A before and after picture of a dirty to clean cartridge pool filter

Your pool is the perfect place to escape to after a long week of work or school! But a Saturday afternoon lounging in the pool can suddenly turn sour if the water is murky and slimy. While it is easy to quickly jump to the conclusion that your pool’s pump may be broken, the more common cause is probably a dirty pool filter. Just like the air filter in your home, your pool’s filter needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure that the contaminants it collects are properly removed so it can keep doing its job.

Cleaning your pool filter is important for keeping your water clear and prolonging the life of your pool equipment. Whether your pool is outfitted with a sand, DE, or cartridge filter, our team at Liquidus has the answers on how to clean them!

Cleaning a Cartridge Filter

Cartridge filters are very popular due to their easy maintenance. Typically, you will want to clean your cartridge pool filter 1-3 times a year and replace it every 3 years. Simply follow these steps.

  1. Turn off your pool pump. This prevents water from going through your filter.
  2. Locate and remove the drain plug to begin draining the filter tank. Make sure to open the air relief on the top of your filter as this will help speed up the draining process.
  3. Once the tank has finished draining, locate the clamp and begin to loosen the nut using a wrench.
  4. Remove the filter clamp and lift off the pool filter lid. You should then be able to access and remove the filter cartridges inside.
  5. Use a garden hose to spray down the cartridges. Make sure you work from top to bottom to properly remove all the dirt and to avoid damaging the cartridge.
  6. Once your cartridges are free of debris, place them back in the tank.
  7. Replace the filter lid and retighten the filter clamp so that it stays in place.
  8. Replace the drain plug and close the air relief.
  9. Turn on your pool’s pump. The water should start filtering through your filter again and refill the filter tank.

Cleaning a Sand Filter

Sand filters require very little maintenance and the sand inside of them generally needs to be replaced every 5-7 years. Your sand filter should be cleaned/backwashed every 5-10 days or when the reading on the pressure gauge has increased by 0.2 bars. To backwash your sand filter, do the following:

  1. Turn off the pool pump.
  2. Switch your pool filter multiport valve from the filter setting to the backwash setting. This will reverse the flow of the water so that the filter will be pushing out contaminants instead of pulling out contaminants from the water.
  3. Turn on the pool pump and let it run for at least 2 minutes. If you can view waste in the water, continue to run the pump until it begins to clear.
  4. Turn off the pool pump, switch the filter valve to the rinse setting, and then turn the pump back on. This setting should be run for at least 1-2 minutes or until the water in the sight glass clears.
  5. Reset the valve to the filter setting and turn back on the pool pump.

Cleaning a DE Filter

DE Filters, better known as Diatomaceous Earth Filters, are best at cleaning water but they are also the most maintenance-intensive. DE filters need to be cleaned regularly. Here is how to properly clean it:

  1. Turn off your pool pump.
  2. Remove the drain plug to begin draining the tank. Make sure you have a bucket handy to catch the drainage. Your DE filter can leave you with a huge mess all over your equipment pad if you are not careful.
  3. Locate the clamp and remove the nut using a wrench.
  4. Remove the lid and then open the tank.
  5. Remove the manifold and each grid from the tray.
  6. Rinse off each of the grids with a hose until they’re free of DE and debris.
  7. Place the grids back on the tray, starting with the solo small grid.
  8. Put the manifold back on.
  9. Close the tank and then replace the lid. Replace the clamp so that it is nice and secure.
  10. Return the drain plug so that when you turn on the pump, water doesn’t go everywhere.
  11. Turn the pump back on.
  12. Check the level on your filter tank for the recommended lbs of DE.
  13. Before adding the recommended DE, mix it with water in a bucket and pour it down the closest pool skimmer. This is known as recharging the DE.

If you don’t feel comfortable or only have a small amount of time to enjoy your pool, Liquidus Pool Services can help! We understand that in this world, things move fast and those moments you have to relax are sacred. This is why we have a whole team of technicians available to clean and provide regular pool maintenance. Take back your weekend and contact our team today to schedule a one-time pool cleaning or regular maintenance services.