There are three different types of filters for your swimming pool and we are going to focus on the benefits of owning a Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter! In this blog post, we are going to highlight the pros and cons of a DE Filter, the benefits of them and lastly how to clean them. When it comes to residential swimming pools, sand filters seem to be the most common filter you will find in a backyard due to ease of use. However, depending on how much vegetation, DE Filters are pretty close second. If you talk to people in the industry, most people express 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 –

  • Filter down to 3 microns which are the smallest amount of the filters
  • Filter the largest surface area
  • Best for pools with lots of trees and plant life in the backyard.
  • Will clear up a green pool the fastest


  • Require the most amount of maintenance especially after you backwash
  • 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.

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 one-two minutes or until the water is clear and free of any 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 the correct amount DE powder to the skimmer as soon as possible as filter grids must be coated to prevent other issues. This step is extremely important and will be explained next!

How Much DE Do I Add Ater 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. ***Please keep in mind, more doesn’t mean better, it’s extremely important to only add what is recommended to prevent other issues.*** 

36 sq ft. —–> 4 pounds (roughly 4 scoops)

48 sq ft. —–> 5 pounds (roughly 5 scoops)

60 sq ft. —–> 6 pounds (roughly 6 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 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 use this filter to clean up a green pool you might need to hose them down more than once a year.

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, Clark County Pool & Lawn can help you with that as well.