Pool Filter Maintenance Made Easy: Tips for Keeping Your Pool Water Clean and Clear

A man cleaning his pool filter and preparing it for the next pool outing.

Pool maintenance is essential to owning a pool, and that includes caring for the filter. Your pool filter handles a lot of dirty work. These devices play a pivotal role in trapping particles to ensure your pool water stays safe and crystal clear.

Knowing how to clean a filter is something every pool owner should know how to do. Luckily, maintaining a filter is straightforward as long as you have the correct equipment.

Pool Filter Maintenance Varies by Filter Type

How you clean and maintain your pool filter depends on the type and brand you have. There are three main types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Knowing which one you have will make your pool maintenance much more manageable.

Sand Filters

A sand filter tank is made from concrete, metal, and fiberglass. Inside the tank is a bed of specialized sand responsible for trapping dirt and debris. It filters your pool water by running it through an inlet pipe and distributes the water to the tank’s head. The sand removes the particles from the water, releasing clean water into the pool.

A sand filter often has an outlet and inlet pressure gauge. This gauge helps you know how blocked the filter is. Clean sand filters have pressure ranges between three and five psi. Anything over that level indicates the filter is clogged and needs cleaning.

Clean a sand filter by backwashing it. Turn off the pump and set the pool filter valve into “backwash” mode. Close the return pipe and open the draining pipe to redirect the particles into your sewer system. Allow it to run for approximately two minutes, checking the water consistency and clarity via the sight glass valve. You’ll see the water change from cloudy to clear.

Cartridge Pool Filters

Cartridge filters remove debris inside a housing system using corrugated paper or polyester cloth. As water passes through the material or paper, smaller pieces of dirt are removed. Clean water cycles through the system and circulates back into the pool.

These are the easiest types of pool filters to clean because you remove them, clean them, and put them back. But how often you should do this depends on the size of your cartridge. When your pressure gauge climbs to 8 or 10 psi, it’s time to clean the filter.

Turn off the pump and remove the filter. Use a hose to remove debris, including body oils and lotions. Never use a pressure washer on a cartridge filter. The high-speed water could cause the pleats to collapse and reduce the filtration surface area.

Some pool owners use a filter cleaner that helps remove small impurities. You can soak them in a plastic bucket overnight to quickly loosen and remove organic matter. Some filters require repeating this process.

Once the filter is clean, allow it to air dry before returning it to the system. When it is completely dry, place it back in the system, turn on the pump, and you’ll continue having clean water in your pool.

DE Pool Filters

DE filters produce some of the best results for pool filtration. These filters are made from pulverized fossils of algae-like organisms. DE pool filters are a more significant investment than cartridge or sand filters. But they can eliminate particles as small as three to five microns — practically invisible!

A DE filter uses a powdery substance made from sponge-like organisms. The powder is added to the skimmer and dissolves inside the pipe as it moves through the system. It coats the fabric-covered filter grids. The fabric stops the powder from releasing into the pool but collects and traps impurities in the water.

Like other types of filters, DE filters use a pressure gauge to indicate when to clean them. It’s time to backwash the system when the pressure reaches eight psi higher than the beginning pressure. Backwashing a DE filter is similar to maintaining a sand filter. The primary difference is that you must pour new DE powder into the skimmer after completing the process.

Get Expert Pool Maintenance From Local Service Professionals

Owning a pool provides your family with a refreshing way to stay cool during the summer. But with regular use, your water becomes dingy. Filter maintenance extends the life of the device and transforms your pool area into a relaxation station without dirt and bacteria.

Call your local pros if you need help with pool maintenance or have pool-related questions. Calm Waters can ensure you have a well-maintained pool filter that lasts for years to come. Contact us today to book your appointment or learn about our services!

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