As we head into the new year, most people start thinking about all their new year’s resolutions and things they want to change. Some others start cleaning up around the house and getting prepped for the upcoming year ahead. Granted this isn’t officially “spring” cleaning but when it comes to your swimming pool, now’s the time to start thinking about getting it ready for swim season again. After many long, hot months of extended filter run times along with the need to filter hair, body oil, lotions and so much more, doing a deeper clean on your sand, cartridge or DE filter might be necessary. This is not to say that cleaning your filters shouldn’t be done at other times of the year (after it was green or heavy use) but this is always a great time to look at the pressures and assess the possibility of opening the filter up and cleaning it.

As for sand filters, instead of cleaning it because that won’t be necessary this is a good time to open it up and inspect the sand. Typically, you should be able to get 5-7 years out of the sand before it needs to be changed but you will want to look for clumping or channeling of the sand. Channeling occurs because as the debris is trapped by the sand over time it will eventually prevent water from traveling through it so it will typically travel down the sides of the filter and miss the sand completely. Your first clue in this will be if your pool is cloudy and when you have difficulty getting it clear.


Dirty cartridge filters


Clean cartridge filters







When it comes to cartridge filters, this is a lot easier. The pressure gauge, in this case, will be your best friend because they typically have a clean and dirty setting. The dirty setting will typically be about 7-10 psi higher than the clean setting. Since cartridge filters can’t be back washed, when the pressure gauge reaches dirty, you should open up the filter and clean the cartridges. Many people will ask if this should be done monthly, quarterly or yearly but the simple answer is clean them when the pressure gauge tells you.


Dirty DE Filter


Clean DE Filter

Finally, when it comes to DE filters, they are somewhat similar to cartridge filters in that the pressure gauge will be extremely helpful to know when the filters are dirty. However, with a DE filter, they can be back washed which you should do whenever necessary and recharge the filter with fresh DE. But, when it comes to fully cleaning the grids we recommend taking apart the filter at least once a year to do a deep clean. 

Please keep in mind that these are only recommendations but if you are having trouble keeping your water clear or if your filter is used to clean up a green pool, please plan on taking apart your cartridge or DE filter and cleaning them. Taking care of time-consuming projects during the offseason is always a good idea to plan for the future and to prevent lost filter time when your pool needs it the most. If you should have any questions, please contact us today!