DE Filter Recharge/No Skimmer

by Drew

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 and recharge my DE filter, but the spa has no skimmer with which to add the DE slurry.

How do I recharge the filter with DE? Add to the drain at the bottom of the spa which goes to the filter, add directly to the Jandy filter, or some other way?

Thanks for the question Drew

I had a few hot tubs on my route and a few commercial hot tubs as well. Most were sand and none were DE but all had a skimmer. I have given your question to another well seasoned pool guy and I'm awaiting his response. I will forward his answer to you when it's received. And maybe I'll learn something in the process. After 15 years of doing this and there's always something new.


Hi one again Drew. The other pool guy sent his response and here it is in full:

Sounds like a Mickey Mouse job for sure. Eventually they will need to replace that DE filter with a Cartridge filter. But for now the solution is pretty simple. I've done this on a few occasions with pools that had skimmer issues myself so I know it will be fine. Simply have them take the top off the filter and clean the grids. Then when everything is ready to put back together add the D.E. dry directly on the grids. Usually I will try to pile it up on top of the top manifold. Just add the regular amount, then put the lid on and turn on the pool. The water entering the filter will stir up the DE and it will settle evenly on the grids. Don't make it a slush and pour it on or it will clump up in the center and not cover the grids. I've seen the after results when cleaning and the grids get full coverage.

Hope that helps,



Let me know how it turns out for you.


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Jan 30, 2015
Why Replace A DE Filter With Cartridge
by: Drew

Great, thanks so much for your help. Quick question though. Why does David mention that the DE filter will eventually need to be replaced with a cartridge filter.

I think the DE filter in place is several years old (perhaps 12- 14 years old) and to the best of my knowledge been functioning fine for the previous owners. Does the DE filter have a life span or is this just a matter of upgrading to something better?

It's probably because of the issue with not having a skimmer but having a DE filter. Many hot tubs use either sand or cartridge filters. DE does filter the best but can be troublesome due to grids tearing and DE going back into the hot tub. If you use his technique and it works then you can keep doing it. There's no need to change. David was just expressing his opinion.

My personal preference is cartridge. It filters between DE and sand (which is the lowest of the filters). Being you have a hot tub the filter will be smaller and much easier to clean.

Hope this helps


Jan 30, 2015
Spa Hot Tub Jets Blower Not Working
by: Drew

You helped me so much with my prior issue (below), I thought I'd touch base with you on another problem I'm currently having. Again, I have an in- ground spa, no pool. My blower for my jets seems to be a little schizophrenic. When I turn it on the jets work fine sometimes, most times not. I get one of four results when I turn on the blower:

1. Blower runs and jets run fine - 10% of the time.
2. Blower runs for a few minutes, jets run, then both shut down after 3-4 minutes - 50%
3. Blower runs for a long time, jets run for just a few minutes, but blower motor continues to runs for duration 20%
4. Blower runs, jets run, both shut down after 5 minutes of run time....10-15 minutes pass then blower and jets kick in and run for a few minutes, then shut down again - 20%

My question is, do I just have a blower issue and simply need to replace it, or do I have a bigger problem with my air lines or something like that?? Given the sporadic nature of the problem, I'm just not really sure what the issue is? All my equipment is about 15 yards away from the spa.

Thanks for your assistance on this and the earlier question.
Regards, Drew

P.S. Last week I ended up replacing my DE filter with a cartridge filter....water has never been cleaner. After opening my DE filter, I noticed bad O-rings, cracked manifold, and slightly torn grids. DE making its way back to the spa pretty easily. Cartridge definitely seems the way to go!!!

Thanks for the follow up and glad to hear the cartridge filter is working. Now onto the jet issue. It sounds like it may be an electrical issue. I'm not an electrician by any means and pretty much stay clear of it but I may be able to point you in the right direction.

When I've seen issues with jets not putting out the correct force or air it was sometimes the Blower Air Switch, Blower Motor, Blower Air Switch and/or Contact/Relay.

Most hot tubs that have a blower will need the blower to run all the time. If the blower is turned off it may block the air/water so the venturis will not get enough air. Venturis is a fancy name for the reduction in fluid pressure when a fluid flows through a constricted pipe.

Next is there may be some blockage in the plumbing. You can check the pump impeller and all the valve settings. Last resort, you can remove all of the jet nozzles and flush the lines to make sure there is nothing stuck in the plumbing.

Check these out and see if they can help.


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