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How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filter?

Your pool filter should be cleaned every 6 months by a swimming pool professional to extend the life of your pool equipment and to maintain the health of your swimming pool water. 

What does cleaning a pool filter entail?

  • Pre-inspect of complete system before cleaning
  • Disassemble the filter housing
  • Remove the cartridges or grids from the inside the pool filter
  • Complete disassemble the manifold and grids from the filter stack
  • Thoroughly clean and rinse all debris from the grids and cartridges
  • Clean out the manifolds and tanks of the filter
  • Re-assemble the filter internals back together
  • Inspect and lube all applicable O-rings for proper sealing
  • Re-attach filter housing and tighten to spec
  • Turn the equipment on to test for leaks and proper filtration
  • Charge the filter with special media if needed.

Different types of pool filters for your swimming pool:

  • Diatomaceous earth – 1 to 3 micron filtration
  • Cartridge filters – 15 micron filtration
  • Sand – 30 micro filtration

So now I know you are probably thinking what the heck is a micron?!? Well, a micron is one millionth of a meter. I know that is pretty small but lets put that into perspective of swimming pools:

DE Pool Filter Cartridge Pool Filter Sand Filter
D.E. Filter Cartridge Filter Sand Filter
  1. D.E. Filters are the absolute best. They filter out 1 micron in size, which means bacteria 30 times smaller than the width of your hair, CANNOT pass through your pool filter! Pretty amazing huh? There is quite a bit of work that goes with this great filter though. The maximum square foot of surface area water can pass through is 72sqft of internal surface area. That means the flow will and can be restricted when the filter is dirty. The benefit, all you have to do is backwash once a month, and then clean out the filter once every 6 months. But remember, this one needs to be “charged” with Diatomaceous Earth Powder.
  2. Cartridge Filters have the second best filtration on the market. At a still strong 15-micron size, they do a substantially good job filtering out the unhealthy stuff that can land into your backyard oasis. Cartridges are a really good set it and forget it (for 6 months) filter. There is no backwashing necessary. However, they do require a 6 months filter cleaning. This is the highest rated filter for teamwork with variable speed pumps due to the massive amount of square footage the filtration area has. They can go up to as large as 700sqft in residential equipment. This type of filter is the one Emerald Recommends!
  3. Sand Filters are the lowest rated filtration quality filter that is made. They do not required to be cleaned at all. All you have to do is backwash every month, and that cleans out the entire gunk that the filter has collected during the past 30 days. Although, due to our high calcium levels in Arizona, it is highly recommended that the Sand be changed in sand filters every 5 years.

If you are unsure about what type of filter you have, please refer to our photos or videos below about identifying what kind of pool filter you have.

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