when to change pool filter


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer


A pool filter is one of the most crucial components of the swimming pool, responsible for removing impurities and debris from the water. Several factors determine when to change pool filters, including usage, water quality, and environmental factors. This article will explore different types of filters for swimming pools and when to change them.

Types of Pool Filters:

There are three different types of pool filters commonly used: sand, cartridge, and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters. Sand filters are the most traditional and cost-effective option. They rely on sand as a natural filter to remove debris and contaminants. Cartridge filters are typically more expensive but have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance. They use pleated cartridges to trap debris and impurities. DE filters use a fine white powder made from crushed fossils to filter water efficiently. They tend to be the most expensive option but are the most effective at trapping dirt and small particles.

When to Change Sand Filters:

The lifespan of a sand filter can vary depending on how often the pool is used, pool size, and environmental factors such as dust or debris. Typically, sand filters require replacement every three to five years. The amount of backwashing required can also be an indicator of when a sand filter needs to be changed. If the pressure gauge on the filter indicates high pressure even after backwashing, it may be time to replace the sand.

When to Change Cartridge Filters:

Cartridge filters tend to last longer than sand filters, with a lifespan of around three to five years. The pressure gauge on the filter can also indicate when a cartridge filter needs to be changed. It is essential to clean the filter often and check for any tears or damage. If a tear is present, the filter should be replaced. Cartridge filters can also become less effective over time, leaving dirt and debris in the pool. If the water is becoming cloudy, it’s likely time to replace the filter.

When to Change DE Filters:

DE filters typically have a longer lifespan than other pool filters, lasting around five years. However, they require maintenance and cleaning regularly. After each backwash, a DE filter requires new DE powder to ensure proper filtration. Without proper maintenance, the filter can become clogged, leading to more frequent backwashing and decreased efficiency. If the pressure gauge indicates higher than usual pressure, it may be time to replace the DE filter.

Environmental Factors:

Environmental factors such as dust, pollen, and debris can clog filters, reducing their efficiency. If the pool is used frequently, the filter may need to be replaced more frequently than recommended. It’s essential to inspect the filters often and check for any signs of wear or tear. In areas with high amounts of pollen or dust, it may be beneficial to cover the pool to reduce the amount of debris entering the water.


In conclusion, knowing when to change a pool filter is essential for maintaining clean and healthy pool water. Sand filters typically need to be replaced every three to five years, cartridge filters every three to five years, and DE filters every five years. Environmental factors such as dust, debris, and usage can also impact the lifespan of a filter. Check the pressure gauge regularly, perform proper maintenance, and inspect the filter often to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.


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