How To Maintain Your DE Pool Filter Properly
A true benefit of owning a cartridge pool filter is the lack of continuous maintenance required. Sand filters, although we love them, must be backwashed numerous times every month making a DE filter an ideal choice for your pool or spa. On average we suggest a quick DE filter clean out at most once per month. If your pool equipment is for a hotel, apartment complex, or other commercial property, please check with the appropriate personnel before attempting this.
We suggest your filter is cleaned a minimum of 7-8 times per year, but its safe to say 12 times is a good number to stick with depending on your pool usage. (or when your pressure gauge reads 8-10+ regardless of pressure relief) to help extend the life of the filter cartridge elements. Although these numbers can vary and are contingent on how your system was built.
Sometimes cleaning a pool filter can be a very tedious process and it’s better to call a professional company. If you are an avid DIY’er the steps are all simple to do, although be prepared with a little time and the potential to get a little wet.
The following steps will not only show you how to clean your cartridge filter, but how to efficiently and safely clean your filter element.
1. First backwash your system. If you are not sure how to backwash your system refer to this video.
2. Shut off the system. You should do this whenever you are working pool equipment, no matter what type it is. Not sure how to do this? Time to call a pro.
3. Next, slowly bleed the air out of the filter. You do this by turning your air relief valve which is usually located on top of the filter.
4. Next, remove the clamp holding the filter together. There might be different mechanisms, depending on the brand. You need to make sure the pump is off and you do not break any tabs when opening your DE filter. The documentation that came with your filter should show you how to remove it properly if you are not sure. If you don’t have any documentation, take a photo of your system to a professional pool service company to show them.
5. Take the top section of the cartridge filter off carefully in order to expose the inner cartridge elements.
6. Loosen parts that holds the cartridge in place. The specific build varies by model and brand. Check with your owner’s manual as you will need to remove it before you take out the cartridge elements. If you aren’t sure how to remove it, refer to your documentation or contact a professional.
7. Take the cartridge elements out carefully and set them aside. Each cartridge needs to be checked for any potential damage. If the plastic housing has any cracks in it or the pleats have tears, we strongly recommend that you replace your filter cartridge. The filter’s effectiveness can be decreased by even small tears.
8. Rinse effectively in between the cartridge element pleats. This is where a majority of debris and dirt resides, so it is very important that this area be cleaned. You can also use a simple garden hose and use your thumb for increasing the water pressure. Make sure not to damage the slates.
10. Replace all of the parts and elements into their correct places securely.
11. Check the O-ring that is on the filter tank. You might need to replace it if it looks too flat or dry-rotted. You can take your O-ring to a local pool store to have it checked, and grab some water proof lubricant for the seal if needed. If the O-ring is still in good shape, you can coat it will a light layer of lubricant with a silicone base.
12. Replace the tank lid securely and close the clamp tightly that holds it all together.
13. Double check to make sure that everything is closed properly and in place prior to turning your system on to make sure that everything is running as it should be.
14. Visually inspect the top of the filter tank and open the air relief valve for 3-5 seconds if needed. This will help to release any excess amount of air that is inside the system. Leave it open until water is spraying consistently out of the air relief valve.
15. Visualize the filter pressure is by looking at the gauge located on top of your filter (the pressure is measured on a pounds per square inch (PSI) basis) to ensure that it is within the correct range (less than 8-10) although this may range may vary depending on how your system is configured. If you aren’t sure what the filter pressure is usually at when it is clean, ask a local professional. If your PSI appears to be off, you may have been something back together incorrectly or the system might have another problem.
16. Shut the system off and contact an emergency pool service who offers commercial pool equipment maintenance and repair..