How to Clean an Intex Pool Filter: A Complete Guide
Pool filters play a crucial role in keeping your swimming pool water clean and clear. Without a properly functioning filter, your pool can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and other unwanted microscopic organisms. And when it comes to keeping your Intex pool filter running smoothly, regular maintenance is key. In this guide, we’ll show you how to clean an Intex pool filter so that you can keep your pool sparkling clean all season long.
Understanding Your Intex Pool Filter
Before we dive into the specifics of cleaning your Intex pool filter, it’s important to understand how it works. Intex pools typically come with two types of filters: cartridge filters and sand filters.
Cartridge Filters: Cartridge filters are the most common type of filter used in above-ground pools. They consist of a cylindrical filter cartridge made of paper or polyester that traps dirt, debris, and microscopic particles as water passes through it. Cartridge filters are designed to be removed and cleaned periodically, typically once every 2-4 weeks.
Sand Filters: Sand filters use a bed of sand to trap dirt and debris as water flows through it. The sand needs to be replaced periodically, typically once every 3-5 years. Sand filters tend to be more effective at trapping microscopic particles than cartridge filters, but they also require more maintenance.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Intex Pool Filter
Now that you understand the basics of how your Intex pool filter works, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cleaning it. Depending on your type of filter, the process will be slightly different.
Cleaning a Cartridge Filter
Step 1: Turn off the Pool Pump
Before you begin working on your cartridge filter, be sure to turn off your pool pump. This will prevent water from flowing through the filter while you’re cleaning it.
Step 2: Remove the Filter Cartridge
Next, it’s time to remove the filter cartridge from the filter housing. This is usually done by turning a locking ring or unscrewing the top of the filter housing. When you remove the cartridge, be sure to take note of how it’s oriented so that you can replace it correctly later.
Step 3: Rinse the Cartridge
Using a garden hose, rinse off the filter cartridge to remove any large debris or dirt. Be sure to spray in between the pleats to remove any trapped dirt.
Step 4: Soak the Cartridge
After rinsing off the cartridge, it’s time to soak it in a cleaning solution. Intex recommends using a solution of 1 part muriatic acid to 20 parts water. You can also use a commercial pool filter cleaner. Let the cartridge soak for at least an hour (or as long as the cleaner’s instructions recommend).
Step 5: Rinse and Reinstall the Cartridge
After soaking, rinse off the cartridge thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any remaining cleaner or debris. Then, reinstall the cartridge into the filter housing, making sure it’s oriented correctly. Be sure to tighten the locking ring or housing top securely.
Cleaning a Sand Filter
Step 1: Turn off the Pool Pump
As with a cartridge filter, you’ll need to turn off your pool pump before working on your sand filter.
Step 2: Backwash the Filter
To clean a sand filter, you’ll need to backwash it. This is done by reversing the flow of water through the filter, which flushes dirt and debris out of the sand. To backwash, turn the filter valve to the "backwash" position and turn the pump back on. Run the pump for 2-3 minutes, or until the water in the backwash sight glass runs clear.
Step 3: Rinse the Filter
After backwashing, turn the filter valve to the "rinse" position and run the pump for 30 seconds to a minute. This flushes out any remaining debris and also settles the sand back down in the filter.
Step 4: Inspect the Sand
Before you finish cleaning your sand filter, it’s a good idea to inspect the sand bed. If the sand is clumped together or compacted, you’ll need to replace it. If it looks clean and fluffs up when you stir it with a long stick, it’s good to go.
Step 5: Turn the Pump Back On
After inspecting the sand, turn the filter valve back to the "filter" position and turn the pump back on. Your filter should be running smoothly again.
Maintaining Your Intex Pool Filter
Cleaning your Intex pool filter regularly is essential for keeping your pool water clean and clear. Here are a few tips for maintaining your filter:
- Check your filter’s pressure gauge periodically. A rise in pressure indicates that the filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned.
- Clean your filter more frequently if you’re experiencing heavy pool use or if there’s a lot of debris in your pool (for example, if you live in a windy area or if there are trees nearby).
- Replace your filter cartridge or sand bed as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- If you’re unsure about how to maintain your Intex pool filter, consult the manufacturer’s manual or contact a pool professional for guidance.
By following these steps and maintaining your Intex pool filter properly, you can enjoy crystal clear water all season long. Happy swimming!.