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Why is My Hayward EC40 DE Filter Not Working?

by Felicia A. Williams

This is a common question. The scenario goes something like this:

You turn on your filter, the water flow is great but shortly thereafter, anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes or more, you notice the water flow slows down. If left alone the flow coming from your Hayward EC40 DE filter all but stops.

The first thing you do is ‘bump’ it three times to get it going again (bumping means shutting off the filter, slowly pushing the handle down and pulling it up quickly). Your success is short-lived because the water flow slows to a trickle all over again.

Here’s the answer to  the question of why your Hayward EC40 DE filter is not working:

Your filter is working. The problem is not your filter. The problem is your pool water.  Your pool water is dirty.

How Hayward EC40 Filter Works

I know to the naked eye the water looks clear, but to the anal-retentive Hayward DE filter, it sees microscopic particles that you can’t see. It pulls the particles from your pool water which causes the filter to get dirty. The only way to resolve the issue is to be very aggressive in getting your pool water clean. This means you’re going to have to bump (aka regenerate)  and clean the filter often.

Q: How often should you clean the filter?

A: Let Hayward EC40 answer that question. If your water flow starts to diminish after 5 minutes, bump it. If you find that you’re bumping every 15 minutes or 30 minutes or so, it’s time to clean the filter.


How often you bump/clean depends on how frequently you wish to bump to maintain steady pressure. The more you clean the filter, the longer you’ll go between intervals of bumping and cleaning.  Bumping lets you get the most use out of your DE but eventually, you'll have to clean the filter and replace the DE.  It's sort of like a dirty diaper.  No matter how absorbent the diaper, eventually it must be changed.

When the pool is pristine, you’ll be able to let the EC40 filter run all night without the worry of having to bump or clean it.

Take it from me, the person with the pool that had a thriving ecosystem growing in it. Spend the time bumping, cleaning and working with your Hayward EC40 DE filter in the first couple of days of the swimming season and you’ll be home free for the rest of the summer.

Before After
Dirty Pool Before Pool After

There was a whole lot of bumping and cleaning going on in order to get the pool this clean.

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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