What is Backwash? Backwashing is a process used to clean the filter in a swimming pool by reversing the flow of water. This procedure flushes out dirt, debris, and contaminants that have accumulated in the filter, ensuring it operates efficiently and maintains clean pool water.

Why Backwash is Important:

  1. Maintains Filter Efficiency: Regular backwashing prevents the filter from becoming clogged with debris, which can impede water flow and reduce filtration effectiveness.
  2. Improves Water Quality: By removing accumulated contaminants, backwashing helps maintain clear and hygienic pool water.
  3. Extends Filter Life: Regular maintenance, including backwashing, prolongs the lifespan of the pool filter.
  4. Prevents Algae Growth: Clean filters help prevent algae and other microorganisms from proliferating in the pool.

Types of Pool Filters:

  1. Sand Filters: Contain sand that traps debris as water passes through. Backwashing is essential to remove the trapped debris and clean the sand.
  2. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters: Use a fine powder to coat grids or fingers that filter out fine particles. Backwashing removes the used DE and debris, and new DE must be added after each backwash.
  3. Cartridge Filters: Use pleated cartridges to trap debris. While backwashing is not required, these filters need to be removed and cleaned periodically.

How to Backwash a Pool Filter:

  1. Turn Off the Pump: Ensure the pool pump is turned off before starting the backwash process.
  2. Set the Valve to Backwash: For sand and DE filters, turn the multiport valve to the backwash setting.
  3. Turn On the Pump: Restart the pump and let it run for 2-3 minutes or until the water in the sight glass (if available) is clear.
  4. Rinse the Filter: After backwashing, set the valve to the rinse position and run the pump for about 30 seconds to re-settle the filter media.
  5. Return to Filter Setting: Turn off the pump and set the valve back to the filter position. Restart the pump to resume normal operation.
  6. Check and Adjust Chemical Levels: Backwashing can affect the pool’s water chemistry, so test and adjust the chemical levels as needed.

Frequency of Backwashing:

  • Regular Maintenance: Backwash once a week or as needed, depending on pool usage and debris load.
  • After Heavy Use or Storms: Increase the frequency of backwashing after heavy pool use, storms, or when there is visible water clarity decline.

A licensed Contractor, Certified Pool Operator, Certified Pool Inspector, Certified Start Up Technician by the National Plaster Counsel, and a life long native of Pleasanton, CA.

Ryan Steele

Owner, NorCal Pool Service

About NorCal Pool Service

We have a pool maintenance package that suites each type of client. From starter packages that just keep the pool chemistry balanced and baskets emptied each week, to Full Service pool maintenance that allows you to kick your feet up and let us do all the work, we have a package right for you!

We also provide pool equipment repairs and installations. We are a Certified Pentair Dealer and Warranty Station which allows us to work with the best brand in the industry. This state of the art equipment is second to none and will leave you with a backyard oasis that will bring you and all your guests a smile.

Years in Business

Good Reviews