Did you know that you could improve your filtering process by adding diatomaceous earth, DE powder, to your sand filter? I know it sounds a little unorthodox and it is, but trust us.
If you own a sand filter and are just a little bit curious about improving your filter, this article is for you.
What Is DE Powder?
Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is hard-shelled algae made from fossilized remains of diatoms.
The particles are microscopic with sharp edges, making them great for trapping fine particles and dirt.
DE is a fine powder that may cause skin irritation and is considered carcinogenic when breathed in.
It is very important that you handle it with care and in accordance with the directions on the package.
Adding DE To Your Sand Filter
In most cases, DE powder is used with DE filters. That is what makes DE filters top of the line when comparing the three different filter types. However, DE powder can also be used with sand filters to improve their filtering quality.
You can add small amounts of DE powder to your filter after each backwash to improve your filterability. Before rushing to add DE to your pool, you first need to figure out how much you actually need.
How To Figure Out How Much D.E You Need
- Start by noting the PSI reading on your filter’s pressure gauge with the pump running.
- Mix a 1/4 cup of DE with water in a bucket and pour that slowly into the skimmer. Before pouring, make sure to remove any skimmer attachments you may have. Please follow any and all safety guidelines.
- Let your pump run for about two minutes to stabilize.
- Note the pressure on the filter and repeat steps 1 and 2 until the pressure has gone up by one PSI. This will typically take a few cups of DE.
Monitor Your Pressure & Backwash
It’s important to keep an eye on your pressure for the next day. With the added DE, your system may pick up dirt faster than normal. If so, you will need to backwash your sand filter more frequently.
Sometimes, cleaning a really dirty pool with a sand filter can take some time. If you added DE to your sand filter but your water clarity has not improved, be patient. Although a sand filter is the most classic of the three types of filters, it does sit at the bottom in terms of filterability. Continue to monitor your filter pressure and backwash when necessary. Over time, you will definitely see the difference DE powder can make for your sand filter.