How to Add Diatomaceous Earth to Your Pool Filter

Please Note: Do not use this procedure if you are not certain that you can complete it safely, or if it does not seem accurate. Skippity Whistles provides this information as advice, and cannot accept any liability from your usage of it.

If you find that your swimming pool water isn’t as clean and clear as you’d like, and your pool has a diatomaceous earth, or DE, filter, you may find instructions to add more DE. But how?

Here’s a simple formula provided by the Clorox Corporation about adding their DE. It’s easy, and super effective.

Clean the Pool Filter

First, clean the filter. If you’re new to that, our page called How to Clean a Pool Filter may help.

Add Diatomaceous Earth

Next, determine your filter’s surface area – there’s a little chart on the side of the filter.

Now get a clean bucket that holds at least two gallons. Using either water from your pool or fresh water from the hose, put two gallons of water into the bucket.

Find a clean, sturdy stir-stick and put it into the bucket.

Add one pound of DE to the bucket and mix it for at least thirty seconds. Mix it thoroughly, making sure there are no clumps.

This is important: with the filter running, slowly poor the bucket into the skimmer. Going slowly allows the DE to spread across the filter vanes.

It’s really important to pour it in slowly. If you dump it in quickly the DE is likely to clump in one spot and do you no good. You won’t know why your water doesn’t clear up, and will add chemicals and waste money on remedies that won’t work because the whole system is based on a correct distribution of DE on the filter.

If you goof it up and put in your DE too quickly, clean out the filter and start over.

Based upon the surface area of your filter, you know how many pounds of DE to add. 

If you accidentally add too much, you’ll see it flowing into the pool from your inlet jets. That’s okay. Run the filter for 24 hours, and then backwash it to bleed off the excess DE.

By the end of that twenty-four hours your water should be sparking clear.

That’s it. You did it!

Back to How to Swimming


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