How To Clean Your DE Filter

Note: A newer and more up-to-date version of this article can be found here.

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you how to clean a DE Filter.

  • When your pressure gauge is 8 – 10 psi above normal, it is time to clean your filter
  • Clean your DE Filter once every month
  • The three main steps for cleaning your filter are to backwash it, clean the manifolds and grids, and add new DE

If you have any other questions about filters, visit Pool Equipment, or go to

Leslie's DE Pool Filter Supplies
Video transcription:



Hi I'm Lauren Here at Leslies we've been serving the needs of do it yourself pool owners since 1963. we believe that all pool owners can care for and maintain their own pool with help from the experts at Leslies.

Today I'll be showing you step-by-step how to backwash and clean your DE Filter.

The essential parts of your DE Filter are: the Pressure Gauge, Air Relief Valve, Backwash valve, Filter Tank Lid, Manifold and Grids.

The pressure gauge is actually one of the most important pieces of your DE Filter. The pressure gauge will tell you when it's time to clean your filter. When the gauge reads 8 to 10 pounds per square inch over the normal starting pressure, your filter should be clean.

Your Air Relief Valve is used to let air and water out of the filter tank simply by turning the valve in one direction both water and air will pass through the opening.

The function of the filter grids is to hold the DE. They act as a screen to capture dirt, debris and other particles. The amount of grids, shape and style vary by Manufacturer.

The manifold collects all the water after it passes through the grids. It sits directly atop the grids and holds them together in the filter.

You should clean your DE filter at least once every month or whenever you're pounds per square inch is 8 to 10 pounds above the normal starting pressure. Cleaning your DE Filter involves three basic steps: Backwashing, Cleaning the manifold and grid and adding new DE.

The first step in cleaning your DE is to backwash. Backwashing will clear out all the dirt and debris inside your DE Filter. Place the pool filter valve in the backwash position, then start your pool pump. When the water coming out of your discharge hose is clear, shut off the pump and return the valve to its normal position.

After Backwashing make sure your pump is off then open the air relief valve and remove the drain plug allowing the water out of the filter tank to drain. Now open the DE filter by releasing the clamp around the tank or undoing the bolts. This will depend on the model of your DE filter. After you have opened the tank remove the manifold and take out each grid. Using a garden hose flush out all of the DE from the filter grids. Then use the hose to rinse the rest of the tank.

After cleaning the DE off the grids place them back in the manifold inside the filter. When you have cleaned and put back the grids you need to lubricate the ring on the inside of the tank.

Now we're ready to add DE or Leslie's Cellulose Fiberback into the filter. Start by priming your pool pump. Remove the strainer basket lid and fill the basket with water allowing some water to run through the incoming line. Lubricate the O-Ring or gasket in the pump lid with Leslies Pool & Spa Lube then replace the lid and tighten any other clamps or bolts on the pump.

Release all-excess air from the tank by turning the Air relief valve. Now turn on the pool pump. Close the air relief valve when the water begins to come out. Make sure your pump is running before you begin adding DE. Calculating how much DE you are going to need for your filter involves a simple calculation.

Your DE Filter is either 24, 36, 48 or 60 square feet. That size should be noted on your filter or in your filter's instruction manual. Now, take the square footage of your filter and divide by 5, that number equals how many scoops of DE you should add. DE and the DE scoop can be purchased from your nearest Leslies store.

Mix the required amount of DE together with enough water to make a thin creamy mixture. With your pump running, pour the mixture directly into the pool skimmer. The DE will be drawn to the filter and distributed evenly over the grids.

After adding DE, you're done cleaning your DE filter. Allow your pump to run 30 minutes before turning it off. When cleaning your DE filter remember these 3 simple steps.

1. Backwash your filter
2. Clean the manifold and DE grids
3. Add new DE to your filter.

Fiber Clear is a safe and effective alternative to DE. It filters better than DE and gives your water a polished look and feel. And unlike DE, Fiber Clear is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable.

We hope this video has shown you how to backwash and clean your DE filter. Our goal here at Leslies is to make pool care easy.

Thank you for watching.

For more information please visit our website at or any one of our more than 850 retail stores nationwide.

leslie's retail store locator

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D.E. Grids

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.