If you want crystal clear pool water, you’ll want to adhere
to these best practices in caring for your pool.
In this blog and accompanying video, we’re going to work on
manually cleaning a PLDE 48 Sta-Rite D.E. Filter. This same process also works
with PLDE 36 and PLDE 30 filters.
If your pool pump is running, you’ll want to start by
turning it off.
The first thing that you’ll want to do is release the air
from the top knob by spinning this counter-clockwise. You should hear the hiss
of pressurized air escaping as the tank is drained.
Because the PLDE 48 by Sta-Rite is a cartridge filter we
have the ability to manually clean it or you can also clean it by using the
“backwash” position on the filter valve.
Because this system exists and operates in the northeast and
has been running for 3 months, it’s time to give it a good wash.
To take your D.E. filter apart, we’ll start by draining the
tank. In our case we’re locating the drain plug and using a small screwdriver
as a wedge. A few counterclockwise spins remove the one-and-a-half-inch plug
and the tank itself will start to drain the excess water.
Next, find the circular clamp located on the middle exterior
of the filter that goes all of the way around. Somewhere along this track will
be a lever that you’ll need to depress down and away. This is the release that
will allow you to turn the circular clamp. Turn this counter-clockwise. It’s
threaded and will come off its thread so that you can remove it up and over the
filter. Removing this should be fairly easy with little to no resistance.
The Sta-Rite brand allows you to then you the built-in
inside tab instead of a screwdriver. Locate the grooves in the plastic along
the same line as the thread, insert one of the tabs into the selected groove
and turn it up. You may need to do this with several of the grooves in order to
loosen and separate the exterior filter parts.
Once the halves are popped, go ahead and remove the top by
bring it straight up and over and exposing the internal filter element.
Despite backwashing, rinsing, and cleaning, there is still a
residual that will need to be taken care of with a manual cleaning. These
cleanings are necessary usually every 90 to 120 days that the pool is in use.
We now have a clean filter cartridge that we’ll want to
place back into the filter in the correct way.
Take a look at the bottom of the filter and located the
circular hole, and line it up with the circular hole located at the bottom of
the tank. If you now take a look at the top of the filter cartridge there’s an
arrow located there which should be in line with the circular hole on the
bottom of the cartridge and the hole on the bottom of the tank. This is how you
will know that you put the filter back into the tank correctly. You can rock
the filter a bit just to ensure that it’s in place.
Reattaching the two halves of the external tank can
sometimes be tricky. Some older tanks may call for the use of lube in this
case. This tank is fairly new so the halves will easily slide together. We do
carry a couple of different brands of lube available for purchase if needed.
Reconnecting the top half of the external tank has no
specific way of reattaching. We would suggest selecting the way that is most
convenient to be able to view the pressure gauge. Once this is selected, press
down on the top of the tank and check that there is no visible seam at the
thread line. No visible seam ensure that it went on correctly.
Next, take your clamp, put it back over the top and spin in
clockwise on the thread until it locks down. It will in fact make a clicking
sound when it correctly locks.
You’ll want to reinstall the plug on the bottom of the tank.
This is that same inch and a half-threaded plug which you’ll want to spin
clock-wise to screw it back into the drain. Once it’s hand tight you can use a
wedge or a screw-driver for a half to a quarter turn making sure it’s firmly
back in place.
Now we can turn our pool pump on. If it’s a variable speed
model, it may take a moment to cycle up. Look to the top of the filter tank and
tighten down the air bleeder by turning it clockwise. The pump is going to
finish priming and the bleeder valve will start to shoot out air.
The delay in the motor starting up and cycling is normal for
a variable speed pump this won’t take as long with other types of pool pumps.
The pump pulls water, cycles, and you bleed air until the
point where water is now coming out of the air relief valve. This is when you
can close the valve completely.
The tank is now nice and clean. The pressure gauge is down
around 12 pounds, and prior to starting this process the filter had been
running between 18 and 20 pounds. 6 to 8 pounds of pressure were lost after the
cleaning process was completed. This means that there is more flow through the
filter. Low pressure is always indicative of more flow and the higher the
pressure the lesser the flow which is indicative of more resistance.
Now we have to add more D.E. powder back to the system through
the skimmer. For the PLDE 48 Sta-Rite D.E. Filter we use 6 scoops of D.E.
powder to recharge it.
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