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Understanding Pool Filters- A Comprehensive Guide

December 1, 2023
Technician performing pool maintenance at a backyard pool

Pool Filters 101

If you’re a new pool owner, you probably understand the importance of keeping your pool clear throughout the summer. An unsung hero in keeping your pool clear is the pool filter. Understanding how often to change the pool filter and how they work is essential to being a responsible pool owner.

This expert guide from SPS PoolCare will explain why you need a pool filter, how it works, how often to change it, and tips to maintain one.

Why Do I Need a Pool Filter?

Imagine your pool as a giant bathtub filled with water that continues to get dirty over time. Every time someone enters the pool, they bring debris, leaves, and other germs with them. Without a filter, your pool could quickly become a bacteria-ridden mess, rendering it unusable. Thankfully, pool filters come to the rescue, as they play a crucial role in keeping pool water clean. Filters constantly remove impurities from the water, ensuring your pool stays safe and for swimming. The cleaner your pool stays, the fewer chemicals you need to maintain it. Using fewer chemicals can help to save you money on keeping your pool clean through the hotter months.

How Does a Pool Filter Work?

To understand how often to change a pool filter, you must first understand how it works. Pool filters work to filtrate the water and remove unwanted particles. The way a pool filter works weighs heavily on the type of pool filter you have. Two common pool filters include:

  • Sand pool filters. These are the most common types of filters. They contain a tank with pool filter sand that the pool water pumps through. Tiny particles get trapped when water passes through the sand, causing clean water to cycle back into the pool.
  • Cartridge pool filters. These filters use cartridges to filtrate the pool water. Water gets forced through the cartridge, and the pleats inside capture the debris and any impurities. These filters are easy to clean by rinsing with a hose. Many people use cartridge filters because of how easy they are to maintain.

Pool filters mostly work to trap and remove debris from the water. Each pool filter cleans the water differently. Regardless of your pool filter type, SPS PoolCare technicians are here to perform ongoing pool maintenance and cleaning to ensure your pool stays clean.

How Long Do Pool Filters Last?

The frequency of how often you need to change your pool filter relies heavily on the type you have. For example, sand pool filters last much longer, but cartridge filters are easier to maintain. Estimated times to change pool filters depending on the type you have include:

Changing Sand in a Pool Filter

You could expect these filters to last five to eight years, although you must change the sand inside the filter every three to five years. The filtration process won’t work effectively if you don’t maintain the sand within the filter.

Changing a Cartridge Pool Filter

While these filters are easier to maintain, they don’t last as long as a sand filter. You can expect a cartridge filter to last two to five years. The amount of time they last depends heavily on the quality of the filter you purchase and how often you use your pool. Cleaning the filter regularly can help prolong its life. Once the cartridge begins to deteriorate, that’s when you know to purchase a new one.

Dirty pool filter cartridge in a man’s hand on water splash background.

While the type of filter provides good guidance on how often to replace your filter, other factors can influence the amount of time they last. These factors include the size of the pool, water quality, and how often the pool gets used. To extend the life of your filter, it’s critical to perform regular cleaning and maintenance of your pool.

How Do I Maintain the Pool Filter?

To maximize the lifespan of your pool filter, proper upkeep is essential. Tips to maintaining the filter and keeping your pool water clear include:

  • Regular cleaning
  • Maintaining proper water chemistry
  • Daily skimming and vacuuming the pool
  • Rountinetly inspecting the pool for leaks

Many people don’t realize just how much the pool filter does to keep the pool water in a safe condition. Understanding how a pool filter works and how often to change it is crucial to enjoying your pool as much as possible.

By following these tips and investing in SPS PoolCare’s regular pool cleaning and maintenance services, you can ensure your pool filter can perform its role of keeping the water clean. Keeping your filter well maintained not only saves you money but can also enhance your pool experience.

Discover Expert Pool Services with SPS PoolCare

If you’re struggling to maintain your pool filter or keep your pool water clear, contact the professionals at SPS PoolCare. Our team can provide filter selection guidance, as well as regular cleaning and maintenance.

We understand the relaxation and fun a well-maintained pool brings to you and your family throughout the year. Contact your local SPS PoolCare branch today and allow our experts to assist so owning a pool stays a joy all year long.

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