how to build a pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

How to Build a Pool Filter

A pool filter is an essential part of any swimming pool system. It helps to keep the water clean and free from debris and contaminants, ensuring that you and your family can swim safely and comfortably. While you can purchase a pre-made pool filter, building your own can be a rewarding DIY project that saves you money.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of building a pool filter from scratch. From choosing the right materials to assembling the filter, we will cover all the necessary steps, so you can get started on creating your own custom pool filter at home.

Choosing the Right Materials

Before you begin building your pool filter, you will need to choose the right materials. The most critical part of your filter will be the filter medium, which is the material that traps debris and contaminants as water passes through it. There are several filter media types to choose from, including sand, diatomaceous earth (DE), and cartridge filters.

For this tutorial, we will be using a sand filter, which is the most popular type of pool filter. You will need the following materials to build your sand filter:

- 55-Gallon Drum

- Pool Pump

- PVC Pipe Fittings

- Pool Filter Sand

- Hose Clamps

- Teflon Tape

- Rubber Gaskets

- Pool Skimmer

- Pool Return Inlet

Preparing the Drum

The first step in building your pool filter is to prepare the drum. Start by cleaning the 55-gallon drum thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Once the drum is clean and dry, use a hole saw to cut two holes in the top of the drum. One hole is for the pool skimmer, and the other is for the pool return inlet.

Install PVC Fittings

Next, install PVC fittings to connect the pool skimmer, pump, and pool return inlet to the drum. Use Teflon tape to ensure a tight seal, and rubber gaskets to prevent leaks. It's essential to use the proper size fittings for your pump and pool plumbing system.

Installing the Filter Media

Once the PVC fittings are in place, it's time to fill the drum with pool filter sand. This process can be messy, so be sure to wear gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask. Carefully pour the sand into the drum, filling it about two-thirds of the way full. Then, spread the sand evenly with a garden rake or similar tool.

Finishing Up

Once the sand is in place, it's time to connect the pump to the pool filter. Use hose clamps to secure the pump's hoses to the PVC fittings on the filter. Then, turn on the pump and filter to make sure everything is working correctly.


To keep your pool filter functioning correctly, you will need to perform regular maintenance. This includes backwashing the filter once a week to remove any trapped debris and replacing the pool filter sand every five years or so.


Building your own pool filter can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. With the right materials and some basic tools, you can create a custom filter that keeps your pool water clean and safe. Remember to perform regular maintenance on your filter to ensure that it continues to work correctly.


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