How Do I Vacuum And Remove D.E.?

by Gene

I cannot remove expelled D.E. from the walls and bottom of my pool. Vacuuming only disperses it. With the skimmers shut off, I've tried(many times)to brush the D.E. into the drain at the shallow end. Twice I've backwashed and dismantled the filter for a thorough cleaning.

The pressure is at 8 lbs. Hopefully, I can rectify this problem without a complete draining of the water.

Thanks for the question Gene

First I would encourage you to read some posts that are applicable to your situation:

Pressure Builds Up In 30 minutes And DE Flowing Back Into The Pool

DE Filter Problem..DE Coming Back Into The Pool..


Here are some troubleshooting tips on another page:

Look at the manifold at the top of the grid assembly. Check for cracks or for grids that aren't fully seated into it.

Look at the air vent/relief strainer. This should be on top of the manifold. This part is often a source for DE going through the filter.

Some other reasons are:

Torn filter grids - Remember to check the end of the grid.

Broken manifold

Broken and/or missing air relief strainer

Broken filter necks - Normally if the grid neck can be squeezed together, then it won't fit into the manifold. You won't have a good fit and the DE will pass right through.

Bad backwash valve - You may need to disassemble and inspect the valve.

I will assume that when you do vacuum the DE is coming back into the pool through the returns because this happens alot with DE filters.

The above links will give you the information you need. Also, what kind of vacuum head are you using? Is the hose connected well and free of holes or cracks? The vacuum head I've used is the Pentair Pool Products R201276 14 PRO-Vac Flexible Vacuum Head. You can also get them with bristles which make vacuuming finer particles and debris a little easier.

Be sure you're going slow enough so the vacuum has time to suck up the DE. I've always vacuumed by counting. This may seem a little elementary, but it works. Count to seven while extending your arm. At seven your arm should be fully extended. Then count to seven while pulling the vacuum back.

That's the speed that you want to vacuum. It's slow enough that the vacuum should be able to pick up the dirt, but fast enough that you're not spending hours and hours vacuuming the pool. Be sure to clean the pump strainer basket. I learned this by vacuuming my customer's pools for literally thousands of hours after huge wind storms hit the Phoenix, Arizona area.

You can also turn the system off and gently brush the walls of your pool. It may cloud up a bit, but don't worry about that. Allow the pools to sit for a few hours. The DE will settle on the bottom. Turn the system back on and vacuum as stated above.

If you have any additional questions or would like to comment on your post, you can find it on the Q&A page in the "DE Filter" category:

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.

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Low Suction When Vacuuming With A DE Pool Filter

by Ed
(Millbury, MA)

I recently bought a house that came with a pool. When vacuming the suction is initially powerful, but only for 10-15 minutes.

I have to stop the filter pump handle and then resume. Do I need to backwash the filter and see how it works after that? After backwashing, do I add more "earth" into skimmer?

Thanks for the question Ed

It depends on the amount of dirt and debris you're vacuuming up. Obviously with more dirt, you're going to need to backwash more frequently. Another reason is your DE filter might actually have too much DE.

I would suggest to clean out of the grids and recharge with fresh DE. You'll want to make a slurry of DE, then pour that into the skimmer. Don't dump the DE straight into the skimmer as it may "chunk up" on the grids and not coat them properly. After you backwash, you will need to recharge your grids with DE. The link below will give you exactly what you need to know and how to do it.

Here are some links that can help you. One is about a cartridge filter, but the vacuuming part and troubleshooting applies to your DE filter as well:

Maintaining Vacuum Suction..Loss Of Suction With A Cartridge Filter..

How Much DE Powder Do I Need To Recharge Filter?

DE Filter Maintenance

Here the the links to my pages concerning your DE filter:

DE Pool Filters

DE Pool Filter Maintenance

You'll have access to how to videos and lots of good information that focuses on DE filters and maintenance. Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.


New Question: How Do I Vacuum D.E.?

By: New Jersey Gene
Date: June 17, 2011

My Hayward D.E. Filter expelled a significant amount of D.E. back into the pool water after I apparently loaded new D.E. too quickly after backwashing.

I'm finding it impossible to vacuum this powder because it just turns to a cloud of dust.

I've tried to shut off the skimmers and just use the floor drain in the shallow end.

I would brush the powder to this location. Very little progress after multiple tries.

Questions: My filter is running at a pressure of 6-8. Is this to low for maximum vacuuming?

Is there a product or vacuum that will solve this problem?

Any help will be appreciated.


By: Robert
Date: June 17, 2011

Thanks for the question

From what I can gather in the question, DE is coming back into the pool while you're vacuuming. This means the DE is bypassing the filter grids.

This is a very common problem that might be easily fixed.

Here are some good posts about DE going back into the pool.

Cleaning Pool Bottom Is Difficult With A DE Filter

D.E.Filter High Pressure

Several Tears In The Filter Panels Of My DE Filter..Loss Of Suction..

Every DE is different, but a normal pressure would be between 15 - 20 psi.

I would first take a look at the grids. Tears or holes will cause the DE to go back into the pool.

Overloading the filter or not making a slurry then putting the DE in the skimmer will also cause this.

If you simply put the DE in the skimmer without first making a slurry, it may cause it to chunk up and not evenly coat the grids.

Check out the posts above and if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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