How do I backwash my swimming pool?


If you’re looking for a crash course in Pool Maintenance 101, backwashing is most certainly going to be on the curriculum. Backwashing is absolutely essential for swimming pool care and every pool owner simply has to know the ins and outs of the process. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to learn how to backwash your pool.


What is backwashing?


Backwashing is the process by which you clean your swimming pool’s filter by sending the water flow back through the filter and out of the waste port. Essentially, dirt or debris trapped in a sand filter or grubby powder in a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter requires flushing and backwashing lets you keep things sparkly clean without all the manual labour. If dirt is simply left to accumulate, ultimately your filter will become blocked, which will radically reduce its effectiveness. Since a working pool filter is an essential element in how a swimming pool is cleaned, backwashing is the answer – and it just happens to be easy too.


How do I backwash my pool if I have a sand filter?


There are three types of pool filters: sand filters, diatomaceous earth filters and cartridge filters. In the case of the latter, you won’t be performing any backwashing as they do not have this functionality. However, a sand filter and DE filter can and should be backwashed. For a sand filter, the first step to backwashing your pool is to switch off your pool pump and cleaner. Next, empty your weir basket, before adjusting the handle on the multiport valve of your filter to ‘backwash’. Connect your backwash hose to your filter or open any valves on the waste line and be prepared for water to come gushing out. Turn your pump back on and voila – you’re backwashing! Let the water run for about 2 minutes, until it is clear. Switch your pump off again and move your multiport valve to the ‘rinse’ position. You can turn the pump on again for 30 seconds to rinse, before switching it off again and adjusting the handle to ‘filter’ to run as usual.


How do I backwash my pool if I have a DE filter?


If you have a DE filter, the steps are exactly the same, but after you have reset your multiport valve to ‘filter’ mode, you will need to add DE powder to the skimmer of your pool. This will then get drawn through your pump and into the filter again. It is best to mix the DE powder with a little water to make a solution beforehand. Also, be sure to add the correct measure of DE powder, as instructed on the product.


How often do I need to backwash my pool?


Everyone has slightly different advice when it comes to the frequency of backwashing a swimming pool. If everyday is practically a pool party at your house, you may want to backwash more often, but the general rule of thumb is twice a month. The good news is that there are clear signs that it is backwashing time. If your system is slower than usual in pushing water through the pump and filter, if the suction of your skimmer box is poor, the pressure at the outlet pipe weak or air is finding its way through the pump and into the system, it is likely time to backwash your pool. You might also notice your pool becoming cloudy as a result of poor filtration.

Don’t put it off, as that is asking for trouble. Make it part of your regular pool maintenance routine and you will reap the rewards – a healthy swimming pool to make happy memories! If your filtration system is still not working as it should, even after backwashing, get in touch with us. We’ll have your pool spick and span again in no time.