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Swimming Pool Pump FAQ

Questions & Answers

Yes….there is the risk of electrical shock or electrocution.
A pool pump must be installed by a licensed or certified electrician or a qualified pool serviceman in accordance with the National Electrical Code and all applicable local codes and ordinances. Improper installation will create an electrical hazard which could result in death or serious injury to pool users, installers, or others due to electrical shock, and may also cause damage to property.
Yes….always disconnect power to the pool pump at the circuit breaker before servicing the pump. Ensure that the disconnected circuit is locked out or properly tagged so that it cannot be switched on while you are working on the pump. Failure to do so could result in serious injury or death to serviceman, pool users or others due to electric shock.
Air can enter the circulation system and become pressurized. Pressurized air can cause equipment lids (pump, filter, valves, etc.) to blow off. Always turn off the pump and relieve pressure before opening lids. Failure to do so could result in serious injury or death to installers, pool users or others and may also cause damage to property
Turn off motor. 2. Relieve pressure in the system. 3. Turn the clamp and lid in a counter-clockwise direction until it stops. 4. Turn the clamp and lid set to remove the clamp and lid. 5. Put the debris from the basket into the trash and rinse out the basket. If the basket is cracked, it should be replaced. 6. Replace the basket. Make sure to align the slot in the basket with the rib in the volute, see Figure 2. 7. Fill the pump pot and volute up to the inlet port with water. 8. Clean the cover, cover O-ring, and sealing surface of the pump pot. Grease the O-ring with Teflon® or silicone. 9. Reinstall the lid. Make sure the lid O-ring is properly placed. 10. Turn the power "ON" at the house circuit breaker. Reset the pool time clock to the correct time. 11. Open the manual air relief valve on top of the filter. 12. Stand clear of the filter. Start the pump. 13. Bleed air from the filter until a steady stream of water comes out. Close the manual air relief valve.
The pump can produce high levels of suction within the suction side of the plumbing system. These high levels of suction can pose a risk if a person comes within the close proximity of the suction openings. A person can be seriously injured by this high level of vacuum or may become trapped and drown. It is absolutely critical that the suction plumbing be installed in accordance with the latest national and local codes for swimming pools.
No… reduce the risk of injury, do not permit children to use this product.
A pool pump is for use with permanently installed pools and may also be used with hot tubs and spas if so marked. Do not use with storable pools.
A permanently installed pool is constructed in or on the ground or in a building such that it cannot be readily disassembled for storage.
A storable pool is constructed so that it may be readily disassembled for storage and reassembled to its original integrity and has a maximum dimension of 18 feet (5.49m) and a maximum wall height of 42 inches .
When the pump is mounted permanently within 5 ft. of the inside walls of a swimming pool, you MUST use a No. 8 AWG or larger conductor to connect to bonding conductor lug. Make sure all electrical breakers and switches are turned off before wiring motor. Make sure that the wiring voltage matches the motor voltage (230v or 115v). If they do not match the motor will burn up. Choose a wire size from the Chart 1. When in doubt use a heavier gauge (larger diameter) wire. Heavier gauge will allow the motor to run cooler and more efficient. Make sure all electrical connections are clean and tight. Cut wires to the appropriate length so they don't overlap or touch when connected to the terminal board. Have a qualified and competent contractor do all the required work according to all applicable codes and ordinances.
When pump is mounted permanently within 5 ft. of the inside walls of a swimming pool a No. 8 AWG or larger conductor must be used to connect to bonding conductor lug.
The pump strainer filter, sometimes referred to as the “hair and lint Pot “, is the unit in front of the volute. Inside the chamber is the basket which must be kept clean of leaves and debris at all times. View basket through the ‘See through Lid’ to inspect for leaves and debris.
Regardless of the length of time between filter cleaning, it is most important to visually inspect the strainer basket at least once a week. A dirty basket will reduce the efficiency of the filter and heater and also put an abnormal stress on the pump motor which would result in a costly repair bill.
DO NOT open the strainer pot if pump fails to prime or if pump has been operating without water in the strainer pot. Pumps operated in these circumstances may experience a buildup of vapor pressure and may contain scalding hot water. Opening the pump may cause serious personal injury. In order to avoid the possibility of personal injury, make sure the suction and discharge valves are open and strainer pot temperature is cool to touch, then open with extreme caution.
When any part of the circulating system (e.g., Lock Ring, Pump, Filter, Valves, etc.) is serviced, air can enter the system and become pressurized. Pressurized air can cause the lid to blow off which can result in server injury, death, or property damage. To avoid this potential hazard, follow these instructions. Open the manual air relief valve on top of the filter. Stand clear of the filter. Start the pump. Bleed air from the filter until a steady stream of water comes out. Close the manual air relief valve.
If the air temperature drops below 35° F., the water in the pump can freeze and cause damage. Freeze damage is not warrantable. To prevent freeze damage follow the procedures listed below: Shut off electrical power for the pump at the house circuit breaker. Drain the water out of the pump case by removing the two thumb-twist drain plugs from the case. Store the plugs in the pump basket. Cover the motor to protect it from severe rain, snow and ice. Do not wrap the motor in plastic. It will cause condensation and rust on the inside of the motor.
Protect from heat, protect against dirt and protect from moisture.
Shade the motor from the sun; Any enclosure must be well ventilated to prevent overheating; Provide ample cross ventilation.
Protect from any foreign matter or splashing water; Do not store (or spill) pool chemicals near the motor; Avoid sweeping or stirring up dust near the motor while it is operating; If a motor has been damaged by dirt it voids the motor warranty.
Protect from splashing pool water and lawn sprinklers; Protect from the weather; If a motor has become wet - let it dry before operating. Do not allow the pump to operate if it has been flooded; If a motor has been damaged by water it voids the motor warranty.
These pumps must have a vacuum chamber, commonly known as pump housing. The pump housing must be filled with water in order for any pump to create a vacuum, resulting in your pump pulling the water out of your pool or spa. The pump housing will remain full of water while the pump is on, and will remain full or partially full of water when the pump is shut off. When the pump turns on, the motor will begin to rotate on high speed (dual speed pumps rotate at the preselected speed). The motor drives the pump impeller, located inside the pumps center portion at the opposite end, away from the electrical switch portion of the motor. While the motor is rotating, the tips of the impeller are sealed hydraulically inside of the pump diffuser, this allows self-priming to occur.
Most residential, in-ground swimming pool pump are self-priming centrifugal pumps. Self priming does not mean that they will prime themselves, it means that once primed they will re-prime automatically if installed and maintained correctly. .
The word "prime" when referring to pool pumps is the act of filling the influent line with water so that the pump, once started, will force any air in the lines out the discharge line. If a pool pump fails to prime or does not prime completely, air pressure will keep the pool pump and the rest of your filtration and plumbing from working correctly. All in-ground pool pumps must be self-priming as the pump usually sits above water level.
Self-priming can only occur when the pump has a diffuser. Some pumps have a separate diffuser, others have the diffuser molded into the pump's cover, refer to the Owner’s Manual.
The diffuser helps to eliminate any air coming into the pump housing, suction piping, or hoses on above ground pools. When all the air is being removed from the system, you will notice the bubbles returning to the pool through the return fittings. The impeller acts to convert water velocity into water pressure, which is registered on your filter pressure gauge. The actual Gallons per Minute (GPM) vary with the type of pump and the horsepower. Check your Owner's Manual for more information.
Self-priming pumps are very dependable and simple in design. They require a sufficient supply of water from the pool or spa, and no air in the suction lines. Air could come from a loose strainer cover, a leak in any valve, a defective mechanical seal, a pin hole in any suction line or any crack or loose connections in the underground piping.
DO NOT run the pump dry. If the pump is run dry, the mechanical seal will be damaged and the pump will start leaking. If this occurs, the damaged seal must be replaced. ALWAYS maintain proper water level in your pool (half way up skimmer opening). If the water level falls below the skimmer opening, the pump will draw air through the skimmer, losing the prime and causing the pump to run dry, resulting in a damaged seal.
The pump strainer pot must be filled with water before the pump is initially started. Follow these steps to prime the pump: Remove the pump lid plastic clamp. Remove the pump lid; Fill the pump strainer pot with water; Reassemble the pump cover and plastic clamp onto the strainer pot. The pump is now ready to prime; Open the air release valve on the filter, and stand clear of the filter; Turn on the switch or time clock; When water comes out of the air release valve, close the valve. The system should now be free of air and recirculating water to and from the pool. The pump should not run longer than 5 minutes before priming is achieved. For 2-speed pumps should run on high-speed for priming.
A motor that is nameplated with its real service factor. Example a 1 HP motor with a 1.65 service factor What is a motor service factor? The service factor is a “safety” factor that indicates how much more a motor can be loaded past its nameplate horse power rating…Example a 1 HP motor with a 1.65 service factor can be loaded to 1 X 1.65) to 1.65 service factor.
They are marketing terms used for down-rated motors. Example a full rated 1 HP motor with a 1.65 service factor is sold as an “up-rated” 1-1/2 HP motor with a 1.15 service factor, giving the illusion of a better price deal.
Yes…..using an undersized pump means that it may not turnover the water properly, possibly causing poor filtration. Example if you buy a an “up-rated” 1-1/2 HP motor with a 1.15 service factor you are really buying a 1 HP motor pump
If you are purchasing a new or replacement pump, you should first determine what the horsepower and service factor of the pump that you are replacing is and base your decision on that. Consider also the frame size and type of the motor as well.
Pump motors damaged by flooding are not covered by warranty. Your pump should be kept free of dirt and also located where it can be protected from flooding during heavy rain fall. If your pump motor becomes flooded you will probably have to replace it.
Check the power, breakers, switches, etc. If you have a timer on the system, make sure it is working properly.
This may be caused by insufficient power due to an undersized or long power wires. All wires should be according to code requirements and the motor manufacturer's recommendations. Your local power supply may be suffering a power drop. For example: during a heat wave when every possible cooling appliance has been turned on in your area, your pump may be starved of the power it requires to run cool. Restart your pump when the weather cools to confirm that the problem is in the motor. Your pump has a thermal overload, which will shut the motor off when it gets too hot, and it will restart itself once it has cooled down.
This may be normal since they produce water flow. The motor has a cooling fan internally which can be heard to a certain degree. It is advisable not to locate any pool pump under someone's bedroom window. The pump's sounds can be caused by vibrations between the pump base and the base or concrete pad it is sitting on. A piece of old carpet or rubber between the pump and base may quiet the sound. The bearings may be noisy due to normal wear. Feeding high concentrations of chemical tablets in the skimmer will cause corrosive damage to the pump seal, which can leak and damage the motor bearings. It is recommended to get the bearings replaced by a qualified motor repair shop. Also, cavitation due to improper suction line sizing, leaks in the piping, a blockage in the suction line, or a low level of pool water will cause higher than normal sound.
Your motor is wired to the wrong voltage. Most in-ground pumps can be connected to either 115 or 230v. Shut off the pump at once and have your electrician check the problem and correct.
The strainer cover is loose or the gasket is damaged; check and replace the cover or gasket if necessary. The pool water level may be too low allowing air to mix with water through the skimmer, you will need to raise the water level. The skimmer weir, sometimes called the flapper, may be stuck in the up position, allowing air to mix with water in the suction line. There can be a leak at any connection in the suction piping or a leak inside any suction side valve at the stem o-ring. Also, there may be a leak in the underground piping, caused by a loose joint, or termites/ants that will chew into some flexible piping.
Many pool owners use this term when in fact they really mean they have lots of pressure but their flow is very low. This is caused by a dirty or clogged filter, a blocked return line, or a valve that is shut off or partially shut on the return piping. The pump's impeller may be clogged with debris. Check by first shutting off the pump. Remove the basket and check the impeller by putting your finger into the suction hole found in the pump strainer housing. If the seal is broken, replace it. For seal change instructions on Hayward pumps, refer to your Owner's Manual that is supplied with your pump or contact your local pool dealer.
Swimming pool pumps do require energy, the bigger the pump the more energy consumed. Also, some filtration systems may require up to 24-hours to clean your pool. Most pools should stay clean with 8 - 12 hours of filtering. An upgrade to an energy efficient pump and improved filtration can cut energy consumption 15 percent or more
You may have a suction leak if there is not enough water in the strainer housing. You can have a leak at any joint especially at the first fitting that is screwed into the strainer housing. The strainer cover may be loose or an o-ring under the strainer housing cover may be worn. You may have clogged suction piping, which is caused by items that get sucked through the skimmer into the piping, usually lodging at any turn in the piping. The pump may be located above the pool water level or may be too far from the pool, requiring longer periods to prime
Sometimes when the pump starts, a small stone or debris by-passes the pump basket it will break the impeller.
The pump may be located above the pool water level or may be too far from the pool, requiring longer periods to prime. The ideal situation is to locate the pump at or just slightly above water level, 8 feet maximum, and as close to the pool as possible, approximately 10 - 20 feet maximum.
A good test to locate an Air Leak, is to use shaving cream (not gel). Spread the shaving cream over the suction side joints and fittings with the pump on. The pump will try to suck the foam into the pipe because it has less resistance or mass then the water. At the air leak you will start to see the layer of foam dimple as it gets sucked into the system revealing where the leak is. At this point you will know what part needs to be repaired or replaced.
Pool pumps are supposed to be air tight. With a clear pump lid, you "should" see no air in the pump basket. This is rarely the case however, small air leaks are common. When the air leak gets too large, it will create problems with circulation or keeping the pump primed. The most common causes of a pump air leak include bad thread sealant where the pipe enters the pump, a leaky valve stem on one of the suction valves or a break in the plumbing. Other sources of air leaking into the system include a loose or old pump lid or pump lid o-ring or an ill fitting pump drain plug. All air leaks originate BEFORE the impeller on the suction side of the pump.
Priming problems are always on the suction side of the pump. Check to be sure that the pool water level is mid-skimmer level and no vortex is being created. If the water level is too low, air will be drafted into the suction line. Any time you have air in the suction line a pool pump will not maintain a prime. Check that the skimmer weirs are not stuck in an up position, blocking the entrance to the skimmer. Check the suction lines and pool valves to the pool pump. Make sure valve lids are all tight, and pump drain plugs have the proper o-ring and a good water tight seal. Check the pump lid for a proper seal. Make sure all pool pump lid o-rings and pump gaskets are in good working condition. Replace anyone that shows sign of dry-rot.
Often a pump will leak or spray water on the discharge side of the pump or around the volute. Since the water leaves the impeller under pressure it will always find the path of least resistance. If there is crack in the pool pump housing or a bad seal, water will leak from these areas. When water is pouring out behind seal plate where the shaft enters the housing it indicates that there is a worn mechanical pump seal and it needs to be replaced. Leaks on the discharge side of the pump’s piping are usually caused by cracked of heat-shrunk schedule 40 PVC fitting. Always use at least a 6 inch long schedule 80 nipple on both the suction side and pressure side of the pool pump.
One common problem is that the pool pump impeller is clogged or broken. Blades of grass, tree berries, dog hair, plastic pieces or other foreign debris are often found trapped in the impeller vanes. Another common problem is an obstructed or collapsed suction line. Collapsed lines need to be re-plumbed and are usually associated with poly piping or flex line. The line you might need to be pressurized to dislodge the obstruction.
The problem could be in the power source or in the pump motor itself.
To verify that electricity is reaching the pump check that all the breakers, time-clocks and automated controls are correctly set in the on position. Note if any breaker is as you turn on power or if the motor is humming. You can access the terminals by removing the motor end-cap, check if circuit boards and wiring are in good condition and confirmed that the power is being delivered to the motor. Contact a qualified and competent contractor to do all electrical work.
The pump motor could be seized, the capacitor in the pump motor could be bad or a wire in the rear of the motor could be disconnected or otherwise shorted. Take the pump and motor to a local electric motor shop.
There are basically 3 types of pool filters: Sand Filter, Cartridge Filter and Diatomaceous Earth Filters (DE Filters for short).
Sand filters use specially graded sand as the filter media. The water enters the tank through the diffuser. As the water goes down through the bed of sand, the dirt and debris is trapped between the grains of sand. When the water reaches the bottom of the filter, it enters the laterals and is returned to the pool. Sand filters filter out debris down to about 40 microns in size. Anything smaller than 40 microns will probably not be filtered out.
Cartridge filters use a paper-type cartridge as the filter media. They do not filter as finely as DE and in our experience produce about the same water quality as sand filtration. Cartridge filters used to have a bad reputation as a nuisance to maintain, but manufacturers have come up with newer filters with enough surface area (300-500 square feet) to need cleaning only once or twice each year. This makes the maintenance issue a plus with these filters.
Diatomaceous Earch Filters (DE) filters use diatomaceous earth as filter media. The DE filter has plastic grids covered with a plastic type of fabric. A layer of filter powder called Diatomaceous Earth covers the grids and does the filtering.As the water passes through the filter powder, any debris down to 5-8 microns is filtered out. Because the DE is much finer that sand, it is able to filter much more finely than a sand filter.
Diatomaceous earth also known as D.E. is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light as a result of its high porosity.
Water is pushed through a bed of filter sand and removed through a set of lateral tubes at the bottom. The filter area of a sand filter is equal to the area of the filter itself. Only the top 1" of sand is actually used to filter the water. The principle behind this filter is that water is pushed through the filter sand, somewhat like an espresso machine. Dirty water goes in the top and clean water exits out the bottom. As the filter sand becomes plugged with debris from the pool, the pressure increases on the filter and the water flow drops. In order to clean the filter, you just run it in reverse and dump the waste water; this is referred to as "backwashing" the filter. Once the filter is backwashed, you move to the rinse mode and that repacks the sand and then back to filter. This has to be done manually every few weeks. Should the sand ever become really dirty, it is easily and inexpensively replaced. In terms of particle size filtered out, sand is the lease effective method - it can allow smaller particles to pass back into the pool.
Water passes though a filter material and the filter captures the debris. This is just like the water filters used under your sink. Cartridges have much more available area to filter than sand. Most start at 100 square feet capacity and the majority of the cartridge filters sold are larger than 300 square feet capacity. Cartridge filters are designed to run at lower pressure than sand. This puts less back-pressure on the pump and hence you get more flow and turnover for an equivalent pump size. Generally these filters have to be cleaned once or twice a season by simply hosing them off, so you don't touch them as often. In terms of particle size filtered out, cartridge is somewhere between sand and DE.
Diatomaceous earth is mined and is the fossilized exoskeletons of tiny diatoms. Diatom filter area are sized between sand and cartridge - around 60-70 square feet are most common. Once the filter pressure rises, the filter is backwashed just like a sand filter and then "recharged" with more DE powder. Typically it is poured in slurry into the skimmer and it then coats the filter grids. DE filters run at higher pressures than cartridge filters and as such can lead to some inefficiency and flow loss.
All three types of swimming pool filters work well. If you want sturdy and long lasting - sand is a great choice. For low maintenance the choice would be a cartridge. The cleanest water take you to DE. Today the cartridge filter is the most popular. High-end cartridge filters are easy to clean, inexpensive to replace and last a few seasons,
One way to know when it is time to clean a filter is when the water is cloudy and/or just doesn't sparkle the way it usually does. But the best way is to document and monitor the filter's pressure gauge. If the filter system has both an inlet and outlet pressure gauge, the pressure differential will be low (3- 5 psi) when the filter is clean. In most high-rate filters it's time to backwash when the pressure differential reaches 16- 20 psi. If the filter has only an inlet pressure gauge, the filter should be backwashed when the pressure increases by 8-10 psi.
There are many different that can affect how quickly the filter gets dirty and clogged. A filter on a newly plastered pool can become clogged quickly with the plaster dust resulting from the new plaster pool start-up procedures. Also, dirt, leaves, other debris, algae, and heavy bather load can accelerate the shortening of filter cycles.
The procedure is simple. Turn off the pump. Move the filter valve to the backwash. Restart the pump. The typical pool filter system will need to be backwashed for two to three minutes. (Consult the manufacturer service manual for specific backwashing procedures). After backwashing, turn the pump off and set the valve to the Rinse setting. Turn the pool pump back on for 30 - 60 seconds in order to make sure all the dirty water from the backwash cycle is sent to waste and not returned to the pool. Stop the pump one last time and set the filter valve to the Filter setting. Start the pump and the job is complete.
If you have a sand filter, it will need to be backwashed when the pressure is 8-10 psi above the standard operating pressure.
Turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "filter" to "backwash". Turn "on" the equipment. Allow the equipment to backwash for 2 - 3 minutes. If your filter is equipped with a sight glass, backwash until the water in the sight glass turns from dirty to clean. When you backwash, you will sacrifice some of your pool water-chlorinated (or its alternative) pool water. Monitor the level of your chlorine (or its alternative) after a backwash. Also, monitor the water level. If it gets low, add water until the water level is at least half way up the skimmer. After backwashing, turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "backwash" to "rinse". Turn "on" the equipment. Rinse the sand for 20 - 30 seconds to assure that all dirt and debris has been eliminated from the fresh sand. Turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "rinse" back to "filter". Turn "on" the equipment and operate as normal.
Sand should be professionally replaced every 4-5 years. After this 4-5 years, once filter cycles decrease (when it is taking less time for the pressure gauge to show a rise of 8-10 psi) and the need for backwashing increases. Contact your local pool professionals and pay them to change the sand. There are fragile laterals at the bottom of the inside of your sand filter. If even one of these laterals is cracked or broken, sand will enter the pool, resulting in additional service-and additional fees. Therefore, have the sand professionally replaced.
Mud balls are approximately round conglomerations of filter material, ranging in size from pea-sized to two inches or more in diameter. Mud balls form on the surface of filters when adhesive materials cause particles out of the water and media grains to stick together. If the filter is not properly backwashed and surface washed, mud balls will continue accumulating material and will grow larger, eventually sinking down into the filter media. Mud balls in the media result in shortened filter runs and in loss of filter capacity, since water will not pass through the mud balls and must flow around them.
If water chemistry or filter cleaning is severely neglected, channeling may occur. If channeling has occurred in your pool filter there will literally be channels carved into the sand that allow the water to pass down to the laterals without being properly filtered. During filtration, water will pass through the filter, but the dirt and debris will make its way through the channel, never coming in contact with the sand, and will re-enter the pool.
If you have a DE filter, it will need to be backwashed when the pressure is 8-10 psi above the standard operating pressure. The main drawback of backwashing with DE filters is that as the dirt and debris are removed from the filter, so is the DE powder. This requires adding new DE powder after each backwash. New style DE filters, called Regenerative DE filters, have implemented a "bump" mode in order to prolong the filter cycles and reduce the need to backwash. But, after so many "bumps," backwashing is inevitable.
Turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "filter" to "backwash" Turn "on" the equipment. Allow the system to backwash for 2-3 minutes. If your filter is equipped with a sight glass, backwash until the water in the sight glass turns from dirty to clean. When you backwash, you will sacrifice some of your pool water-chlorinated (or its alternative) pool water. Monitor the level of your chlorine (or its alternative) after a backwash. Also, monitor the water level. If it gets low, add water until the water level is at least half way up the skimmer. Turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "backwash" to "rinse." Turn "on" the equipment. Rinse the new layer of DE powder for about 10 seconds to assure that all dirt and debris have been removed from this new DE powder. Turn "off" the equipment. Move the multiport handle from "rinse" to "filter." Turn "on" the equipment. Add new DE powder
Mix DE powder in a bucket of water, following the manufacturer's directions. Pour the DE powder/water mixture into a skimmer. The mixture will enter the DE filter and disperse evenly to create a fresh layer of DE powder on the DE grids. The DE powder forms what is called a filter cake on the grids. Too much DE powder can cause the filter cake to be too thick. The grids will compress against each other, casing an adhesive of the dirty DE powder to the grids. If this occurs, you would be wise to contract and pay your local pool professionals to scrape the dirty DE powder off the grids; care must be taken so that the grids are not torn. Too little DE powder can cause dirt and debris to get imbedded on the grids, which will ruin the grids.
New style DE filters, called Regenerative DE filters, require less backwashing, as they can be "bumped" to readjust DE powder, which prolongs the filter cycle.
When the pressure is 8-10 psi above the standard operating pressure, close all the valves (main drain and skimmers) and turn the equipment "off" for at least 2-3 minutes Most Regenerative DE filters have a "bumping handle." By slowly pulling down and rigorously pushing up on the handle 5-10 times, DE powder will fall to the bottom of the filter When 5-10 bumps are completed and 2-3 minutes have elapsed, open all of the valves and turn the equipment back "on", and a fresh layer of DE powder will instantly form on the DE grids inside your DE filter. A Regenerative filter can only be bumped so many times before backwashing is inevitable. Once filter cycles decrease and the need to "bump" increases, backwash the filter and add new DE powder, using the same sequence of steps as above.
If your Regenerative DE filter is not equipped with a "bump handle," simply hit the actual filter tank/body with a rubber hammer 5-10 times. Check the DE grids inside your DE filter periodically. Cleaning the grids is required periodically because (body or suntan) oils, scale, and other deposits can build up on the grids. Many pool professionals sell a specially formulated Filter Cleaner for DE grids. If the grids are torn or frayed, have your local pool professionals install new DE grids for you.
If you have a cartridge filter, the individual pleated filter elements will need to be removed from the filter itself, cleaned with a garden hose and pressurized nozzle when the pressure is 8 - 10 psi above the standard operating pressure, and secured back in the filter. There is no backwashing with a cartridge filter.
Turn "off" the equipment. Remove the lid to the filter tank. Many Cartridge filters have a band that holds the lid of the filter to the base of the filter. If your cartridge filter uses a different application, or if you have difficulty removing the lid for any reason, consult your local pool professionals for advice. Remove the pleated filter element(s) from the filter. Some cartridge filters use only one large pleated filter element, while other cartridge filters use a series of smaller pleated filter elements. Spray each pleated filter element with a garden hose and pressurized nozzle. Take time to spray between each pleat, as this is where dirt and debris will collect. Put the filter element(s) back in the filter. Put the lid back on the filter tank and secure the lid. Make sure the large O-ring is in place and is in good working shape. About once per month, or whenever needed, put an O-ring lubricant on the O-ring. This will create a tight seal, eliminating any air from entering the filter. This will also extend the life of your O-ring. If the O-ring is torn or frayed, or in any way unusable, then purchase a new O-ring from your local pool professionals. Turn "on" the equipment and operate as normal.
The individual pleated filter element(s) should be replaced yearly. A benefit of cartridge filters is their filtering capabilities and the ease in which they are cleaned. A drawback of cartridge filters is the expense of replacing pleated filter elements each year. But, if the pleated filter elements are still in relatively good shape, store them and keep them as a backup while your main pleated filter element(s) are being cleaned.
You can prolong the life of pleated filter elements by soaking them overnight in a specially formulated Cartridge Cleaner every 3-4 months. You will, however, need backup pleated filter elements to install in your filter while your main pleated filter elements are soaking overnight. Read the instructions on the label before placing your pleated filter elements in a (5-gallon) bucket with a mixture of the Cartridge Cleaner and water. If pleated filter elements are torn or if the base is cracked, new pleated filter elements will need to be purchased, even if it they are less than 1 year old.

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