How do you backwash a pool? I just bought a house with a 20' x 40' pool and a DE filter.?
Question:We opened the pool in May, and I am told we need to backwash it. The suction isn't great in the vacuum, and algae is taking over. I have never owned a pool before, and am VERY new at this. My pool guy opened it and gave us CRYSTAL SHOCK powder (1 cup every day into the skimmer), but the pool just attracts algae. The previous owner also left a large bag of "earth" for us to use. Any advice?
Yeah first test the pool for the proper amount of chlorine. The crystal shock isn't all you need. Checkout the three links below and you will learn all about the filter and pool chemicals and how to backwash your filter. Obviously the earth goes into the DE filter.
I have a pool. I do all the maintenance on it, before I left I made my husband a how to do pool guide for dummies, with pictures and step by step. It would be way to hard to explain it on here but I would be happy to send you the pool book I made, it could help you. if you would like it email me at nikgreen at yahoo and in the subject line put pool information.
good luck to you.
Before you hurt yourself, go straight to http://appliancequickfix.com/ They have one great page on pool water maintenance. DE filters cannot be backwashed and if you want to save yourself a big headache, I would replace it with a sand filter. The DE filter has to be taken apart and cleaned and new earth put in through the skimmer.
Its real simple. The others are trying to be helpfull, but they dont have a nice blue hat like I do.
Well, barring the nice blue hat :rolleyes:, there is a lot you are going to need to do right now.
First off you need to get a sample of water (about a pint) to your local pool store and have them test it for the following:
Total dissolved solids
Bring the results back and post them here or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be more than happy to take you step by step through restoring your pool. Don't purchase anything else from the pool store right now unless they say you have phosphates in the water and then you will need a phosphate remover like PhosFree or if you have metals you will want a metal lock or metal remover.
There are chemicals on the market today that I will be happy to point you to that are the same things as pool chemicals but much cheaper and much purer of form (Baking soda to raise your alkalinity, borax to raise and buffer the pH as well as act as an algaecide, etc.).
Do you have an automatic chlorine feeder on the system? Do you have any alternate forms of sanitation like a Frog or Nature2 ionizer unit? If you don't know what these things are, don't worry. Feel free to send pictures of the pump/filter, and anything else you are unsure of and I'll let you know exactly what you have, how to use it, when to use it, and will put together a tailored maintenance and chemical schedule for your pool. Just include the above information as well as how many gallons of water the pool is.
Sorry Les, please forgive me for offering to help some folks who have never owned a pool before. While the answer to use their DE filter was spot on, knowing what is happening in the pool will help keep them from being taken to the cleaners by pool service techs or pool store reps selling them garbage they do not need or stuff they can find elsewhere for far less money.
While my answer didn't address the problem of operating the DE filter my email exchanges with the member would have. And all without becoming a "chemist", which I do happen to be by the way... alumni of Central Washington University Class of '97 with double degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry. Yet here I am helping folks with pools... what a wonderful way to put my money to good use *LOL*
D.E. filters are easier and cleaner than any other filter system out there, I've had mine for over 25 yrs, I've got the biggest above ground pool that they made back then 27ft round and 52" deep, holds about 20,000 gals of water. 1st bump your filter by shaking the handle about 10 times (pool filter "OFF") and then open your waste line and turn pump on, run until clear, best thing would be to run it like this for a minute and turn off, bump again and run until clear. Close waste line and run pump BUT immediately start putting a 1 lb can of D.E. into the skimmer, you'll need to add 6 cans, let it take it through the skimmer one at a time, when you've added all 6 cans of D.E. check your gauge on the pump and see what the number is, whatever that number is it's a start up number and bump your filter according to that, so if the pressure when you start up after backwash is 10 p.s.i. and it reaches 20 p.s.i. it's time to bump it (shake handle) if it goes up to 20 in say 15 minutes you've got to change the D. E. again. I go through about 40 lbs of the D.E. earth (powder) a season, any questions feel free to ask, some of these answers are way too much bull , you don't need to sample nothing you need to learn how to use your pump not become a chemist
Just to answer the backwash part of the question: there should be a valve on the filter that reverses the flow of water through the filter to flush out the debris and old DE (diatomaceous earth) out of the filter. (Except in the case of Hayward Perflex filters, which is what the answer above is describing.) In most cases these days, it is a six-position valve on the side of the filter with postions such as "filter", "rinse", "recirculate", backwash", "waste", and "closed" (not necessarily in that order... check the label on the valve.) To backwash, you would turn off the pump, move the valve handle from "filter" to "backwash" (180 degrees), and turn the pump back on for a minute or two. A large amount of water is going to come out of the discharge port on the valve; it's best to have a discharge hose hooked up here to direct the flow of water and DE away. There is a small glass jar called a "sight glass" on the discharge port. When the water in this becomes clear, turn the pump off, move the handle to "rinse" for a few seconds, turn the pump off again, turn the handle back to "filter", turn the pump on, and resume operation. This is when the new DE should be added through the skimmer. With the information of what make and model filter it is, I can tell you how much to add. Not all filters use the same amount. (A general rule-of-thumb is 1 lb. for every five square feet of filter area. Even easier, the label on the filter tank should tell you how much to use... assuming it's still readable.)
I would also recommend balancing the water chemistry (other answers have covered that.)
Oh... and last piece of advice: a blue hat does not necessarily mean you know pool equipment.
Just sell the house and get an apartment.
I would clean out the filter, you do this by disconnecting the hoses that attach to the filter, and somehow attach them to the pool rail above the water line in the pool, this prevents the water from flowing out. Then take the filter apart, look up your type filter on line to find out how. Some have "fingers" inside, others a cartridge that need to be hosed off. Be careful not to use too much pressure, you can damage the fingers or cartridge. Clean all of the parts of the filter you can. Put the filter back together, and prime your pump. Once water is flowing through the pump back into the pool, add your earth. The amount depends on the type of filter, you should also be able to find the amount of earth on line too, usually between 4 and 6 lbs. of it. you add the earth through the skimmer once you start your pump. Add it fairly slowly. After you do this, you should notice an improved pressure of water flowing back into the pool. Note the pressure on your pressure gauge after you add the earth, this will be your baseline pressure. I would run the filter for at least 12 hours after you add the new earth, and about 6-8 hours daily for maintenance. Make sure you keep your chlorine level up to keep the algae down. Good Luck.
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