Pool Filter Troubleshooting


If you own a pool, more than likely at one time or another you’ve had to figure out why the filter isn’t running as it should. Troubleshooting pool filter problems isn’t difficult if you take it one step at a time. Pool filters are fine-tuned machines that operate optimally when the system is closed (meaning no air), free from debris and the pump is in good health. Keeping those three factors in mind is important when troubleshooting pool filter problems.

  • Remove debris from the baskets. Clean out the skimmer basket and the pump’s strainer basket. Too much debris in either of these baskets will reduce the filter’s ability to run optimally.

  • Check the impeller for debris. Before replacing the pump’s strainer basket, reach into the tube that connects the strainer basket housing to the rest of the pump. Pull out any leaves or debris that are in the tube and stick your fingers a little further in to remove debris from the impeller. If you’re squeamish about wet pool debris, wear rubber gloves.

  • Look and listen for air in the system. If your hoses are leaking, have a pinhole leak or are not clamped on tight enough, not only will you see water dripping out, but air will be getting into the system. Go around and tighten all connections to avoid air in the system.

  • Clean the filter thoroughly. Follow the manufacturers directions for dismantling and cleaning your filter.

  • Review the DE (diatomaceous earth) requirements. Diatomaceous earth filters require just the right amount of DE. Adding too much or too little will affect the filter’s cleaning ability. Review the owner’s manual to confirm that you’re adding the right amount of DE.

  • Test your pool filter pump. If your pool motor is running loud or leaking, it may need repair. Sometimes replacing a gasket is enough to seal the leak and prevent air from getting in the system. Other times you may need to replace the motor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Measure the distance between your electric source and the pump. If you are using adapters or extension cords to run your pump, the distance between the electric source and the pump may have a negative impact on the pump’s efficiency.

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  • Photo Credit drops splashes puddle pool of water on table glass image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
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