Pool Pros: HELP! Hayward Perflex EC-65 question

I've gone through this group's archives and noticed there are a bunch of pool-savvy folks, so I though I'd seek some help. My EC-65 is only a year (actually slightly less) old. My water upon opening this year had a good amount of algae, so I'd been filtering-bumping-draining-recharging over the last few days (also had to replace the pump, but that's a separate story), and while bumping this afternoon for the zillionth time, the bump handle went down WAY too easliy. As soon as I regained my composure, I drained the filter and ran the pump, but the 'springiness' in the bump handle didn't return. I found the two-page owner's manual, and it refers to opening the Inspection Port Adapter and cleaning out the assembly with a garden hose. I'm going to try this, on the outside chance that the bump handle is misbehaving because of caked-on DE. Anyone out there think that it might be o-ring/retainer/thrust washer assembly? If I have to shell out another 100$-plus this year, I'm going to weep. Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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