Benefits of A DE Filter and How To Backwash Them

Adding DE To A Pool

How To Add DE To A Pool

As a swimming pool owner do you know what type of filter you have? The most common filter found in swimming pools is sand because it is relatively easy to maintain but Diatomaceous Earth (DE) or cartridge can also be found too. In the industry, if you talk to most people they will say DE Filters are the hardest to deal with but at Weber Pools, we feel strongly about them and want to teach you how to backwash them, give you a step by step process on what to do, the benefits of using them, and what pools they are best used on. First and foremost, backwashing is the act of cleaning your filter after it’s collected dirt and debris from your pool. It works by sending pool water backward through your filter and out the waste or drain.

Benefits of Owning A DE Filter

  1. Great for pools with lots of vegetation
  2. Cleans the largest surface area
  3. Filters down to the smallest micron when compared to sand and cartridge

5 Steps To Backwashing Your DE Filter

  1. First and most importantly, turn off your filtration system and put your filter in the proper backwash position
  2. Turn on your filtration system and run it for approximately 2 minutes through a backwash hose or PVC pipe that directs the water away from the pool and into a designated area. Ideally, you will want to run the backwash until the water becomes clear.
  3. Put backwash valve back into normal filtration mode for roughly 30 seconds and then repeat step #2 again for about a minute or until the water is clear.
  4. Turn the system off and then turn backwash valve back to regular filtration mode
  5. Turn your system back on and add DE Powder through the skimmer as quickly as possible. It is extremely important for the filter grids to be coated with DE so you must have enough DE on hand. Please note, if you don’t add enough DE to the grids, dirt will attach itself to the grids and not backwash off. This can cause your filter to short cycle or ruin the grids.

How Much DE To Add To your Filter

First, you will need to determine the size of your DE Filter which you can usually locate on the side of the filter. Next, we highly recommend buying a DE Scoop to help measure the amount. If you don’t have a DE Scoop a metal coffee can would be a possible option. Since DE is measured in pounds we ultimately recommend buying a one pound DE Scoop for accuracy.

  • 36 sq ft. filter – 4.5 pounds (4.5 scoops)
  • 48 sq ft. filter – 6 pounds (6 scoops)
  • 60 sq ft. filter – 7.5 pounds (7.5 scoops)

Please note, typically all new filters will have gauges that recommend when it is time to backwash the filter. Typically when you start you will want to manually change the gauge to remind you to clean when it is approximately 10psi above starting the starting point.

 If you happen to own a DE Filter and aren’t sure when it’s time to backwash or take it apart and clean it, please contact the best pool service in Dallas!

Dealing With High CYA Levels In Your Pool

Puripool Dallas Pool Water

By far one of the most important chemicals for your swimming pool is chlorine. You must have the proper levels in your residential or commercial swimming pool to keep it clear and free of algae. With that said, the most common chemical used to prevent chlorine loss in swimming pools in Cyanuric Acid (CYA). Sometimes in the industry, you will hear it called conditioner or stabilizer. During our long, hot, muggy summer months the sun’s ultraviolet rays destroy free chlorine but having the adequate amount of conditioner in the swimming pool will prevent this. Knowing that we hope this post helps to explain why CYA is necessary but also what happens when it gets higher than what is considered normal levels which many swimming pool owners deal with if they use chlorine tablets.

If Cyanuric Acid is used properly it can reduce the cost of maintaining a swimming pool because it prevents chlorine loss and reduces the amount of chlorine needed to properly sanitize a swimming pool. With that being said, you are now probably wondering what are considered normal amounts of CYA and what is considered too high? Typically, the ideal amount of CYA is between 30-50 parts per million (ppm) but depending on how much direct sunlight the swimming pool gets, that number could be a little higher. Whereas, when the CYA levels rise above 100ppm, that can cause a fair amount of other problems too. The biggest issue when CYA levels rise above 100ppm is the effectiveness of chlorine because the higher levels tend to bind up the chlorine making it harder to kill algae and other bacteria.

How To Lower CYA Levels in Your Swimming Pool

In the Dallas area, you can lower CYA levels by performing a drain and refill or using The Puripool Process. At Weber Pools, we highly recommend The Puripool Process because not only can we lower CYA but we can also lower Calcium Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), salts, and so much more! Just this past week we filtered an18,000-gallon swimming pool with high levels of CYA. They were struggling with algae blooms and with CYA levels that high they needed to do something with their water.

Initial Chemistry

Calcium Hardness – 670ppm

Total Dissolved Solids – 3692ppm

CYA – 200ppm (extremely high)

After filtering this swimming pool for 14 hours with our Reverse Osmosis (RO) mobile filtration trailer we were able to lower their water chemistry to the following:

Calcium Hardness – 150

Total Dissolved Solids – 810ppm

CYA – 40ppm

By conserving 85% of the existing water and filtering their pool water with RO membranes we were able to give them excellent water quality where chlorine will work more effectively. If you should have any questions about our service, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Cryptosporidium and Swimming Pool Water

Cryptosporidium in pool water

Swimming is fun, it’s relaxing, it’s a way to cool off, and it’s great for exercise but did you know it can also be risky? According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), “493 recreational waterborne disease outbreaks were reported from 2000 to 2014 — causing at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths. A third of those outbreaks were traced to hotel swimming pools or hot tubs and this number is on the rise.” When it comes to waterborne diseases the number one most popular disease is Cryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”), It is a parasite tough enough to survive even in properly maintained pools.

To further this point,

“Crypto causes 58 percent of outbreaks where a germ was identified linked to pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds and 89 percent of the illnesses. Crypto spreads in pools when someone sick with the parasite has diarrhea in the water and other swimmers swallow that contaminated water. Swimmers and parents of young swimmers play an essential role in preventing Crypto outbreaks. Swallowing just a mouthful of water with Crypto in it can make otherwise healthy kids and adults sick for weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.”

If you frequent commercial swimming pools where this is most common the following are ways that you can help prevent it.

  • Don’t swim in the pool if anyone is sick or has diarrhea
  • Ask about water quality issues and the last time the water was checked
  • Don’t swallow the water
  • Shower before entering the pool
  • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks

How To Remove Cryptosporidium From Pool Water?

In the industry, one of the most popular ways to treat cryptosporidium is by Hyperchlorination. The following are the steps necessary to do this:

  1. Close the public pool
  2. Raise the free chlorine to at least 20 parts per million (ppm) for 24-30 hours
  3. Keep the filtration working during hyperchlorination
  4. Backwash the filter after completion of hyperchlorination
  5. Allow swimmers to return to the water after time has been reached and water chemistry returns to normal levels

Even though this is the most popular method, Weber Pools offers The Puripool Process which is a mobile filtration system that uses Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration. RO has the ability to remove crypto and prevents the need to hyperchlorinate. RO filtration will also lower Calcium Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Cyanuric Acid (CYA), and so much more. We feel that using our mobile filtration system not only removes crypto but also gives your bathers the best water quality to swim in. If you are curious to know more about how we can help or how we can keep your water chemistry with industry standards, contact us today!

 

My Salt Chlorinator Isn’t Working, What Should I Do?

 

Salt Chlorinator Challenges

 

 

 

 

 

If Water Chemistry is Off, Your Salt Cell Will Struggle

My salt chlorinator isn’t working again and it’s becoming a common problem! If you are trying to troubleshoot the problem, we can promise you that you aren’t alone. Lots of homeowners purchased salt chlorinators for their swimming pools because they were sold on the fact that they were maintenance free, they were fairly easy to use and that your swim experience would be much better. We would agree with the quality of water and the feel of the water part, but they definitely aren’t maintenance free and they do require work especially when it comes to having a balanced water chemistry. At Weber Pools, we get a lot of phone calls and inquiries on this issue and if we can help fix it. The following are the most common reasons why we see them not working:

  • Not enough salt or too much salt
  • Lack of Cyanuric Acid (CYA)
  • The size of the chlorinator isn’t big enough for your swimming pool
  • Too much calcium in the water causing scaling on the electrode plates

First and foremost, we highly recommend performing a thorough water analysis to make sure your chemistry is where it needs to be for your salt chlorinator. This would be the easiest to fix and usually the least expensive. We highly recommend checking the following levels:

  • pH – the salt will cause it to rise
  • CYA
  • Calcium Hardness – needs to be between 200-400ppm for most systems
  • Salt levels

If any of the above are out of balance it can cause malfunction with your salt chlorinator. Please refer to the owner’s manual in regard to water chemistry because each salt chlorinator manufacturer has different requirements for their system. If the salt, CYA or pH is out of balance those are easy fixes but if your Calcium Hardness (CH) is too high that causes other issues and is typically a much harder fix. In the Dallas area, the tap water is hard. Since our calcium comes out of the tap at 300ppm and with water that high in hardness, the calcium will scale the electrode plates and prevent them from operating. At this point a water change is necessary and we would like to highlight a customer whose salt chlorinator wasn’t working. He chose to use our Reverse Osmosis (RO) mobile filtration because we have the ability to give you much better water than tap.

When we arrived at this residence we measured their initial chemistry

Calcium Hardness – 900ppm (too high for their system)

Total Dissolved Solids – 7202ppm

Salt – 4762ppm (slightly high for their system)

CYA – 100ppm

After filtering this 20,000-gallon swimming pool for 16 hours we were able to lower their levels to the following:

Calcium Hardness – 130ppm

Total Dissolved Solids – 824ppm

Salt – 624ppm

CYA – 0ppm

Upon completion and addition of adequate salt and conditioner, their salt system started working great. In conclusion, we recommend a water change every 1-2 years, especially with salt systems. To learn more about this operation and how we can help you, contact us today!