Know This When Replacing Swimming Pool Filters

Keeping your swimming pool filters properly serviced is the key to having clean, healthy, sparkling water in your pool or spa. The best way to determine that your filter needs service is to watch the pressure. When the pressure rises 8 to 10 psi above the baseline it is time for pool maintenance. Cloudy water is another sure sign that your filter needs maintenance. Safety should always be the first consideration when replacing or cleaning your swimming pool filter, especially those filters that are fitted with pressure-clamps. These pressure-clamps can "blow" under certain circumstances, causing property damage, severe injuries and in the worst cases, death.

Always consult the manufacturer's guidelines before performing maintenance on your filter. The first thing to do when replacing or performing maintenance on your filter is to turn off the electricity to the swimming pool and pump; after the pump has been turned off, open the pressure release valve and when there hissing sound stops you are ready to proceed. There are three types of filters: sand, DE (diatomaceous earth), and cartridge and they can be either pressure or vacuum pool filters. Depending upon the type of filter you have, there are several ways to perform the required pool maintenance. First check to see what brand of swimming pool filter you have. Some of the more popular brands are Sherlok, Pentair, Jacuzzi, Super-flo, Jandy and Sta-Rite.

It is always wise to spend the few extra dollars and buy the brand-name filter that matches your pump. This ensures that your warranty will not be compromised should you run into trouble with the replacement filter while performing normal pool maintenance. Sand filter: with proper pool maintenance a sand filter can give you years of trouble-free service. Backwashing is the correct method for cleaning a sand swimming pool filter.

This is done by reversing the water flow through the filter and redirecting the waste water to the sewer or waste water line. Most manufacturers recommend a 2-3 minute backwash. It is important not to restart the pump right away as the sand needs time to settle. Check you manufacturer's instruction manual for the step-by-step procedure before beginning maintenance on your filter. DE filter: DE swimming pool filters require an in-depth cleaning once a year and periodic back-washes throughout the season to perform satisfactory pool maintenance.

See manufacturer's directions. Cartridge Filter: After turning off the electricity to the pump and swimming pool, and releasing the pressure valve, you simply remove the retaining band, lift the lid and remove the cartridge. Hose off the cartridge, examine the pleats and hose off any debris stuck between them. If extensive dirt and oil have accumulated you should soak the cartridge for an hour or two in a solution of trisodium phosphate (1 cup to 5 gallons water) and muriatic acid (1 cup to 5 gallons water).

After soaking remove the cartridge from the cleaning solution and scrub. Hose off well before reassembling your swimming pool filter.

Rob Traugott serves as President of Laguna Pools, a premier pool and spa builder located in Katy, Texas. Laguna Pools has designed and built custom swimming pools, in the greater Houston area for over 30 years. Contact Rob Traugott at 281-392-8833 or visit

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