How To Backwash Pool Filter: [DE, Sand & Cartridge] – Updated 2021

The process of cleaning the filter is thoroughly backwashing the pool filter, and the material inside it. The purpose is to prevent and trap debris from re-entering them into your pool.

You improve efficiency, the lifespan of your filter, and flush out those contaminants; when you backwash your filter. Backwashing the pool filter takes less than an hour and is easy.

A regular backwashing process will clean your filter, and prevent manual cleaning.

Why Do You Need A Backwash Pool Filter?

Backwashing is an inexpensive and easy way to extend diatomaceous earth that filters pool water and the sand. Your filtering material to keep the pool clean will become backed up with debris and will not work well.

The standard to backwash your pool every few weeks depends on the filtering material you use. Hence your pool filter will give you signs that it’s time to backwash.

how to backwash sand filter

The Pressure Of Water

When the system is efficiently straining, the work, the water pressure will increase or become clogged in your pool filter. Depending on the system, most filters can operate between 10/20 per square inch (PSI) and should be ten pound-force PSI.

The Flow Of Water

Dirt and debris will slow the water flow through your filter and thus the entering back of water into your pool will also slow down. From the water Jets, that pushes water back into your pool, the difference can be felt in circulation.

Clarity Of Water

Because of a backed-up filter, your pool could look cloudy. Filter backwashing can help your pool with crystal clear water. While chemical imbalances could cause cloudy water.

For water clear-up, filter backwashing is a quick and less costly way.

When To Backwash?

Sand filter backwash should be typically done every 2 to 4 weeks, and DE filters 4 to 6 weeks. You can check the quantity of your pool’s water or your filter’s pressure gauge if you lose track.

Backwashing will help remove large objects after a heavy rainstorm that gets trapped. When you are trying to remove cloudy water or treating algae, you should backwash your filter.

how to backwash a pool

Sand Vs. DE Filters

When choosing between a DE or a sand filter, the budget, the cleaning power, and the amount of time you need for maintenance should be taken into consideration depending on location and usage.

Sand Filter:

Water flows from a sand filter into the tank and is then pushed down. The filter purifies the water as it moves through the sand before releasing it back into the pool.

Sand filters are good at catching large debris and dirt, but all the smaller particles that pass through the filter may not be captured.

Sand filters were the first and are still used to filter pool water. DIY with a sand filter is a straightforward and inexpensive pool maintenance option. There are three types of pool sand.

If you choose to run a sand filter, it is always essential to use pool grade sand.

  1. Silica:- It is a naturally mine quartz and fine ground sand that traps particles from your pool water. It is the most popular and inexpensive filter option.
  2. Glass:- To maintain your pool environmentally friendly, it is a sand made from glass material largely recycled. Glass has a negative charge that allows it to efficiently capture iron and manganese particles. So for pools with hard water, glass pool sand is best.
  3. Zeolite:- It is a volcanic rock sand created from minerals. Zeolite sand’s unique honey combo shape helps capture debris and dirt from your pool.

Be sure to read my guidelines if you’re running a sand filter on how to get rid of sand that leaks into your pool and replace filter sand as well.

Simple Ways To Backwash Sand filter:- Following these steps a sand filter backwashing is easy for you to do on your own.

  1. Turn the pump off:- While you’re working on it, turning the pump off completely will help filter prevent new water entry into your tank.
  2. Switch on the valve setting:- To backwash the pool filter, you can switch on the valve setting once the pump is off.
  3. Backwash hose attachment:- Position and secure the backwash nozzle with a metal hose clamp over your hose. To ensure a tightly secured clamp,use a screwdriver. Then to discharge the water where you would like, position the hoes. Check out my articles on the best pool backwash hoses if you don’t have a backwash hose.
  4. Turn on the pump:- Run your pump for two minutes on the backwash setting, and then wait for two minutes. You can also determine by watching the sight glass if your filter is clean. You will know your filter is clean through the sight glass once the water flowing is clear.
  5. Switch off the pump:- Turn the pump off again once you complete the backwash cycle.
  6. Switch on the valve setting:- Change the valve setting to rinse and do it for one to two minutes, once the pump is completely off. Any dirty water in the filter that remained by chance will be flushed out through the rinse setting.
  7. Return to the original filter setting:- Turn the pump completely off after the filter has rinsed out and then return back to the old setting. To make sure nothing is leaking, check the gauges once the filter has run for more than an hour. You can run the filter normally as you would if there are no problems, till it’s time to change your sand filter or backwash.
how to backwash a pool with a cartridge filter

DE Filters:

These filters (DE or Diatomaceous Earth) use the microscopic diatoms fossilized remains. These algae organisms (diatoms) form sedimentary rocks. This rock cleans the water as it passes through a DE filter. Consider a DE filter if you want the cleanest pool.

DE filter can keep your pool water crystal clear and can filter out the smallest particles. However, they are expensive and require good upkeep. After backwashing your filter add more earth powder and also make sure that the sides of the filter are coated well with it.

Easy Way Backwash DE filter:- Backwash DE filter is a DIY but different from sand filter backwashing.

  1. Switch off the pump:- Before you start backwashing turn off the pump to prevent new pool water entry into the tank.
  2. To backwash, switch valve setting:- From filter to backwash, rotate the multiport valve handle and push it down. For preparing a backwash, attach a waste hose to your filter.
  3. Turn on the pump:- Make sure to open the assembly of air bleeder on the filter and watch for hose kinks or back pressure. You will need to turn off the pump immediately if the pressure builds. Run the setting for two to three minutes or until the water becomes clear.
  4. Rinse setting:- Before moving the setting of the valve to rinse, turn off the pump motor. Before turning off, run the filter for ten seconds on the rinse setting and then switch to the backwash setting. Repeat this for three times, alternating between rinse and backwash.
  5. Filter Setting:- Before returning to the filter setting, shut everything off.
  6. Add DE Powder:- For every 10 square feet area of the filter add one pound of diatomaceous earth powder. How much powder to add, your filter tank will tell you. Using one-half cup is recommended because some powder is always left there. Your filter could clog up or cause other problems if you add too much extra powder.


You can easily backwash on your own whether you choose a DE or sand filter. For backwashing, the same general steps are followed by all pool filters, but depending on the model you own, there may be small variations.

For backwashing, the owner’s manual should have detailed instructions.The backwashing process to make the best decision possible,is one of the things to consider if you’re hesitating between a DE and a sand filter.

You don’t need to backwash DE filters frequently as sand filters, but they tend to cost more. Sand filter would be a better option for you, if you want to reduce pool maintenance as much as possible.

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