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Another Hayward EC40 DE Filter Discovery

by Felicia A. Williams

Okay, if you’ve read any of the other posts on this site, you know that I’m working with a second hand Hayward DE EC40 Perflex pool filter. When I first got it I took it apart to see how it works. It wasn’t until I got it working that I learned that some of the things I saw on the inside of the filter weren’t supposed to look the way they did.

Hayward DE Filter Fingers

It’s all about dirty fingers. When I first took the filter apart and saw the fingers I was surprised. My prior DE pool filter had a much different, more traditional looking filter. When I saw these foot-long rounded stalactites (or stalagmites depending on which way you hold the filter) I was surprised (and somewhat grossed out).

I didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be grey in color. I found that out later on when I took the filter apart yet again to clean it. Most people don’t take their Hayward Perflex DE filters apart to clean it mid-season, but when you buy a second-hand filter you have to make do with what you’ve got. The backwash or run off spout is rusted shut so I cannot backwash the filter like normal folks do. I have to take it apart to hose it off and dump the ugly water.

Manually Backwashing the EC40 Filter

During my manual filter backwash, I noticed that the pressure of the hose began to remove some of the grey from the fingers. Upon further investigation and upfront and personal power washing with the garden hose, I saw that the fingers were actually white!

Dirty Hayward Filter Fingers
Can you guess which ones are clean?

I sat there for about an hour or so spraying each individual finger until I got them as white as I could. I can’t tell you how many fingers there were because after counting 26 of them and seeing that I wasn’t even halfway through, I decided, “Who really cares how many fingers are in my DE filter?”

Clean Hayward Filter Fingers
Impressively clean filter fingers

DE Pool Filter Re-assembly and Realization

After I cleaned the filter fingers and re-assembled the Hayward filter I realized two things:

  1. The filter isn’t in as bad shape as I thought it was

  2. I must replace the housing for the filter because this taking it apart every time I need to clean it is for the birds. That’s why the Hayward DE EC40 Perflex filter is equipped with that nifty little black handle on top for cleaning the DE from the fingers and backwashing the system. The handle works, but the runoff valve is rusted shut. Without that valve, I’ve got to dismantle it every time. I don’t know about you, but that gets old real quick (especially when bringing a dirty pool back from the brink of disaster).

This $100 pool filter ‘deal’ is proving not to be so much of a deal when you consider that I spent $230 for a new 1 HP pump and another $180 or so to replace the housing, not to mention the original $100 investment. Hmmm, I could have bought a whole new system.

Oh well, if I had bought a whole new system, I wouldn’t be having this much fun figuring things out (and sharing my tale of woe with you).

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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