what does recirculate do on a pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

What Does Recirculate Do on a Pool Filter?

If you own a swimming pool or are planning to get one, it's essential to have a pool filter to maintain the cleanliness of the water. Filters come in different types, sizes, and functionalities such as sand, cartridge, and DE filters. One of the features commonly found in pool filters is a recirculation setting, but what does recirculate do on a pool filter? This article will explain what recirculate does and how to use it effectively to keep your pool water in top condition.

What is Recirculate on a Pool Filter?

Recirculate is a setting on a pool filter that allows water to bypass the filter and return directly to the pool. In other words, the water is not filtered and does not go through the system before returning to the pool. It's essentially like a "loop" where the water goes back to the pool as if there was no filter at all.

When Should You Use the Recirculate Setting?

There are several situations where using the recirculate setting on your pool filter can be beneficial. Here are some instances where you might find it useful:

1. When You Add Chemicals

If you need to add chemicals to the water, the recirculate setting can help distribute them evenly throughout the pool without passing through the filter. Some chemicals, such as algaecides or clarifiers, may need some time to spread out in the water before filtering. Using the recirculate setting can ensure that the chemicals get evenly distributed throughout the pool, providing better results.

2. When You Want to Circulate Water Quickly

If you want to circulate water quickly without filtering it, the recirculate setting can do that too. For example, if there's debris in the water, such as leaves or dirt, and you want to move it to one area for easy removal, you can use the recirculate setting to do that. The water will keep moving, and the debris will collect in one area, making it easier to remove.

3. When You Need to Backwash

Another situation where you might want to use the recirculate setting is when you need to backwash your filter. Backwashing is a process where the filter is cleaned by reversing the water flow through it. By using the recirculate setting, you can bypass the filter and drain the water out of the pool without wasting water. This is because the water in the pool does not go through the filter and does not need to be refilled after backwashing.

4. When You Want to Cool Down the Water

Lastly, you can also use the recirculate setting to cool down the water in your pool. This is especially useful during hot summer months when the water can get too warm for comfort. By recirculating the water, you can decrease the temperature by a few degrees without having to remove any water from the pool.

How to Use Recirculate on a Pool Filter

Using the recirculate setting on your pool filter is easy. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Turn off the pump.

Before making any adjustments, turn off the pump to prevent any accidents or damage to the equipment.

Step 2: Adjust the multiport valve.

The multiport valve is the control lever on top of the filter. Move it to the recirculate position. The exact location of the recirculate setting may vary depending on your filter, but it's usually located between the filter and waste settings.

Step 3: Turn on the pump.

Once the valve is set to recirculate, turn on the pump and let it run for a few hours or until the desired results are achieved.

Step 4: Return the valve to its original position.

After you're done using the recirculate setting, return the multiport valve to its original position.


In summary, the recirculate setting on a pool filter allows water to bypass the filter and return directly to the pool. This setting can be useful in various situations like distributing chemicals evenly, circulating water quickly, backwashing the filter, and cooling down the water. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can use the recirculate setting on your pool filter effectively and keep your pool water clean and clear all year long.


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