The Definitive Guide to Pool Filter Troubleshooting

Your pool filter is one of the most important parts of your pool system when it comes to maintaining superb water quality all summer long. Your pool filter will remove small particles and contaminants from the water making sure it’s safe for swimming. From time to time, however, the filter systems on your pool can begin to fail. So you need to learn the basics of pool filter troubleshooting.

If your filter system begins to fail, it’s important to address the issue quickly before bacteria and even algae get a chance to gain the upper hand in your pool’s water. If you don’t, you could quickly find that your pool water has become unsafe for swimming, and who wants to close the pool for days because of a simple filter problem?

Today, we will take a look at several common problems you may experience with your pool’s filter and what you do to repair them.

1. Pool Filter Leaks

One of the easiest problems to identify is a leak. You may hear or see water dripping around the filter or even notice a small puddle forming below it. While this type of leak won’t cause a significant drop in your pool’s water, you still want to identify and repair the problem before it turns into something worse.

First, you should try to identify the source of the leak. Check the tank for any holes, if you do find one, you will probably have to replace the entire tank as a patch won’t hold for very long.

If you have split tank filter, you will need to check the belly for a leak. Remove the band and inspect the O-ring for any debris or wear and tear. You may have to replace the O-ring entirely if it is worn out. Before replacing the O-ring, be sure you add lubricant to it to ensure a secure fit.

2. Troubleshoot a Pool Filter Cycle Problem

If your filter seems to only be running in very short cycles and you notice this happening often even when the pool is not in use, you could have a flow rate problem through the filter.

Most likely the rate is far too high meaning the pump itself may be too strong for your filter or the type of filter you are using may not be big enough for your pool.

If your filter is the right size, you may need to backwash the pool for longer periods of time. When backwashing, always continue the process until the water in the sight glass is clear. This could take several minutes.

Algae or other debris could also simply be clogging the filter causing it to run in shorter cycles. Give the filter a good cleaning and even consider replacing it if it seems worn out.

3. Filter Material in the Pool

No matter what kind of filter you have in your pool, if you begin to notice particles that are in the filter in your pool, you could have a problem. While it is common for these materials to reach the pool after backwashing, if they are showing up in your pool under normal operation it is time to look for problems.

If you have a sand filter, the filter lateral or standpipe may be broken and need to be replaced.

If you have a diatomaceous earth filter, there could be tear in the fabric of the grid or even a crack in the grid manifold.

If you have recently changed the filter, double check the bolts holding the filter in place. If these are loose, it could allow particles to escape into the pool.

4. Water Pressure Problems

Anyone who owns a pool is familiar with the pressure gauge and how inaccurate it can be. Still, you should regularly check the pressure gauge to see if you have a problem.

If the pressure is too low, there could be a blockage in the system somewhere before the filter. If it is too high, there could be a blockage at some point beyond the filter. Check the filter to see if it is clogged and clean it if necessary. If it is clean, check the return valve to make sure it is completely open and then double check the lines to see if you can find a clog.

The list above represents the most common problems you may encounter with your pool’s filter system. If you have checked for all of these problems and your system still is not functioning as it should, consider calling in a pool professional to take a look.

As always, if you don’t feel comfortable performing any of the maintenance and repairs we have discussed, call a professional in to help you before your small filter problem turns into something major that could cost you much more in the long run.

Happy Swimming!

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