Your backyard pool is a source of fun for family and close friends and plays a large role in creating long-lasting memories you’ll always cherish.
Although pool maintenance isn’t something a lot of pool owners cherish, our goal at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs is to provide you with friendly, helpful advice to make the experience as stress-free as possible.
That goes for every aspect of taking care of your pool, including your pool filters, which helps keep your water clear and clean.
How Does a Pool Filter Work?
If you own a pool, you need to have a filtration system. Filters stop all the dirt and debris that can accumulate in your pool before the water collected by the skimmer is returned to the pool. The debris enters the sand bed and gets trapped in the tiny spaces between the sand grains. The water is then pumped back into the pool, cleaner and safer than it would be without a properly working filter.
Pumps should ideally be run 24 hours a day, however, run times can be as low as eight hours per day. Pool filters can last up to 10 years or longer but that doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it”. Not only do they need to be regularly maintained, there are a few signs you should be aware of that could signal a dirty or malfunctioning pool filter.
Pool Filters FAQ
Our award-winning team of pool experts can answer any question you might have about pool filters. We thought it would be helpful to post some of the more frequently asked ones here:
Q: Why is my filter gauge showing high pressure?
A gauge indicating higher than normal pressure could be a signal that your pool filter is dirty and working extra hard to do its job.
To remedy this on a sand filter, first turn off your pump. Turn the filter dial to “backwash” and run the filter for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the site glass shows clear water. Shut the pump off, turn the dial back to “filter” position, and run the system as normal.
If your filter is clean but is still indicating high pressure, the pressure gauge may be defective. To check this, turn off your pool pump. If the gauge does not go down to zero, it’s broken and needs to be replaced.
Q: Why is there sand at the bottom of my pool?
Sand at the bottom of your pool could simply be dirt coming in from the surrounding area. Alternatively, your filter could be cracked in the internal laterals.
Check for sand coming out of the jets. If you see sand, your filter needs to be replaced.
Q: Why is dirt coming back through my jets?
This could indicate one of three possibilities: your filter may be undersized, the laterals may be damaged, or the sand may be calcified. First, try cleaning the filter with a product like BioGuard® Filter Brite™ (MSRP $15). If this doesn’t work, check with one of our experts to see if your filter is properly sized, or if you need a replacement.
Q: When do I need to clean my cartridge filters?
We recommend cleaning your cartridge filters at least 2 times per year, once after spring clean up and again at the end of the season before the pool is closed. If your pool contains algae or has a lot of debris to be cleaned regularly, cleaning may be required more often. You should also clean them after a problem occurs.
Q: How do I clean my cartridge filters?
Each pool cartridge filter needs to be opened and have the filters removed so that they can be cleaned. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions about your particular filter model.