how to backwash a diatomaceous earth pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

How to Backwash a Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter

Maintaining a backyard swimming pool can be a fun but challenging task. One of the most crucial aspects of pool maintenance is keeping the pool water clean and clear. To do this, it's essential to have a working filter system in place. When it comes to pool filters, one of the most popular options is a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter. While this type of filter is effective, it does require proper maintenance, including regular backwashing. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to backwash a diatomaceous earth pool filter.

What is a Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter?

Before we get into the details of backwashing a DE filter, it's essential to understand what it is and how it works. A DE filter is a type of filter that uses diatomaceous earth, which is a natural, sedimentary rock. This rock is ground into a fine powder and then added to the pool filter. As water passes through the filter, it encounters the DE powder, which traps dirt, debris, and other particles. Over time, the DE powder becomes clogged with this debris, which decreases the filter's efficiency. This is where backwashing comes in.

Step 1: Turn off the Pump

Before you begin backwashing, you need to turn off the pool pump. This will prevent water from flowing into the filter during the backwashing process.

Step 2: Close Valves

Next, you need to close any valves on the filter system. This will ensure that water flows in only one direction during backwashing.

Step 3: Turn the Valve

The next step is to turn the valve handle on the filter system to the "backwash" setting. The precise location of this handle will vary depending on your specific filter system's design.

Step 4: Turn on the Pump

With the valve in the backwash position, turn the pool pump back on. This will send water through the filter in the opposite direction, dislodging the trapped dirt and debris from the DE powder.

Step 5: Monitor the Sight Glass

While the pump is running, monitor the sight glass on the DE filter. This glass typically has blue or green coloring and allows you to see the water flow through the filter. Once the water in the sight glass runs clear, you know the backwashing process is complete.

Step 6: Turn off the Pump

Turn off the pool pump once again, and then move the valve handle to its original position.

Step 7: Add More DE Powder

Now that the filter is clean, it's time to add more DE powder to the system. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much DE powder to use, and be sure to add it directly to the skimmer basket.


Maintaining a diatomaceous earth pool filter requires regular backwashing to keep the filter working effectively. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can backwash your filter easily and efficiently. With proper maintenance, your pool will stay clear and inviting for years to come.


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