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How to Clean Pool Filters

By Edited Jun 24, 2014 2 3

Swimming Pool
Keeping your swimming pool filter clean is the first step to having a crystal clear pool for both enjoyment and to help ensure a healthy swimming environment. Keeping your pool filter clean also prolongs the life of the pool pump, piping and the filter material itself. A dirty or clogged filter increases the work load on your pump and increases the pressure in the pipes which can cause the pipes to fail and leak and the pump to burn out. Not to mention a dirty filter leaves more dirt and debris in your pool. The best indicator of the effectiveness of your pool filter, whether it is a cartridge filter, a Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.), or a sand filter is the filters pressure gauge. The gauge or is located on or near the filter housing. Whenever the pressure increases 8 to 10 psi (pounds per square inch) from a base line established when a new cartridge filter is installed or the other filter types are back flushed and clean. How often you need to clean your pool filter will depend on a number of factors such as if your pool is screened, how long your swimming season is, if there are trees near the pool or even if there is construction in the area that increases dust and dirt in the air. The manufacturer instructions that came with your filter should be followed whenever you service your filter. If you do not have the manufacturers instructions because they have been lost, misplaced, or the pool and filter were already present when you moved in to your home, don't despair, most companies provide instruction manuals that are downloadable from their websites or available by mail. If they are not available the following instructions, which are general in nature, will work for most filtering units.

Things You Will Need

For a Cartridge filter you will need an alkaline based cartridge cleaner solution, Garden hose, Pressure spray nozzle, For DE and Sand filters a back flush hose

Step 1

Hayward Cartridge Filter

Cartridge Filters – The first step is to turn off the power to the pump and filter. Open the pressure relief valve to relieve the pressure from the system. Unscrew and remove the drain plug and drain the water from the filter. After you have relieved the pressure and drained the water, remove the filter housing and the filter cartridge. Use a pressure nozzle (NOT A PRESSURE WASHER) on your garden hose to remove the loose dirt and debris. Work from the top of the filter down at an angle not greater than 45 degrees. A greater angle or more pressure can actually force the dirt and debris into the filter material. This will break down the filter material and decrease the filters life. Rinse until the water runs clean. The filter does not have to come out white. I recommend that the filter be soaked in an alkaline cleaner solution that is available at your pool supply store at least once a season. You can use a bucket or if the cartridge is too big, a clean trash can works well. After cleaning the filter, rinse the housing and make sure that the O-ring is clean and in good condition so you can get a good seal when you reassemble the filter. Reinstall the filter, replace the filter housing, close the drain plug, and turn the power back on. Leave the pressure valve opened until all the air is out of the system and then close it. Note the pressure level. When it increases 8 to 10 psi it is time to repeat the cleaning process. When the pressure does not drop after cleaning, it is probably time to replace the cartridge.

Step 2

Hayward DE Filter

DE Filters – Turn off the power, open the pressure relive valve to relieve the system pressure, extend the back flush hose, turn the valve handle (some handles need to be pressed down or sleeves pulled up or some other release to allow the handle to turn) from FILTER to BACKWASH. Turn the power on and flush for approximately 5 minutes or until the water runs clear. Turn the power off again. Turn the valve to the RINSE position, turn the power back on and rinse for 15 seconds. Turn the power back off and repeat the process 2 or 3 times. When done with the back flush process, make sure the power is off, turn the handle to the FILTER position, Close the pressure relive valve and turn the power back on. Note the pressure level.

Step 3

Hayward Sand Filter

Sand Filters – If your sand filter has a multi position handle you can follow the instructions for the DE Filters in Step Two. If you have a filter with a slide valve do the following: Turn off the power, extend the back flush hose, twist the T handle and pull it up to unlock the plunger. Turn on the power, run for approximately 5 minutes or until the water runs clear from the back flush hose. Turn off the power; return the T handle to its original position. Turn the power back on and note the pressure level.

Keeping your pool filter clean is the first step to having a crystal clear pool for both enjoyment and to help ensure a healthy swimming environment

Tips & Warnings

Generally the people working at your neighborhood pool supply store can help walk you through the steps for cleaning your pool filter. They are usually a good source of information for your area.

For your health and safety always keep your chemicals in balance. This, along with a clean filter, will increase the enjoyment of your pool for years to come.



Dec 21, 2009 11:58am
It is very important to clean the pool filter thanks for the good info.
Dec 21, 2009 3:19pm
Good detailed info and easy to follow instructions.TX Thumbs up!
Feb 12, 2010 8:21am
Very helpful article. Yes we need to keep them safe for everyone using it. there are so many things that people do not realise how much work it takes to keep them ship shape.
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