how much diatomaceous earth for my pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

Diatomaceous earth is a highly effective pool filter media that is used in the filtration process to help remove unwanted particles and debris from swimming pool water. But, how much diatomaceous earth is needed for a pool filter? The answer is not straightforward, but it is important to ensure the safety and longevity of your pool filter.

Understanding Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a porous sedimentary rock that is made up of the fossilized remains of algae-like plants called diatoms. These diatoms contain silica, which makes them ideal for filtration. When diatomaceous earth is used in a pool filter, it coats a series of grids or screens, creating a highly effective filter that can trap particles as small as 5 microns.

Different Types of Pool Filters

There are three types of pool filters: sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth filters. While all three filter types work well, diatomaceous earth filters are considered the most effective because they can trap the smallest particles.

Determining the Size of Your Pool Filter

To determine the appropriate amount of diatomaceous earth for your pool filter, you must first identify the size of your pool filter. This measurement is crucial in determining the amount of diatomaceous earth required for your filtration system.

Calculating the Amount of Diatomaceous Earth

Once you have identified the size of your pool filter, you can calculate the amount of diatomaceous earth needed. The amount of DE needed depends on the size of your pool filter and the filter manufacturer's recommendations for the filter.

The general rule of thumb for diatomaceous earth filters is to use approximately 1 pound of DE per 10 square feet of filter area. You can typically find this information in the owner's manual or on the filter itself.

For example, if your pool filter has a total filter area of 60 square feet, you will need approximately 6 pounds of diatomaceous earth.

How to Add Diatomaceous Earth to Your Filter

Once you have determined the appropriate amount of DE needed, it is time to add it to your pool filter. Adding DE is a straightforward process, but it is important to follow these steps to ensure the longevity and performance of your filter system.

1. Turn off the pool filter and open the air relief valve to release any pressure from the filter tank.

2. Remove the filter lid and gently remove any excess debris or old DE from the filter grids.

3. Add the appropriate amount of DE to the skimmer or directly into the filter tank, being careful not to spill or overflow.

4. Close the filter lid and turn the pool filter back on.

5. Run the pool filter for 5-10 minutes to allow the DE to evenly coat the filter grids.

6. Backwash the filter system to remove any excess DE.

7. Repeat the process every 4-6 weeks, depending on pool usage and water quality.


Diatomaceous earth is a highly effective filter media that can help maintain the cleanliness and clarity of your pool water. However, it is crucial to use the appropriate amount of DE for your pool filter and to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for filter maintenance.

Remember to always wear protective gloves and a mask when handling DE and to store it in a dry, cool place. Proper use and care of your pool filtration system can help ensure years of enjoyment and relaxation in your backyard oasis.


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