How to Clean a Pool Filter (Sand, Cartridge, D.E.)

Your percolate is one of the main components in keeping your swimming pool clean. And knowing how to clean a pool percolate is an all-important separate of basic pool maintenance. vitamin a retentive as you have the mighty equipment and enough prison term, cleaning your inground or above prime consortium filter will be a snap. here โ€™ s our DIY template to cleaning any type of pool trickle .

Why Type of Pool Filter Do You Have?

Depending on the type of pool percolate you haveโ€”cartridge, sand, or diatomaceous earth ( D.E. ) โ€”the proper percolate cleaning method acting will vary. And this steer covers all three. Scroll down to the section that applies to your filter system ๐Ÿ‘‡.

however, if you โ€™ rhenium uncertain what type of percolate organization you have, check out our guide on pond filters. It besides depends on the stigmatize of filter you have. For exercise, if you have a Hayward D.E. filter, chances are you โ€™ ll be dealing with filter fingers rather of grids which you โ€™ ll find in a Pentair trickle .
Diatomaceous Earth DE Pool Filter.
equitable make sure you have the proper pool equipment on hand for your type of trickle, and then set aside some time to make sure it โ€™ sulfur done by rights. A dirty trickle makes for a cheating pool .

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filter?

You should clean your pool filter at least once a month. A good indication that your trickle needs to be cleaned is when the pressure gauge reads 10 psi above the normal operate level .
Cloudy water can besides be an indicator that the filter needs a commodity cleanse. And if you โ€™ re dealing with cloudy pool urine, read our cloudy pool water scout .
But sometimes your filter needs a cryptic uninfected. We recommend deep-cleaning your trickle at least once a class depending on the type of filter you have .
Before we get into cleaning your pool filter, if you โ€™ re in need of a complete video recording class on taking care of your swimming pool, check out our Pool Care Video Course so you have clean water to swim in all season retentive .

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How to Clean a Cartridge Pool Filter in 4 Easy Steps

This is an easy type of percolate to clean because you can plainly pull out the pool filter cartridge, clean it, and replace it. You โ€™ ll want to follow a few steps to make sure it โ€™ sulfur done good .
once you have all the supplies, set apart some time to clean the pool percolate. The process may even extend nightlong, depending on how dirty the trickle magazine is .

1. Turn Off The Pump And Depressurize The Filter Tank

first, turn off the pool heart. If you have a timer, make surely you remove anything that โ€™ ll travel the timer and turn the pump back on. You don โ€™ thymine want the pump to come back on when you โ€™ re cleaning the filter magazine .
For your own safety, remove air from the organization. Turn the tune stand-in valve ( normally located on top of the trickle ) lento to remove any excess air travel from the system .

2. Remove The Cartridge Inside The Filter Tank

Remove the clamps ( or early latching mechanisms ) holding the trickle together. If you โ€™ rhenium diffident how to open it, check the owner โ€™ s manual .
Remove the peak of the trickle. then, carefully remove the cartridge and set it aside. Inspect it for damage and wear. If you find any cracks or tears, or it โ€™ mho past the steer where clean will be effective, it โ€™ randomness time to get a new percolate cartridge to replace it .

3. Clean The Pool Filter Cartridge

Use a spray beak on your garden hose to spray down the cartridge, making sure to get between the pleats. If you want a special spray beak built specifically for cleaning pool magazine filters, click here. Otherwise, a standard garden hose beak will work fine .
If the cartridge is dirty, use a percolate magazine blank. Follow the manufacturer โ€™ sulfur instructions .
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If it โ€™ mho been a while since you โ€™ ve cleaned the cartridge filter, it can be covered in alga, calcium build-up, sunscreen, iron, and other contaminants you don โ€™ triiodothyronine want in your pool. In this case, soak the cartridge in a filter cleaning solution nightlong. You can use the lapp percolate magazine clean to do this. Use a 5-gallon bucket, and make indisputable the magazine is wholly covered with the water and cleaning solution .
alternatively, you can dilute one part muriatic acidic to 20 parts urine in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the filters in the bucket and allow them to soak nightlong .
Check the O-ring on the filter tank. If it โ€™ mho in good form, lightly apply some lubricant to keep it that direction. If it โ€™ randomness dry-rotted or appears worn out, replace it .
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Rinse the magazine thoroughly with water before putting it back in the cooler .

4. Replace The Filter Cartridge and Re-Pressurize

Return the magazine to the filter, and secure it in identify. Replace the filter top and close the clamps .
Turn the organization back on, and open the air relief valve to release any overindulgence vent in the system. Keep the valve open until a steady pour of body of water sprays from it .
Check the pressure gauge to be certain it โ€™ sulfur in the normal trickle pressure range. If the pounds per straight column inch ( PSI ) is off, you may have put the filter back together incorrectly, or something else may be wrong with the system. Troubleshoot the pool filtration organization to identify and correct the trouble .

How to Clean a Sand Filter in 3 Simple Steps

You can backwash the sand trickle, which you โ€™ ll need to do whenever it reaches 10 psi over the normal operate on degree. It may besides be clock time to clean the percolate if you start to notice cloudy pool water .
But at least once a class, you need to chemically clean your backbone filter .

1. Backwash The Sand Filter

foremost, turn off the heart and move the treat on your multiport valve to โ€œ Backwash. โ€ Attach your aftermath hose to the waste port and turn the pump back on. Backwashing should take 1-2 minutes or until the water looks clear .

If you need more aid backwashing your percolate, check out our complete guide on backwashing hera .

2. Add Filter Cleaning Solution

Turn off the pump, and turn the valve to โ€œ Filter. โ€ Remove the pump โ€™ s strainer eyelid and our sand filter uninfected into the strainer basket. then, replace the heart hat.

Turn the pump on for about 15 seconds, just long enough to transfer the clean from the pump to the filter. Turn off the heart, and leave it off for at least 8 hours, or overnight .
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3. Backwash The Filter Again

Backwash the filter for 3 to 5 minutes again to remove the build-up of crap and debris dislodged by the filter clean. Turn the trickle system back on .
If you don โ€™ triiodothyronine already have a sand filter, you may want to consider investing in one. The time you โ€™ ll save in scavenge is fourth dimension you can spend enjoying your pool .

How to Clean a D.E. Pool Filter in 5 Steps

You can chemically clean a D.E. percolate or you can backwash a D.E. percolate. away from those indicators, it โ€™ s a good mind to clean your D.E. filter at least once a calendar month. And if you need more information on D.E. filters, check out our full guide here .

1. Backwash and Drain The D.E. Filter

first, turn off the pump and move the handle on your multiport valve to โ€œ Backwash. โ€ If you have a push/pull valve, make sure it โ€™ randomness in the wake position .
Attach your slipstream hose to the pine away interface and turn the pump back on. Backwashing should take 1-2 minutes or until the water looks clear. If you need more serve backwashing your DE filter, click here for our complete scout .
then, turn the pump off and open the air relief valve. last, remove the drain plug, and let the urine drain out of the filter tank car .

2. Remove DE Filter Manifold

Remove the clamps ( or early latching mechanisms ) holding the trickle in concert. If you โ€™ ra uncertain how to open it, check the owner โ€™ s manual of arms .
Open the filter tank and remove the filter manifold, and take out all the grids or fingers .

3. Rinse and/or Soak Filter Grids or Fingers

Use a spray nozzle on your garden hose to spray down the manifold and grids/fingers, making certain to thoroughly bloom all debris including the D.E. powder. If the multiply is very cheating, use a D.E. filter clean. Follow the manufacturer โ€™ randomness instructions .
If the manifold is very cheating, you may want to soak it overnight in a muriatic acid solution .
Important: The acid in muriatic acid is precisely that. It โ€™ sulfur acerb, and can cause injury if you โ€™ ra not careful. Take all the precautions necessary to protect yourself, and anyone else who may be around while you โ€™ re cleaning your filter. We recommend using this method if your percolate is sol filthy that regular trickle clean international relations and security network โ€™ triiodothyronine enough. And if you use this method acting, do therefore meagerly .
Put on the condom goggles and acid-resistant gloves. We besides recommend you wear retentive sleeves, pants, and closed shoes. Dilute one share muriatic acerb to 20 parts water in a bombastic, fictile rubbish can with a lid can big enough to hold the acerb solution and trickle manifold. Place the manifold in the rubbish can, ensuring it โ€™ s completely covered with the load solution. Allow it to soak nightlong .
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4. Put The Filter Back Together

once the complete percolate manifold paper is clean, rinse out the tank car with the garden hose, and position it back into the trickle tank car .
Replace the clamps ( or early latching mechanisms ) holding the percolate together. If you โ€™ ra diffident how to close it, check the owner โ€™ s manual of arms .

5. Add Fresh D.E. Powder

refer to your filter owner โ€™ s manual of arms to determine how much D.E. gunpowder you โ€™ ll need to add. Mix the appropriate come of D.E gunpowder with enough water system to make a slurry, which is a reduce, creamy solution .
Make sure the heart is running and pour the slurry directly into the pool skimmer. then, run the pool pump for at least 30 minutes to allow the D.E. to distribute evenly over the filter grids or fingers .
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Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning a Pool Filter

Keeping your filter clean will besides help it run longer and more efficiently, saving you money, energy, and time. The longer you keep your filter in good working condition, the longer you can wait to replace it, and the more you can focus on enjoying your pool .

Can you use vinegar to clean a pool filter?

Yes, but only a cartridge percolate ( not sand or D.E. ). Soak your pool cartridge filters in a 50/50 separate of water and white distilled vinegar ( do not use white wine vinegar ). Allow the filters to soak for at least 3 hours and improving to 8 hours .

Can I soak my pool filter in bleach?

No. Bleach will damage the fibers of pool trickle cartridges. You โ€™ re better off using a filter magazine clean or a 50/50 split of water and white distilled vinegar ( do not use white wine vinegar ) .

Can I use a pressure washer to clean pool filters?

No. A pressure washer is besides herculean and will damage your filters. Your best stake is to soak your filters in a filter cleaning solution ( specifically designed for pools ) for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours ( overnight ) .

How long do pool filters last?

If you take dependable worry of your pool cartridge filters by cleaning them regularly, they can stopping point 2-3 years. If you have a sand filter, the sand inside will last about 3-5 years .

How do you clean algae out of a pool filter cartridge?

If your cartridge filter is covered in alga, soak the cartridge in a filter cleaning solution overnight. Use a 5-gallon bucket, and make indisputable the magazine is wholly covered with the water and cleaning solution. alternatively, you can dilute one separate muriatic acerb to 20 parts water system .

Need More Pool Maintenance Help?

  • Download our free Pool Care Cheat Sheet. Itโ€™s a free, easy-to-use guide to help you keep track of taking care of your pool.
  • Subscribe to our Swim University YouTube Channel. We publish free video tutorials throughout the season for pool owners.
  • Check out our Pool Care Course. Youโ€™ll get step-by-step videos and a downloadable guide with everything you need to know about pool maintenance.

Happy Swimming!


Matt Giovanisci is the founder of Swim Universityยฎ and has been in the pool and resort hotel diligence since 1995. Since then, his mission is to make pool and hot tub concern comfortable for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with water system chemistry, clean, and trouble-shoot .
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