Pool owners of all skill levels have to backwash their filters. Whether you are a novice, an intermediate, or an advanced pool owner, backwash pool is something that you must do periodically.
This article will cover the steps needed for backwashing a pool filter and why it’s important to maintain clean water in your pool. We will also talk about how often you should backwash the filter, what tools are necessary, and how you can dispose of the backwashed water.
What Does Backwashing a Pool Mean?
The process of backwashing will reverse the flow of water and flush out any contamination from your swimming pool. It uses a normal operating filter pressure to clean your filtration system by flushing out the debris.
You do this by reversing the water flow direction through your pool’s filter.
This process clears out the filter’s waste port using the backwash valve. So, how do you do this? By reversing the water flow direction!
This system helps in keeping your pool clean throughout the season. Therefore, you can enjoy a nice swim on a hot day without having to worry!
Backwashing is a “pool term.” Owners describe it by referring to it as a de-filter process to remove dirt and debris from your swimming pool. This process is good news for you if your pool is already contaminated! It is a quick and easy process that will bring back your pool water and filter functionality.
Some pool filters use the valve to remove dirt and other organic material through a porous sand material. After cleaning and filtering, the water returns to your swimming pool. Therefore, this helps to create scheduled maintenance for the pool filter and the pool water.
You need to backwash your pool to clear out and dislodge the filtration system from trapped contamination. Next, the clogged filter valve will flush the waste out using a connected pump or backwash valves. Finally, when the cleaning process is complete, the water is clear and has an easy flow.
What Happens if You Don’t Backwash Your Pool?
If you do not backwash your pool, the filter will get damaged. Moreover, there will be a continuous rise of debris that will eventually turn the water murky. Some filter pumps may explode with all the accumulated waste lines.
Without backwashing, the efficiency of your pool will decrease! Thus, making it a crucial aspect of pool maintenance.
Does Backwashing Remove Water From Pool?
During this system, some water might drain out, but not too much. The starting level of the backwashing process uses the pump to reverse the flow of water. This will result in some water loss. But, by the end of the process, you will see that it was worth it!
This process ensures the swimming pool filter is free from debris. Thus, making your pool more appealing. Many pool owners consider this process to be an essential step to help keep your pool clean!
Reasons You Need to Backwash a Pool Filter
When the water passes through the diatomaceous earth or sand filter, it leaves some dirt behind. It can also leave behind oils in the filter system. As a result, with time, your filter system might lose functionality.
It becomes clogged and reduces the effectiveness of water filtration. The filter medium will require backwashing to ensure functionality. Therefore, you need to send the water backward to clean and drain the filter.
It will force all the debris caught in the release valve to wash out through the backwash port. Hence this process de filters the contamination and brings back the normal functioning level of the filter.
How to Backwash a Pool
Here is everything that you will need to know before backwashing!
All you will need is a backwash hose! Or, you can use a multiport valve for backwashing purposes. You can even use the filter’s backwash port.
When to Backwash a Pool
It would be best to do this every few weeks whenever you see the filter is not working properly. Therefore, once the smooth operation of your filter has faltered, it is time for backwashing!
You need to perform a backwash after a major storm. Thus, ensuring the backwash valve is clean before usage.
How Often to Backwash a Pool
It depends on how much you use the filtration system. Furthermore, it can depend on the type of and positioning of the filter media as well. If your pool gets more leafy visitors, then you need to backwash it pretty often.
Generally, owners suggest that you should do it at least once a week. Moreover, the pressure gauge should be 8 to 10 pounds per square inch either on the starting level or on the clean pressure option.
How Long to Backwash a Pool
It would help if you backwashed a pool for two to three minutes and no more than that. However, you may need to look out for the water’s cleanness before switching it off.
When You Shouldn’t Backwash a Pool
Backwashing cleans your filter system. However, there are times when you need to avoid the process.
- Suppose there was an algae infestation. In this case, you need to bypass the filter’s port and vacuum to clean the filter system. This is because the algae can pass through the filter medium and still thrive in the water.
- You need to vacuum it if you find a septic system due to excessive debris and exposure to high amounts of dirt.
If the water has contamination of harmful chemicals, you need to alert the local authorities.
Step by Step Guide
To better understand the easy process, go through this guide, and you can do it yourself!
Backwash Push-Pull Valve
It is how you can start your backwashing using a push-pull valve.
- Turn off the filter system.
- Further, connect the hose to the filter’s backwashing port.
- Then, it would help if you opened the gate.
- Turn the filter on for 2 to 3 minutes, and you are done!
- You need to switch the system off and close it.
Multiport Valve Backwashing
On the other hand, this is how you do it with a multiport valve.
- Turn the filtering system off
- Connect the backwashing hose to the waste port
- Further, you will see it has a “backwashing” option, so turn it to that!
- Please turn on the filtration and keep it going for two minutes
- After turning it off, make sure to change the multiport to the rinse option
- Moreover, it would be best if you turned on the pump.
- After the pump has discarded the entire waste line, switch it off. However, please do not keep it on for more than one minute.
- Then, restore the filter option to your multiport valve handle.
Backwash a Sand Filter
And, finally, this is how you backwash a sand filter.
- Again, the first step is to shut off the entire filtration system.
- Then, it would be best if you clamped it to the water outlet.
- Further, ensuring the push or pull option in the sand filter is the secure position in a way that the water flows through.
- Turning the handle of the sand filter to the option, keep it on for a few minutes until the water clears from the pump.
- Further, please turn it off and roll up the hose.
- Lock the handle in place of your sand filtration to ensure water flow.
- Finally, you need to choose the air relief option and let the water completely flow through.
- Shut the process of your sand filtration cleaning off, and you are done!
Backwash Pool Filter Tips
Here are some tips for you to follow while backwashing your pool.
- It would be best if you did the filter valve resetting and backwashing with a turned-off pool pump. Moreover, if you forget this, you will cause damage to the system and potentially destroy it.
- Do not overdo the backwashing process, even by a few minutes. If you do so, it can result in massive water loss. Therefore, through the filter view glass, keep an eye on the system and stop the backwash process when the water runs clear.
- You may inevitably wash some of your sand out while cleaning the debris and dirt. Therefore, requiring you to top up the sand filters. If you want to prevent this, you can start your filter setting to rinse for about three minutes.
- If your backwash hose becomes difficult to turn, you can tear it down and lubricate the valve.
- Lastly, while reassembling the filtration, you need to ease yourself. Therefore, to ensure your swimming pool is clean, you need to ensure no leaks in the grids, laterals, and cartridges for future use.
Ways to Dispose of Filter Backwash Water
Here is something that you should not do – toss the backwashing down a drain port. However, if you still think it is possible, read through the Minnesota Government Guidelines before disposing of it. The best thing to do?
You can recycle the water by collecting, containing, and discharging it through a sanitary sewer. Moreover, it will not damage the storm drain or harm aquatic life.
Some cities allow filter leaks in storm drains, plumbing cleanouts, and in dry wells. Therefore, it is best to check your city’s water disposal rules before doing anything.
The Bottom Line
This article should have helped you understand the importance of backwashing a pool filter, how often to do it, and what tools are needed. Backwashing a pool filter is an important process to keep your water clean and clear. Follow the steps in this article, be sure to dispose of the backwash properly, and you should have no problem maintaining a sparkling swimming experience for everyone!
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.