fbpx Skip to main content
Waterside Poolscapes

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Filters?

Your pool filter ensures that your pool water stays clean and safe for swimming. As the name suggests, the pool filter filters the water to remove various compounds and delivers to the pool water that has been cleaned of leaves, debris, dust, bacteria, bugs, and even food.

For your pool filter to do its job properly, it needs to be cleaned at regular intervals. When too many leaves and other natural aggregates build up, water can’t run through the pool filter. Your swimming pool water will gradually turn dirty and murky and will be unsafe for swimming.

So, how often should you clean the pool filters? This depends on the type of filters you have installed on your swimming pool system as well as the usage you make of your swimming pool. Here is a practical guide to help you keep up with your pool filter maintenance.

Waterside Poolscapes

What Clogs My Swimming Pool Filter?

There are many reasons why your pool filter might get clogged.


The filter is responsible for cleaning up the water before returning it to the swimming pool. Naturally, the more you use your pool, the more the filter must work to remove tiny food particles, skin cells, chemical compounds, leaves, and natural debris. When many people use the swimming pool, it’s inevitable they will leave behind minuscule particles.

Usage throughout the Year

A swimming pool that is used only during the summer months will require less filter cleaning than a swimming pool in warm places where people can swim for most of the year. Even if you are not having daily swimming pool parties, the fact that you will be swimming more in your swimming pool means that the filter will need cleaning more frequently.

Besides the heavier usage, an open pool will collect leaves, dust, and small debris that will have to be removed by the filter.

After a Heavy Rainstorm

A heavy summer rainstorm can leave behind leaves, branches, mud, and other debris. Your filter will have to work extra hard to clean up the water.

After Dealing with an Algae Problem

If your swimming pool has an algae problem, the algae will deposit on the filter. You will need to clean the filter once you deal with your algae issue and get rid of the dead algae lingering on or around the filter itself.

If the Water Pressure Increases Above 8 PSI

When your swimming pool is installed, you get a reading that specifies how to get your filter functioning under perfect conditions. The water pressure on the filter should be below 8 PSI, usually around 5 to 7 PSI.

Once unwanted compounds start building up on the filter, water can’t pass through freely. Water circulation speed diminishes and water pressure increases on the filter itself. When the pressure increases above 8-to-10 PSI, it means that matter has built up on the pool filter and it’s time to clean it.

When You Open and Close Your Swimming Pool

In the fall, when you winterize your swimming pool and prepare to close it for the winter, you want to have everything ready for the next season. Therefore, it is a good idea to clean the filter. During winter, leaves and branches often end up on the filter. While the pool lies unused, these will likely decompose and clog the filter.

In the spring, when you open the pool again, you want to start swimming in the best conditions. So, it may be a good idea to clean the filter once again. This will ensure that you start the season with clean, fresh water.

What Types of Swimming Pool Filters Require Cleaning?

All types of filters will require cleaning at some point. However, they may need cleaning at different intervals:

  • Diatomaceous Earth filters (DE filters) should be cleaned every 2-to-3 months.
  • Cartridge filters should be cleaned on a monthly basis, depending on usage.
  • Sand filters should be cleaned twice per month—or even more frequently when you use your pool in summer.

How Do I Clean My Swimming Pool Filter?

Cleaning your filter depends on the type of filter that has been installed.

Generally speaking, you can clean a pool filter by following the steps below:

  • The first thing to do is turn off your pump.
  • You then need to release the air and lift the filter. You must be careful with seals and O-rings: if these get damaged, your whole swimming pool pump could start malfunctioning.
  • You then rinse your filter with water thoroughly to clean out all debris. If you have a cartridge filter, you must be careful not to apply too much pressure with the hose on the filter itself.
  • If you feel that debris is still stuck on the filter, you can soak the filter in special chemicals provided by swimming pool specialists. The chemicals will detach the debris and other compounds from the filter in a gentle yet effective way.
  • Once your filter is clean, you put it back in place, making sure all parts and seals are replaced correctly.

What Happens If My Pool Filter Remains Clogged?

When your filter doesn’t work properly, it can’t distribute clean water around the swimming pool. The pressure on the filter rises and you risk losing the filter itself. If the filter malfunctions, you could jeopardize your entire swimming pool pump.

Also, when less water circulates around the swimming pool, the flow rate diminishes. A major task of pool filters is to evenly distribute the chemicals such as chlorine around the swimming pool water. When less water circulates, chemicals will linger in blocks in the water without spreading evenly throughout. This can cause skin irritation or other health problems.

Waterside Poolscapes

Do I Need to Clean My Swimming Pool Filters Myself?

To ensure the best possible result or if cleaning up your swimming pool filters feels too daunting to you, reach out to Waterside Poolscapes, the top U.S. Pool Builder. To meet us in person, visit our showroom at 25311 Kingsland Blvd #110, Katy, TX 77494 during our office hours, 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday, CST. You can also download “7 Questions You Should Ask Your Pool Builder,” contact us online, or schedule a free, no-obligation swimming pool design consultation. We will take care of your swimming pool maintenance, including pool filter cleaning.

Let us give you peace of mind and a safe and clean swimming pool to relax!