The new Hayward DE filter is the result of several years of changes on their plastic tank filters. Starting with the air relief valve, Hayward first had a manual valve that was opened by hand. Then they came out with the automatic air relief valve. This was actually a ping-pong ball in a unit at the top of the filter. When the filter was turned on air pressure would build between the water and ball. As the water pushed the air out the vent the ball would move up until it positioned itself to stop the water from leaking out the top. This worked fine until dirt collected in the seat where the ball sat; when dirt was present the ball would allow water to escape out the top of the filter. Now Hayward has gone back to manual air relief valves, so what was old is new again.
The old clamp that held the top and bottom of the filter tank together had two bolts opposite of each other. The clamp was wide which made it strong, but when removed if both bolts were not loosened it became very hard to replace the clamp. Part of the problem was the top would not sit down over the tank O-ring. They have solved this problem, Hayward has put only one bolt on the clamp and the lid fits down over the O-ring. This makes it very easy to replace the filter clamp.
One of the nicest features that I personally like is the center rod that holds the manifold, grids and grid support together as a unit. Many of the filters have two rods that make replacing the grids difficult. With one center rod the task is simple.
I have saved one of the best ideas for last. Hayward has made it simple for the manifold to be placed upside down on the ground. You might ask so what? Well most manifolds have an air tube that sticks out about six inches on top, as does the Hayward. The tube causes the manifold to sit at an angle, when cleaning the grids that are assembled to the manifold; the unit tends to tip over. Hayward has added extensions to the manifold, which enables it to sit level. This makes for easy cleaning and any other work that needs to be done on the unit.
In all I would say that the Hayward DE pool filter is worth the purchase if one is looking for a pool filter. I think that you will be happy for many years with this unit.