Are you familiar with what type of filter your swimming pool uses? The three different types of filters are sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Each one of them has their own specific benefits depending on what type of swimming pool you have and what your backyard is like. As for 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 swimming pools, sand filters seem to be the most common filter you will find in a backyard due to ease of use but DE Filters are pretty close behind. 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.

Pros of DE Filters –

  • Filters down to 3 microns
  • Filters the largest surface area and keeps the pool the cleanest
  • Best for pools with lots of vegetation/plant life in the backyard
  • Will clear up a green pool the quickest


  • Requires the most amount of maintenance especially after backwashing

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 drain port.

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
  3. Turn the system back off and place valve back in normal filter position
  4. Run the filter for a minute or so and repeat steps 1-3 for about 30 seconds or again until the water is clear
  5. Turn your system back on and make sure to add DE powder to the skimmer

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 check the manual to let you know at what PSI they should be back washed. 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!