Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Clean a Hayward DE Filter

Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged caused from the use of this guide.

The following is a guide on how to clean a swimming pool DE (diatomaceous earth) filter. Written by The filter in the following example (the photos are from two ProGrid filters on two different days) are Hayward ProGrids. Most other swimming pool DE filters will be similar.
We will also cover common issues that occur during a filter cleaning.

What you need to clean a DE filter:
2 Ratchets
Flat head screwdriver
Hammer (a heavy wrench can be used in place of this)
DE (diatomaceous earth)

Turn off the system to ensure the pump will not turn on during the cleaning.
Open the air relief valve to start relieving the pressure inside the filter.

Opening the filter:
Most DE filters are held together with one large metal band (called a clamp assembly) locked with a screw bolt (spring assembly).  Remove this bolt with a ratchet.

Note: Do not use a wrench, pliers, or a crescent (adjustable) wrench. Using anything other then a ratchet or socket will break down the brass frame of the screw bolt.

Once the screw bolt is detached, the metal band can be completely removed using a flat head screwdriver.
If the filters inside pressure has equalized the lid (called a filter head) can now be removed.
A flat head screwdriver can be wedged between the top and bottom half of the filter to pry off the lid.

Note: If the gasket has expanded, the lid may be difficult to remove. Multiple flat head screw drivers may be needed on opposite sides of the filter to wedge the top off.

Removing the grids:
Most DE filters have the manifold on top (with the exception of the Pentair 4000 series, which has it at the bottom).
If the grids are not weighted down by excessive amounts of dirt, the grids and manifold can be pulled out as one piece. When doing so, the grids need to be pulled straight up. Only a single pipe (called a outlet elbow) connects the filter base to the manifold. While pulling up sometimes a slight right to left twist is needed to separate the manifold from the pipe.

If the set cannot be pulled out as one piece, remove the nut on the top of the manifold. If the long center bolt (called a Retainer Rod) spins when the nut is unscrewed, a set of pliers can be used to hold the center bolt in place.

Note: Only hold the bolt (Retainer Rod) from underneath the manifold; trying to hold the top end could damage the screw threads, making it impossible to remove nut. 

Once the nut is removed, the manifold can be lifted straight up off the grids and Outlet Assembly.

Checking the parts for damage:
-Each individual filter grid needs to be checked for holes. Holes allow for debris to pass freely though the filter system. Any grid with holes will need to be replaced.
-Check the grids for broken ribs. When the system is running, a grid with a broken rib will be forced to press against a neighboring grid. When they press together, it reduces the surface area pulling water in to the system.
-If the connectors that attach the grids to the manifold break, the grid should be replaced. DE and dirt will be able to pass though this area if the grid is placed back in with the connectors broken.
-Check the manifold for cracks. If there are any cracks the manifold should be replaced. Because of the pressure the manifold is under, any cracks could easily worsen and expand when the system is running causing DE and/or dirt to pass back in to the pool.

Cleaning out the inside of the filter:
There is a small drain plug near the bottom of the lower section of the filter. This can usually be unscrewed small screw driver or a pair of pliers. Once this is removed you can now rinse out the inside of the filter. Screw back on the drain plug after the filter inside is cleaned.
Note: This plug is a constant source of leaks if removed and reinserted. Either get a new gasket before removing this plug or have some gasket maker on hand for use on the plug.

Cleaning the girds:
Generally, the filter grids are cleaned simply by hosing then down with water. There are chemicals available for soaking the grids. However, I have never found any difference using these.

Reassembling the grids and the manifold:
This next section can be the most difficult.
Begin by setting the manifold upside down (holes up) on something that keeps it at least 3 inches or more off the ground. You will need to reach under the manifold once the grids are on in to tighten the nut underneath.

The filter grids should be placed one at a time in to the manifold. Match the groves of the grid to the groves of the manifold. They will only go down in one way.
The only small grid will fit in the slot near the manifold opening. This allows for the Outlet elbow to sit next to the grid set in the filter. 

Once all grids are placed into the manifold, the circular bottom rack (called a filter element locator) needs to be placed down over the bottom of the grids. The opening of this rack needs to be in the same area as the main hole on the manifold to allow the filter pipe (outlet elbow) to fit in between the grids. Get the center bolt in the rack through the hole in the center of the manifold.
The grids will now need to be organized in order for them to sit properly in the rack. Start with one side and fit each grid in-to the rack. Then, work your way around to the other side. Each grid must fit in to a rack groove. Take note that the pipe can fit along the side of the grids (see picture below) the manifold hold, the rack opening and the grids out of the way to allow the grid set to fit in the filter.

Once all of the grids are in place, tighten the nut on to the long center bolt underneath the manifold.
Turn the grids right side up and then place the set in to the open filter. Line the large open hole of the manifold with the elbow outlet of the filter system. Small twisting motions might be required to get the manifold completely down. (Depending on the age of the filter there is probably a stain all over the elbow outlet pipe except the top area where the manifold normally fits over)

Closing the filter:
When the top of the filter is placed back on, it needs to be pushed down on as evenly as possible.

Note: It is common for the filter gasket to become deformed by either shrinking, making it difficult to stay in position, or enlarging, making it impossible to fit under the lid. It is recommended that the gasket be replaced either case; if the gasket is to small water may get though when the system runs, causing a leak.

If the lid cannot be pressed down completely, then using a silicon lube on the gasket may help. If the lid can be lowered enough to get the band close to being on, then screwing in the bolt to the band will automatically pull the lid down further.

The band may need to be lightly hammered around the frame while you re-tighten the screw bolt intermediately to ensure the lid is secure.

Restarting the system:
Note: This next part is potentially dangerous. Staring up the pump while the filter top is not fastened down could cause the lid to be blown off and injure you. Double check that the band is in place and properly tightened. Proceed with caution.

With the air valve open, turn back on the pump. Once the system restarts and all of the air blown out of the filter, close the air valve and turn off the pump. The system will pull the filter lid further down. Check the band screw bolt to see if it needs to be further tightened. 

While the system is running, check for leaks around the band. If you find that it is leaking, check that the band screw bolt is as tight as you can safely get it.  The filter gasket may need to be replaced if there is still a leak from this area.

Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged caused from the use of this guide.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pool Motor Replacement Walk Through

A note before proceeding:
If you are unsure about electrical wiring, it is crucial that you hire a licensed professional to replace your pump. An improperly wired pump can void any warranty, destroy equipment and/or start an electrical fire. Written by
Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged cause from the use of this walk through.

The following is not meant as a walkthrough for installing a new two speed pump motor on what was a single speed motor; this is a walkthrough for installing a replacement two speed pump motor on an existing two speed motor pump. The pump in this example is a Pentair WhisperFlo pump with an A.O. Smith motor (being removed and installed). The steps to replace a single speed pump are similar except for the wiring.  The motor being replaced is 3-4 years old and froze shortly after a recent rainstorm.

What you need to replace a motor:
Parts needed:
2 speed motor (A.O. Smith SQS1202R)
Pump Seal (U.S. Seal PS-1000)
Plate gasket (Whisper Flo seal plate gasket)

Tools needed:
Craftsman wrench offset ratchet 14MM
1/4 hex head screwdriver
Allen wrench key 3/32
Phillips head screw driver
Flat head screwdriver
Needle nose pliers
Adjustable wrench 

Additional recommended tools:
Pool Tool impeller wrench (127)
Permatex ultra black gasket maker

Before doing anything, be sure to turn off the breakers, preferably the breakers at the house for all of the pool equipment.

Disconnecting the wires connected to the pump:
Remove the bonding wire (if there is one) from the old motor. This is usually an external wire attached by one screw to the outside of the pump motor. 

Remove the screws at the back of the motor; then, pull off the rear panel. Once the panel is off, make note of all wires and their positions. A two speed pump has an additional wire compared to single speed and variable speed pumps. Note the pump we are working on in this example is wired for 220 volts. 

Using the needle nose pliers, straighten out all wires to ease their movement when we remove them from the motor.

Unscrew the large collar at the bottom of elbow; this could also be a straight connector. Then, pull the collar down and out of the way. 

Pull the conduit out (away) from the elbow.

Push the wires out of the motor while simultaneously pulling on the other end of the wires to remove them from the motor.

To remove the elbow conduit from the motor, there usually is a nut on the side of the pump that needs to be unscrewed. Using a screw driver makes this easier to get started. Once the inside nut is removed, the entire elbow can be turned and unscrewed from the motor housing.

Releasing the motor from the pump frame:
Remove the six bolts on the back of the pump.

Once the bolts are removed, the motor will pull straight back. Note the cone connected to front of the plate.
Place the motor in a location where you can work better on it, preferably a workbench.

Removing the impeller:
The cone can be removed with an Allen wrench. After removing the two small screws on opposite sides that hold this on, the the cone pulls straight off.
Remove the single screw located in the front of the impeller. This can be done with a Phillips head screwdriver. Note that this screw is reverse threaded.

Now the impeller can be unscrewed from the plate. I used the Pool Tool impeller wrench; you may need to use pliers to brace the rear shaft in the wiring compartment if the impeller moves when you try to unscrew it.

Removing the motor from the plate:
Remove the final four bolts holding the motor to the pump plate.

Removing the old and installing the new seal:
Keeping the seal plate face down, a hex head screwdriver can be used to dislodge the old seal. Go around in a circle, slowly tapping the inner edges to break loose the seal.

Turn the plate over.

When installing the new seal, a small amount of gasket maker can be applied to help prevent leaks. This is not required; however, it does help in preventing leaks. 

When placing the new seal, use the hex head screwdriver to sit the seal all the way down. It should sit flush with the back side of the plate.

The impeller has the second part of the seal.  Note the side that faces up. To remove the old seal use a flat head screw driver to pry it out.

The new seal pushes down in to the impeller with the rubber touching the back of the impeller.

Connecting the motor to the plate then to the impeller:
When attaching the motor to the plate, the bottom of the plate is clearly marked. In this particular motor the capacitor sits on the unit’s top side. Press the plate and the motor together then insert and tighten the four bolts that connect the front of the motor to the back of the plate.

The new impeller screws on to the area in the front of the plate. Note that you may need to remove the screws on the back of the motor to stop the shaft from spinning, allowing you to better tighten impeller.
Screw back in the single screw to the center of the impeller again, remembering that this screw is reverse threaded (tighten counter clockwise).

Reattaching the wires to pump:
Remove the back cover from new motor if you have not already done so. 

Screw the elbow connector in to the empty hole in the back of the motor. Because of the limited space, I also screwed in the nut on the inside of the pump while installing the elbow. If there is enough room, screw the nut into the inside of the motor to the elbow.

Push the wires in to the elbow and though to the motor. Once you can start to see the wires, you can gently pull each wire with the needle nose pliers to guide them though.

Once the wires are in, pull the conduit up to the elbow. Then, pull the collar up to the elbow and screw it on.

Some of the wires will need to be reshaped to attach to the pump. Reattach each wire just as you removed them. There four total wires (for a 220 setup) with two power lines, one ground and one common wire.

Reattach the panel/cover to the back of the motor.

Reconnecting the cone and ready the plate:
Attach the cone on to the front of the pump. The cone only fits on one way. Align the screw holes on the cone with the holes on the plate. Using the Allen wrench, tighten the two screws that hold it in place.

Although this next step is not required, it greatly helps. Apply some gasket maker to the grove around the front of the plate where the gasket will sit. This will create a better seal and help to hold the gasket down while placing the motor in to the pump.
Insert the new gasket into the plate. There is a groove on the plate for this gasket. Never reuse a old gasket; when opening the pump housing, always use a new gasket when reattaching the motor to the pump frame.

Connecting the motor to pump:
Push the motor into the pump frame cone first. Once they are pressed up against each other, insert the top two screws in to the back of the plate first to hold the motor upright. Attach all six screws. Only hand tighten first going clockwise; then, tighten clockwise again with the ratchet.
Reattach the bonding wire to the motor (if one is available).
If the gasket maker was used, allow 10-15 minutes for the gasket maker to set before testing the motor.
Turn back on the breakers and startup the motor.

If the pump will not start:
-recheck the breakers.
-Check your time clock options
-If still no power, the wiring needs to be rechecked.
-It is possible the new motor is defective. However, this should be your last guess.

A final note: Again if you are unsure about electrical wiring, hire a licensed professional to replace your pump. An improperly wired pump can destroy equipment, void your warranty and/or start an electrical fire.
Wine Country Pools & Supplies is not responsible for any damaged cause from the use of this walk through.