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Dismantling the Old Hayward Perflex EC40 DE Filter

by Felicia Williams

As I said earlier, the best way to get to know a filter is to take it apart. The Hayward EC40 DE pool filter is an interesting little fella. Unlike my old Sta-Rite filter, in order to get to the guts of the Hayward filter, I had to remove 12 bolts before I could lift the top off. The Sta-Rite filter had a ring to loosen and after loosening the ring I was already halfway into the guts.

I’m somewhat handy, so I thought, "How bad could it be?" I got my tool kit, pulled out my ratchet with the appropriate adapter and started loosening the bolts from the top. After I got all 12 bolts loosened I removed the screws and pulled the top off to find a bunch of fingers and casement rust at the bottom of the housing. Like I said, it’s an old system (which is evident by the fact that the housing is metal and not plastic like the later models).

Hayward EC40 DE Filter Fingers

After being used to a DE filter and cartridge, I was somewhat surprised to see a bunch of long fingers after pulling off the filter top. It reminded me of something from a science fiction movie. Check it out:

Hayward Filter Fingers

After doing a little research online I found that the fingers are supposed to be white, not the off-color that I saw. Grey isn’t a good thing for pool filter fingers. So, to take it one step at a time, I found that I’m supposed to clean them in a solution overnight and then hose them down. Being that I haven’t figured out if the filter works properly as yet, I decided to put cleaning the fingers off for a bit. I had bigger fish to fry.

The Hayward EC40 DE Filter Metal Housing

I put the fingers aside for a while and looked at the bottom of the housing. There were remnants of rust. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that rust in a water filtration/cleaning system isn’t good. So, I decided to see where the rust was coming from.

My search didn’t take long. The rust was coming from the ‘optional’ out spout. Apparently, the EC40 housing has a hole for a spout for draining the filter. Unfortunately, the out spout on my neighbor’s old filter (which I bought for $100) was metal that had rusted.

Hayward EC40 Filter Housing

The first thought was to remove the out spout. Of course, since it was rusted on, I whipped out my can of WD40 in an attempt to loosen the grip, but it didn’t work. The harder I tried to remove the spigot, the more determined it was to stay. So, rather than fight nature, I decided to place a temporary band-aid on the broken leg by placing a rubber stopper inside the out spout from the inside. After all, it was rusted shut anyway so water couldn’t pass through the out spout. By placing the rubber stopper in the spout, the water’s contact with the rust is minimized.

I then washed the bottom of the Hayward EC40 filter housing to remove the rust, placed the gray fingers which were in need of chemical cleaning back on top of the housing and re-bolted the top on. I’ll come back to cleaning the fingers after I am 100% sure the filter will work on my pool.

Next: Hoses, adapters and an almost functioning pump

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

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Last Modified: 24 March 2020

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