How to Properly Backwash Your Pools Sand Filter
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How to Properly Backwash Your Pools Sand Filter
March 18/2020

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Even if you have had a pool for a lot of years, sometimes you find yourself questioning if you are missing a step or not. It’s nice to get a refreshers course on certain things just in case you happen to forget. By following these tips you will ensure that your sand filter system is working at the most efficient rate possible and that you are not causing any damage to your filter system at the same time.

Backwash the Debris
The first thing to ALWAYS remember is to turn the filter system to the off position before going any further. You can do this by using the on and off switches that are provided on all Pentair pumps or by simply unplugging the cord from the outlet. If this is not done each time before the handle on top of the control valve is switched, you will cause damage to the control valve and the internal gaskets. Once you have turned your filter system off you are ready to backwash by simply turning the handle on the top of your sand tank to the BACKWASH position.  Once there, make sure to turn the filter system back on. You will see water (discoloration is normal if the pool is dirty as well as some debris) shoot out of the backwash port of your sand filter. If you would like to run the water further away from your filter and pool area, using a backwash hose (usually 50 ft in length) will carry the water further down into your yard, so it does not pool where you are standing. Only backwash for 2-3 minutes at max. Another important tip is to not backwash the filter too often (when the pressure is not 5-7 lbs over your normal clean pressure level) to insure that you are not harming how your sand is filtering the debris. If you backwash too frequently, you will cause channels in the sand which will allow the water (and debris) to pass right thru those channels and back into the pool, without being filtered thru the bed of sand.

Rinse the Sand
Once you are done backwashing, make sure to turn your filter system back off. You will now need to switch the handle to RINSE. Kick the filter system back on and continue letting the water run out of the backwash port for apprx 30 secs. This allows any little debris to exit the filter system that might still be in there and to allow the sand to pack back down where it should be. It’s important to not run this cycle as long as you did the backwash cycle, or other damage to the sand and how it is filtering your water will occur.

Keep on Filtering
After you have rinsed the filter, turn the filter system back off again before rotating the handle back to the FILTER position. This will be the last and final time that you will have to turn the filter system off until the next time you backwash. It is very important to keep your filter system on 24/7 (other than when you have to backwash and clean the filter). If the filter system is not operating all of the time, the water in your pool is sitting stagnant, which is a key element that is needed for algae to form. If your filter system is costing an arm and a floaty to run, you might want to look into some of our more efficient sand filter systems. It will cost far more to clean up the pool once algae has occurred (possibly even several times over a summer) than it will to run your filtration system 24/7!

Always follow these steps to ensure that you are properly cleaning your filter system, always! Filtration is an important part of keeping the pool clean and if it is not done correctly can cause a lot of water chemistry issues.

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