How to Know if Your Pool Filter Is Working Properly

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Clean pool water is achieved in part with a functioning pool filter.
Clean pool water is achieved in part with a functioning pool filter. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A pool filter's primary role is to collect and remove dirt and debris that gets into the water. As the water flows into the filter's skimmer system, the dirt and debris is stopped by a physical filter that only allows the clean water to flow back into the pool. It is relatively easy to see if a pool filter is defective by noting the amount of debris still in the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Large scoop (about 1 cup)
  • Dirt or loose soil

Use the scoop or bucket to collect about a cupful of dirt or loose soil.

Locate the skimmer port along one side of the pool. This port is often rectangle in shape.

Position the scoop over the water in front of the skimmer and release the dirt or soil into the water in front of the skimmer.

Watch as the dirt is slowly drawn into the skimmer. This may take a few minutes and some soil may sink to the bottom.

Wait a few minutes. Look for signs of the dirt floating around the pool water or coming out of the return ports and jets. If the dirt reappears. there is a problem with the filter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a manual pool skimmer pole to collect large debris or debris on the pool bottom that the filter may not be able to filter out.

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