There comes a time in every pool filter’s life when it will need to be repaired. Even with all the TLC in the world, filters, pumps, and other pool equipment don’t last forever.
In some instances, the repairs are minor, and you might be able to handle them yourself. In others, you’re much better off working with a professional to make sure you don’t find yourself repairing your filter as much as you do using it.
In this article, we’ll go over some common pool filter problems that tend to crop up.
But first, is your filter even worth repairing?
Repairing Vs. Replacing a Pool Filter
Let’s be honest. Pool filters aren’t cheap.
Even in the best-case scenario, you’ll probably end up paying a few hundred bucks to replace a pool filter. Worst-case, you’re looking at over a thousand.
Our advice is to tend towards repairing if it makes sense. You’ll usually only have to replace a filter if it has been causing problems over several seasons, and it’s becoming a money sink as a result.
In most other cases, pool filter repair is the way to go.
Does Your Pool Filter Need Repairs?
In a nutshell, a filter’s job is to do what it says on the box: filter your pool’s water. If the water in your pool is cloudy, that’s a telltale sign. In general, leaks are another obvious sign of filter damage, and even suspiciously high electrical bills can result from a pool filter in need of repairs.
Let’s move on to some of the common issues that tend to require filter repair.
Consistently Underperforming Pressure or Leaks
If your pool pump pressure is slightly off over long stretches, there’s a good chance you have a problem with your backwash valve. Now, don’t let the name backwash valve throw you off; it’s nowhere near as unpleasant as you may be thinking.
The backwash valve is there to prevent water from going the wrong way (backwashing), and it has a lot of gaskets, channels, and other parts that slowly erode. Eroded parts can cause pool filter leaks over time, but you’ll most likely catch the pressure drops first.
In particular, a part that often fails is the spider gasket. So-called because it features one small ring in a larger ring connected by thin rubber spokes. A damaged or worn spider gasket is not too difficult to replace, but you need to get the exact same size of gasket. Otherwise, you’ll do more harm than good. Sometimes, the gasket is only sold as part of a larger part called the diverter.
Sand or Diatomaceous Earth in Pool
Feeling something gritty in the pool? That could be a sign of filter trouble.
If you have a DE or sand filter, some of the filter media can end up in the pool. As ironic as it may seem, the filter could be doing more to contaminate your pool than to filter it. And it’s a very easy problem to spot.
In sand filters, you may be able to see cracks in the laterals or the standpipe. For most filters, you’ll be able to find both of these separately. DE filters can wear our o-rings in their assembly that cause similar issues.
If you can’t spot either of these problems, give us a call, and one of our pool technicians can help you figure out what the issue could be. With your pool filter not working over long periods, the problem will just get worse.
Consistently High Pressure
If the pressure in your system stays high, there’s a good chance you may be looking at an issue with the filter. And the bad news is that it’s not frequently a pool filter repair issue but a replacement one.
If your pool filter is too small for your pump, the pump will end up trying to push more water through than the filter can handle. You really don’t want to sit on this problem too long because it almost always leads to bigger trouble down the line.
High pressure can start causing any of the filter problems on this list after a while, so you won’t necessarily know that it’s the pressure unless you connect the two from the start.
If your system works fine and starts to develop pressure problems, the issue is likely much simpler and doesn’t even require pool filter repair. If you filter cartridges, get saturated with sand or DE, you’ll simply need to wash them or replace them, and the pressure problem should be sorted.
Consistently Low Pressure
The flip side of the same problem is system pressure that’s consistently too low. Even among common pool filter problems, it’s one of the most common. And if you’re lucky, it’s the easiest to solve.
You could just be dealing with an obstruction in the water entering your filter. Check the pump’s impeller, strainer, and basket for any debris or other objects that could be causing a blockage. Removing the object should bring your pressure back up to normal levels.
Alternatively, you could also have obstructions in your pool skimmer. And lastly, check your water level. If your pool’s water level has crept down over time, it can cause low pressure with a super-easy fix.
Frequently Asked Questions For Pool Filter Problems
How much does it cost to replace a pool filter system?
Pool filter replacement can run anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. It all depends on the type of filter you’re replacing and the level of service you need. A typical cartridge filter for a mid-sized pool shouldn’t set you back more than $2000.
Can you fix a cracked pool filter?
Yes and no. It’s certainly possible to do some patchwork repairs with epoxy or by other means. However, any cracks will irrevocably compromise the integrity of the filter’s vessel. Repairs will be temporary at best, and you will probably have to look into getting the filter replaced sooner rather than later.
Why is my pool filter leaking water?
One of the most frequent culprits of pool filter leaks is a faulty spider gasket or worn o-rings on a valve. To figure out what the problem is with your filter, you’ll need to turn off the power to the pump and release pressure in the filter. Then, remove the screws on the valve and lift the key stem assembly. You should be able to see the spider gasket immediately below the assembly, and any damage will be readily apparent.
Filter Repair is Serious Business
As you can see, filter problems can come in all shapes and sizes. It takes a little elbow grease and quite a bit of know-how to diagnose and repair them. The most important part is to never ignore pool filter problems because they almost always result in more issues if left unattended.
If you have filter trouble and you don’t want to risk missing something or making an even bigger mess, we’ve got you covered. We’re leading experts in pool and spa repair and installation in the Miami area. Contact us today, and we’ll schedule a consultation with one of our pool repair technicians.
Did we miss your problem in this article? Need specific advice? Be sure to leave a comment, and we’ll do our best to help you out.