Cleaning Your Pool Filter

With summer just around the corner it’s the perfect time to clean your pool filter. I used to hire this job out by paying a professional almost $200 each time they cleaned the filter. After watching him do it several times and also getting tips from a pool cleaning professional, I decided to do it myself and save the money.

Cleaning the pool filter is not a particularly hard job, but it can get pretty messy. So if you decide to clean the filter yourself, step 1 is to put on some work clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty in.

Next up is turning off the motor and draining all the water out of the filter. My filter has a simple valve assembly built into the bottom of the filter and gravity does the rest. My filter has a metal band around it which unscrews and the top comes right off.

The “fins” in the filter are what need the most cleaning. As minute debris from the water passes over the fins, a fine mesh traps the larger particles and lets the clean water pass right through. I carefully pull out the fins from the top of the filter. The fins can be somewhat fragile – and if you rip the mesh fabric the fin is ruined. Take care and get the fins out gently.

Dirty Fin

Clean Fin!

Next up comes cleaning the fins. It’s actually kind of fun to grab the hose and spray wash (mini power wash?) the debris off the fins. Most of the gunk that accumulates on my fins washes right off with water from the hose. My filter has a number of fins all tightly packed together in the filter – so it’s a matter of cleaning one fin and moving on to the next. Each fin takes about 3 minutes to spray clean.

Once the fins are clean I just hose out the filter itself. There’s usually hardly any debris in the filter and this washes right down the drain with a quick spray from the hose. I also check the other filters which catch larger debris like leaves and bugs.

Now that the fins and filter housing are clean – I just re-assemble the whole thing and carefully replace the fins in the filter housing. My filter has a large rubber gasket that needs to be seated properly in order for the filter to close properly. Then I screw the metal band back on and that’s that.

After checking everything visually, I close the drain valve and turn on the motor to let the filter fill back up with water. There’s also a pressure gage on my filter that reads way lower after I clean it.

My Pool Has Miles of Black Hose Around It

While the filter is filling up – I take the opportunity to get my pool water level back to normal. This entails running the hose directly into the pool for about 10 minutes.

All told, the entire cleaning process from start to finish takes me less than 2 hours.

Regardless of whether you clean the pool filter yourself or pay a professional, it’s a good idea to clean the filter before the summer swimming season and then at least once in the middle of the season. How often you need to clean the filter is a matter of how often your pool gets used and also the amount of debris that falls into the pool.

Clean Filter and Pool is Almost Ready for Summer Swimming!

Remember – safety first! Make certain you know what to do by hiring a professional to guide you through cleaning the filter for the first time.

Wishing you well should you decide to clean the filter yourself!


My Glasses Got Wet – But the Pool Filter is Clean