Why Do You Backwash A Swimming Pool?

You need to understand and use different maintenance methodologies or mechanisms to your advantage concerning your swimming pool. There is usually a pile of leaves, diatomaceous earth, or coagulated materials collected in the filter during filtration.

Why Do You Backwash A Swimming Pool

As these uneven particles pass through it, over time, your filter system will have little particles out of the waste in its grid stuck and unremoved under normal filtration processes. If left unattended, it will clog the filter valve and make water circulation require more power and pressure.

You are most likely to get a damaged grid, cartridge, laterals, or broken manifolds in your filter system.

It will then result in ineffective filtration processes, increased pressure in completing a pumping cycle, and the continuous presence of particles in your swimming pool even after filtration.


Why Do You Backwash A Swimming Pool?

That is where backwashing comes in. It is simply the removal of debris and coagulated particles from the filters by reversing the direction of water flow in the system.

The pressure generated pushes the entangled materials off the filter valves and returns the filtration system to its normal functionalities.

The mentioned purpose of backwashing your swimming pool filter media also limits contaminations. It facilitates the achievement of a standard swimming pool condition that poses little or no health issues to swimmers.

Backwashing actualizes the advantages of the aforementioned processes of cleaning the filters.

You need to backwash your swimming pool to clear the entangled particles in your filters and free your water from the inefficient filter system.


Indications That You Need To Backwash Your Swimming Pool

An opaque hazy watercolor indicates the inefficiency of the filter system, which clogged particles in its grids can cause. When the filter gives out more noise than normal, and you notice increased pressure to make a complete water circulation cycle, those indicate the need to backwash.

Although a faulty filter system can cause the aforementioned but in the absence of those, backwashing the filters is to be resolved.

When the pressure rises above normal operating pressure by 8psi to 10psi, let’s say it is 17psi at normal pressure, and it rises to 27psi, then backwashing is required.


How To Backwash Your Swimming Pool

Your swimming pool operates on a filter media/system that comes with different backwashing processes. The first thing you should do is identify your filter type and keep in mind that you don’t need the service of a professional pool maintenance official. So, let’s get started.

Is your swimming pool filter DE (Diatomaceous Earth), sand, or cartridge filter? The most common are DE filters and Sand filters.

For a sand filter:

  • Vacuum your swimming pool directly if there is incredibly noticeable debris or algae down.
  • Afterward, go towards your swimming pool’s filtration system and pump, then turn them off.
  • There is a need for a hose to bring out the flushed materials in the filter valve. There is usually an installed hose, but if you operate your filtration system manually, clamp the hose to your water outlet and make the other end lead outside the pool.
  • Check your filter media and turn the filter value to BACKWASH.
  • Now on your pump.
  • Ensure the hose is properly locked and the handle is in place. There will be a reversed water flow back through the filter, and it will be visible in the view glass of the filter.
  • After a few minutes, the water moving will be void of any particles and will appear clear. This indicates the backwashing process should end.
  • When you are convinced of the clear condition of the water moving out, turn off the pump.
  • Set the filter valve handle away from BACKWASH to RINSE with the hose
  • Please turn on the pump again and watch the filter system rinse through its media.
  • There will be little particles in the water, but after maybe a minute, the water will be back to a clear state. Then, Turn off the pump.
  • Your skimmer valve should be closed to limit debris flow back into the swimming pool.


The whole backwashing process is done, but you can start your normal filtration process afterward.


For a Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter, take the following steps.

  • Your first procedures are the same as the sand filter backwash until the water is clear in the filter view glass.
  • Change to RINSE for a few seconds, then change back to BACKWASH for another few seconds before finally stopping after the water is totally clear. Before switching the filter to either rinse or backwash, be sure to off your pump.
  • Turn the pump off.
  • The DE gotten should be removed and disposed of.
  • You will need to drain the filter. Disassemble the DE filter and be sure the pump is certainly off.
  • Open the release valve of the filter system and drain the filter. Release the drain plug from the bottom of the filter, and the water will be off quickly.
  • Continue with your normal filtration routine, and you are all clear.

Although several swimming pools use DE filters, sand filters are easier to backwash.


How often Should You Backwash Your Swimming Pool?

The size, type, and environmental structure of your pool will determine this. If your swimming pool is more open to shrubs, twigs or there are more human activities, you should backwash your filter system once or twice in one week, but if it is a normal home swimming pool and there are only exposures to little leaves and organic earth, you can make it just once in two weeks.

If you observe any of the indications mentioned earlier in your swimming pool, even if you backwashed two days ago, backwash your filter again.

After a storm, there are chances there will be dropdowns of twigs, debris, or foliage into your swimming pool. You should backwash your swimming pool after the filtration process at this stage.

You also have in your hands to backwash during your regular major maintenance schedules. Read more


How Long Should I Backwash My Filter?

There is no specific time to backwash your swimming pool filter. Your filter need-for-backwash level is different from others but as soon as you notice the water is clear during the backwashing, proceed into ending the process.

It takes about 2 – 5 minutes for most swimming pools. If yours take less or more, that doesn’t mean something is wrong, and it is your filter condition. It is different. Read more


Final Thoughts

It is important to follow your filtration system manufacturer’s instructions on backwashing. There are also rules and regulations to follow, coupled with the time advised to tear off your filtration system and get another.

A good swimming pool needs more than resources to operate. Your observation and cognitive reasoning are required to make it turn out well. In the presence of any unusual condition, inform a professional. Limit swimmers’ exposure to your swimming pool immediately.

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