How Do I Clean A DE Filter?


There are three different types of filters for your swimming pool. Are you familiar with what type of filter your swimming pool uses? The three different types of filters are diatomaceous earth (DE), sand and cartridge. As for types of filters and swimming pool products, we always recommend Jandy! In this blog post, we are going to highlight the pros and cons of a DE Filter, the benefits of them and how to clean them. In regards to residential and commercial swimming pools, sand filters seem to be the most common filter you will find in a backyard due to ease of use. However, DE Filters are pretty close second. If you talk to people in the industry, most people seem to think that DE Filters are more challenging to use but if you get used to them, they work the best for most swimming pools. This is because they filter down to the smallest micron and have the ability to keep pools extremely clear and clean.

Pros of DE Filters –

  • Filters down to 3 microns which are the smallest amount of the filters
  • Filters the largest surface area and keeps the pool the cleanest out of all of them
  • Best for pools with lots of vegetation/plant life in the backyard. If you have lots of trees, bushes, and plants that blow leaves into the pool this filter is the only choice for you.
  • Will clear up a green pool the fastest (some pool companies will even wheel these filters out to your pool to help clear it up faster)


  • Requires the most amount of maintenance especially after backwashing
  • Must always be aware of pressures as backwashing should occur at set limit to prevent pool from getting cloudy

For the most part, DE Filters are extremely self-sufficient but do require some work when it is time to backwash. Backwashing can be described as cleaning your filter after it’s collected debris and dirt from your swimming pool. It works by sending pool water in the opposite direction through your filter and out the waste or drains port. It is pretty easy to do and we explain that next……

How To Backwash Your DE Filter

  1. Turn off your filter and turn your valve to the backwash position. If you have a top mounted handle, place it in the backwash position.
  2. Turn your filter system back on and let it run for approximately two minutes or until the water is clear and free of debris
  3. Turn the system back off and place backwash valve back in normal filter position
  4. Run the filter for a minute or so and repeat steps 1-3 for about 30-60 seconds or again until the water is clear
  5. Turn your system back on and make sure to add DE powder to the skimmer as soon as possible as filter grids must be coated to prevent other issues.

How Much DE To Add After Backwashing

First and foremost, you will need to determine the square footage of your filter which you can typically find on the label located on the filter. The following is a breakdown of how much DE to add to the skimmer after backwashing:

36 sq ft. —–> 4.5 pounds (roughly 4.5 scoops)

48 sq ft. —–> 6 pounds (roughly 6 scoops)

60 sq ft. —–> 7.5 pounds (roughly 7.5 scoops)

The gauge on the top of the filter will make you aware of when you need to backwash. Typically, you can also check the manual to let you know at what PSI they should be back washed. Please keep in mind you will monitor this regularly as backwashing should occur as soon as possible when the pressure reaches its maximum. Also, if you own a DE Filter please plan on taking the filter apart at least once a year to completely hose down the filter grids and clean the inside of the filter to keep it functioning properly. If you should have any questions on how to operate a DE Filter or if you’re in the need of a filter clean, contact us today and if you are looking to make a switch in filters, Weber Pools can help you with that as well.