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Pool Pump Filter Maintenance

Having a home swimming pool can be one of life's finest pleasures. There is nothing better than taking a cool dip on a hot summer evening. However, pools require maintenance to stay safe and healthy for you to swim in.

Mainenance of a pool's pump filter system

What Needs To Be Done:

Your pool and filter need to have regular maintenance to keep everything working properly and the water clear.

Why Do It?

  • Swimming pool water quickly turns foul-looking and potentially unsafe if your pool lacks proper filter maintenance.
  • Regular maintenance prevents your filter from clogging and burning out the pool pump.
  • Cloudy or dirty water could prevent swimmers from seeing debris and other objects that pose a risk if stepped on.

How Often?

In order to maintain optimal water quality, pool filter maintenance needs to be conducted at least once per week during the swimming season, according to Obviously, this schedule will vary depending on the conditions surrounding your pool. Refer to your owner's manual for recommendations on maintaining the pump filter. Here's a quick guide, depending on where your pool is located:

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Lots of trees

If your pool is located in a wooded area, full of pollen, leaves and other debris, your filter may need daily maintenance.

Suburban pool, no trees

If your pool is in a suburban or city environment without many plants or trees surrounding it, once-weekly maintenance should suffice.

The basic rule of thumb is, if your pool filter gets dirty daily, it needs daily maintenance. If it's in an area where it remains clean, most of the time, you can perform maintenance once a week.

How to Do it

There are three primary types of pool filters. Each type requires a different maintenance regimen. Below are some general guidelines, but you should always defer to the maintenance directions in your owner's manual.

  • 1. Sand Filters
    • Sand filters are cleaned by a procedure called "backwashing."
    • The online manuals of many manufacturers say to backwash your filter when the pressure gauge reaches a specified readout.
    • Remember to replace the water lost in your pool after backwashing.
  • 2. Cartridge Filters
    • Cartridge filters generally need cleaning once or twice per year, depending on conditions.
    • The lifespan of the filters varies. For example, the online manuals of some manufacturers advise that under normal conditions, they should last about three years.
    • These filters require minimal maintenance.
    • Dirt can simply be hosed off of the cartridge.
    • Soak extra-dirty cartridges in detergent to clean.
    • Replace the filter if you are unable to clean it.
  • 3. Diatomaceous Earth Filters
    • Diatomaceous earth filters use sedimentary rock or plankton skeletons.
    • These filters resemble cartridge filters in appearance.
    • The cartridge is filled with powder.
    • The pressure gauge should be checked periodically to determine whether you need to backwash the filter, as you would with a sand filter. One owner's manual says to do this weekly, but you should consult the manufacturer's instructions for your filter.
    • You will need to replace the powder after backwashing.

Regardless of the style of filter your pool uses, always watch the pressure gauge when backwashing or cleaning. Too much pressure can permanently damage the pool's filter, resulting in costly repairs.

Always remember to consult your filter's manufacturer's manual for precise filter maintenance instructions. If you are uncomfortable conducting any of the maintenance yourself, be sure to hire a professional.

Need a reminder to maintain your pool pump filter? Sign up for the Allstate Maintenance Reminder.


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