how do you clean a pentair pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

How to Clean a Pentair Pool Filter: A Comprehensive Guide

If you own a swimming pool, you know that keeping the water crystal clear and sparkling is essential to keep it looking inviting and appealing. One of the most important components of a pool's filtration system is the pool filter, which removes impurities and debris from the water. Pentair pool filters are among the most popular filtration systems on the market, and if you're wondering how to clean a Pentair pool filter, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your Pentair pool filter to ensure that it functions correctly and keeps your pool water clean.

1. Understanding the Pentair Pool Filter

Before you start cleaning your Pentair pool filter, it's essential to understand what type of filter you have. Pentair pool filters come in three primary types -- sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). Sand filters are the most common type and use a bed of sand to filter the water. Cartridge filters are less common but are more useful in capturing finer debris particles. DE filters are the most efficient type of Pentair pool filters and can capture particles as small as five microns. Knowing what type of filter you have is crucial when it comes to cleaning it.

2. Determine When to Clean Your Filter

Pentair pool filters typically require cleaning when the pressure gauge reads eight to ten psi above the system's baseline pressure. However, it's essential to understand your filter's "clean" pressure reading and how long it takes for your filter to reach the "dirty" pressure reading. For example, some Pentair pool filters may take days or even weeks to reach the dirty pressure reading, while others can reach it in a few hours or even minutes.

3. Select the Right Cleaning Solution

Once you've determined that it's time to clean your Pentair pool filter, the next step is to select the right cleaning solution. For sand filters, you'll need a filter cleaner that removes oils, scale, and mineral buildup from the filter's sand bed. Cartridge filters require the use of a filter degreaser, which breaks down grease, oils, and other organic matter. DE filters require the use of a filter aid, which is a type of powder that's added to the pool water while the filter is in "backwash" mode.

4. Clean the Filter

The next step is to clean your Pentair pool filter. For sand filters, you'll need to backwash the filter by setting the multiport valve to "backwash." This reverses the flow of water through the system, dislodging and expelling trapped debris and particles from the sand bed. Once the backwash is complete, rinse the filter by setting the multiport valve to "rinse." This clears any remaining debris from the system.

For cartridge filters, remove the filter element from the housing and rinse it with a hose to remove any loose debris. Soak the filter cartridge in a degreaser solution for several hours or overnight. Once the soak is complete, rinse the filter with a hose again and dry it completely before reinstalling it.

For DE filters, you'll need to perform a "backwash" and then "rinse" cycle to remove any debris from the system. Once the system is clean, add the filter aid to the pool water while the filter is in "backwash" mode. Allow the solution to circulate through the system for several hours before returning the filter to normal operation mode.

5. Monitor the Filter and Keep It Clean

After you've cleaned your Pentair pool filter, monitor it regularly and keep it clean by performing regular maintenance as needed. Check the system's pressure gauge regularly and clean the filter when it reaches the "dirty" pressure reading. Keeping your filter clean and maintained ensures that it functions correctly, keeping your pool water crystal clear, and sparkling all season long.


Cleaning a Pentair pool filter requires a basic understanding of the type of filter you have, when to clean it, and how to clean it effectively. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can keep your Pentair pool filter in top condition, ensuring that your pool water stays clean and inviting all season long.


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