How to Replace DE Filter Grids

Written by Michael Dean
May 25, 2023

replacing DE pool filter grid

DE filters are a great filter option that works hard to keep your water quality top-notch. That said, they need some maintenance from time to time. You may notice some of the DE powder floating around in your pool when you run your filter system. This indicates a torn filter grid, and when this happens, you should replace your grids.

In this article, I will go over the steps to replace these DE filter grids and get your swimming pool back up and running in no time. For more on this type of filter, head over to my main pages for DE filters and DE filter troubleshooting.

Main Takeaways

  • You’ll have to release the air in your filter and drain the water before opening it up and removing the filter grids.
  • After replacing the filter grids, you should add more DE to your filter. Calculate the square footage of your pool and divide it by 5. That is how many scoops of DE to add.
  • Replacing your DE filter grids costs between $100-$500, depending on how many grids you have to replace.

Supplies Checklist

Before you start replacing the DE filter grids, you need to make sure you have everything you need at hand. Thankfully, this replacement process is pretty straightforward, so you only need the following tools:

  • Wrench
  • Dust mask
  • Rubber mallet
  • DE filter grid
  • DE powder

Step-by-Step Guide for Replacing DE Filter Grids

Replacing the DE filter grids is necessary for swimming pool care once the grids run their course. It will help keep your pool safe to swim in by meticulously sifting through the water. However, replacing the grids does not have to be complicated. If you follow this guide step-by-step, I guarantee that you will find it much easier than what seems to be a daunting task.

Step 1: Turn off the pool pump

Before you start disassembling or removing anything, you should ensure your pool pump system is turned off. If you don’t, the water will spray everywhere as you take apart the filter.

Step 2: Release pressure relief

Release the pressure within the filter tank by opening the air pressure relief valve found at the rear of the pressure gauge.

Step 3: Drain the filter

Remove the drain plug at the bottom of the filter to drain it. It should take about 1 minute for all of the water to drain.

Step 4: Remove the clamp band

The clamp band keeps the two halves of the filter tank together. Remove it by using a wrench to unscrew the nuts and bolts that hold it in place. Once you have removed the nuts, use your rubber mallet to loosen the clamp band. After a couple of taps, you should be able to remove the entire band.

Step 5: Separate the two halves to open the filter

Once the clamp band is removed, you can now separate the top of the tank from the bottom. As the two halves may be stuck together, you may need to use your rubber mallet to give it a few taps to loosen it before you can lift it off and put it on the ground.

Step 6: Remove the grid assembly

You should now be able to see the entire grid inside the tank. It is composed of 8 grids, including one partial grid. The manifold at the top should have two areas that say “lift here” that you can use to lift the grid assembly out of the tank. If the assembly is too heavy, hose some DE powder off before removing it.

Step 7, Option A: Replace the grid assembly

The first option to replace the DE filter is to replace the entire grid assembly. All you need to do is put the new grid assembly into the filter. Although this is the easier option, it is also more costly. If you are happy to spend the extra bucks for convenience, this is the best option.

Step 7, Option B: Disassemble and replace individual grids

Alternatively, you can replace the individual grids yourself for less than half the cost of replacing the whole grid assembly.

To do this, start by disassembling the old grids by removing the nuts on the top manifold. Then replace each filter grid one by one, beginning with the partial grid. Doing it this way will help you avoid confusion and ensure that all of the grids are in their proper place.

When you replace all grids, reassemble the manifold, ensuring the pipe inlet is on the partial grid section. Once placed, screw the nuts back on to secure the grids.

Step 8: Reinstall the grid assembly

Carefully reinstall the grid assembly by putting it back into the tank.

Step 9: Close the filter

Close the filter after checking that the grid assembly is appropriately in the tank. Put the lid back on and place the band back around the two halves of the filter tank. Tighten the nut on the band with your wrench.

Step 10: Add DE powder

Turn the pump back on and add DE powder into the skimmer. The general rule of thumb is to calculate the square footage of your swimming pool and divide it by five. This equation gives you the number of DE scoops you need for your filter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do you need to replace your DE filter grids?

DE filter grids last longer than other types of filters, usually lasting 5 to 10 years if you care for them properly. Pool filters are one of those things that don’t need replacing too often. Usually, once installed, you should go a few years before they need any attention.

You should also look at replacing your DE filter grids if there are any tears in the fabric, as the filter grid is of no use if it cannot hold the DE.

How much does DE filter grid replacement cost?

The DE filter grid replacement cost highly depends on whether you will replace the entire grid assembly or the individual filter grids. Replacing the whole filter grid assembly will cost around $300-$500, depending on the size and quality of the replacement. Just the filter grids will cost about $100-$200.

How do I know if my DE filter grid is bad and needs to be replaced?

During every routine cleaning of your DE filter, look at the filter grids. If you notice rips or tears in the mesh, you should replace the filter grid before putting the filter back together. If you notice that your DE filter is leaking from the grids and DE is making its way into your pool water, you will likely need to replace the filter grids as well.

Holes in the DE filter grids are common and will appear for several reasons. Over time the grids will unravel, creating tiny holes in the fabric. And strong chemicals can damage the filter grids and burn holes through the material. This is why it is important to inspect the filter grids regularly.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

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Bottom Line

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your pool filter is key to keeping your pool fresh. DE filters are by far the most efficient filter type, but they do require a bit of maintenance. Replacing the filter grids may seem like a frightening task to take on, but as you can see, replacing DE filter grids is a pretty straightforward process.

If you have more questions, let me know; I’m happy to help.

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