What Happens If You Don't Clean Your Pool Filter?

Pool filters, like everything else, are subject to wear and tear. Bad maintenance, for example, will speed up this process and shorten their lifespan.


Debris and contaminants accumulate in the filter over time. Pool filters get clogged and less efficient if they are not cleaned regularly. As a result, the water becomes cloudy, bacteria spreads, and the water quality suffers.


Filters are also essential for pool water circulation. They aid in the distribution of chemicals added to your pool and the maintenance of a clean swimming area.

You can have issues with the pool pump if the filters are clogged. It could overflow and flood, causing significant damage. Cleaning the pool filter on a regular basis will help you avoid expensive repairs and infectious diseases.

How Often Should You Clean the Pool Filters? 

Each filter has different requirements and necessitates varying levels of maintenance.


Put weekly backwashing on your to-do list if you're using sand filters. Every season, use a special filter cleaner to ensure proper water circulation and filtration. DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filters should be washed at least once a season with special materials. Perform a comprehensive cleaning and inspection once a year.


When it's time to backwash, check the pressure gauge; the more debris in your filter, the higher the pressure will be.If your pool has a cartridge filter, clean it regularly, monthly, or less frequently, depending on the size of the filter and how much you use it. These filters don't need to be backwashed, but they do need to be disassembled every time they need to be cleaned.

Sand Filters

After building up 5–10 PSI of pressure, most sand filters should be back-washed every one to four weeks. If you have a painted tub, the sand should be replaced once a year. Otherwise, every four or five years, replace the sand and test the filter.

Compared to cartridge and D.E. filters, sand pool filters need less maintenance. Sand filters, unlike D.E. filters, do not lose any filtering material during back-washing, so they do not need to be refilled.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters should be washed every two to six weeks on average. One of the most critical factors in a cartridge filter's ability to work properly is that there isn't too much flow through it. Too much flow shortens the life of the cartridge and reduces the filter's performance. Debris passes through the filter and is reintroduced into the tank.


Diatomaceous Earth Filters

After one to three months of usage, or after the filter has built up 5–10 PSI of pressure, most D.E. filters should be back-washed. At least once a year, you can disassemble and clean the D.E. filter. You will need to clean the filter twice a year, depending on use (especially if your pool is open all year).


Diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters strain particles into a material called diatomaceous earth. When you back-wash a D.E. filter, any D.E. that was washed out with the pool water debris must be replaced.

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!