Pool Filter Care 101: How to care for my pool filter | the pool butler (2023)

When you enjoy a crystal clear pool, think only of the water. I can assure you that nobody thinks to take care of the pool filter. What else is there to consider as long as the water is clean and the temperature is right?

The reality is that there are so many parts and efforts involved in maintaining a beautiful swimming pool. Aside from the water—chemicals and removing visible debris—there are all the parts that go into pool maintenance.

Most pool owners understand that the filter is an essential part of keeping the pool clean. However, they may not realize that they also need to clean the filter regularly. Keeping the filter clean ensures the best filter performance and keeps the water clean.

To help you stay on top of your pool filter maintenance, we've compiled some of the most common questions. And we've even added some useful tips and tricks!

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Pool Filter Care 101: Five Frequently Asked Questions

Pool filter care can be confusing. We've looked into 5 of the most frequently asked questions - and answered them!

1. How often do pool filters need to be cleaned?

Typically, cartridge filters need to be cleaned every six weeks. In the high season you should at least check your filter more often. In the winter when your pool is empty you can probably push it for 10 weeks between cleanings.

However, these deadlines may vary depending on the environment. For example, if your yard is heavily covered with trees, more frequent cleaning may be required, even in winter. On average, the pressure value of a pool filter cartridge should be between8 - 15 PSI.

2. How many hours a day should I use the pool filter?

You need to run the pool pump an average of 8 hours a day to properly circulate and clean the water. The private pool water only needs to be turned over once a day to ensure proper filtration. However, you do not have to run the pool pump continuously. For example, you can run it for three hours in the morning before going to work. When you get home in the late afternoon, just turn it on for another 5 hours!

3. Is it better to use a pool filter at night or during the day?

It's always best to run a pool filter during the hottest hours of the day. This is because the sun causes chlorine breakdown in your pool. So if you leave your pump running at night, the sun has all day to attack the chlorine in your pool. This can cause algae to bloom quickly, leading to bigger problems. However, due to energy costs or other reasons, you may not want to run your pump for 8 hours in the middle of the day. In this case, you should aim for at least 3 hours a day. Then simply divide the other hours into mornings and afternoons or nights.

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4. Can I leave the pool filter on for 24 hours?

You can, but it's unnecessary and can increase your energy bill! Although the general recommendation is to filter all pool water every 24 hours, the pump does not have to run all the time. 8 hours of filtration over a 24 hour period is sufficient.

5. How do I know when my pool filter needs to be cleaned?

Pool filter cartridges need to be cleaned when the pressure gauge rises 8 PSI above normal operating pressure. Remember that the pool filter cartridge pressure should normally be between 8 and 15 PSI.

Even if the interval between pressure surges decreases significantly, the filter cartridge most likely needs to be replaced.

Pool filter care: How to clean different types of filters


To clean a cartridge filter, first turn off the pump. If the filter is below the water level in the pool, valves must be closed so that the pool is not emptied when the filter is opened. Make sure they are closed before proceeding.

Open the vent valve at the top of the filter and the drain port at the bottom of the filter. This allows the water to drain. Then open the filter body. This may involve unscrewing some knobs, removing a nut on top, or removing a bracket. Remove carriage or carriage. Be sure to note its position and orientation so you don't have trouble putting the device back together!

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Rinse out the filter tank and take the carts to where you want them cleaned. All you need is a garden hose with a spout. Wash the carriages top to bottom, facing down at a 45 degree angle.

Always remember to wash both the outside and the inside. In fact, it's a good idea to start at an ID spot on the trolley and wash all the way. Then you will repeat inside. When you're done, reassemble the filter, close the drain hole, and open any valves you closed. Then turn the pump back on. If water keeps coming out of the bleed valve, close it and you're done. If the pressure does not return to the default initial pressure after cleaning, you need to perform a more thorough cleaning. At this point (in case you haven't noticed!)It is better to hire a professional to service your filter.


Sand filters have either a push/pull main valve or a multi-position valve (multiport). When changing the position of the main valve, you MUST turn off the pump first. Then ensure that all valves in the drain/waste line are open. Make sure you connect the drain hose and route it to where you want the dirty water to drain.

After turning off the pump, move the lever to the “BACKWASH” position and restart the pump. Most multiports have a sight glass so you can see the dirt coming out of the filter. Other filters have a clear section of pipe in the backwash line. The water runs clean for a moment, then it gets dirty, and finally it's clean again. When the water in the cup is clear, turn off the pump. If you have a multiport valve with the "FLUSH" setting, switch to that. If not, switch to "FILTER" and run the pump for about 15 seconds.

Repeat the backwash cycle. Finally, return the valve to the normal "FILTER" position and you're done.

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Note that this process removes water from the pool. So keep an eye on the water level and do not start the cleaning process when the water is already low.


DE filters are available in 2 variants. The first type uses a push/pull or multiport valve for cleaning. With this type of DE filter, the cleaning process is exactly the same as with a sand filter (see above). The only difference is that most of the DE washes out with the dirt. Therefore, after cleaning the filter, you need to add more.

Because backwashing doesn't remove all of the DE, only add 80% of what the filter is asking for. From time to time you need to open a DE filter and clean a lot more. In this case, it is best to call in a professional.

The other type of DE filter uses a handle to move the inner assembly up and down. This knocks the DE and debris out of the filter and down onto the floor. It is known as "collision filter". To clean a DE bump filter, turn off the pump and open the top air valve for about 5 seconds. Close it again, slowly press the handle down and quickly lift it up 5 times. Restart the pump and see if the psi has dropped more than 2psi. If so, you're done and don't need to add new DEs to the filter.

If it doesn't drop far enough, repeat the collision process. Remove the plug from the bottom of the filter and run the pump for an additional 30 seconds. Reinsert the plug, open the top air valve and run the pump until water comes out of the air valve. Do this whole process twice and you're ready to add 80% of what the filter asks for, just like the other type of DE filter. And as with the other species, it will be necessary from time to time to do a much deeper cleansing.

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The bottom line in pool filter care

In short, taking care of your pool filter is a necessary task. It should be performed every six weeks and the specific steps depend on the type of filter. If this seems like a lot of work or too much detail to keep track of, consult the professionals. This way you can be sure that your filter is in top shape and working at full capacity to keep your pool water clean. The professionals at The Pool Butler are here to help!achieve todayto start.


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