Just like your kidneys work to remove the impurities from your body, your pool filter works in a similar manner to clean and rid the water of dirt, leaves and other debris. Unlike your body, however, your filter requires human interaction to keep it, and your pool in ship shape.
Sand filters require the lowest amount of filter maintenance, and it is generally only required that the tank is opened up every 5 to 7 years to replace the sand. Should you notice a gradual loss of efficiency, or if your pool starts to require more frequent backwashing than in the past, this is a sign it’s time for the sand to be replaced. Another tell-tale sign is when you need to run your pump more often, or you find you are using more chemicals to maintain the water quality.
DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters require removal of the internal grid assembly at least once a year. These should then be cleaned thoroughly.
Cartridge filters don’t backwash, instead, you would remove the cartridge and hose it down every so often. The frequency of cleaning this filter would depend on the cartridge size.
In order for you to carry out filter maintenance, it’s important to understand the filter valve settings. Let’s have a look at those of the most popular sand filter.
Understanding a Sand Filter’s “Filter Valve” Settings
To safeguard your filter’s mechanics, always remember to shut off the filter pump before turning the filter valve to the different settings.
- Filter: This is where is should be set most of the time unless you are backwashing, rinsing or wasting.
- Rinse: Use this setting for 15 seconds after every backwash to rinse the sand filter tank.
- Recirculate: If your filter is broken or leaking, this is a bypass setting that will keep the water circulating in the meantime until you can facilitate the necessary repairs.
- Backwash: This setting reverses the flow of water and sends it out of the waste pipe.
- Waste / Drain: Another bypass setting, only this sends water out of the waste pipe instead of returning it to the pool. You can use this to lower the pool water level, to vacuum up debris such as algae, or to drain your pool completely if some serious maintenance needs to be done.
- Closed: This will close off the flow from the pool if you need to work on the equipment. Never operate the pump when the filter valve is in this position.
Filter Maintenance for Sand Filters
Once a week the pool can be cleaned by turning off the filter. Empty the filter basket of any debris such as leaves, and then give it a spray off with a hosepipe to remove any stubborn dirt before putting it back.
Once a month you should clean out the pipes used by your filtration system. This is done by backwashing the pool. First, remove and clean out the leaf basket. Make sure your waste pipe is rolled out and free from obstruction. Set your filter valve to “Backwash” and turn the pump on. When the water ejected from the waste pipe runs clear, around two to three minutes, the backwash is complete. Now do a quick “Rinse” before turning the filter valve back to “Filter”.
To further preserve the filter’s mechanics during filter maintenance, it is recommended you use a timer on your filter, rather than turning it on and off randomly, which can cause the filter’s mechanics to crack over time. Set the timer to run for around six hours a day.
Pool Spa has friendly staff who can both provide you with top shelf pool filtration systems and also advise you on filter maintenance to keep your swimming pool sparkling. Chat to one of our experts today. Visit us at www.poolspa.co.za