Ask Don: How often should I backwash my filter?

I have a sand filter – how often should I backwash it?

When you open your pool in the summer – keep an eye on the filter gauge. As you run your pump and filter, all the particles you are cleaning out will start to clog up the works. You can tell it’s time to backwash when pressure gauge rises 8 to 10 psi above normal operation readings and the water output may also be choked up.

Things to remember when you are backwashing the filter:

1. Make sure your WASTE hose is unrolled out to where you want to pour the backwash water.

2. Always TURN OFF THE POOL PUMP before moving the filter valve handle. For maximum safety you can also turn off the power at the circuit breaker to the pump.

3. Your filter valve should be at the FILTER setting for normal operation. Depress the multiport valve handle fully and move it to the BACKWASH setting. By doing this, you are literally reversing the direction of water into and out of the filter.

4. Turn the power back on and run the pool pump for at least 2 minutes. The water in the sight glass on the side of the valve will change from cloudy to clear.

5. TURN OFF THE POOL PUMP again and move the filter valve handle to RINSE.  Run this setting for about 30-60 seconds after backwashing to rinse tank.  After backwashing, the sand is loose and needs to be reset. Also any dirty water from backwashing has to be rinsed out of the filter to prevent it from returning to the pool.

6.  You may need to add water to the pool before or after backwashing and rinsing.

7. **TIP** If you are vacuuming fine, silty debris or algae out of the pool, you can set the filter on WASTE/DRAIN to send the water out of the WASTE hose, instead of returning it to the pool.

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