Your pool pump run time will vary by the time of the year and by your pool. During the winter time your pump should run a minimum of 4-6 hours a day. During the summer time it should run a minimum of 7-10 hours a day. The increase run time is needed due to hotter temperatures. It is best to run your pump during the hottest part of the day as well to keep the water circulating in the heat. When the water sits stagnant in the heat chemicals will burn off quicker and algae will begin to grow. A good 8 hour run time in the summer is from 10 am to 6 pm. If you have a larger size pool, a salt system, or you notice the start of algae growth, upping the run time might be needed to keep your pool circulating properly.
The pressure gauge on the top of your filter provides a wealth of information. An increase in pressure on your filter indicates that your filter, most likely, is in need of cleaning. It is a good idea to document the pressure reading on your gauge when you have just cleaned the filter. This can be noted on the filter tank itself. When the pressure on the gauge rises 10 psi above your clean running pressure, it indicates that the filter needs to be cleaned. For example: If your clean running pressure is 10 psi, the filter is in need of cleaning when the gauge reads 20 psi. Every pool will have a different clean running pressure and will vary based on equipment, size of pool, type of debris and use of pool. Typically you will need to clean your filter at least once or twice a year. If you have a smaller sized filter, lots of debris in the pool, a dog that likes to swim in the pool, chemical imbalance or the pool keeps turning green you will need to clean it more frequently.
Diatomaceous Earth or DE is a fine white powder that needs to be added to a DE style filter. It is necessary to filter your pool water properly. If you have a DE style filter, then anytime you clean or backwash your filter you will need to add DE to it. The DE is what actually filters your pool water and traps the debris down to a fine micron. When you don't add enough DE, or any at all, part or all of the grids will have bare fabric exposed and will not filter the water properly. This will change the performance and pressure reading of your filter. This results because the grids themselves now have to filter everything out of the water. The debris will become trapped in and on the fabric of the grids causing them to become plugged up. This is why the proper amount of DE is very crucial to the upkeep of your pool and its equipment.
A DE style filter will typically have 8 "grids" inside of it. These grids should be removed and completely cleaned before being reassembled and installed back into the filter tank. Once the filter tank is resealed with a new tank o-ring, the pump can be turned on. You will the add the proper amount of D.E. (listed below) through the skimmer. You must remove the skimmer basket prior to adding the D.E. The D.E. must be added one scoop at a time and very slowly. This will help to evenly coat all of the grids inside the filter. Make sure to put your skimmer basket back in the skimmer once the D.E. has been added. The amount of D.E. you add to your filter will be based on what model and/or square foot size filter you have. This information can be typically be found on the large label on the outside tank of the filter. If the label is either missing or unreadable, we can help you figure it out. After you disassemble your filter, measure the length of one of the grids. Use the chart below to find your filter size.
Filter Size Based On Grid Length
Grid Length Complete Clean
12" 24 Square Feet
18" 36 Square Feet
24" 48 Square Feet
30" 60 Square Feet
36" 72 Square Feet
Amount Of D.E. To Add
Size of filter Backwash Complete Clean
24 sq ft 4 scoops 5 scoops
36 sq ft 6 scoops 7 scoops
48 sq ft 8 scoops 10 scoops
60 sq ft 10 scoops 12 scoops
It is recommended that pool water should be drained every 3 to 5 years. This is needed because as water ages it becomes harder to keep balanced and clear. As the age of water progresses it will become chemically saturated which will increase the amount chemicals that need to be added to keep the water clean, clear and free of algae. Also, the pool equipment run time may need to be increased to help keep the pool clean. Both of these will add to the maintenance cost of your pool.