how often to clean salt water pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

A salt water pool can offer many benefits such as lower chemical use, reduced maintenance and a more pleasant swimming experience. However, proper maintenance is crucial to the longevity and performance of your pool's filter. In this article, we'll discuss how often to clean a salt water pool filter and provide some tips for keeping your filter in tip-top shape.

Understanding Your Pool Filter

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it's important to have a basic understanding of your pool filter. There are three types of filters: sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth (DE). The most common filter for saltwater pools is a cartridge filter due to its ease of use and lower maintenance requirements.

A cartridge filter works by trapping dirt, debris and other contaminants in the cartridge element, which must be periodically removed and cleaned. Over time, the build-up of debris can reduce the filter's effectiveness, requiring more frequent cleaning.

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filter?

The frequency of pool filter cleaning will depend on multiple factors such as the size of your pool, the amount of use, the amount of debris in your pool, and the type of filter you have installed.

Generally, it is recommended that you clean your salt water pool filter every 6-8 weeks, assuming that your pool is being used regularly. However, you may need to increase or decrease the frequency depending on the aforementioned factors.

If you notice a decrease in pressure in your pool's circulation system or a decrease in flow rate, it's a good indication that it's time to clean your filter. Additionally, if you notice that the water is cloudy or has a green tint, it's possible that your filter is overloaded with contaminants and needs to be cleaned.

Steps for Cleaning Your Salt Water Pool Filter

Cleaning your pool filter is not a complicated process, but it does require a bit of time and effort. The process will vary depending on the type of filter you have, so be sure to consult your owner's manual for specific instructions. However, the following steps will provide a general overview of the process:

Step 1: Turn off your pool pump and relieve the pressure from the system.

Step 2: Remove the filter cap or lid and remove the cartridge element.

Step 3: Use a garden hose to rinse off the cartridge element, starting from the top and working your way down. Be sure to remove any debris or build-up that you see.

Step 4: Use a cartridge cleaner solution to soak the element for at least one hour, or as directed on the product label.

Step 5: Rinse the cartridge element thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any remaining debris or cleaner solution.

Step 6: Reinstall the cleaned cartridge element and reassemble the filter.

Step 7: Turn the pump back on and check for proper flow and pressure.

Tips for Keeping Your Pool Filter Clean

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some steps you can take to help keep your pool filter clean and running smoothly.

Firstly, make sure to regularly skim and brush your pool to remove debris and to prevent it from passing through the pool's circulation system. Secondly, be sure to maintain proper water chemistry, as imbalanced water can contribute to filter problems. And finally, replace your filter cartridges when they become worn or damaged, or at least every two years.


Cleaning your saltwater pool filter is an essential task for maintaining a clean and healthy swimming environment. While it can seem like a daunting task, following the recommended guidelines and incorporating a few basic maintenance tips will help to ensure that your pool filter remains in top condition, providing you with sparkling clean water for years to come.


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