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how to clean a pool filterHow To Clean A Pool Filter

Types of Filters - Sand Filter, D.E. Filter, Cartridge Filter

To clean a Sand Filter, is just a case of washing out the dirt by a procedure called "Back washing".  The sand traps dirt and remains in the filter permanently.

Filter "Sand" is a special, fit for purpose sand. It can remove impurities , and is highly efficient for trapping dirt.

On most models, a dial with a hand is used. follow the following procedure :

  1. Roll out the waste outlet pipe, open outlet valves (if present on waste pipe).
  2. Switch off the pump motor (at the Timer box)
  3. Push down on the handle, turn handle in a clockwise direction to "backwash".
  4. Switch on pump motor for 45 seconds, then Switch off pump.
  5. Push down on handle, turn handle clockwise to "Rinse" (or waste if not present).
  6. Switch on pump motor for 5 seconds, then switch off pump.

Repeat steps 3-6 until the filter has been back washed 3 times. Then push down on handle, turn handle in a clockwise direction to the "Filter" position, and switch on the pump motor.

Notes -

  • Each time the unit is back washed dirty water is pumped out of the filter
  • Never turn the handle when the motor is running.
  • Never turn the handle in an "anti-clockwise" direction.
  • Doing so will destroy a rubber water seal called a "spider gasket", and the unit will leak.

 To clean a D.E. Filter, is very similar to a cleaning a Sand filter. Follow the same steps above.    Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) traps dirt in the filter, and is flushed out with dirt during back washing. When back washing is complete, replace D.E. powder by pouring into the skimmer - it will coat the filter elements. The quantity required varies on the size of the Filter. It will be marked on the side of the D.E. Filter.

To clean a Cartridge Filter, is a case of removing the lid from the unit, then pulling out the filter element.  Then with a good pressure hose and nozzle, wash dirt out by spraying a water jet in a downwards direction until all dirt is removed. Make sure to get inside the folds - check  dirt is not clogged on the inside folds. If it doesn't wash out, you should consider buying a new filter element. This is a consumable part which needs replacing every 2-3 years, depending on how hard life is for the unit. TIP - if the lid is stuck on the unit, try switching on for a couple of seconds to "pop-off" the lid. The water pressure will safely do the work. Never use a tool to force off the lid - it could cause damage. 

If algae/sanitation is an issue in your pool, the filter is the first part to check. Without the filter functioning properly, you will always have problems. Be aware that filters become clogged with dirt, or even algae (alive & dead). Then pressure builds in the filter, water flow slows and circulation drops. In extreme circumstances, too much pressure can "blow" a unit, resulting in repair bills. Note - pressure gauges are notoriously inaccurate. Get to know your gauge reading when the filter is clean. a raise of 10 should give an indication it's time to clean the unit.

Even though once a month clean can be sufficient, local variable conditions can create more dirt to clog a filter.  IE - pollen season, an algae bloom, or even a neighbor cutting down trees.




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