Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

How To Clean Hayward Grid D.E. Filters


The DE swimming pool filter can be one of the most effective types of swimming pool filters on the market today if they are used and cared for properly. The problem is that most swimming pool owners do not realize that they will have to actually not only backwash their pool filter weekly, but they will also have to take the filter apart and actually clean the filter grids as well.
How To Clean Hayward D.E. Pool Filters

Cleaning your DE pool filter is easier then you think and can be done using a few tools that you will probably have right in your tool box. The tools you will need are an adjustable wrench, Flathead screwdriver and garden hose that is connected to a water supply. Before working on your swimming pool pump or filter, you always want to make sure that the power is off to the pump and also that the pump is unplugged.

Step One:

How To Remove the filter from the swimming pool system:

The first thing you will want to do is to remove the swimming pool tank from the pool system so it gives you more room to work on the actual filter Vs being all jammed up. You will now want to take a large pair of channel locks and loosen the bulk head nuts that connect the multiport of the pool filter to the pool tank. These bulk head nuts are made from plastic so be careful when loosing them because that can become brittle over time and crack. Also always remember that you will want to always turn to the left (counter clockwise) to loosen and to re-tighten later on you will want to turn these nuts to the right(clockwise).

Step Two:

Loosing and Removing the Hayward Belly band clamp:

Now that you have the filter disconnected from the multiport and the filter system you can start to take your Hayward DE 3600 filter apart. The first thing you will want to to is to loosen the belly band nut as you see pictured above. The belly band nut is made from brass so be careful when using pliers or a wrench as you can strip out this nut of you are not careful. To remove the belly band nut, turn the brass nut counter clockwise until it is fully removed from the threads. Once you loosen and remove the brass belly band nut you will be able to remove the belly band spring and then remove the Hayward 3600 belly band from the filter.

Hayward PRO GRID D.E. Filter

Step Three:

Bleeding the air & opening the Hayward Grid filter tank:

Once you have removed the belly band from the filter tank, it will now be time for you to open the Hayward 3600 DE Filter so you can complete your goal and clean the filter grids. Even though most of the water has drained from the bulk head fittings, it is still a good idea to open the air bleed screw a few turns so that and extra water can drain from the filter. But chances are your filter tank is most likely empty by now. You also could remove the bottom drain plug if you like to get all the water from the tank, or you can just wait until you remove the top half of the tank and then you can just dump the rest of the water out of there is any.

Step Four:

Washing out the tank and inspecting the o-rings:

Once you have the top half of the filter tank off you can pull the filter grids from the tank. The way to safely remove the filter grids from the tank is to grab the two small handle shaped parts you can see in the picture below and then twist and pull up at the same time. This can take a bit of strength if the filter is older or has not been taken apart in a while. Once you remove the filter grids you will want to inspect all o-rings for wear and tear. You also will want to wash all parts of the filter tank to make sure you wash all the debris out.

Hayward PRO Filter Grids

Step Five:

Cleaning the Hayward filter grids will help improve the overall performance of your swimming pool filter, In simple terms, your pool will be blue and clean more often then not. To properly clean your filter grids you will want to get a garden hose. Once you have a garden hose with a high powered nozzle you can begin spraying the grids down. You will want to spray all of the grids, from top to bottom, inside and out. The better you clean the filter, the better it will work.

If you have a tough time getting in those hard to reach spots you can use something called a “filter cleaning wand” that will attach to your garden hose and fit nicely between the filter grids. Filter cleaning wands can cut the time you spend cleaning your pool filter in half.

Step Six:

Re-assembling the Hayward Grid D.E. swimming pool filter:

Now that you have washed all the filter grids and the tank, inspected all seals and o-rings on your Grid Hayward DE Filter, you can now put it back together. To re-assemble the filter you can just reverse the way you took it apart. Also make sure to tighten the air relief screw and prime your pool pump before you start the system.


  1. Thanks so much. I will try that next. I had taken the fins off & ran the filter to see if that made any change & it didnt. So i didnt think the earth would change it at all. I will keep you posted.

  2. I actually removed the fingers from the bracket completely and ran the filter without them, but the pressure spikes right back up to about 32psi once the filter fills back up with water. When I first turn the pump back on after removing and cleaning the filter, it pumps the water and air out of the jets extremely powerful, but once it fills the filter with water, the pressure rises and the flow of water through the jets weakens. The fingers did clean up well and are bright white, should I try loading the earth? Usually the pressure is low prior to adding the earth and builds slightly as I add it.
    Thanks for your fast replies!!

    • Yes, Re acid wash the grids, and if that doesn’t work your going to need to replace them.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  3. Have been told to soak the filter in acid bath – but dont know how much acid to water ratio – we have a 32 gal plastic trashcan – how much acid is needed – will it harm the filters if we put too much acid it? ALso how long do you let the filters soak??? Any help would be appreciated greatly.

  4. hello, I have a nautilus fns 48 and when I powered the pumps it takes to long and dont get any pressure… or if i get pressure I only get 10psi… if any one has any suggestion

  5. How long should these fins last? Mine are 5 years old. My pool guy is telling me I have to replace??? Pool is constantly slightly green. I soaked for 4 days in bleach – helped but still greening. Any suggestions?

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