how does a diatomaceous earth pool filter work


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

How Does a Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter Work?

When it comes to maintaining a crystal clear pool, a good pool filter is essential. One of the most effective types of pool filters available today is the Diatomaceous Earth or DE filter. But how does this type of pool filter work? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the inner workings of a DE pool filter.

What is a Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter?

Before we dive into how a DE pool filter works, let’s first understand what it is. A DE pool filter is a type of filter that uses diatomaceous earth, which is a porous and powder-like substance made from the fossilized remains of microscopic, water-dwelling organisms called diatoms. This substance is used as a filtration medium to capture particles and debris from the pool water.

How Does a DE Pool Filter Work?

A DE pool filter works by passing water through a series of grids coated with diatomaceous earth. These grids are arranged in a cylindrical or rectangular tank and are supported by a manifold at the bottom. As the water flows through the grids, the diatomaceous earth captures particles as small as 5 microns – much smaller than what a sand or cartridge filter can trap.

The DE powder is added to the filter through the skimmer or directly into the filter tank. As the water is circulated, the DE powder adheres to the surfaces of the grids, creating a fine layer that acts as a sieve.

The manifolds at the bottom of the tank collect the filtered water and send it back to the pool clean and free of debris. Over time, however, the DE layer on the grids becomes clogged with debris, reducing the filter’s efficiency. This is when it’s time to backwash the filter.


1. Backwashing a DE Pool Filter

When the DE layer becomes too dirty, a process called backwashing is used to remove the debris from the filter. Backwashing involves reversing the flow of water through the filter, and sending the dirty water to waste. The DE powder is washed off along with the debris, leaving a clean layer on the grids.

2. Replacing Diatomaceous Earth

While backwashing can get rid of most of the dirt and debris, it does not remove all of the old DE powder. Over time, the amount of DE powder in the filter decreases and needs to be replenished. The frequency of DE powder replacement varies based on the pool size, usage, and other factors.

3. Maintaining a DE Pool Filter

To keep a DE pool filter in top condition, regular maintenance is required. This includes checking the DE powder levels, ensuring the manifold and grids are clean and free of debris, and checking for leaks or other signs of damage.

4. Advantages of Using a DE Pool Filter

There are many advantages to using a DE pool filter. These include superior filtration, longer-lasting filter media, and lower maintenance requirements compared to other types of pool filters.

5. Disadvantages of Using a DE Pool Filter

While DE pool filters offer many benefits, they also have some disadvantages. These include higher upfront costs, more frequent backwashing and DE replacement, and the need for more complicated maintenance than other types of filters.

In conclusion, a DE pool filter is a highly effective way to keep your pool water crystal clear. By understanding how it works and following proper maintenance procedures, you can keep your filter running efficiently for years to come.


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