Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Hayward Perflex D.E. Filter Backwashing & Troubleshooting


Hayward Perflex D.E. Filter Backwashing & TroubleshootingIf you have a Hayward Perflex D.E. Pool filter on your pool you are going to have to do something called “backwashing” from time to time in order for your pool filter to work properly. Now your probably thinking; “What is backwashing a pool filter” or “how do I back wash my pool filter” because you have never heard of this.

Well let me explain; Inside your pool filter is a set of fingers that get cover with the D.E. powder that you add from the pool skimmer. This D.E. powder catches all the microscopic bacteria but allows the cleaned water to return to the pool.

After a while the D.E. inside of the filter will have absorbed so much bacteria and debris that you will need to do something called, backwashing and basically most people will tell you the phrase “back wash pool filter”. So lets get started explaining to you how to back wash your Hayward D.E. Filter. By the way this backwashing method will work for all the Hayward Perflex Models including the EC30, EC40, EC50A, and the EC65, no matter what age. Each one of these models is a D.E. powered filter, they all have a bump handle, tube sheets, fingers and are to be backwashed the same way.

How To Backwash The Hayward Perflex D.E. Filter

Shut Down The Filter System

The first thing you will always want to do before you bump the handle or attempt to backwash your pool filter is to first shut down the filter system. If you try to bump the handle on the filter while the filter system is on, well chances are you will wind up breaking something inside the filter.

Bump The Handle On The Top Of The Filter SLOWLY
Hayward Perflex EC65 Pool Filter
Now that you have the filter system shut off, you will want to push down on the bump handle slowly until it moves all the way down. You should feel some resistance when you are pushing down on the handle which is also known as “bumping” this type of filter. If your handle is moving freely and it feels like it is not doing anything, then you could have broken C-clips on the bump shaft, see the troubleshooting section below for more info on how to fix that. But for now if you have resistance you will want to slowly push the bump handle on your Hayward Perflex filter up and down around 10 – 20 times. What this does is shake all the D.E. powder from the fingers that are inside of the pool filter. Remember the pool filter system should be off when you do bump the handle.

Open The Bottom Filter Drain Valve

Once you have bumped the handle on the filter, you will want to open the bottom valve on the filter tank. Sometimes the T-handle on this valve is broken making it seem that you will not be able to open the valve, but this is possible with channel lock pliers, please see the troubleshooting section below. But if your valve handle is good and you can open the valve you now will want to do so. If you have a backwash hose hooked up to the valve you first will want to unroll that.

Turn On The Filter System, Run The Pool Filter

Now that the handle has been bumped, you have opened the valve and your backwash hose is rolled out if you have one you will be ready to get all that old D.E. out from inside of the filter. So now you will want to turn on your filter and let it run for a few minutes. If you look at the end of the backwash hose or your valve you will see all the dirty water and D.E. coming out from the filter.. The basic rule of thumb is to let the filter run for around two minutes or so or until all the water being pumped out is clear.

Shut Filter, Close Valve, Let Filter Run, Repeat Process

Now you will want to shut down the filter and close your valve. Once the valve is closed you will want to turn on your filter again. Once you see water coming from the return jet on your pool you will want to repeat the above process at least one or two more times for best results. The more you backwash the filter the more D.E. and debris will be removed from the filter.

Add New D.E. Powder Through The Skimmer

Once you are all done with the steps above you will want to add new D.E. powder to the filter, This is very important, failure to add new D.E. to your filter after you backwash it could lead to filter damage. So what you will want to do is to look on the side of the filter and add about a 1/2 cup less then recommend to the filter through the skimmer. So here is how you do so. Make sure the filter system is on and walk over to the pool skimmer and one pound at a time add the D.E. power into the filter.

As you add the D.E. to the skimmer you will see it get sucked down into the skimmer and then will get trapped inside the filter until next time you backwash. You can buy a D.E. scoop or measure the D.E. yourself with a coffee can etc. But the measurement for filter media (D.E.powder) is done in LBS or pounds. The EC30 will take 3lbs of D.E., the EC40 will use 4 lbs of DE., the EC50 & 65A should use around 5.5 lbs of D.E every time you backwash it.

Hayward Perflex D.E Filter Backwashing Troubleshooting

My Bump Handle Is Loose & Doesn’t Work

If the bump handle on your Hayward filter doesn’t work then chances are the C-clips on the bump shaft have gone bad and need to be replace. They often can pop off from bumping the handle to hard or they can break from wear and age. To replace them you will need to take apart the pool filter. Check out: Hayward Perflex D.E Filter Repair & Troubleshooting for more info on how to do so.

The Handle On My Backwash Valve Is Broken & Stuck Closed

If the handle on the bottom of your Hayward D.E. filter tank is stuck, or broken and you cannot open the valve, well your not alone. This is a common problem. What you can do is remove the old handle and then take a pair of channel lock pliers or a small pipe wrench and open the valve by turning the valve stem sticking out from the valve. And off course when you can you will want to replace that valve with a new ball valve to make things easier in the future. Sometimes you may also have to loosen the center ring a half turn or so before the valve stem will turn on those types of Hayward backwash valves.

My Pool Filter is allowing D.E. back into the pool.

If your pool filter is allowing D.E. back into the pool you either have cracked tube sheets or the fingers inside the filter have rips or tears in them. You will need to open up the filter and visually inspect the tube sheets and then also look at the fingers to see if they are in fact damaged. Check out Hayward Perflex D.E Filter Repair & Troubleshooting and also see the image on that page because that will show you how to disassemble your Hayward Perflex D.E Filter.

If you need any help or have questions about your Hayward Perflex D.E. pool filter please leave your questions below in the comment area on this page and we will be glad to try to help you fix your filter issue.


  1. My Hayward DE filter returns DE to the pool when the pump is OFF. It returns a large amount (if not all) of the DE back in through the skimmer and the drain. Any ideas on what is causing this problem?

      • I have a hayward perflex filter. I followed the above directions but cannot get the water to discharge out of the filter

  2. The only reason I can see this happening is if water was somehow flowing backward through the filter when pump is off. Now, what could cause this?

    A) Is your filter higher than your skimmer basket, causing it to drain down when the pump shuts off?
    B) Do you have some form of heating system that might cause warm water to “rise” through your filter plumbing returning to the pool via the skimmer?
    C) Have installed something in your filter plumbing higher than the filter which is draining down when the filter shuts off? (Maybe like a solar panel on your roof?)

    In short, something is making your water flow in reverse when the filter is off. Find that cause and you’ve solved your problem.

    Let me know what you find, I’m curious. If these suggestions don’t do it post a detailed overview of your filter system plumbing system.


    • My filter is set up the same way it has always be been set up in the past. My husband used to backwash the filter but he died last year. I don’t have my heater on.

  3. I have a one year old D.E. filter. The guage was at 20lbs. We backwashed the filter and cleaned all the fingers. Added new D.E. and the guage stayed at 12lbs for a few hours and then it goes back to 20lbs again. We bumped it several different time. It stay at 12 for a few hours and goes back to 20 again. Every thing is clean I don’t understand. Any suggestions.

    • mine does the same thing but my winter cover fell in the pool over the winter when the cable snapped from so much ice and all the leaves went in the pool onse it thawed out bottom was covered in leaves now they tell me I might have to drain out the water and refill cause of too much silt and filter tubes are getting clogged but I’m netting whats left hoping to thin out the excessive silt and fine particles clogging up the tubes hope yours isn’t this bad

  4. Haywood Ec50 pressure starts fine then goes right down. has been clean, checked hoses, udders, valves, air has been bled. cleaned several times. have tighten down screws. how to get it running right?

  5. Hi,
    I have a Hayward DE Filter. I cleaned the fileter but I cannot bump. The handle stays up. Any suggestions?

    Best regards,


  6. I have followed this proceedure twice and my pressure holds at 22lb but I have slow flow through the eye. Is there such a thing as takine the fingers out and cleaning them and will this help.

  7. I have a Hayward EC40 Perflex filter. The bump handle is stuck and wont move at all. The water is also spouting out of the eyeball unevenly (kind of in spurts).

    I appreciate any information that anyone is willing to give!

  8. My de filter will not backwash. I installed it a year ago and suddenly, when I went to do a backwash recently, the water was draining out of the pool but not coming up and overflowing out of the pipe into the drain.

    I took the filter apart and hosed down the filters and put it back, and it still will not work.

  9. hello,

    i have a hayward de perflex ec65. my bump handle is stuck in the up position. i know the solution is posted in a paragraph above, but can you elaborate on how i can resolve this problem? thanks.

  10. We replaced our Hayward DE EC65 filter 3 months ago with the same model. The backwash valve now will not turn after only 3 months. INYOPOOLS was very understanding and immediately sent a new valve which arrived yesterday in just 2 days. What is the best way to remove the backwash valve since I cannot open first to drain water from filter and release pressure?

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