So you’ve invested in a sparkling new pool; you’re loving gazing at the iridescent blue water and kicking back on a lilo. But wait...one day you notice the water looks a touch cloudy. Over the coming days, the pool starts to feel less and less enticing and the water appears scummier and scummier. And now the expensive pool pump is playing up too. What is going on?! Unfortunately this nightmare scenario plays out in too many Aussie backyards each year. But prevention is as simple as regular filter cleaning and water management.
Let’s take a look in detail below
Why is Filter Cleaning So Important?
OK so we may have been a little over-dramatic above, however the reality is that regular filter cleaning is an essential part of pool maintenance. If you fail to clean the filter, it’ll slowly clog up and you could experience any of the following issues:
- Reduced water quality (cloudy, dirty water) - when you think about what cloudy water signifies it’s enough to spur you on to a filter clean! A wide range of contaminants enter your average pool over time including dust, pollen, and leaves (not so bad so far) plus other contaminants from swimmers - skin, hair, sweat (definitely ew) deodorants and sunscreen. A veritable soup of ickiness!
- Health problems and disease - if your filter becomes clogged it can actually cause the pool pump to become less effective or in a worst case scenario, fail entirely. This results in essential pool chemicals not circulating as they should. Once this happens, your pool can become a playground for multiple waterborne diseases like Hepatitis A and norovirus, parasites like Giardia, bacteria like coli and algae blooms.
- Unnecessary filter repairs - a filter that’s clogged with dirt and debris is a filter under pressure. In the case of sand filters this can result in components of the filter cracking, sand leaking into your pool and even a cracked tank!
How Often is ‘Regular’ Cleaning?
This is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string? Each pool is of course different, and your filter cleaning cycle will depend on the type of filter and pump installed, the size of the pool and the amount of debris and contaminants entering the water. However, please don’t wait till your pool water is cloudy to clean the filter!
Instead we suggest you rely on the filter pressure reading to gauge how often you need to clean. After you complete a filter and pool clean, check the pressure reading, write it down if needs be, and use this number as your baseline. Check the pressure reading regularly and once you notice the pressure has risen by about 10 psi above the baseline, that’s your cue to do another filter clean.
As a very rough guide, cartridge filters need cleaning every 2-6 weeks, sand filters every 3-6 weeks. While most Aussie home pools feature sand or cartridge filters, if you want to reduce the frequency of backwashing the filter, you should consider using glass bead media in the sand filter. It is more expensive but offers a higher level of filtration too.