How to Replace DE Filter Grids


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In this guide, we’ll provide step by step instructions on how to replace the grids for your DE filter. If you have noticed DE powder entering your pool from the return line; or have seen tears or fraying of the DE grid sheathing, you likely need to replace them.

Things You'll Need


Step by Step


Step 1

Grid Size - Modern DE filters using curved grids have five standard sizes categorized by square footage. The common grid sizes are 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 square feet; the lengths of these grids are 12, 18, 24,30, and 36 inches, respectively. The square footage classification notes the amount of material needed to sheath the grid frame.

If you need help in determining your filter grid size, review this article: How to Select the Correct Replacement DE Grids.

Related Articles: How To Identify the Make and Model of My Pool Filter

Step 2

Backwash Your Filter - To clean out all the old DE and built-up debris, backwash your filter, before opening the tank. This will make changing the grids less of a mess, and the grid pack lighter to handle.

Click Here to Find Your Filter's Replacement DE Grid Pack

Step 3

Open Air Relief Valve - Purge water from your equipment and plumbing by opening the the filter’s air release valve.

Step 4

Drain Filter Tank - Remove the filter’s drain cap to allow water to drain from the tank bottom.

Step 5

Turn Power Off - Make sure the power to the pump is turned off at the breaker.

Step 6

Remove Clamp Assembly - With the water purged from the plumbing and tank bottom, remove the filter’s clamp assembly.

Step 7

Remove Tank Lid - Remove the filter tank lid, and set aside for the re-install.

Step 8

Remove Grid Assembly - Remove the filter’s grid assembly by lifting it up and off the tank bottom’s standpipe. The assembly and standpipe are likely caked with gunk, so you may need to wiggle it as you lift to separate them.

Step 9

Disassemble the Grid Assembly - Unscrew the nut or bolt that secures the top manifold to the assemblies’ tie rod. Each model’s grid assembly is a little different in various ways, but most grid assemblies are made of a top manifold, grids, grid base, and a tie rod. The tie rod is bolted to the base, runs up the middle of the assembly, and the manifold is secure to the tie rod, with a wingnut.

Turn the assembly right side up before removing the manifold.

Step 10

Inspect Grids - If you plan only to replace the damaged grids, take this time to inspect and remove them. If you replace the whole set, you can discard the old now.

Click Here to Find Your Filter's Replacement DE Grid Pack

Step 11

Clean Filter Tank - Thoroughly wash and remove any leftover debris left in the bottom of your filter tank. You will notice that even though we backwashed before we began disassembling the filter, there’s still a substantial amount of leftover DE powder and debris leftover in the tank.

Make sure to clean the gasket grooves on the top and bottom tank halves, for the main body O-ring.

Step 12

Place New Grids into Top Manifold - Begin reassembling the grid pack by placing the manifold on the ground, portholes facing up. Then going clockwise from the standpipe port begin placing the full-sized grids into the manifold.

Tip: The partial grid port may be marked on the manifold.

Step 13

Install Grid Retainer - Place the grid retainer over top the grids, making sure to align the space for the standpipe on it with the standpipe port on the top manifold. Also, make certain each grid is correctly situated between the retainer’s guide fins. 

Step 14

Re-install Tie Rod - Insert tie rod through the bottom retainer, until it drops into the top manifold hole. Install wingnut if your model requires it for the tie rod, before flipping the grid pack.

Step 15

Flip Grid Pack - While holding the bottom retainer and top manifold, flip the grid assembly into an upright position.

Click Here to Find Your Filter's Replacement DE Grid Pack

Step 16

Secure Tie Rod - Secure the manifold to the top of the assembly by installing tie rob nut.

Step 17

Replace Standpipe Gasket - inspect the filter’s standpipe gasket and replace if necessary. 

Tip: Rub the old gasket with a finger. If it leaves a black streak, it is a sign the rubber has begun to degrade, the o-ring should be replaced.

Step 18

Replace Tank Body O-ring - Inspect your main tank body o-ring, replace if necessary. 

Tip: use silicone lube to ensure the large o-ring stays in place during installation, as to not get pinched when installing the upper tank and clamp assembly.

Find Your Filter’s Gaskets and Other Parts in Our Pool Filter Parts Section

Step 19

Install New DE Grid Assembly - Place the DE filter’s grid assembly into the filter tank bottom. Align the manifold’s standpipe port with the standpipe, then slide it into place.

Step 20

Install Filter Tank Lid - re-install the tank lid on the filter bottom. Ensure the main body o-ring stays in its groove before installing clamp assembly

Step 21

Install Clamp Assembly - Re-install the clamp assembly. To ensure a snug fit, use a rubber mallet to tamp the circumference of the clamp while tightening the clamp’s bolt. The tamping will ensure the clamp is snug around the tank body’s flange.

Click Here to Find Your Filter's Replacement DE Grid Pack

Step 22

Re-install Drain Plug - Screw in the filter’s tank’s drain plug.

Step 23

Check for Leaks - prime your pump, switch it on, then check your filter housing for any water leaks. If leaks are found disassemble and correctly re-install the misaligned seal.

Tip: while the pump is priming, keep the air relief valve to allow the trapped air o to escape. You may close the air relief when water begins to spray out of it.

Related Articles: How To Prime a Pool Pump

Step 24

Add DE Powder - Recharge your filter grids with DE powder. 

Related article: How To Add DE Filter Powder, How Much DE to Add?

Step 25

Congratulations - You have successfully replaced your filter's DE grids. If you have any questions about how to replace your filter's DE grids, feel free to leave a comment down below.


(1 to 15 of 15)

Anonymous  Posted: 3/5/2016 

Just want to thank you for your "how to" guides. You have saved me time, money and guessing. I appreciate your extra service. Inyopools is my first choice.

 Posted: 10/1/2015 

I have had a pool for over 15 years and have fought the filter reassembly process every time I have cleaned the filter. Just a few notes about the grids and the placement on the manifold helped me so much. It is strange how stubborn one can be and then one clue can make so much difference. Thanks

 Posted: 6/4/2015 

I have a Hayward DE filter - it is new and I see a cloud of DE entering the pool every time the pump starts up. Any suggestions?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/10/2013 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 7/7/2013 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2012 

janet - I couldn't locate a "screen" part on this parts breakdown. See if you can recognize your part at this link:

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2012 

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.

 Posted: 6/28/2012 

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

 Posted: 6/27/2012 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/1/2012 

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

 Posted: 5/29/2012 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/16/2012 

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

Anonymous  Posted: 5/14/2012 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/17/2012 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 4/16/2012 

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