How To Backwash Your DE Filter

If your Googling the phrase “How To Backwash DE Filter“, this step-by-step guide should help! Backwashing a D.E. filter means that you are reversing the water flow to be able to clean out the dirt and debris that has been collected within the diatomaceous earth filter over a period of time. The pool water is pumped through the filter backwards and is forced through the drains waste port. This guide will show you the 5 main steps that are required to backwash your pools D.E. filter.

What is a DE or Diatomaceous Earth?


DE is skeletons of fossilized single cell organisms that are called diatoms. It is a white powder that is added to your filter which creates a DE cake, which latches itself to the grid inside of the filter. This cake is what is used to help filter out fine particles, dirt and debris. DE filters do take a lot of work to maintain, but they are the best types of pool filters to clean your pool water with.

How To Tell When It Is Time To Backwash Your DE Filter 


This is where tracking the pressure will come in handy. Once your meter goes up by 9 to 10 pounds over your normal starting pressure, it will be time to backwash your filter. For instance, if the starting pressure is 10psi and it reaches 20psi, it is time to backwash the filter.

It won’t hurt to backwash your filter early, if you would like to, but it is more beneficial to let some of the dirt and debris build up in your filter. This build up helps to catch the smaller stuff that would make it through a clean filter. To start, let us start with showing you how to backwash your pools D.E. filter.

How To Backwash Your DE Filter Step-by-Step Guide


  1. Turn the power to your filter system off and then turn the multi-position valve to the one that states backwash or pull open and twist the push or pull valve on the backwash gate.
  2. Turn your filter system on and run it for 2 minutes in order to backwash the water out of the backwash valve or port. If you have a backwash hose that is installed, it is a great idea to place it flat on the ground with the hose pointed towards an area that you don’t mind water sitting for a while.
  3. After a few minutes, shut the filter system off. If you have a multi-position valve, then turn it to rinse and then turn the filter on again and run for 1 minute. If you have a push or pull valve, then run for an extra minute.
  4. Turn the system off again and turn the multi-position valve to filter and shut the push or pull valve.
  5. Next, turn the filter on and add more DE powder to your skimmer basket and ensure that you have read the filter instructions before you add the DE powder.

Steps for Backwashing Hayward DE Filters


In order to backwash a Hayward DE filter, turn your system off and twist open your backwash valve. Use your bump handle to bump the Hayward filter 15 times slowly. Keep your backwash valve open while you turn the system back on and allow it to run for a few minutes. This is perfect for rinsing out your DE that you shook off in the filter.

Turn the system off again and repeat the steps above to ensure that your DE is rinsed away. Bump it again 15 times slowly and then turn the filter system back on for a few more minutes.

Then shut your system down and close the backwash valve or replace your cap. Start your filter system up again and add more DE powder to your skimmer basket.

When & How Often Should I Backwash My DE filter?


Your DE filter pressure gauge will tell you when it is time for you to backwash your filter. The pressure gauge on the DE filter is there to tell you that the pressure is too high in the tank. The pressure will build up because of dirt and debris that is collected in the filter. So the more debris, the higher the tank pressure will be.

After you backwash the filter for the first time, take a look at your gauge reading as you will need it again so don’t skip this step. This is going to be your starting point of tracking your pressure as it increases.

How Much DE To Add After Backwashing Your DE Filter


How Much DE Powder To Add After Backwashing

First, you will need to find the square footage of your DE filter. It should be on the side of the tank, if it isn’t then you can search Google to find out or contact the place where you purchased the filter. Diatomaceous earth is normally measured in pounds, so it will help if you have 1 pound DE scoop, if not you can use a 1-pound coffee can to measure as well.

We hope that you have enjoyed our guide “Steps to Backwash Your DE Filter”, so stay tuned for much more helpful pool maintenance and cleaning posts from Brian’s Pool Care.

Professional DE Filter Cleaning In Ahwatukee, Arizona


Receive a free DE filter cleaning quote in Ahwatukee, Arizona by giving Brian’s Pool Care a call today at 480-907-7959.