how to clean main pool filter


Author: PoolKing - Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers

How to Clean Your Main Pool Filter

Swimming pool filters are essential in keeping the pool water clean and free from algae, dirt, and debris. It is crucial to maintain and clean the main pool filter regularly to ensure that it functions correctly and prolong its lifespan. Failure to clean the filter can cause it to be clogged, diminishing its effectiveness and causing damage to the pool pump. In this article, we will discuss how to clean the main pool filter, including the types of filters available, cleaning frequency, supplies needed, and steps to clean the filter.

Types of Swimming Pool Filters

There are three types of filters used in swimming pools: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. Sand filters are the most commonly used filters in residential pools. They are affordable, easy to maintain, and can last for five to seven years. Cartridge filters are made of pleated filter paper and can trap smaller particles than sand filters. They have a longer life span than sand filters but require more frequent cleaning. DE filters are the most efficient filters, trapping the smallest particles but are the most expensive type. They also require frequent cleaning.

Cleaning Frequency

The cleaning frequency of a pool filter depends on various factors such as pool usage, surrounding environment, chemical levels, type of filter, and water quality. Typically, sand filters require cleaning every six months, cartridge filters every one to three months, and DE filters every one to six months. However, it is always advisable to follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning frequency for your particular filter.

Supplies Needed

Before beginning the cleaning process, gather the following supplies: a pool filter cleaner, a garden hose, a rubber mallet or a soft-bristled brush, a filter wrench, and a wrench lube. A pool filter cleaner is specifically designed to dissolve any dirt or debris lodged in your filter without damaging it. Always ensure that you use the correct type of cleaner recommended for your filter.

Steps to Clean the Filter

Step 1: Turn off the pool pump - Before starting to clean the filter, turn off the pool pump to prevent any damage to the filter or the pump.

Step 2: Release pressure - Open the air valve on the filter to release any pressure built up inside the filter. If the valve is hard to open, use a wrench lubricant to loosen it.

Step 3: Remove the filter - Use a filter wrench or your hands to remove the filter from the housing. Be careful not to damage the housing, as it can be costly to replace.

Step 4: Clean the filter - Use a pool filter cleaner to soak the filter for several hours or overnight, depending on the severity of the dirt and debris buildup.

Step 5: Rinse the filter - After soaking, use a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle to rinse the filter thoroughly. Hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle to remove dirt and grime.

Step 6: Reassemble the filter - Replace the filter, ensure all parts are secure and tight, and close the filter housing lid.

Step 7: Backwash the filter - Turn on the pool pump and run the filter in the backwash mode for several minutes to clean out any remaining debris.


Maintaining your main pool filter is crucial in keeping your pool sparkling clean and enjoyable. Regular cleaning ensures that the filter functions as designed and prolongs its lifespan. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning frequency and recommended cleaning supplies for your specific filter. By following the steps outlined above, you can take proper care of your filter and keep your pool water crystal clear all year round.


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