how often should i clean my above ground pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer


Having an above ground pool in your backyard is a fantastic way to enjoy the summer months with family and friends. However, it's essential to maintain proper upkeep of the pool filter to ensure the water is clean and safe for everyone to use. In this article, we will be discussing how often you should clean your above ground pool filter to maintain quality water conditions.

Why Clean Your Above Ground Pool Filter

Your pool is a hub for bacteria, algae, and other water-borne contaminants. When these unwanted guests enter the swimming pool, they cause murky water, foul smells, and unsightly slime buildup along the walls or bottom. Eventually, the dirt and debris will cause your pool to malfunction, leading to more serious issues such as filter blockages or a damaged pump.

How Often You Should Clean Your Above Ground Pool Filter

Cleaning your above ground pool filter is a critical part of pool maintenance. The frequency of cleaning your filter will depend on several factors, including the size of your pool, the frequency of use, and the type of filter you have. Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Check Your Filter Pressure Gauge

Your filter pressure gauge is an essential tool that tells you when to clean or backwash your pool filter. Typically, when the filter reaches 8-10 psi over the initial starting pressure, it's time to clean it or backwash it.

2. Check Your Pool Water Clarity

If your pool water is becoming cloudy, it could be an indication that your filter is not functioning as it should. Cleaning or backwashing the filter might be necessary for crystal-clear water.

3. Observe the Amount of Debris in Your Filter

A moderate amount of debris in the filter is normal, but if you see an excessive amount or notice frequent clogging, it's time to clean it. Pool experts typically recommend cleaning the filter every 6 months, but this also depends on the conditions in your pool.

4. Type of Filter

The type of filter you have will also determine how often you need to clean it. For instance, a sand filter typically requires backwashing once every 2-4 weeks, while cartridge filters require cleaning every 4-6 months. A D.E. filter, on the other hand, will require thorough cleaning twice per season.

5. Pool Usage

Frequent use means a higher volume of waste, debris, and bacteria in the water. So if you have a busy pool season or have many people using your pool regularly, you should increase the frequency of cleaning the filter.

Cleaning Your Above Ground Pool Filter

Cleaning your above ground pool filter is a simple but crucial task. With the following steps, you can maintain a clean and safe swimming environment.

1. Turn off the Pump

Before cleaning your filter, ensure that you turn off your pool's pump first. This way, you will avoid having any water or debris going into the pump or other equipment, which can damage the pump's motor or the filter.

2. Check the Filter for any Visible Damage

Check your filter for any visible damage like cracked plastic or broken seals. If you notice any damage, seek professional help to have your filter repaired or replaced.

3. Backwashing or Cleaning

Backwashing entails removing the filter's dirt and grime by reversing the pool water's flow. Alternatively, you can clean a cartridge filter by rinsing it with a garden hose or immersing it in a cleaning solution. A D.E. filter requires disassembly and cleaning every six months.

4. Reassemble the Filter

When you complete cleaning your filter, slide the cartridge back if you have a cartridge filter, and clamp it in place. For a D.E. filter or sand filter, reinstall it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

5. Turn the Pump Back On

Turn on the pump and fill the pool back up to the proper water level. Check for any leaks, and ensure that the filter is working properly.


In summary, cleaning an above ground pool filter is essential for preventing expensive repairs and ensuring a clean swimming environment. Follow the tips given above on how often you should clean your filter, observe your pool's water clarity, and check the filter's pressure gauge regularly. Remember that clean filters make your pool cleaner, safer and provide a better swimming experience for you and your family!


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