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How Much DE To Add To Your Pool Filter?

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

You may already know that adding chlorine to your swimming pool helps prevent algae growth. However, did you know that adding too much chlorine can cause problems?

If you don’t know how much DE to add to your pool, you might want to check out our guide.

Adding too much chlorine can cause damage to your pool equipment.

This can include damaged pumps, filters, and heaters. In addition, high levels of chlorine can also harm your skin and eyes.

Adding too much chlorine can also make it harder for your water to stay clean. It can also make the water look cloudy or murky.

If you have a new pool, you will need to test your water before adding any chemicals. You can use this calculator to help determine what amount of DE is needed in your pool.

If you are using an older pool, you might not need as much chlorine. Read more about testing your water here.

If you are unsure whether you need to add chlorine to your pool, you can always ask your local pool store. They will be able to tell you if you need to add more chlorine to your pool.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for thousands of years by humans. It was originally used to protect crops from insects.

It is made up of tiny silica particles that are bonded together with organic material. The particles are so small that they cannot pass through human hair or pores.

This means that DE does not get absorbed into the body as other chemicals do. It stays on the surface where it works to kill bugs.

DE is safe to use around children and pets because it poses no health risks.
DE is non-toxic. It doesn’t contain heavy metals or dangerous chemicals.

DE is environmentally friendly. It is biodegradable and won’t leave behind harmful residues when it breaks down.

DE is easy to use. It comes in granular form and can easily be added to your pool filter.

DE can be found at most hardware stores.

How Much DE Should I Add To My Pool Filter?

The amount of DE you need depends on several factors. Some of these factors include:

  • Your pool size
  • The type of filter you have
  • Your location
  • Your climate
  • The age of your pool

Here are some examples of how much DE you could use based on these factors.

A 10,000-gallon pool would require approximately 1 pound of DE per week.

A 20,000-gallon pool would need approximately 2 pounds of DE per week. A 50,000-gallon pool would only need 3 pounds of DE per week!

A 5-year-old pool would need approximately 0.5 pounds of DE per week

A 25-year-old pool would only need 0.1 pounds of DE per week

How Long Does DE Last?

Once you add DE to your pool, you should expect it to last for months. However, it is important to remember that DE degrades over time.

New Filters Or A Full Clean

This is a great guide to help you calculate the amount of DE needed for your filter system. You should do this once per year.

A square foot is equal to 0.093 m^2. A pound is equal to 453.59 grams. A cubic foot is equal to 0.0283 m^3.

A cubic yard is equal to 0.9144 m^3. A linear foot is equal to 0,02837 m. A linear yard is equal to 0,0148 m. A linear mile is equal to 1609.344 m.

How much DE powder is needed? DE powder is used to clean the filters of aquariums. DE powder is also used to clean the filters in car engines.

DE powder is an ingredient in many household cleaners. DE powder is used to remove dirt and dust from clothes.

DE powder is used in air purifiers. DE powder is used as a deodorizer. DE powder is used for making soap. DE powder is used when making paper.

DE powder is used during tanning leather. DE powder is used on wood floors. DE powder is used at restaurants.

DE powder is used by hospitals. DE powder is used because it removes impurities from water. DE powder is used since it helps to make oil-free soap.

DE powder is added to most DE filters with suggestions for the total amount of powder on a fresh filter; however, if you can’t find a suggestion from the manufacturers, you can use a very simple rule of thumb: Add 1 lb of DE powder per 10 sq ft of filter surface.

So, a 48 sq ft filter will require 5 lbs of DE powder.

The Most Popular Pool Filters And Sizing

Pool Filters

Hayward recommends 6 pounds of DE per square foot for a 48-square foot pool

(Hayward pool heater ignition failure). Pentair recommends 7.5 pounds of dechlorinator (see also ‘Dechlorinator For Fish Systems: What, Why And How?‘) per square foot for a 60-square foot pool.

Waterway suggests 6 pounds of de-chlorinator for a 36-square foot pool.

We recommend using the same amount as Hayward or Pentair.

Backwashing The Filter

DE filters should be cleaned every month or two, depending on how often you water your plants. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of DE per gallon of water used.

To clean your DE filters, turn on the water tap in your sink and fill up the sink with cold water. Turn on the faucet until it starts spraying out water.

Then open the drain plug and let the water run into the sink for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn off the faucet and drain the water.

Open the drain plug again and allow the water to drain completely. Now carefully take out the strainer from the bottom of the sink.

Remove the lid from the container of DE and pour the contents into the strainer. Be sure to shake the container vigorously to make sure all the DE is emptied.

Once the DE is emptied, put the lid back on the container and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, you can now dispose of your old DE by pouring it down the drain.24 sq ft 1.9 lbs. 36 sq ft 2.8 lbs. 48 sq ft 3.8 lbs. 60 sq ft 4.8 lbs. 72 sq ft 5.7 lbs.

The filter should be cleaned by turning off the pump and rotating the multiport valve to wash.

Then turn on the pump and let the water run for 20-30 seconds. After that, turn off the pump and turn the multiport valve back to the filter.

Finally, turn on the pump and when the pump is primed, add the required amount of DE. Perflex filters are unique because the DE can’t be back washed.

When the filter pressure reaches 8-10 psi above clean starting pressure, it’s time to bump the filter. Grasp the bump handle.

Raise the handle slowly, then firmly push it down three to four times. This shakes the DE of the tubes and opens the drain valve.

The DE will fall into the reservoir below the filter. When the pump turns on, the DE will re-coat the filter tubes.

The filter pressure won’t go back down to the original starting pressure.

Instead, it’ll drop lower than the previous read.

(Example: the initial starting pressure was 10 psi. After the first bump, the pressure went to 12 psi. Then, after the second bump, the pressure went back up to 14)

Popular Pool Filters Sizes And Their Measurements

After a backwash, take the recommended amount of deionizer powder for a new filter and multiply it by 80%, or 8/10ths.

Here are the amounts for common pool filters: Hayward W48 – 48 square feet, 4.8 pounds. Hayward W60 – 60 square feet, 6 pounds.

Pent air EC-180 – 36 square feet, 2.88 pounds. Waterway Crystal Water – 60 square feet, 4.80 pounds.

How To Exactly Measure Your DE Powder

Most people don’t have scales by their pools, but there’s an easy solution – get a DE scoop!

Scales aren’t necessary because 1 scoop equals 1/2 pound of DE powder.

To figure out how much DE powder you need, multiply your filter size by.5.

Then add another half pound to account for backwashing. For example, if you’re using a 10’x10′ filter, you’d need 8 scoops of DE powder.

DE is added through the skimming system with the pump running. The filter should be coated with DE before use.

When adding DE, slowly add it into the skimmer. After each addition, check the pressure gauge. This is when the filter starts working properly.

When the pressure rises 8-20 PSI above the starting point, it is time to wash the filter.

You should take your filter apart and hose it out. Then you need to coat the filter again with the whole amount of DE stated on your filter label.

Cups Number For A Full Clean

A quick summary of popular filters with an estimated amount of water needed for them.

This list includes the name of the filter (and brand), the size of the filter, and how many gallons of water it uses.

Scoops Number After The Backwash

You need to calculate the amount of deionized water needed based on the size of your tank. For example, if you’re using a Hayward Pro-grid filter, you’ll need 29 cups of water per gallon of wastewater (rounded up).

Final Thoughts

Deionization is a great way to keep your swimming pool clean. It removes chlorine from the water, which helps prevent algae growth.

But, it also increases the hardness of the water.

If you want to use DE, make sure you know what kind of pool chemicals you’re adding to the pool. You may not like the results.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and family!

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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