how long should you run an above ground pool filter


How Long Should You Run an Above Ground Pool Filter?

If you have an above ground pool, you know the importance of maintaining it properly. One of the most crucial aspects of maintaining an above ground pool is running the filter regularly. But how long should you run an above ground pool filter? In this article, we'll discuss this question in-depth and provide you with everything you need to know to keep your pool clean and clear!

Understanding Your Pool Filter

Before we dive into the recommended filter running times, let's take a quick look at pool filters. There are three types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. Each type has its pros and cons, but all three work to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the pool water.

The filter's primary function is to trap contaminants as they pass through the filter media. When the filter media becomes saturated with debris, it's time to clean or replace the media. Otherwise, the filter will begin to lose its effectiveness as water is forced to bypass the clogged or dirty media.

How Often Should You Run Your Above Ground Pool Filter?

The filter's running time will vary depending on a few factors, such as the pool's size, the filter type, and the pump's power. In general, you should run the filter for six to eight hours a day for optimal performance.

Factors to Consider When Determining Filter Running Time

1. Pool Size - Above ground pools come in various shapes and sizes. The bigger the pool, the more time you need to run the filter. A good rule of thumb is to circulate all of the water in the pool at least once a day.

2. Filter Type - As mentioned above, there are three types of pool filters. Sand filters are the most low-maintenance and require less frequent backwashing. In contrast, cartridge filters require more frequent cleaning or replacement. DE filters require the most maintenance but are the most effective at removing small particles.

3. Pump Power - Your pool's pump power will also play a role in determining the filter's running time. Generally, the larger the pump, the more power it has to circulate water, allowing you to run the filter for a shorter amount of time.

Troubleshooting Filter Issues

Despite running your filter for the recommended amount of time, you may run into some issues from time to time. Here are some of the most common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

1. Cloudy Water - If your water is cloudy, it's likely due to poor circulation or inadequate filtration. Increase the filter's running time until the water clears up, or consider a water clarifier as a temporary fix.

2. Algae Growth - If you notice algae growth, you may need to increase the filter running time or add algaecide to the water. Regular maintenance, including brushing the walls, vacuuming the pool floor, and balancing your chemicals, can also help prevent algae growth.

3. Low Water Flow - If the water is not flowing as it should, check the filter for debris and clean or replace the filter media. Also, make sure there are no obstructions in the pool's skimmer or return lines.


Maintaining your above ground pool's filter is essential for keeping your water clean and clear. The running time recommended varies depending on your pool's size, filter type, and pump power. By understanding these factors and troubleshooting any issues that arise, you can enjoy crystal clear water all summer long!


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