How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (2023)

Wondering how often a pool filter should be cleaned? A clean pool filter is vital for any pool owner as a dirty and clogged filter means polluted and totally unsanitary water. A clogged filter also puts more stress on your pool pump, leading to early failure and the need for more frequent repairs and replacements.

Most pool filters need to be cleaned every 6 months. How often a pool filter should be cleaned depends on the type of filter, how often you clean the pool yourself, local weather conditions, and the level of chlorine and other chemicals in the pool.

Because a clean, high-quality pool filter is essential to enjoying safe, clean water and keeping your pool pump in good working order, consider some additional pool filter cleaning tips as you adjust your schedule and often overlooked signs that indicate it's time for a new pool filter. You can then discuss any questions you have with a pool cleaning company in your area knowing your pool will always be clean and spotless and ready to swim!

How often should a pool filter be cleaned?

How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (1)

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First, don't confuse the pool filter with a strainer that is located on the pool wall or bottom. This skimmer screen or basket covers the pipes or hoses that lead to the pool pump, which draws the water to the pool filter.

Your pool's filter is connected to this pump and a connected chlorinator. The filter itself can look like a small tank containing a filter or cartridge. The skimmer screen or basket along the pool wall should be rinsed frequently, especially when leaves and other debris builds up in that crevice, but look for signs that it's time to clean the pool filter itself, too:

  • Noticeable changes in water quality are the first sign that it's time to clean or change your pool filter. Sand or slime accumulated at the bottom of the pool, water with a greenish tint, oily water, and other visible dirt and debris are usually the result of a dirty or clogged filter.
  • Pool filters may need to be cleaned after more than average pool use. For example, if you had a pool party over the weekend, all those extra people in the pool mean extra body oils, hair products, dead skin cells, hair loss, suntan oils, and other debris that can clog the filter.
  • Storms or strong winds blow sand, dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris onto a pool's surface; these deposits end up in the filter. If you've experienced particularly strong storms in your area, check to see if your filter needs cleaning.
  • If your pool water has evaporated and needs to be refilled, please note that it takes time for the pool chlorine to kill the residue in the water. Check if the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced after filling the pool.
  • Checking the pool pump pressure gauge can also tell you if the filter needs cleaning. Check the meter immediately after cleaning or changing the filter and monitor it over time. If it goes up 10psi, it's time to clean the filter again!

While these are all signs that your pool filter probably needs cleaning, don't wait for any of these signs to appear before checking the condition of the filter! Check your pool filter monthly or even weekly, especially during peak or swim seasons, to see if it needs cleaning or shows signs of excessive wear.

Cleaning and reusing pool filters

How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (2)

Many pool filters are designed to be cleaned and reused over and over again. These types of filters can be more expensive than disposable paper cartridges, but they can last for years before needing to be replaced, saving you money in the long run. To properly clean and reuse pool filters, here are some FAQs and pro tips:

Can I use a pressure washer on a pool filter?

Avoid forcibly washing the filter as this usually means too much pressure and risk of damage. Instead, use a sprayless garden hose to get into every crevice and crevice of a filter and flush it out.

Can I use bleach in a pool filter?

Avoid soaking your pool filter in bleach as this can soften and damage the fibers that make up the filter. Bleach is also not usually required to remove mold, mildew, algae, and other debris. Instead, note that most filters require a good soak in a cleaning solution designed specifically for pool filters to loosen dirt, grime, oil, and other debris.

(Video) How Often Should You BACKWASH A POOL FILTER? | Swim University

What if the soak doesn't clean the filter?

Some filters may also need to be cleaned with a special brush or other tool to remove loose debris and ensure the filter is clean and undamaged and ready to use! If your particular filter doesn't seem to stay clean after soaking and rinsing, contact your local pool supplier as the filter may simply need to be replaced rather than cleaned.

Why does my pool filter get dirty so quickly?

How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (3)

There are a few reasons why a pool filter can get dirty much quicker than you might expect. A professional pool cleaner near you can check your pool and filter and offer some personal tips and suggestions, but here are some tips from the pros as to why some filters may become clogged or need cleaning more often than others:

  • If the chlorine level is too low, algae can grow and then die and clog along the filter, fouling it sooner than expected! Consider the chlorine level required for the size of your pool and the general weather conditions in your area.
  • A filter that is too small will clog sooner or later as it works hard to collect a lot of dirt and other debris that will be better managed by a larger filter. As with chlorine levels, make sure the filter is the right size for your pool size and upgrade to something larger if needed.
  • Spotting dirt and grime from outside the pool could indicate a dirty filter! Make sure pool guests rinse off before entering the pool. At the very least, ask them to rinse their feet or wear outdoor shoes to and from the pool to keep their feet clean and avoid excessive dirt and debris in the pool.
  • Strong winds also blow a lot of dirt and debris into the pool water, so it ends up in the filter. Consider investing in a pool cover or solid fence around your yard to reduce airborne debris.
  • Even with a quality filter, pools need to be cleaned and vacuumed consistently. Be sure to use the skimmer frequently and keep the water as clean as possible to reduce pump and filter wear.
  • Trees are notorious for throwing debris into pools that clog filters! If there are branches hanging over your pool, consider trimming those branches as much as possible.
  • Avoid blowing debris into the pool every time you mow the lawn or maintain the lawn. Point leaf blowers away from the pool and switch to a bagged mower to keep grass clippings, dust and debris out of the pool.

When should the pool filter sand be changed?

Pool sand filters need fresh sand every 3 to 5 years; However, this schedule may vary depending on pool usage and if there are extenuating circumstances that could result in dirty sand sooner than expected! Check the sand in your filter twice a year and see if it looks black, oily, or dirty and muddy, and change it out if necessary.

It is also important to keep an eye on the pool water and watch for debris returning to the water, excess oil, sand and silt at the bottom of the pool. All of this may indicate that it's time to change the sand in the filter. If you find yourself changing sand more often than you expect, consult a pool maintenance specialist about upgrading to a larger or better quality filter.

The life expectancy of a pool filter

Even the best pool filter wears out over time and needs to be replaced. Most pool filters need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years, with a good quality filter maybe 7 years. Pool pumps typically last longer, 8 to 12 years or an average of 10 years.

Although the filter manufacturer states how long the filter should last, if you suddenly find yourself needing to clean it more often than usual, you should replace it as this indicates a worn filter. Even if you clean the filter but the pool water is still green or cloudy, it's probably time to change the filter.

(Video) How To Clean a Pentair Pool Cartridge Filter [ Step by Step ]

Operating a pool pump without a filter cartridge

You can run your pool pump without a filter cartridge to maintain circulation after the cartridge has dried out or needs to be replaced. Make sure the cartridge tank is properly reassembled and that you have removed its internal parts to avoid damage.

Also note that you should not make it a habit to run the pump without a cartridge as this filter is essential for catching and blocking dirt and debris. The longer you run the pump without a filter cartridge, the more dirt will circulate through the pump line and the more wear and tear the pump will experience!

What happens if you don't clean a pool filter?

How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (4)

Cleaning a pool filter might not be the most enjoyable part of owning a pool, but it is essential to ensure clean, healthy water! If you get your pool filter too dirty, it won't work as well, leaving dirt, sand, silt, and other debris in your pool water.

A pool filter also helps trap algae growth and other contaminants, so skipping the required cleaning could mean allowing more algae growth into the pool itself. This could mean unhealthy water irritating your skin and sinuses every time you swim.

Your pool pump also pumps water from the pool to the filter. When the pool water is dirty and full of impurities and debris, the pump has to work harder to pull water out of the pool and pump it through the filter. A dirty filter, in turn, means excessive pump wear and premature failure.

The more you ignore the need for filter cleaning, the sooner the filter needs to be replaced! Regular cleaning keeps it in good condition, reduces wear and tear and ensures that the filter works properly for as long as possible.

(Video) Replacing Swimming Pool Cartridge Filter

Pro tips to keep your pool clean and in good condition

How often should your pool filter be cleaned | Pro Tips (5)

How clean your pool water is depends a lot on how you maintain your pool throughout the season. Here are some tips to keep your pool clean and in good condition regardless of the weather or average pool usage:

  • Clean the skimmer screen or basket frequently, especially if you are in an area with a lot of airborne dust; For example, if there is a beach or desert nearby, there is likely to be a lot of airborne sand trapped in the skimmer basket. Rinsing will prevent debris from being released back into the pool water.
  • Check pool chemistry frequently, even daily during peak usage. Adjust chlorine and other chemicals as needed to ensure proper chemical levels and clean water.
  • Monitor the pool's flow meter, which will regularly tell you how much water is flowing through the filter and chlorinator. Although you do not want to overload the pump, it is important that water is drawn through the filter as often as required for the size of your pool.
  • Brush the pool walls regularly to loosen dirt and debris and flush it through the filter instead of building up on the wall.
  • Avoid homemade cleaning products or items not intended for pool use, as they can interact with chlorine and other chemicals and prevent them from working as they should.

If your pool water keeps looking dirty, oily or nasty, it's time to invest in the services of a professional pool cleaner! He checks and maintains chemical levels and cleans the pool so it is always ready for use.

Sarasota Pool Service Pros is pleased to provide this information to our readers and we hope it has helped you better understand how often a pool filter should be cleaned and maintained.pool maintenance🇧🇷 Give us a call if you are looking for expert pool services in Sarasota, FL! We offer FREE quotes and convenient appointments near you.

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