DE Pool Filters System: How To Select The Best Pool Filter

Understand DE Pool Filters - Your Swimming Pool Filter System & Swimming Pool Pumps and Filters.

DE Pool Filters

Simply put, diatomaceous earth (DE) are the bones of tiny little animals and plants that lived millions and millions of years ago, diatoms.  DE swimming pool filter systems are the most effective pool filtration available, but on the downside, they also require the highest level of maintenance. 

This DE is used to coat the pool filter grids inside the filter which captures and filters particles as small as 5 microns.  When the pressure rises, it is backwashed in the same manner as a sand filter. 

A slurry of diatomaceous earth is put into the skimmer to “recharge” or “re-coat” the grids.  Be very careful when dealing with pool grade DE.  It can be dangerous to your health and aquatic life.

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A swimming pool DE filter is very effective and efficient but a little more expensive to maintain.  Some call it the “water polisher” of a pool water system filter.

Advantages Of A DE Filter

Most pool experts today believe that a DE Earth type filter is the best modern filtration system. It makes your water clear and sparkle compared to sand and cartridge.  Some of the advantages, or pros, are:

  • DE filter powder is easily stored
  • Gets your water cleaner than either sand filter or cartridge filter
  • Recharged easily by putting the DE in the skimmer
  • Might go longer in between a normal backwash than sand filters
  • Filters particles and debris better than sand or cartridge filter systems

Disadvantages/Drawbacks Of A DE Filter

Of course nothing in the world is absolutely perfect.  And a DE pool filtration system is no different.  Some cons of working with DE filters are:  

  • Backwashed every 4 weeks or so due to the fact that DE capture everything
  • Uses up to 50-150 gallons or more of water with every backwash for an above ground pool and 250-500 gallons for an inground pool.  These lengthened backwash times can waste more water compared to a cartridge and sand filters. 
  • DE must be purchased, which can get expensive, and stored
  • Filter must be taken apart and the DE filter grids must be cleaned.  Cleaning DE filter is not fun.
  • The grids need to be coated with fresh DE with each backwash
  • Semi-fragile grids and internal framework.  If a stick or twig gets passed the pump pot strainer and makes it way through to the grid, it might puncture the grid.

Recommended Reading For You

DE Filter Maintenance - Learn Swimming Pool Pumps and Filters For Cleaning Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter. 

Sand Filters - Understanding Swimming Pool Sand Filters, Swimming Pool Filter Sand, & Your Pool Filter System. 

Cartridge Filters - Swimming Pool Filter Cartridge Care & Swimming Pool Filters and Pumps for Inground and Above Ground Pool Filter Systems  

Compare Water Filter Systems

So, out of the three, sand, cartridge, or DE swimming pool filters, which is best for you?  Thinking about changing to a different one?  Well, this all depends on your needs, situation, pool use, cleaning schedule, time investment, financial considerations, etc...

Helpful hints:

  • Want an inexpensive and easily maintained pool filter?  Splashing around for fun and it’s just the two of you?  Then you may want to consider a sand filter.
  • You require low maintenance and pretty good filtration?  The major use is only on the 4th of July and Memorial Day?  Then a cartridge filter is the one you might consider.
  • Money and time are of no consideration and you want the cleanest and clearest pool in the neighborhood.  You want to throw a dime in the deep end and be able to see what year it was made.  Then check out DE pool filters.

It really depends on your wants and needs.  Just remember to ask the right questions to get the best pool filter for your swimming pool.  If that happens to be a swimming pool DE filter , then good for you.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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DE Filter Recharge/No Skimmer 
I have searched the internet attempting to find the answer to my question with no luck. I bought a house recently with an inground spa. I need to clean …

DE Filter..Low Pressure And No Suction At Skimmer 
I have a DE Filter. Cleaned it, and had the grids checked (they were replaced 7 months ago). New O-Ring on DE Filter, new O-Ring/Lid on in-ground Leaf-Vac, …

How Much DE Do I Need Cleaning Pool Bottom & Fingers DE Filter 
After washing panels and putting back together, how much DE powder do your pour into the skimmer basket? Two cups, three cups, 4 cups, 6 cups? My swimming …

I've got D.E. in my pool and I use cartridge filters Not rated yet
Help me PLEASE! A friend of mine, trying to help me with my girlfriends' demon of a pool, put about 6 to 8 lbs of D.E. into a cartridge filter system about …

Assembly Vertical DE Filter Grids Hayward Pro Grid & Leaks From Bottom Not rated yet
I have a PAC-FAB Nautilus FNS Filter (48 sq ft) and recently needed to disassemble the grid assembly to clean consists of 7 standard grids and …

DE Returning Coming Back To The Pool & Tears In Grids Not rated yet
I recently replaced the DE sand in my swimming pool filter and it seems that a large amount of the sand filter media has ejected back into the pool through …

Swimming Pool De Filter & Ripped Tentacle/Grid Not rated yet
We have been having many problems with our DE swimming pool filter. Our landlord does the winterizing and we question if he does it properly. We have …