how long should i backwash my pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

How Long Should I Backwash My Pool Filter?

If you own a swimming pool, maintaining it can seem like a daunting task. One of the most important steps in pool maintenance is backwashing your pool filter. However, there is often confusion over how long you should backwash your pool filter. In this article, we will discuss the importance of backwashing, how-to steps for backwashing, and how long you should backwash your pool filter.

What is Backwashing and Why is it Important?

Backwashing is a critical step in maintaining a clean and healthy pool. The pool filter works by trapping debris and other contaminants, but over time, the filter becomes clogged with debris, reducing its efficiency. Backwashing is the process of reversing the flow of water through the filter to flush out the accumulated debris and contaminants, leading to improved filter function and better water quality.

How to Backwash Your Pool Filter

Backwashing your pool filter is relatively straightforward, but it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure that you do not damage the filter. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to backwash your pool filter:

Step 1: Turn off the pool pump

Before starting to backwash, turn off the pool pump to ensure that no water flows through the filter.

Step 2: Turn the valve to backwash

The next step involves turning the valve to the "backwash" position. The valve location will depend on the type of pool filter you have.

Step 3: Turn on the pool pump

Turn the pool pump back on and allow it to run for 1-2 minutes or until the water in the sight glass (if your filter has one) runs clear.

Step 4: Turn off the pump

After 1-2 minutes, turn off the pool pump.

Step 5: Turn the valve to rinse

Turn the valve to the "rinse" position and turn on the pool pump for around 30 seconds, allowing any remaining debris to be flushed out.

Step 6: Turn off the pump

After 30 seconds, turn off the pump.

Step 7: Turn the valve to filter

Turn the valve back to the "filter" position, and your pool filter is cleaned and ready to use.

How Long Should I Backwash My Pool Filter?

Now that you know how to backwash your pool filter, the next question is how long should you backwash? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it will depend on different factors such as filter type, pool usage, and water chemistry.

However, it is recommended that you backwash your filter until the water in the sight glass (if your filter has one) runs clear, or for a minimum of two minutes. If your pool has high usage or has experienced heavy debris accumulation, you may need to backwash for longer. Similarly, if your pool has had low usage or clean water, then you may not need to backwash for very long.

Factors That Affect How Long You Should Backwash

As mentioned earlier, various factors will affect how long you should backwash your pool filter. Here are a few of the key factors:

Pool usage: The more frequently people use the pool, the more debris and contaminants will accumulate, requiring more regular and longer backwashing.

Heavy debris accumulation: If there are high winds or heavy rain that causes a lot of debris to enter the pool, longer backwashing may be necessary.

Water chemistry: Poor water chemistry can lead to a buildup of minerals and other contaminants that can clog the filter. Regular water testing and treatment can help reduce this buildup and the need for longer backwashing times.

Type of pool filter: Different pool filters have different backwashing requirements. Sand filters, for instance, may require longer backwashing times than cartridge filters or DE filters.


In conclusion, backwashing is a crucial step in maintaining the cleanliness and health of your pool. However, how long you should backwash your filter will depend on various factors such as pool usage, water chemistry, and filter type. Remember to follow the correct steps when backwashing your filter and regularly monitor your pool's cleanliness to ensure that it remains in top condition.


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