15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 1 bullet 1 6000 1 0 fade https://blog.thepoolfactory.com 300 4000 1
America's Above Ground Pool Experts
Generic filters
Exact matches only

How To Backwash a DE Filter

One can say to backwash a DE filter system is quite different from backwashing a sand filter. The process can differ depending on the DE system
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One can say to backwash a D.E. filter system is quite different from backwashing a sand filter. Although they complete the same objective, which is cleaning the internal elements of the filter and lowering its overall pressure, the process can differ depending on the D.E. filter system as well. The Hayward EC-40 and Hayward EC-50 are the most common filter systems for above ground pools. They do not have a multiport valve (similar to a sand filter) but instead have a “bump” handle at the top of the tank and an outlet for backwashed water at the bottom of the tank.

DE Filter System Parts
This article will focus on how to backwash a DE Filter with bump handles.

What is Filter Bumping?

First to describe bumping, a term unique to Diatomaceous Earth filters. The bumper handle at the top of a D.E. filter is designed to relieve pressure in your filter system without having to go through the process of backwashing. It is common for D.E. to clog the “fingers” or filtering mechanisms within the tank and raise the pressure. Bumping will regenerate the D.E. currently in the tank and can extend time between backwashing cycles saving you money by reducing the amount of Diatomaceous Earth used throughout the season.

How to Bump a DE Filter System


Turn off the pump and clear the leaf basket in the skimmer and the motor to be sure there is a good water flow.

Turn Off The Pump

In a slow downward motion and a rapid upward motion, move the bump handle up and down 5-7 times.

DE Filter Bump Handles

Restart filter and resume normal operation.

DE Filter Restart

If the bumping process does not reduce pressure or improve filtering, follow the instructions below to backwash a DE Filter.

How to Backwash a D.E. Filter


Turn off the pump and clear leaf basket in the skimmer and the motor to be sure there is good water flow.

Turn Off The Pump

If not already connected, attach a backwash hose to the port labeled “backwash” at the bottom of the tank. A shutoff valve should be attached to the backwash port. If there is no shutoff valve, there will be a plug closing the port. Remove the plug and install a shutoff valve.

DE Backwash Port

Note that removing the plug will allow water to flow and drain from the pool. It may be wise to disconnect the filter hoses to avoid losing water while installing a shutoff valve.

Hayward 1.5" Single Union Shut off Ball Valve

Dial Handle for easy flow regulation. 1.5″ Slip (no threads). Original Hayward Trimline Ball Valve.

Hayward Shut Off Valve

Follow step #2 above for bumping and regeneration of the D.E. within the tank. This will loosen dirt and debris allowing the tank to drain properly during the backwash.

DE Filter Bump Handles

With the pump turned off open the shutoff valve at the bottom of the tank and allow the water to flow out of the filter, occasionally bumping the handle 3-4 times.

DE Filter Water Flow

Take note of the color of the water at the end of the backwash hose. Once water is clear and no longer cloudy, turn the pump on and allow it to run for approximately one minute and then turn off the pump.

Turn Filter On
Backwash Hose 1.5" x 50'

This pool backwash hose is flexible and durable! Use a hose clamp (not included) to connect the backwash discharge hose to your pool filter for draining.

Backwash Hose

Close the shutoff valve and restart the pump.

DE Filter Valve Closed

Replace the needed amount of D.E. (4 scoops (lbs.) for the Hayward EC-40 and 5 scoops (lbs.) for the Hayward EC-50. Add the D.E. directly to the skimmer attached to the pool while the filter is running.

DE Filter Box
Splash D.E. 24lb Box

When used in DE filter systems, diatomaceous earth powder provides a remarkable filtration media, trapping debris and contaminant particles ranging from leaves and dirt to bacteria and other micro-organisms.

Diatomaceous Earth
  • June 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Hi, I’m trying to find out how to attach/vacumm my saltwater pool 8000. Came with vac, but no instructions. The bottom is quite dirty with some soil stains. . How do I clean it?

  • June 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM
    Melinda Pereira

    Last summer when we closed our pool we purchased a kit for closing the pool. When we opened the pool this spring we found that there is a builded up of sort of a beige color powder. We have vaccum and removed the plump cartridge and cleaned it. Even though the water is clear we can still see this powder at the bottom of the pool. How can we remove this.

    • June 23, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      The powder in your pool is most likely the D.E. powder from your filter. Somehow the powder is escaping from your filter and returning to the pool. You should have the filter serviced.

  • June 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM
    Melinda Pereira

    I do not have a sand filter. I have a Jacuzzi Splash Pak 60 and this happened during the winter. When I uncovered my pool the water on the top was clear but at the bottom of the pool it had this beige powder. I still feel that is was from the kit we used to close the pool. But since then I have been able to vaccum the powder and cleaned out my catridge and my pool is crystal clear. Thanks for all your help.

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      My apologies I assumed you had a D.E. Filter since you comment was on a post for “How to Backwash a DE Filter”, no worries. Please use our contact us form to get in touch with one of our Pool Experts!

Shop at The Pool Factory