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Rob Cox, February 27, 2012
How to easily replace DE filter grids
So, you decided that you would buy the replacement set of universal DE filter grids, and make a DIY project out of it? Good for you. Replacing your DE grids is not heavy labor, any homeowner can do it. There are some tips and tricks however, that should make your grid replacement easy simpler.
When your grid set arrives, and you open the box, you will see the 8 shiny new grids as shown in the picture. A set of DE filter grids includes 7 large grids and 1 small grid. This is sometimes expressed as 7 full and 1 partial grid. In the diagram beneath the picture, you can locate the smaller grid by it's different width.
The first step to changing your DE filter grids is to remove the existing set from the filter tank.
How to remove DE filter grids from the tank
- Backwash filter thoroughly.
- Shut off the pool filter pump, at the breaker if possible.
- Open the air release valve on top of the filter, near the pressure gauge.
- Use a properly sized rachet or wrench to loosen the filter clamp band.
- Remove the filter lid or filter top half, set aside carefully.
- Lift the filter assembly out of the filter tank (you may need help!)
- Take to a stable location, where you can hose it clean (it's messy!)
After cleaning the filter grids you can disassemble the old, existing DE filter grids. Loosen the wing nut(s) on top of the grid assembly, or specifically, the nut that tightens down onto the top manifold. Once the nut is removed (don't lose it!), you can pull the manifold up and off of the filter grids. A little twisting motion may help, and it should come right off. Note the location of the partial grid, or which hole in the manifold that the partial grid inserts into.
Inspect the manifold for any cracks, and make sure the air bleeder screen or sock is in place, to prevent DE powder seepage. Once the manifold is removed the old grids will just fall away. Pick them up and toss them in the trash can, or put them in the new grids box, to keep your trash can clean. Inspect the bottom spreader plate for any cracks after the grids are removed.
How to re-assemble a DE filter grid assembly
Ok, this is the spot where it gets tricky. Follow the steps below to install your new DE filter grids back into a filter grid Assembly.
- Lay the top manifold upside-down, supported on two sides by two small bricks, or blocks. Make sure it's level and stable.
- Begin to insert the new filter grids snugly into the manifold. The smaller grid, the one that is not as wide, is going to be installed in the hole closest to the large hole on the bottom of the manifold. This hole fits over the standpipe, and the partial grid allows room for the standpipe.
- When all of the grids are in place, lower the spreader plate (Hayward calls it the filter locater), with the bolts attached, centered over the bottom of the grids. One part of this bottom grid is open, and this part will need to be positioned directly above the standpipe hole of the manifold. This opening allows room for the standpipe, so make sure that it is positioned, as shown in the picture.
- Each of the grids will fit in between the raised parts of the bottom spreader. There is an orderly pattern that will become evident to you, giving all grids equal spacing from the adjacent grids. Slight twisting of the bottom spreader, with slight grid movements or wiggles, will help to properly seat the grids into the spreader plate.
- If you haven't done this already, carefully push the thru-bolt(s) through the hole in the manifold, so that it sticks through the manifold and comes out on the bottom (the upside-down top).
- Reach under the manifold and thread on the wing nut(s) to secure the through bolts. The nuts on the bottom of the spreader plate should lock into the nut-shaped housing, to keep them from turning while you tighten down the wing nut. Give some slight motion to the assembly as you are tightening, to make sure the grids are all seating properly, top and bottom. Tighten the wing nut down on top of the manifold securely.
- Keeping hold of the entire assembly, (you may need help with this) flip over the assembly to stand it upright, on it's base. Check the wiggle of the assembly, and if you can tighten down further on the wing nut(s) to tighten up the assembly as much as possible.
- Return the grid assembly to the filter tank, making sure the o-ring on top of the standpipe is in good shape, and the air bleeder screen or sock on top of the manifold - is in place. Put on the lid, and tighten down on the clamp band until all the edges of the clamp spring are touching each other. Tap the band with a heavy wrench or mallet once or twice while tightening, to ensure that it is fully seated on both halves of the filter tank.
- With air bleeder still open, start up the filter pump.
- Quickly add a full charge of DE powder to the filter, through the pool skimmer. On an absolutely clean filter, add 1lb of DE powder per 5 sq ft. of filter surface area (after backwashing you can halve this amount).
And that's how you remove DE filter grids for cleaning, and how to replace your own DE filter grids. The whole process shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour. Let us know how you make out! Our DE Filter grid sets start at just $99 - look for items called D.E. Filter Grid Set - 7 Large, 1 Small on our DE filter parts pages.
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