How to Winterize Your Pool Filter
Cooler weather is here and if you live in a cold climate and haven’t yet considered winterizing your pool, now is the time. Winterizing refers to the process of preparing your pool and equipment for hard freezes due to winter weather and shutting off pool equipment in anticipation of it not being used for several months. Water is removed from lines so that it doesn’t end up frozen in pipes which would cause breaks and cracks. Pool filters are a major part of your pool’s system and must be winterized. Here are a few tips.
Types of Pool Filters
As you may know pool filters remove small particles from the pool, there are 3 main types of pool filters that are named based on the type of media it uses to catch and store the removed particles from the pool.
A sand filter uses sand. A D.E. filter uses diatomaceous earth a type of algae. The powder absorbs the dirt and particles that come through and a cartridge filter uses material as the filtering medium.
Whatever is used to filter out unwanted particles the filter must be emptied before leaving it unused for winter.
How to Winterize a Sand Filter
Each filter type has its own particular way to winterize. With sand filters the first step is to backwash the filter. Connect the backwash hose and turn the filter valve to backwash.
This will push the water back through the pipes dislodging the particles from the filter. It usually takes 2 or 3 minutes until the water runs clear. Without a backwash, all the unwanted gunk collected in the filter will sit their for months on end causing bacteria to multiply and possibly be washed back into your pool. Backwashing is an easy but necessary step.
Move the valve to rinse for at least 30 seconds, then to winterize. This is the step that pushes water out of the pipes. You want to make sure all the water has drained from your tank by removing the drain cap at the bottom and store.
Winterizing a D.E filter
Diatomaceous Earth filters are used to trap the tiniest of particles. It is recommended to clean your pool first and then turn off your pump. Move the bump handle up slowly and down quickly 5 to 8 times, which relieves pressure and helps in the backwashing process. Drain your filter pump while continuing to move the bump handle. You will remove all hoses, tank cover, bolts, and connections, rinse the filter bottom and grids where the D.E. collects. After rinsing reattach the cover and bolts then store in a dry place.
Winterizing a Cartridge Filter
Cartridge filters are efficient at removing small particles and are the easiest to winterize. The process begins with turning off the pump. Then drain out all the water and remove any debris from the strainer basket. The next thing to remove are the filter hoses. This is easy to do with a flathead screwdriver. Bleed the pressurized air out using the air relief valve.
At this point you will want to either clean the filter according to the manufacturers guidelines or replace it if necessary. Human nature would want to put this off until spring but don’t do it – it’s best to do it now rather than to have to go through this whole process again a few months from now.
After you have cleaned or replaced the filter it’s important to let it dry thoroughly, any moisture can lead to bacteria so do not continue until the filter is thoroughly dry. Once everything is dry then you can store it away for winter.
No matter what type of filter you own if you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to give Pool Works a call. Our knowledgeable technicians will be happy to help with your salt and traditional chlorine pool systems. Or feel free to contact us online and schedule an appointment so that we can winterize your pool and filter for you.