Backwashing Your Pool Filter- How And When?Lauren Thistleton
What is backwashing?
Simply put, backwashing your filter is running your water flow backwards through the filter. Think about when you get a bin bag stuck in your kitchen bin- you pull side to side (in opposite directions) in order to wiggle the lodged bag out. The hypothesis with backwashing is the same, pushing water in the opposite direction through the filter will cause any built up debris to be separated and removed- restoring the efficiency of your filter.
Why is it important to backwash your pools filter?
As water passes through the filter, the suspended matter in the water gets lodged into the filter media. This builds up over time and eventually decreases the effectiveness of your pool filter- causing dirt to re-circulate around your pool circulation system. This is extremely unhygienic and causes for unsuitable bathing conditions within your pool. Therefore, backwashing your filter is essential for the general maintenance of your pool.
When to backwash your filter?
You need to backwash your filter when the pressure gauge indicates a pressure loss to the minimum pressure recommended by the manufacturer. The explanation behind this is that as debris builds up in the media, less water can pass through at any given time. This means that pressure will be high prior to the filter due to a smaller passage for the flow to pass through, and this then causes a lower pressure on the return side. Other than this, it is recommended that you backwash your filter at least once a week. However if you have a high bather load then you will need to backwash more often. Another reason to backwash your filter is when you need to dilute your pool and add fresh water to the system. If the circulation has had to be stopped because of failure or for maintenance then you will need to backwash your filter.
How to backwash your filter?
Before any work is carried out on the filtration system, make sure that the pump is turned off. This allows for a safe working environment. Once the pump is off you can then begin work on the system.
- Open all the valves on the backwash line.
- If you have a multiport, turn the handle to the backwash option. If you have a push/pull valve, then turn this 180 degrees.
- Now the backwash line is fully open, turn on the pump to begin the backwash.
- A 5-minute wash may clean the bed adequately, but a viewing window on the filter outlet is the only way to check progress. Backwashing should continue until the backwash water is clear.
- Once the backwash is complete, turn off the pump.
- If you have a multiport, turn the handle to rinse and turn the pump on for around 20-30 seconds. Turn the pump back off once complete.
- Change all valves back to normal functioning positions.
- Turn the pump back on and you’re good to go!