing the valve position.  

Not doing this could result in injury.

  • Put the valve back to the FILTER position
  • Turn the pump back on and run for 10 – 15 seconds.  If you have a multiport valve, use the RINSE setting. 

Again, before any DE pool filter maintenance is to be done, don't change any valve positions when filtering or backwashing.

DE Pool Filter Maintenance

DE Pool Filter Maintenance System

Some may recommend that you repeat these steps two or three more times so it can stir up loose dirt which was not backwashed with the first cycle.  You can if you want but it's not necessary when you have a properly running DE pool water system filter.

You'll need to “re-charge” or "re-coat" the pool filter grids with fresh DE filter powder.  With the filter pump running, slowly add about 1 pound of DE for every 10-12 square feet of filter space. Basically it's this: 48sf. DE filter = about 4 pounds of DE. (check your owner's manual for details and exact specifications)

I strongly urge you to get a DE scoop.  This will give you the best measurement.  If you have a DE scoop then 1 scoop = 1/2 lb of DE.  By not putting enough DE back in the filter, you can damage the swimming pool filter grids, cause poor filtration, and other pool filter problems. Don't use a coffee can. 

Just remember to check the owner's manual and/or manufacturer's instructions if you have any questions.

If you're the least bit hesitant cleaning your swimming pool DE filter, by all means hire a local and qualified swimming pool professional. 

DE pool filter maintenance starts with backwashing your pool filter, but it doesn't remove oils, lotions, leaves, bacteria, algae, etc... 

The DE swimming pool filters grids need to be removed and washed generally about twice a year to keep your swimming pool DE filter running properly.

How To Clean You DE Grids

To clean your swimming pool DE filter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  The following are just suggested pool cleaning tips.  

If you're at all uncomfortable about these DE pool filter maintenance steps, please contact a qualified swimming pool technician.

  • Turn OFF the swimming pool filter pump.  If you have a breaker box, it's a good idea to turn it off before cleaning your DE pool filter.  You don't want to get 220 of your best friends to hit you at one time. 
  • Open the air bleeder valve so vacuum pressure inside the tank can be released. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for DE pool filter maintenance.  
  • Open the drain plug located on the bottom of the filter allowing the water inside the tank to be drained out
  • Remove the clamp holding the top of the tank to the bottom of the tank.  Some pool filters may have bolts instead of clamps.
  • Carefully remove the top of the filter tank
  • While the grids are still in the tank, use a hose with a spray nozzle and spray off the filter grids. Doing this will help remove excess debris and DE buildup and makes removing the grids a little easier. Allow the swimming pool filter grids drain for a few seconds.
  • Carefully remove the filter assembly from the tank.  It's best to see your manufacturer’s directions at this point.  Some pool filters are constructed differently. Most filters and grids should lift straight up to remove the grids from the filter tank.
  • Once again, if you're unsure about DE pool filter maintenance, call a good pool technician

  • Disassemble the filter grids.  Pay attention to how you take it apart so you can put it back together.
  • I've messed up a couple of times when I was learning this procedure.  It can be a real pain to get these things back together if you're not paying attention.
  • Wash each pool grid with a spay nozzle on a garden hose 

DON'T use a pressure washer to clean the grids.  You'll probably tear them and then you're going to be in a world of hurt.  

It's best to wash the DE filters on the grass as the DE will not harm it and is biodegradable  You'll just have a big clump that looks like wet flour.   

  • From top to bottom, clean the manifold, and look for cracks
  • If the grids are not coming clean, you can soak them in a large garbage can filled with pool filter cleaner solution for about 4 – 8 hours
  • Clean out the inside of the filter tank 
  • Carefully inspect each part  for cracks, each grid for  ripped seams, punctures or tears in the fabric, belly band o-ring, manifold screen, etc.
  • Check the condition of the air relief assembly and make sure it's connected 
  • Assemble the grid assembly and tighten the connecting rods.  Shake the assembly lightly as the rods are tightened to insure that the entire assembly is tight 
  • Place the grid assembly back in the filter tank. Replace the stand pipe O-ring or gasket if it's worn. Take care not to pinch the O-ring while installing the assembly.  If you do you'll get a leak. 
  • Realign the top half of the filter body, install and tighten the belly band and be sure the O-ring is in place between the top and bottom half.  This will make it a good tight fit.
  • You may want to use a silicone lubricant on all O-rings and gaskets before installing to assure a better water-tight seal and against pinching the O-ring.  Please don't "crank down" on any of the fittings.  Just a nice snug fit is all you need. 
  • Screw the drain plug back in the bottom of the filter 
  • Set the backwash valve in the FILTER position 
  • Turn the breaker box back on

Now would be a good time to take a step back and look at the filtration system to make sure everything is in order.

This is the end of the DE pool filter maintenance page.

By properly backwashing your swimming pool DE filter, understanding DE pool filter maintenance, and using the proper pool filter cleaners, your swimming pool will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Happy Cleaning


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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Low Jet Output 
After adding the DE to the skimmer, 3 to 4 hours later, the water pressure in the pool jets is gone. The jets we pushing out water at the correct pressure …

Purex Filter Unicel DE Filter Grids Keeps Coming Back Into The Pool 
I have a Purex filter with unicel FC1248 grids. All grids look good as new yet after the last filter cleaning we have DE in our pool - gets worst each …

Old Diatomaceous Earth Put In Too Much DE By Mistake Not rated yet
Does DE have a shelf life? Last year and this year after adding DE we noticed that the pressure dropped. This year after bumping and turning the system …

DE Pool Filter High Pressure Not rated yet
My saltwater DE pool filter starts out at 10-12 psi and moves to 30-35 psi with in about 30 minutes. I have a 15' by 30' in ground pool in a house …

DE Filter Needs To Be Backwashed Every Hour & Backwash Valve Not rated yet
I have a Hayward DE pool filter and I have to backwash the filter every hour. After backwashing in runs well and within fifteen minutes it clogs up …

DE Leakage Into Pool - DE Powder Returning To Pool Not rated yet
My DE filter is allowing the DE to pass from the filter into the water flowing into the pool resulting in DE settling on the bottom of the pool and any …

DE Filter Maintenance Losing Pressure On Return to Pool Not rated yet
I have a question about my DE filter maintenance. We moved into a house and I really don't have a clue about DE swimming pool filters. Out last pool …

swimming pool care, basic pool care, above ground pool maintenance, inground, salt water

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