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Pool Info: Pool Filters - Page 4

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Filters (cont.)


when adding new D.E. powder after backwashing, but you can test this at any time. The best method to determine the cause is to remove the grids and clean/ inspect thoroughly.


Filter Grid replacement:

Grids and manifolds vary by manufacturer, and can be expensive. $25 per grid; up to $100 for a manifold. Labor is usually under one hour.


If handy with an awl, torn grids can be sewn instead of replaced.


Poor water Quality?


It could be a problem with your multiport or push-pull valve. The valve could be allowing water to bypass the filter and return to the pool unfiltered. Perhaps you are not running the filter long enough. Perhaps there is not enough D.E. powder in the filter, or too much. You may also need to backwash the filter or remove the grids and clean them manually. Poor sanitation, poor water balance, and pool circulation could be another cause, and it could have nothing to do with the filtering at all. Remember: filtration + sanitation + circulation = :-)


How long should I run my filter each day?


Well, just as much as you need. Careful experimentation will show you when the water quality begins to suffer. Many people with smaller, older equipment (filter/ pump) run their systems 24 hours per day. The average (I would guess) would be about 16 hours. BUT! It depends on your system. Undersized? Old? High pool Use? Large Debris Load? Heavy Sunlight? Any of these factors call for extra filtering. If you're too frugal with the electricity, you may have to pay more in chemical costs.

Remember: filtration + sanitation + circulation = They all work together.
Leaking filter?


Most D.E. filters have a belly band clamp with a large O-ring between tank halves. The o-ring can become distended or flattened and may need to be replaced if water is dripping from the center clamp. Caution: Do Not remove the center clamp while the pump is running, and without first releasing pressure inside the tank. You may notice your multiport valve leaking in one or more areas. See sand filter info on previous page. If your push-pull valve is leaking out of the backwash port (where the hose attaches), the plunger either needs replacement, or a new set of o-rings.


Plunger replacement:

Varies by manufacturer. Around $90, plus 1 hour labor.


Filter replacement:

D.E. filters are more expensive than sand filters. You may want to replace if your filter is old and tired, or you may decide to upgrade efficiency from a sand or cartridge filter. Price varies by manufacturer; however, as an example, we sell the Pentair FNSP 48 for $479.97.


Cartridge filters:


Filter of choice for most spas, and many smaller above ground pools, the cartridge filter is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. The cartridge filter element, an aquatic version of the pleated air cleaner in your car, traps dirt and particles of 25 - 100 microns in size. The cartridge is removed from the tank and hosed thoroughly, top to bottom, with a high pressure hose to remove dirt when the pressure gauge rises 8 - 10 lbs. above its clean reading. I know some people that take their cartridges to the local self serve car wash place for cleaning. Each time the filter is cleaned, some of its filtering ability is reduced. The cartridge should be replaced every 2 - 5 yrs, depending on the work it was asked to do. If the filter was a bit undersized, and had some algae every year and lots of tree debris, etc. then it may last only 1 - 2 years. Nicely sized cartridge filters can operate for 6 months between cleanings.


"How do I Backwash my Cartridge Filter?


A trick question. There is no backwash valve on a cartridge filter because today's pool filter cartridges aren't built for backwards flow. Instead, the pump is shut off, air bleeder opened, lid removed, cartridge removed, hosed thoroughly top to bottom, and replaced. It's a bit of a pain to do, but hopefully the filter is sized so that it's a 1 - 2 x per year job.  Another advantage is that cartridge cleaning doesn't waste as much water as backwashing.


Soaking the cartridge in a TSP (trisodium-phosphate) or similar solution prior to hosing will improve your cleaning. Do not use TSP if you utilize Baquacil or Soft Swim for sanitation.


Use of a clarifier or Chitin product like Sea-Klear is a great help to a cartridge filter. Some people also increase the filter efficacy by adding a small amount of synthetic filter aid powder (1 - 2 cups) through skimmer. D.E. powder is not recommended by most manufacturers, as it can clog the pores of the cartridge.


Disposal/replacement of the cartridge, its difficulty in maintenance (no backwashing), and its low efficiency are the reasons I don't recommend these filters for use in most larger swimming pools. But for pools under 30,000 gals., there are some nice filters like the Hayward C-4000 that can really be a great filter.


Filter Cartridge Replacement:

Right off the shelf for $40 - $100, depending on its size. No professional labor needed.

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