how to tell if your pool filter is bad


Author: PoolKing - Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers


Having a swimming pool is a luxury that anyone would love to have. However, maintaining it can be a daunting task. The swimming pool is like a body of water that requires maintenance to keep it clean and healthy for swimming. One of the essential parts of the swimming pool is the filter, which plays a significant role in cleaning debris and keeping the water clean. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to the pool filter's condition to ensure your pool remains clean and healthy. In this article, we'll discuss how to tell if your pool filter is bad and what to do about it.

Understanding the pool filter:

Before we dive into determining if your pool filter is bad, understanding how the pool filter works is vital. The pool filter is responsible for filtering out contaminants such as dirt, debris, and other materials from the pool water. There are three main types of pool filters: sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth filters. The three types have their advantages and disadvantages, but regardless of the type of filter you have, it is essential to maintain it properly to avoid problems.

Signs that your pool filter is bad:

1. Dirty pool water:

The primary function of the pool filter is to clean the pool water, and if your pool water is dirty, it could be a sign that your pool filter is bad. A dirty pool can also cause skin and eye irritations, so it is essential to keep the water clean.

2. High-pressure gauge reading:

Your pool filter has a pressure gauge that measures the pressure inside the tank. If the gauge reading is consistently high, it could be a sign that your pool filter needs cleaning or replacing. A high-pressure gauge reading is an indication that the pool filter is clogged, and water cannot pass through it freely.

3. Low flow rate:

If the pool filter is not working correctly, it can affect the flow rate of water. You may notice that the water seems to be flowing slower than usual, indicating that the pool filter is not working correctly.

4. Pool filter is making strange noises:

If your pool filter is making strange noises, it could be a sign that it is not working correctly. You may notice strange noises such as gurgling, whistling, or grinding sounds, indicating that there is a problem with the pool filter.

5. Short filter cycles:

If your pool filter is not working correctly, you may notice that the filter cycles are shorter than usual. This means that the pool water is not getting filtered for the required amount of time, leading to dirty water.

What to do when your pool filter is bad:

If you have noticed any of the above signs, it is essential to take action immediately to avoid further damage to your pool. Here are some steps to take:

1. Clean the filter:

Before replacing the pool filter, try cleaning it first to see if it improves its performance. Cleaning the filter involves backwashing, which is the process of reversing the water flow to flush out the debris from the filter's media. You can also try soaking the filter in a cleaning solution to remove any mineral buildup.

2. Replace the filter cartridge:

If cleaning the filter does not improve its performance, it's time to replace the filter cartridge. The filter cartridge is a replaceable part of the pool filter, and it should be replaced every six to twelve months, depending on use.

3. Replace the sand:

If you have a sand filter, you will need to replace the sand every three to five years, depending on use. The sand grains can become worn or clogged, reducing the effectiveness of the filter.


Maintaining your pool filter is crucial for keeping your pool clean and healthy. Signs that your pool filter is bad include dirty pool water, high-pressure gauge reading, low flow rate, strange noises from the filter, and short filter cycles. If you notice any of these signs, take action immediately, clean the filter, replace the filter cartridge or sand, and seek professional help if needed. By maintaining your pool filter, you can enjoy clean and healthy pool water all summer long.


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