How Often Should I Clean My Pool Filter & Replace My Filter Media?

Welcome to another Fact Friday from ePoolSupply! Every Friday we like to educate our customers with important information regarding their swimming pool and helpful technical tips to make informed decisions to make pool maintenance easier. Today we will be talking about Pool Filters and the importance of cleaning them regularly. Let's dive in!

How To Clean Pool Filters

The pool filter is one of the most important pieces of equipment. Without the filter, your pool would essentially become a swamp after a few short weeks. As the water circulates, the water passes through the filter media; either Sand, Diatomaceous Earth, or Cartridges. This filtration media is designed to catch small particles and debris to prevent them from being redistributed to the swimming pool.

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filter?

After a few months or so, the filter becomes clogged and backed up with that debris which prevents the water from passing through the filter media. This is a sign that it is time to clean the filter. Below we'll break down the procedures for cleaning each filter media and the signs to look for that could indicate that the media needs to be replaced. 

Sand Filter

This is probably the easiest filter to maintain, but when it comes time to replace the sand you're in for quite an adventure. Weekly you should be backwashing the filter. Backwashing simply cleans the sand of all the dirt, debris, and small particles that have accumulated over the past week. The sand in a sand filter should be replaced about every five to seven years. 

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filter

D.E. Filters use a powder coated cotton grid to catch the dirt and debris and trap it in the grid. The grid is coated in a powder composed of crushed up seashells. Every month the filter should be backwashed which rinses about sixty to eighty percent of the D.E. off of the grids. The D.E. needs to be replenished once the filter is turned back on. Every three months the filter should be taken apart, the grids should be hosed off, and visually inspected for any rips or tears that will cause D.E. to blow back into the pool. If there are any rips, the grid must be replaced before the filter is reassembled. 

Cartridge Filter

Cartridge filters use anywhere from one all the way up to eight cotton cartridges. These cartridges trap dirt and debris inside the folds. Similar to D.E. filters, the cartridges should be removed and hosed off every three months. Visually inspect the cartridges and the manifold for any cracks, tears, or holes. If there are any rips in the cartridges they should be replaced immediately. On average you should be replacing the cartridges every three to five years. 

Check Filter Pressure

Start with a clean filter (not necessarily new, but recently cleaned or back washed) and record the pressure reading on the filter. Each week, as part of your pool maintenance routine, record the pressure and compare it to your "clean" reading. When the pressure exceeds 10 psi. above the "clean" pressure it's a sure indication that the filter needs to be cleaned or back washed again. Upon a fresh install the gauge may show one figure, but after a few years well show something slightly different. This is why it is important to keep an eye on your pressure. The average range varies from 10-25 psi on most systems. 

Low pressure can also be an indication of current & future issues. Anything less than 5 psi should be a cause for concern. There are a few obvious reasons, the first of which is a blockage or impedance in the system. Visually and physically inspect the pump basket, pump impeller, skimmer basket, skimmer door, and drain covers for any debris that could be preventing water flow. 

Another common cause of low pressure could be a possible leak somewhere in the system. Examine the connections on the pump and filter for any air leaks and repair them accordingly. Be sure to go through the entire system and lubricate any o-rings and gaskets as well. This should be done periodically to extend the life of the equipment.

With the information found in this guide, you'll be able to better understand your filter and take some precautions to help extend the life for years to come. If you have any questions regarding the information found in this blog feel free to reach out to us directly. Our team of Pool Professionals is here to help you through every step of the process. Otherwise, just keep swimming!

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