What Are The Steps To Cleaning A Dirty Pool Filter?

Since your filter is one of the most critical components in keeping your pool clean, it must be kept clean as well. However, it's likely that you're new to pool cleaning. Or maybe you've just received a new filter. In any case, learning how to clean a pool filter is an important aspect of pool ownership.


Cleaning your pool filter is simple if you have the right equipment, enough time, and the ability to swim in a clean, clear pool.


Types of Filters:


1. Sand Filters

  • The most cost-effective design.

  • Your pump circulates pool water into a tank half-filled with silica sand, trapping contaminants and debris before returning the clean water to your pool.

  • Sand filters are simple to maintain and last a long time.

  • The efficacy of sand filters is limited because they are incapable of capturing the smallest particles without the use of a filter aid.


2. Cartridge Filters

  • Cartridge filters are mid-tier pool filters that are both effective and simple to maintain.

  • The filtering medium in cartridge filters is a cylindrical fan-folded polyester cartridge. Water percolates into the cloth, trapping particles.

  • Cartridge filters are referred to as "green" filters because they cannot be backwashed and therefore require less water to clean.

  • Smaller particles may be trapped by these filters.


3. Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters

  • D.E. filters are the most costly, but they are also the most efficient, filtering out all but the tiniest particles.

  • D.E. filters purify water by moving it through a fine, white powder made from diatom fossils, which are single-celled aquatic plants.

  • D.E. filters, like sand filters, may be backwashed.


Cleaning and backwash the Sand Filter

Backwash the filter after about 5-10 days, or when the pressure gauge on the pump side of the filter has risen by about 0.2 bars (20 kPa, 3 psi) since the last backwash:

  1. Switch off the water supply.

  2. Close the suction and return lines' valves.

  3. Clear the filter basket by opening the pump's cover.

  4. Replace the cover if appropriate.

  5. Open the drain outlet's valve.

  6. Move the lever to the BACKWASH location.

  7. The suction and return lines' valves should be opened.

  8. Turn on the pump. Rinse for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water in the sight glass is clear. Any electric heaters must be turned off.

  9. Switch off the water supply.

  10. Turn the lever to the RINSE position, start the pump, and rinse for 15-30 seconds. Switch the lever to FILTER to stop the pump. This is the standard working place.

  11. Start the pump after closing the drain outlet valve. If you have an electric heater, turn it on.

Cleaning the Cartridge Filter

1. Switch off the pool pump as well as the filter.

2. Remove any remaining air from the machine. To remove any excess air from the device, slowly turn the air relief valve (usually located on top of the filter).

3. Remove the clamps (or other locking mechanisms) that keep the filter in place. Check the owner's manual if you're not sure how to open it.

4. Remove the filter's top part.

5. Remove the cartridge slowly and carefully and set it aside. Examine it for any signs of wear and tear. It's time to replace the cartridge if you see any cracks or tears, or if it's past the point where cleaning would be useful.

6. Clean the cartridge:

  • Spray down the cartridge with a spray nozzle from your garden hose, making sure to get between the pleats.

  • Using a filter cleaner if the cartridge is really dirty. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

  • Soak the cartridge in filter cleaner overnight if it's particularly filthy. Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with water then cleaner, and make sure the cartridge is fully submerged.

7. Check the filter tank's O-ring. If it's in good condition, lubricate it gently to keep it that way. Replace it if it's dry rotted or seems to be worn out.

8. Thoroughly clean the cartridge.

9. Replace the cartridge in the filter and tighten the screws.

10. Close the clamps and replace the filter tip.

11. Switch the machine back on and open the air relief valve to let any trapped air out. Keep the valve open until it sprays a steady stream of water.

12. Make sure the system pressure is within normal limits. If the PSI is off, it's possible that you reassembled the filter incorrectly, or that something else is wrong with the device. To recognize and fix the error, troubleshoot the pool filter.


Cleaning Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters

  1. To remove dirt, debris, and the old DE, backwash the filter for 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Switch off the pump and return the backwash valve to “Filter” mode.

  3. The air relief valve should be opened.

  4. Drain the water from the filter tank by removing the drain plug.

  5. Remove the assembly or clamp that holds the filter together. Check the owner's manual if you're not sure how to open it.

  6. Remove the top half of the filter tank to expose it.

  7. Reinstall the drain plug after rinsing the tank with the garden hose.

  8. Clean the grids and the manifold.

  9. Spray down the manifold with a spray nozzle from your garden hose, making sure to completely flush the grids of all debris and using D.E.

  10. Use a D.E. filter cleaner if the grids are very dirty. Wear protection equipment and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  11. Examine the grids for tears or injury, and look for cracks in the manifold.

  12. Reinstall the manifold and tighten the nuts after putting the clean grids back into the filter tank. Do not overtighten the screws. Replace any standpipe O-rings that are present.

  13. Reinstall the top half of the filter tank and lubricate the O-ring within the tank.

  14. Fill the filter with D.E. powder.

  15. To figure out how much D.E. powder you'll need, consult your filter's owner's manual.

  16. To begin, make a slurry by mixing the necessary amount of D.E powder with enough water to make a thin, creamy solution with the consistency of milk in a clean bucket. To blend, use the big plastic spoon.

  17. Remove the strainer housing lid and fill the strainer housing with water, allowing some water to flow through the incoming line to prime the filter pump. You can need to lubricate the pump lid O-ring as a result of use. Put the cover back on.

  18. To clear excess air from the filter tank, open the filter air-relief valve.

  19. To ensure full circulation, turn on the pump and let it run for 1-2 minutes.

  20. When water begins to come out, close the air-relief valve.

  21. Slowly pour the slurry into the pool skimmer while the pump is running.

  22. Enable at least 30 minutes for the D.E. to spread uniformly across the filter grids by running the pool pump. If you see some D.E. returning to the pool from the return line, you might have a ripped grid, cracked manifold, or torn stem O-ring.

Do You Need a Pool Cleaning Service You Can Trust?

Cal Pool Care delivers quality pool cleaning services to clients in the Tri-Valley and surrounding areas by providing them with the professional care they deserve. Great service begins and ends with experienced and friendly professionals, which is why we put so much consideration into selecting only the best to join our team. We complete projects efficiently and on schedule, and go above and beyond to form lasting relationships with our clients. Our service formula for success is consistency "same day, same time, same tech.” We offer weekly swimming pool maintenance and cleaning services. Cal Pool Care services pools, spas, and will ensure your fountains, water features and hot tubs are clean alongside regular pool service. Contact us today to schedule your first service!