Table of Contents
A DE pool filter uses diatomaceous earth (DE) for filtering out residential pool water. DE is a sedimentary rock composed of the fossilized, chemical remains of ancient microscopic organisms called diatoms. The skeletons of these organisms, called silica, can be utilized as a natural filter for pool water and are mined from most major sources of water. Making up around 26 percent of the earth’s crust, silica includes a range of natural resources including feldspar, clay, mica, asbestos, quartz, glass, and emeralds.
Among the three major types of pool filters – sand, cartridge, and DE – most pool experts agree that diatomaceous earth is the best to use for filtering your home’s pool water. This is mostly due to DE being a compact substance that removes smaller particles than what other substances are capable of.
What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do in a Pool Filter?
A DE filter is used to remove particles from your pool’s water that are as small as 5 microns. How small is that? It’s almost 90 times thinner than a single strand of hair! DE is a powdery white substance much like dinosaur bones. It is composed of billions of microscopic, spongelike organisms that allow the substance to so efficiently absorb contaminants. Since DE has such small particles, it is the best at filtering anything that comes through the water.
One potential disadvantage of DE is that it can block the skimmer and create worse problems than just a dirty pool – but all you need to do is add around 1/2 a cup less than the product guide recommends.
You can find DE in stores that sell pool supplies, including hardware stores. But be warned – food-grade DE is very different than the substance used to filter pools. Don’t ever try to use it for any purpose other than what it was manufactured for.
Buy DE filter powder on Amazon:
- EZ-DE Swimming Pool Diatomaceous Earth DE Filter Media Powder
- Dicalite Minerals DE25BOX 25 Lbs Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter D.E
There are cities and places with legal regulations against DE, and forbid it from being dumped into the sewer system since it is prone to backing up the pipes. To rectify the issue, pool owners install a separation tank beside the DE filter. A strainer catches the DE before it can enter the sewer drain. When the dirty water flows out from the filter, it enters the sewer system and leaves the DE behind, which can be easily removed in the net and tossed away.
The filter’s large tank is equipped with grids and fingers covered in DE, and DE performs a similar role as salt does for pool filtration, only much better. DE filters are the superior of the three pool filter types, although you’ll naturally have to pay a higher price for it. You can generally find a DE pool filter for around $850.
Diatomaceous earth can also be used in cat litter, filtering drinking water, fish tanks, and even wine. Since DE is a substance that causes harsh friction, it’s also added to toothpaste, metal polishes and facial scrubs.