How to Backwash a DE Filter
One can say to backwash a DE filter system is quite different from backwashing a sand filter. The process can differ depending on the DE system.
One can say to backwash a D.E. filter system is quite different from backwashing a sand filter. Although they complete the same objective, which is cleaning the internal elements of the filter and lowering its overall pressure, the process can differ depending on the D.E. filter system as well. The Hayward EC-40 and Hayward EC-50 are the most common filter systems for above ground pools. They do not have a multiport valve (similar to a sand filter) but instead have a “bump” handle at the top of the tank and an outlet for backwashed water at the bottom of the tank.
This article will focus on how to backwash a DE Filter with bump handles.
What is Filter Bumping?
First to describe bumping, a term unique to Diatomaceous Earth filters. The bumper handle at the top of a D.E. filter is designed to relieve pressure in your filter system without having to go through the process of backwashing. It is common for D.E. to clog the “fingers” or filtering mechanisms within the tank and raise the pressure. Bumping will regenerate the D.E. currently in the tank and can extend time between backwashing cycles saving you money by reducing the amount of Diatomaceous Earth used throughout the season.
How to Bump a DE Filter System
Turn off the pump and clear the leaf basket in the skimmer and the motor to be sure there is a good water flow.
In a slow downward motion and a rapid upward motion, move the bump handle up and down 5-7 times.
Restart filter and resume normal operation.
If the bumping process does not reduce pressure or improve filtering, follow the instructions below to backwash a DE Filter.
How to Backwash a D.E. Filter
Turn off the pump and clear leaf basket in the skimmer and the motor to be sure there is good water flow.
If not already connected, attach a backwash hose to the port labeled “backwash” at the bottom of the tank. A shutoff valve should be attached to the backwash port. If there is no shutoff valve, there will be a plug closing the port. Remove the plug and install a shutoff valve.
Note that removing the plug will allow water to flow and drain from the pool. It may be wise to disconnect the filter hoses to avoid losing water while installing a shutoff valve.
Follow step #2 above for bumping and regeneration of the D.E. within the tank. This will loosen dirt and debris allowing the tank to drain properly during the backwash.
With the pump turned off open the shutoff valve at the bottom of the tank and allow the water to flow out of the filter, occasionally bumping the handle 3-4 times.
Take note of the color of the water at the end of the backwash hose. Once water is clear and no longer cloudy, turn the pump on and allow it to run for approximately one minute and then turn off the pump.
Close the shutoff valve and restart the pump.
Replace the needed amount of D.E. (4 scoops (lbs.) for the Hayward EC-40 and 5 scoops (lbs.) for the Hayward EC-50. Add the D.E. directly to the skimmer attached to the pool while the filter is running.