Diatomaceous Earth for Pools is one of the different pool filters available to use by pool owners. This pool filter is common among pool owners because it’s more compact than the other two filters and is perfect for filtering small debris out of your pool. But is diatomaceous earth toxic to humans? Let’s find out!
What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do?
Diatomaceous Earth, known as DE, is a type of pool filter made of chemically active fossilized minerals formed around dried up water known as diatoms. These diatoms look like algae and are made of silica. During the production of DE, they come out with void spaces, which make them perfect for filtration.
This filtration material is quite active at filtering your pool, but it poses a threat to your swimming possible if not handled properly as they’re prone to give off dust. If this dust is not addressed properly, they can enter into your pool.
Filtering your pool with DE cleanses the water from every impediment and makes it clean because it removes the tiniest of dirt, which gradually affects your pool. When you put in diatomaceous earth into your pool, they coat the filter cloth, and when water passes through the filter, they trap all the dirt passing through, leaving the water perfectly clean. When you want to clean the filter cloth, you reverse the water flow.
Why is Diatomaceous Earth Perfect for Filtering Your Pool?
Diatomaceous Earth is created in a powdery form that looks like a stack of sponges under a microscope.
And like a sponge in water, traps every impurity that passes through the filter. This filtration system makes diatomaceous earth the best among the different types of filters.
Cleaning the DE filter can only be possible with heavy-duty liquid pool filter cleaner because of the types of content they wipe off the filter, such as organic materials, body oils, suntan lotions, and natural minerals. This cleaning process will make the DE filter last longer and perform excellently.
Types of DE: Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Uses
There are two types of diatomaceous earth known as the food grade and pool grade. The pool grade is well popular because of its functions, which are well known. The food-grade is also popular but not as popular as the pool grade.
The pool grade DE is calcined, which changes the chemical compound from silicon dioxide to crystalline silica, thereby hardening the diatoms. The changed chemical compound is then used for filtration purposes but is very toxic, so it should be handled with care and in PPE equipment.
The Food grade DE is not calcined but made up of a large quantity of amorphous silica. This grade of DE is less than 1% crystalline silica making them perfect for the production of animal feed or insect control substances.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Toxic to Humans?
This answer to this question is complicated because diatomaceous earth is produced in two forms: the food-grade and the filter grade. The food-grade type is considered safe for human use and consumption because it is low in crystalline silica. However, the filter grade form is rich in crystalline silica, making them very toxic to human use.
You also need to handle diatomaceous earth with care as not to inhale it. Because it doesn’t only irritate your lungs, it also causes silicosis, a condition of inflammation and scarring of the lungs, which is common among miners.
On the other hand, even though the food-grade type is not harmful, inhaling it over a long period can also damage the lungs.
How Much Diatomaceous Earth for Pool Filter?
The quantity of DE for the pool filter depends mainly on the size of the pool and pool filter. So the bigger or smaller your pool is, the larger or lower the amount of DE you use. The quantity of DE used depends on how dirty your pool is and how regularly you backwash your pool.
The average size of a DE pool filter is about 30 sq. Feet by 60 sq. Feet. To determine the quantity of DE to use with such a filter, note that for every five sq. foot, your pool needs 1 lb. of DE. So a 30 sq. Feet pool would require 6 lb. of DE.
Do not overfill the filter of your pool with DE except stated in the filter’s manual. Also, ensure you follow all the directives on the filter to ensure you properly install the filter or your filter could malfunction, and its warranty may become void.
When inserting the DE into the filter, you should note the level it stopped to observe when the level reduces to the extent that it needs changes. The more you backwash the pump, the more the DE drops, so always remember to open the filter and check your marked level.