How to replace DE Filter Grids

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel
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 (4.32 OUT OF 5 STARS ON 8 RATINGS)

The most effective type of pool filter is Diatomaceous Earth, or D.E. Filter. It works by sifting our pool water through its series of grids inside the tank. The grids filtering element is the layer of D.E. powder. If running your filter system and you notice this powder is in your pool then you may have a torn grid or multiple torn grids. If this is the case, follow this "How to", step by step, to get your filter back up and running.

Tips & Warnings

Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1
d.e. filter grid packs

Tools you will need: 1) Wrench - medium 2) Rubber Mallet or Ball Peen Hammer - medium 3) Pliers 4) Dust mask to protect yourself from any dangerous inhalation of particles

Step 2
d.e. filter grid pack

Before starting, make sure you TURN OFF THE POOL PUMP. For maximum safety, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.

Step 3
d.e. filter

Next release the pressure in the filter tank by unscrewing the pressure relief at the rear of the pressure gauge.

Step 4
replacing de filter grid

Drain the filter completely by removing the drain plug at the bottom of the tank.

Step 5
replacement of d.e. filter grid

Our model filter is the DEV60. As with most D.E. filters the piece holding the two halves of the filter together is the clamp assembly.

Step 6
replace a d.e. filter grid

To remove the clamp assembly, locate the locking nut. This nut assembly consists of a 4" bolt and a hex nut.

Step 7
replacing d.e. filter gid

Remove this hex nut with pliers until it becomes loose enough to turn by hand.

Step 8
replace d.e. filter

Once the nut is removed, swing the bolt on its hinge to the opposite side. Remove this bolt and place to the side.

Step 9
replace d.e. filter grids

Now to remove the clamp itself - this can be done by either using a tool as a lever to pry the two piece apart or a hammer to tap loose its hold on the filter body.

Step 10
d.e. filter tank body

The two halves of the filter will still be tightly sealed after the D.E. filter clamp assembly had been removed. To loosen this seal, gently tamp the joint with a rubber mallet. Complete one to two rounds of this action.

Step 11
d.e. grid assembly

Use the handles at the top of the filter (handles may be located elsewhere on your model) and lift straight up until clear of the grid assembly inside.

Step 12
d.e. filter grid assembly

The grid assembly inside will probably look as pictured.

Step 13
d.e. filter manifold

To remove the grid assembly from the D.E. filter, find the demarcated handles on the manifold top and remove. The assembly will need to be disconnected from the manifold pipe, this should happen as you lift the grid out of the filter base. The D.E. grid assembly may be quite heavy due to the saturated D.E. powder and debris. This may take two people to lift out

Step 14
de filter grid manifold knob

At the top of the D.E. filter grid assembly there is one locking nut that holds the manifold to the grid tops. Unscrew this nut and place to side.

Step 15
de filter grid maniolf handle

Now that the locking nut is gone, the top manifold can be slid up and off its mount. Use the same handles we did in "Step 11".

Step 16
de grid spacer

The last item left on top of the grids is the grid spacer. This piece is utilized as a guide or position holder for the grids while the manifold is off its mount. Remove the grid spacer and place to side.

Step 17
de filter partial grid

Looking down onto your filter grid assembly without the top manifold it should look as pictured. In the array of grids you can see there are seven "full grids" and one "partial grid". the location of the partial grid is important. If the partial grid is in the wrong slot when installing the assembly, the manifold pipe be unable accommodate the grids.

Step 18
de filter grid base

To make installation simpler we will be removing a grid and then replacing it with a new grid before moving on. This method will ensure the proper placement of the partial grid.

Step 19
replacing de filter grid

If for some reason you must remove all the grids and start from scratch, the bottom manifold may have a helpful guide. The base's outer support ring has a wedge cut out for where the manifold pipe should be located when the assembly is inserted in the tank. When installed, the partial grid should be covering half of the wedge.

Step 20
replacing de filter grid assembly

As stated earlier this is a normal installation that will only cause us to remove and replace one grid at a time. Removing the grid safely and without displacing the other grids is done lifting straight up until the grid is clear of the others.

Step 21
replacing de filter

Replacing the grid is done in the opposite motion. To ensure the grid is properly seated, make certain the main pipe of each grid is sitting on top of one of the small round place markers on the base. There are finned guides that the grids must fit between as well. These points are marked on this step's picture

Step 22
how to position de grids

When all the grids are replaced we can begin reassembling the manifold. the first step to this is resetting the manifold spacer. A tip on setting the spacer correctly it should always be in the right side hole on a spacer's arm. An example is highlighted in this step's picture.

Step 23
d.e. filter manifold

Place the manifold on top of the spacer and grids. The pipe inlet should be located on the partial grid section. The partial grid is specifically shortened to accommodate this pipe connection.

Step 24
de filter grid replacement

Secure the top manifold to the D.E. filter grid assembly by screwing the lock nut onto the tie rod. Hand tighten the lock knob until the manifold no longer is able to wobble.

Step 25
d.e. filter grids

Using the handles we used to remove the assembly place the filter grid assembly into the filter body. When placing the grid assembly, align the manifold pipe inlet and manifold pipe. As the grids are lowered into the body, be sure to align the manifold inlet with the filter inlet pipe. These must be connected for water to flow correctly through your filter system.

Step 26

Place the small tube spacer on top of the manifold covering the lock nut.

Step 27
de filter tank body

The filter body top is set in place. Before moving to the next step check the seam between the two halves. The space between should be slight and even around the entire circumference

Step 28
de filter clamp assembly

Fasten the clamp to the filter body. If you have loosened the clamp's hinge bolts prior, be sure to tighten these before restarting your filter system.

Step 29
d.e. filter drain cap

Also tighten your drain cap if you have not already done so.

Step 30
de filter pool pump

Turn on your pool pump to begin the recirculation of your pool water.

Step 31
de filter air relief valve

The air relief valve should still be open. As the pressure builds, air will be released through the relief valve. When water starts to spray out of the valve, turn the valve clockwise to close it.

Step 32
de pressure gauge

Check the pressure gauge. It typically reads between 10 - 20 psi

Step 33

To coat your new grids with a layer of D.E., locate the skimmer closest to your pump and filter system and remove the lid. You may want to wear a protective mask, as the D.E. particles may be harmful if inhaled.

Step 34

While the pump and filter system is running scoop 4 to 6 pounds of D.E. powder through the top of the skimmer. The D.E. will be run through the filter and caught by the grid fabric.

Comments (1 to 12 of 12)

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User: Inyopools

DE elements - 9 years is a long time for DE filter elements. They may be clogged with oils and minerals. Try soaking them for 24 hours in a TSP solution to get the gunk out. If that doesn't help, it may be time to buy new elements.

User: 

How long will a DE filter element last? My pool is 9 years old. I am having to clean the filter elements every 7-10 days or the pressure gets fairly high. Just wondering if the filter elements may be worn out?

User: InyoPools

janet - I couldn't locate a "screen" part on this parts breakdown. See if you can recognize your part at this link: http://www.inyopools.com/pool_parts_pentair_nautilus_fns_d_e_.aspx

User: InyoPools

Silvino - It sounds like you have a leak on the suction side of the pump - going into the pump. It doesn't take much. Check the o-ring on your strainer cover. If you have unions on the section side, make sure the threads are wrapped with several layers of plumbers tape and that the o-ring is set properly. Make sure the threads of the fitting going into the pumps in wrapped with plumbers tape. Check that your pool's water level is above the half way mark on your skimmer opening. Then check that you diffuser and impeller are not worn or clogged. If these efforts don't solve your problem, you may have to call a pool professional.

User: janet

while replacing the manifold on our nautilus de filter the screen fell out and we are not sure where it goes

User: Silvino

I got a thorn grid on my DE filter, so I installed a set of new grids. I'm still having problem to start the pump, it seam it is not getting the water from the pool and get signs of a little amount of DE comming back from the filter to the pool. I followed the procedures and still can't water comming and fillin the pump basket.

User: InyoPools

wlanna - You may have particles suspended in your water. Try using Floc to clear these particles out of the water. Follow the instruction carefully.

User: wlanna

I am having problems with my pool being cloudy. My filters seem to be ok, could it be a faulty o-ring allowing DE ppowder to get into the pool?

User: InyoPools

Sounds like one or more of the grids isn't seated completely. I'd pull the assembly apart again and reassemble it.

User: 

i am in the final stage of putting the grid assemblly back in the filter housing unit but it seems to be tilting to one side.Also the manifold pipe is not seating flush with the pipe either for that matter any helpful tips on this situation would be appreciated

User: InyoPools

hmoody - That information is in their owner's manual. To see that owner's manual go to our web site and at the bottom of the page, click "owner's manuals". It's at the end of the blue line. Then click Sta Rite and then under Filters click System 2 DE.

User: 

I am a beginner when it comes to pool maintenance and in being so, I was looking at your "how to" page on cleaning a D.E. filter.I guess there are more than one type of D.E. filters out there.I have a STA-Rite that has a filter module that looks nothing like the one in your "how to"page.My is a Model PLD 70 and it has a circular insert,totaly different than what you are showing.How would I go about cleaning it? thanks

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Tips & Warnings

Turn off pool pump before disassembling the pool filter.


Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.