What is Backwash or Backwashing and How to Backwash a Pool Filter?

Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips

what is backwashSometimes we need to backwash our pool filter. Well, what is backwash or back-washing? Actually, backwashing or simply backwash is a method used to clean a pool filter. The word back means reversing the water flow in the filter to thoroughly flush out contaminants. This also means you don’t need to clean your pool filter manually. And this cleaning process will take about several minutes. Well, when to stop the process? If you find the water from the waste line becomes clear, you can stop it.

Another question is when it is the best time to perform the back-washing routine. If you find the pressure rises about 8 to 10 pounds above the startup pressure or the clean pressure, it is the time. Therefore, inspecting your pressure gauge on a regular basis is a good habit.

Dirt Found in the Pool

If DE (diatomaceous earth) or other dirt is found in the pool, it is probably they get through the pool filter and enter the pool. Several factors may make this happen, and you need to check the following aspects:

  • Damaged cartridges, laterals or grids may lead to the bad result.
  • Broken retainers or manifolds can make this happen
  • If backwash valves have broken or distorted O-rings or gaskets, this may happen.

If you find a problem, essential prevention and maintenance is required. If you find the backwash valve is so difficult to turn, a teardown is needed to do and lubricate it. If any leak occurs, it will be late. Examining cartridges, laterals, grids and manifolds is a good idea when you tear down your pool filter for cleaning. And the reassembling is also very important. You need to avoid careless or sloppy reassembly, or leaks may occur easily.

Filters and Backwashing

No matter which type of pool filters you choose from, they can keep the pool clean. However, which type is the best? This mainly depends on the correct size and how it is can be cleaned. Therefore, the filter you choose should be the correct size and is easy to clean. And the best type of pool filters should be the one that you are most likely to keep clean. You can choose cartridge pool filters, because they are popular and easy to maintain.

Choose the filter that fits the size of your pool.

If you find it is not practical to tear down and clean a DE filter completely, backwash may be a good way. However, this solution is only a temporary way and don’t use it regularly. On the contrary, backwash is perfect for a sand filter. Because of no DE added, backwash is helpful to remove the potential for errors which cause a dirty swimming pool.

How to Backwash a Filter

Different types of pool filters mean different ways to backwash. If you are not sure how to backwash a pool filter, you’d better visit the manufacturers’ official site to learn more. When it comes to backwashing a DE filter, the following steps are basic.

  • Firstly, you need to shut down the pool pump, and then change its backwash valve (multi-valve or plunger) into the backwash setting.
  • Turn on the pool pump again until you get a clear filter view-glass. And you need to alternate between rinse and backwash several times, which help to remove DE much better. When alternate the valve settings, you need to shut down the pump.
  • You can easily discard the DE in the trash or in your yard. Some systems come with a special tank to collect the DE. And you need to clear the tank instead.
  • When you are just disassembling the filter, make sure the pump is turned off. And this can prevent the automation system or timer from turning back.
  • You need to open the filter’s release valve on its top to drain the filter, and this can allow water to drain. If you need to drain thoroughly, you just need to remove its drain plug which you can find on the bottom of the pool filter. This can help water drain from its bottom.

How Often Should You Backwash?

How often you will use your pool determines how often you need to backwash or tear down your filter. And if your pool tends to be dirty even with normal use, you also need to backwash it regularly. Generally, it is recommended to tear down and clean DE filters every 6 months.

Generally, you don’t need to backwash your filter regularly, unless you get a very dirty pool because of frequent use. If this doesn’t happen, you just need to follow your secluded maintenance.

When it comes to backwashing sand filters, you need to backwash them once a month. And you need to tear down them twice a year to thoroughly clean them.

Saving Energy

It is not recommended to run your pump at a high speed after the filter is cleaned. A low speed is enough. This can avoid reaching a point of low-flow or even no-flow. In a word, this can help to save energy for you.

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