Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter system

The following is a review of the Hayward Pro-Grid DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filter System
The Pro-Grid filter system comes in sizes ranging from 36 to 72 sqft. The 48 sqft filter (Manufacture part number DE4820) was used in this review. Written by

In The Box
The filter system comes almost completely assembled with the exception of the drain cap being unattached and in a bag with the user manual. The backwash valve is required and sold separately; we used a standard 2-inch pre-plumbed valve kit from Hayward (Manufacture part number SP0410X502S). Only if this filter is replacing another Hayward Pro-Grid with an existing working backwash valve is purchasing a new valve not needed.

The Guts
Using a common DE type configuration the unit contains eight filter grids (7 full sized and 1 partial) with a top manifold. The pressure gauge comes with built in markers to mark a clean filter level and alert the user when the system should be cleaned (this needs to be calibrated on first use). The air release is a twist type with a large opening allowing for a reasonable amount air to be released quickly.
One of the negative aspects of this filter that is not an immediate problem resides with the standard Hayward backwash valve that is used with this system. We have many Pro-Grid filters on our pool routes and see similar issues again and again with the backwash valve pistons. The point where the metal attaches to the plastic is its Achilles' heel as over time this becomes weak and warn down, causing the piston to break in the middle with the lower half suck in the shaft.
 (Picture is from a Hayward ProGrid on our route, this type of damage is similar to what we see over time with these pistons)

The Setup and First Run
This Pro-Grid filter is almost twice the size of the StaRite system 2 cartridge filter that it is replacing. Attach the drain plug before doing anything else since once the filter is set in its final resting place ,reaching behind the unit could be difficult.
Inlet and outlet ports are only marked in the manuals, not physically on the filter itself so check that manual instead of guessing! Only two pipes had to be re-plumbed and connected to attach the new filter. This type of install should be simple for anyone with just basic plumbing knowledge.
The DE is not included and must be added to the system once the system is turned on.

While it may not be a great filter, the Hayward Pro-Grid series is a good all around filter with only one (yet glaring) negative. This series is priced comparably with other similar DE units and is even available in a larger 72 sq ft configuration that not all major manufactures offer.  This would be rated higher had the backwash valve design was improved or if there existed a third party backwash valve that could be used with the system and didn’t have the same issues.

-Pressure gauge has built in markers for determining when the filter needs cleaning
-Air release is rugged, a nice change from the previously cheap systems
-Available in a 72 sq ft size
               -Backwash valve sold separately 
               -Poorly designed backwash piston breaks easily
               -Marking inlet/outlet ports on the filter would be nice

Final Score: 6/10

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