How to Clean Your Pool Filter
Learn the three types of pool filters and how to keep them clean so your water will be clear and healthy.
By Kimberlee Courtney
Your pool’s filter system helps keep the water clean and healthy on a regular basis by removing dirt, debris, and other matter introduced by swimmers and the environment. In order for the filter to function properly, it must be cleaned once the filter’s pressure gauge reaches 8 – 10 psi (pounds per square inch) above the pool’s starting operating pressure. This may happen as often as once a week or as little as once every two or three months, depending on the bather load, filter size, and flow rate.
Sand and D.E. filters operate in similar ways. Sand filters use sand to trap debris and prevent it from circulating back into the water; D.E. filters use D.E. powder to coat grids in the filter tank to block dirt and debris from re-entering the water. Both sand and D.E. filters need to be cleaned by backwashing, or running the water in reverse so that it passes through the filter and is flushed out of the pool.
Cartridge filters work in a much more eco-friendly way because they do not require backwashing. These filters use pleated polyester filtration material, called media, to catch dirt and other substances as water flows over it. Cartridge filters are cleaned by removing the filter and rinsing it off with a garden hose. It is recommended to alternate between two cartridges, inserting a clean cartridge while you rinse the other one and allow it to dry completely before storing.
Once a cartridge becomes fully loaded, or full of particles that get trapped in the media over time, it’s time to replace the cartridge. Experts recommend replacing your pool cartridge every two years if your pool season is four months or less; if you use your pool year-round, you should replace it once a year. Hot tub and spa cartridges need to be replaced much more often, typically every three months.
Photo courtesy of Cimarron Circle Construction Company; Photography by Doug Staples
Filter Cartridge Company and Expert
Learn more about this recommended manufacturer of pool and spa filter cartridges right from the company expert.
Chief Operating Officer
John Antretter has been with Pleatco, LLC, for five years, but he has 23 years of experience in developing products for both consumer and industrial markets. Over the years, he formulated complex products used in the manufacturing of semiconductors and other products. Mr. Antretter earned both his Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees from Fordham University, where he has also taught as an adjunct professor of finance.
“Pleatco’s goal is to provide cleaner water while using less energy and extending the life of your filtration system. Pleatco pool and spa filter cartridges are made from the highest quality raw materials. They use revolutionary new media (filtration fabric) by Johns Manville that cleans the water more effectively. Pleatco cartridges also feature Free-Flow Cores, rather than drilled PVC pipes. The Free-Flow Cores provide maximum water flow for energy-efficient filtration. By maximizing the filtration area, Pleatco cartridges increase water flow while also creating a uniform flow through the entire cartridge, which extends the life of the product and improves the cleanliness of the water.”