How To Add DE Filter Powder


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A Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter cleans your pool water by passing the water through a set of normally 8 grids. Each of these grids is covered with a layer of DE powder. If you are installing a new DE filter, you will have to coat the new DE grids with a layer DE Filter Powder. If you have backwashed an operational DE Filter to clean the grids, you will have to recoat the grids with a layer of new DE Powder. This guide shows you how to add or replace DE Filter Powder in your DE Filter.

Click Here for D.E. Powder 


Step by Step


Step 1

Buy DE Powder - You will need about 4-6 pounds of DE Powder to coat new grids or to replace the old DE Power that is striped off old grids during backwash. Buy this ahead of time so it is available when you need it. The DE Powder is available in large bags (like 25#s) which will last for 4-6 separate backwashes.

Click Here for D.E. Powder

Step 2

Determine DE Powder Required - Check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended amount of DE Powder.  If this is  New installations, you will have to add the full recommended amount. If you are replacing DE Powder after a backwash, you will not need to add the full amount - generally around 80%.  The grids will have retained some of the DE Power after the backwash, and if you add too much, it may end up in the pool. The best way to assess how much DE Power to add is to monitor the pressure gauge. Stop adding DE Powder when the gauge hits your normal operational range - generally 10-13 psi.

Step 3

Check Filter Mode - Ensure that your filter's Multiport Valve (MPV) is set on FILTER mode.

Step 4

Turn Pump on - Turn the pool pump ON and let it reach prime.

Step 5

Close Relief Valve - The Air Relief Valve should be open to let air out of the top of the filter. Close this valve when a steady stream of water shoots out the end of the valve.

Step 6

Add DE Powder - Remove the cover to the skimmer closest to the pump and filter. Slowly add the required amount of DE Powder into the skimmer. If you simply dump the DE Powder into the skimmer, you may clog the pipes. CAUTION: WEAR A MASK WHEN ADDING DE POWDER. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BREATH THIS POWDER INTO YOUR LUNGS.

Click Here for D.E. Powder

Step 7

Check Air Pressure Gauge - Check the reading on the Air Pressure Gauge to determine when you have added enough DE Powder. When the gauge hits its normal operational value, stop adding powder.

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(1 to 23 of 23)

 Posted: 6/28/2022 

I have DE coming out of my jets on my steps it forms a circle, do you think my cell could be the problem ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2022 

I presume you're talking about a salt cell, but it wouldn't affect the DE filter's ability to retain DE. The usual culprits are torn grid fabric, cracked manifold, or compromised connection between the filter's standpipe and the top manifold port

 Posted: 10/18/2021 

That picture on step 6, with the DE cup full, is that 1LB of DE approximately?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/18/2021 

One of those DE scoops holds about one-half pound of DE powder. You can see more information about DE powder measurements in this article - How Much DE to Add?

 Posted: 10/3/2020 

I just closed my pool today. I have a Hayward de3620 filter, purchased sept 2017 near end of season. I want to remove & clean the grid assembly. The grid pipe is frozen onto the bottom pipe. I cleaned it once in June and had trouble then too. I put a new o- ring and lube at that time. Can you provide a suggestion to help me separate the grid unit? Thanks

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/19/2020 

You can try a flathead screwdriver and a rubber mallet to tamp the two pieces apart.

 Posted: 8/2/2020 

I added the powder directly into the pool. How long do I wait before going swimming.?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/21/2020 

It sounds like you threw some DE powder into your pool, but not directly into the skimmer. If so, that was the wrong way to do it. You can vacuum your stray DE powder into the filter, or you can try to push the pules of DE into the main drain. Once the DE powder is in the filter, you can start swimming.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/5/2020 

After adding the powder how long should I let it run before turning off the pump?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/23/2020 

Let the pump run until there is no visible DE powder in the skimmer or pump strainer.

 Posted: 4/2/2020 

What should I do if my DE bag and filter chart disagree? Filter chart says that I should use 6 lbs of DE, but for the same surface area the DE bag indicates I should only use 4.5. My operating pressure always seems to start at 13 psi after cleaning and reapplying DE, but I lose output around 18 psi, so I feel like my system isn't meeting the standard 10 psi life cycle that is commonly referenced, and I thought maybe I'm using too much DE.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/2/2020 

Below are the recommended DE dosages for filters after backwashing.A full dose of DE is not necessary after a backwash, because not all the old DE is cleared from the system.24 Sq. Ft. = 1.9 Lbs.36 Sq. Ft. = 2.8 Lbs.48 Sq. Ft. = 3.8 Lbs.60 Sq. Ft. = 4.8 Lbs.72 Sq. Ft. = 5.7 Lbs.

 Posted: 11/7/2019 

Hello, I have a DE3620 filter that states it requires 4.5# of DE. Can you convert this to volume so I can use a 2QT measuring cup? Does using too much/little DE do any damage? For awhile I was getting DE in my pool, thought it was the elements, replaced them (they were 10 yrs old), and it didn't make any difference. Maybe I was using too much... Whenever I backwash, the pressure on my gauge doesn't change between freshly BW'ed and after adding DE. I usually BW 3x's in a row, rinsing in between to get the bullseye clear. Pressure does, however, change during use as it should. Does this indicate a problem? We don't have real winters here in SETX so I keep my pool running all year. I always strip out my filter, remove and hose-wash the elements, and reassemble during the cool time. Even after BW'ing, they are quite nasty! Curious as to your thoughts!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 11/11/2019 

Hello Russell - Each 2qt scoop would be about 2.6 pounds of DE.

 Posted: 4/28/2019 

I didn’t know I was supposed to add the powder slowly. I removed my grid and cleaned it. Then dumped two scoops in. My operating pressure was getting so high that I had no flow to my jets. So I pulled it out and cleaned it again and added no more powder. The pressure is better now but am I not filtering? Have I clogged my pipes? How do you unclog pipes?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/30/2019 

Hello Cody - It's not filtering well if there is no D.E. powder in the filter. If the pump is staying primed, the pipe probably isn't clogged. You can feed an electrician's fish tape through the pipe to dislodge a clog.

 Posted: 3/11/2019 

How long after I put the earth in does my pool clear up

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/12/2019 

Hello Steven - There isn't a set time frame for the pool to clear up.  It's different with every pool and situation. Using a water clarifier should help speed up the process. You'll want to backwash and add more DE once the PSI on the filter gauge rises 10 PSI above the clean starting pressure.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2017 

Anonymous (DE Powder) - Since the DE Powder stops at the grids and does not enter the pool, you can start swimming immediately after adding the powder.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/27/2017 

How long before you can start swimming in the pool after adding the product?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/11/2017 

Anonymous (DE powder). Here is the link to our DE Powder page. Or you can buy DE powder at most pool or hardware stores.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/10/2017 

how much per 1 bag,,ang where to buy?

 Posted: 6/25/2016 

Very helpful article. I haven't opened pool in a few years and couldn't remember the procedures.