After spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why my Hayward filter’s pressure kept diminishing I found out the problem is not really a problem. Hayward DE filters like clean pools. They work hard to get your pool spotlessly clean. If you notice your pressure gauge is rising and the pressure of the water returning from the filter to the pool diminishing, it means the DE is really dirty and probably needs to be replaced.
A light bulb moment for me. I’m starting this year with a very dirty pool. The leaf particles and related wildlife that’s sitting at the bottom of the pool disintegrates the minute they’re touched creating a fine brown dusty mess (well, it would be dusty if it weren’t for it being in water, but you get my drift). Those fine particles are the stuff that Hayward DE filters like to remove from the pool.
When there are too many fine dirty particles the DE filter gets overrun with gunk and has to be cleaned. If my backwash spout were working I’d backwash it often. Instead, I take the filter apart, hose the filter fingers, wash out the housing, put it back together and add fresh DE.
Not as Bad as It Appears
I spent some time reading forums about Hayward filters and came to the conclusion that they are a high-quality filtration system. I felt better about dismantling and reassembling the system each time for cleaning because I always know exactly how much DE to add. There were some questions as to how much DE to add to the system after backwashing. Backwashing does not totally clean out the old DE so it’s tricky knowing exactly how much to replace.
By taking it apart, hosing the fingers and putting it back together, the question of how much DE to add is moot.
Making Lemonade Out of Lemons
I’m making the best of the situation by understanding that once my pool is clean I won’t have to dismantle and reassemble the filter so often. The trick is coming up with the quickest way to get it clean. In the meanwhile, since I can’t backwash, I’ve streamlined the filter cleaning process to 20 minutes from the time I shut the pump off to clean it until I have it back up and running with the proper amount of DE (15 minutes to dismantle, clean and reassemble the filter and 5 minutes to add the required amount of DE).
Quick cleaning is easy to do once you have a system. In the meanwhile, I continue to check my chemical levels to make sure they’re where they’re supposed to be. I must be doing something right because I’m noticing improvements in the water quality. I still have a long way to go but I’m moving in the right direction.