How Much DE to Add?
“How much DE do I add to my filter?” is one of the common questions we get on a daily basis. We decided to put this article together as a quick cheat sheet when it is time to replace your DE powder. It is important to try and add the proper amount of DE to your filter, if you add too little DE then dirt, oils and debris may get embedded into your grids ruining them. If you add too much DE then it is possible to have bridging, meaning that the DE powder builds up too much between the grids reducing flow and filtering capacity. These two issues occur if you are way under or way over on your DE powder so if you are off by a scoop or so don’t sweat it.
If you are starting with a brand new DE filter installation or doing a full cleaning meaning you are removing all of the DE fromyour filter grids then you will add 1 lb of D.E. powder for every 10 square feet (Sq. Ft.) of filter area. We suggest doing a full DE filter cleaning 1-2 times per year. Below are a few of the most popular DE filter sizes along with the required DE amounts.
- 24 Sq. Ft. = 2.4 Lbs.
- 36 Sq. Ft. = 3.6 Lbs.
- 48 Sq. Ft. = 4.8 Lbs.
- 60 Sq. Ft. = 6 Lbs.
- 72 Sq. Ft. = 7.2 Lbs.
Normally to clean your DE filter you perform a process called back-washing, this is a process where you use the backwash valve mounted on your filter to strip the dirty layer of DE off of your DE grids. When back-washing you do not remove all of the DE from the grids. Since you are not removing all of the DE powder
you will add roughly 80% of the DE powder compared to a full cleaning. Below are a few of the most popular DE filter sizes along with the required DE amounts after back-washing.
- 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.
Most likely you don’t have a scale by your pool, so the next question is… “How do I measure DE powder?” A lot of people use a 1 Pound coffee can to measure their DE powder as a 1 lb. coffee can is equal to ½ Lb. of DE powder. The problem with using a coffee can is that these days a 1 lb. coffee can is hard to find as they all seem to be 13 oz. To eliminate confusion we suggest getting a DE Scoop. A DE Scoop is specially designed to measure DE powder and 1 scoop is equal to 1/2 lb. of DE powder. To determine how many scoops or coffee cans of DE your filter requires take your filter square footage and divide by 5 (this would be after a full cleaning). After back-washing you would take your filter square footage and divide by 6. To make this easier we have listed the number of scoops needed for the most popular sized DE filters.
New Filters & Full Cleaning’s
- 24 Sq. Ft. = 5 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 36 Sq. Ft = 7 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 48 Sq. Ft. = 10 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 60 Sq. Ft. = 12 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 72 Sq. Ft. = 14 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 24 Sq. Ft. = 3 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 36 Sq. Ft. = 5 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 48 Sq. Ft. = 7 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 60 Sq. Ft. = 9 Scoops – Coffee Cans
- 72 Sq. Ft. = 11 Scoops – Coffee Cans
If you are adding DE powder to your filter, then you may be doing other tasks like back-washing or replacing damaged DE grids so we created some articles and videos which will help walk through these common maintenance tasks.
- How To Add DE Filter Powder – Video
- How To Backwash a DE Filter – Video
- How To Fully Clean a DE Filter – Video
- How To Replace DE Filter Grids
The next time your pool is looking a little cloudy we hope you will come back to this article as your go to resource for adding DE powder to your pool filter. If you have any questions on determining how how much DE you need then post your questions in the comments below and we would be happy to help. You can always reach us toll free at 1-877-372-6038 and we would be happy to help.