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Filter Maintenance

 Backwash Valve Maintenance - The Backwash valve is an important part of the filter system. Without it the filter could not be backwashed. Inside a backwash valve there are rubber o-rings or gaskets that will wear out over time. When the o-rings in a backwash valve fail, they will either let water leak out the backwash line, or allow water to bypass the filter and return to the pool. The best way to preserve the life of the backwash valve is to regularly lubricate the backwash o-rings with a silicone lubricant. Never use Vaseline to lubricate rubber o-rings, as it will actually cause them to deteriorate faster. Push Pull Valves Push / Pull style backwash valves have a long piston with two plungers on it. Each plunger has an o-ring that seals to the walls of the valve. When the piston becomes hard to move up and down it is time to add silicone lubricant to the o-rings. Adding a little lube to the shaft will also allow it to slide through the cover of the valve more easily. If the o-rings have cr...   More Info

 Backwashing Your Pool Filter - Why Filters are Backwashed Backwashing a pool filter is a simple process that is necessary to keep the filter working properly. Both Sand Filters and D.E. Filters need to be backwashed, and we will cover the process for each type here. In normal operation a pool filter is removing contaminants from the pool water and collecting them in the "filter media". The sand itself is the filter media in a sand filter, and D.E. is the filter media in a D.E. filter. Pool filters can only hold so much dirt in the media before it needs to be removed. Just as a vacuum cleaner bag needs to be emptied when it is full, pool filters need to be backwashed when they are full of dirt. When to Backwash By regularly checking the reading on the filter pressure gauge, you should be able to determine when your filter needs to be backwashed. As the filter becomes filled with dirt and other contaminants, it becomes harder for the water to flow through it. This will cause the filter pressure to ...   More Info

 Cartridge Replacement - Filter cartridges have the tough job of filtering dirt out of pool water. Water is constantly being pushed through the cartridges, and dirt is being packed into the cartridge pleats. The result is that cartridges wear down over time. When to Replace a Filter Cartridge There are two ways to determine when a filter cartridge needs to be replaced. The first way is to visually inspect the cartridge. If the material is worn out and frayed, the bands that hold the cartridge together are broken, or the the pleats are slumping under the weight of the cartridge, it is time to replace it. The second way to determine if a filter cartridge needs to be replaced is by keeping an eye on the filter pressure. If the pressure runs low all the time the cartridge may have a hole in it. If this is the case you will usually see dirt returning to the pool, especially during vacuuming. If the pressure runs higher than usual, and cleaning the filter does not reduce the pressure, the cartrid...   More Info

 Changing Filter Sand - How to Change the Sand in a Pool Filter So you need to change the sand in your pool filter? Well lets get started! Supplies You will need media to put back in your filter. Most filter manufacturers recommend 20 grit silica sand, and some larger filters recommend a certain amount of pea gravel at the bottom. The amounts should be listed on the tank or in the owner’s manual. If you re not familiar with it, Zeolite is an excellent alternative to sand make sure to inquire about it. It is also helpful to have a replacement gasket, or oring to reseal the part of the filter you will disturb when you open it up. Backwash the Filter First give your filter and extra good backwashing, you are going to be working with the sand directly, you will want it as clean as possible. Next, shut off the power to your pool pump. Make sure you do more than just turn off the timer you do not want the pump coming on the middle of the job. You certainly do not want to try and remove the filter lid wi...   More Info

 Cleaning D.E. Grids - D.E. Filters Should Be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned on a yearly basis. The reason that D.E. filters need this cleaning is that D.E. will clump up in certain parts of the filter, and is not always completely removed during backwashing. By taking the filter apart, you can remove all of this dirty D.E. powder. The yearly "D.E. Tear Down" is also a good time to inspect the condition of the D.E. grids. When the grids inside the filter wear out they can form holes that allow D.E. to pass through the filter and back into the pool. By checking the grids regularly you will be able to catch any possible problems before they become too severe. How to do a D.E. Tear Down Backwash all the D.E. out of the filter. See the section on Backwashing if you need help with this step. Turn off the pump. Also turn off the circuit breaker so that the pump can not come back on with the timer. Open the filter tank. Most Filters have a band clamp around the middle that secures with a...   More Info

 Cleaning Filter Cartridges - Cartridge style pool filters require manual cleaning on a regular basis. Cleaning a filter cartridge means spraying all the dirt and debris out of the filter cartridge with a garden hose. Never use a pressure washer as this can force very fine particles deep into the fabric preventing efficient circulation. When to Clean Filter Cartridges Most cartridges should be cleaned every few weeks, but this can vary depending on the size of the filter and the amount of dirt and debris that falls into the pool. You can use the pressure gauge on the top of the filter as a tool to determine when the cartridge needs to be cleaned. Make a note of what the filter pressure is when the pump is running and the filter has just been cleaned. As dirt is collected in the filter, it becomes more difficult for the pump to push water through the filter. This results in an increase in the pressure. It is time to clean the filter when the pressure increases to about 5-7 psi above what it was when th...   More Info

 Filter Maintenance - Swimming pool filters require some simple maintenance to ensure they keep functioning properly for a long time. The most important part of maintaining any pool filter is backwashing or cleaning the cartridge. Regularly inspecting the filter tank itself for wear that could lead to leakage is an easy step that can prevent being caught with a major filter problem. Filter Maintenance By Filter Type: Sand Filter Cartridge Filter D.E. Filter Backwash Yes - Yes Recharge w/ D.E. - - Yes Clean Cartridge - Yes - Maintain Backwash Valve Yes - Yes Clean / Inspect Grids - - Yes Replace Cartridge - Yes - ...   More Info

 Recharging D.E. Filters - "Recharging" a D.E. Filter means adding D.E. powder to the filter. Every time a D.E. Filter is backwashed all of the D.E. is removed with the dirt and debris in the filter. This means that the filter must be recharged immediately after each backwash. D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) is a very fine powder that becomes a sludge which coats the grids inside the filter tank. This layer of D.E. is what acts as the filter and catches contaminants passing through the system. If the D.E. is not added after a backwash, there is essentially no filter at all and dirt will pass right back into the pool. How to Recharge a D.E. Filter After the filter has been thoroughly backwashed, start the pool pump with the backwash valve in the normal "filter" position. Water should be running through the equipment and back to the pool. If water comes out the backwash line the valve is not in the proper position. Adjust the suction valves so that water is being pulled from the pool skimmer. The sk...   More Info