backwash a pool

What Does Backwashing a Pool Mean?

We all know how enjoyable having a swimming pool is, but it can become much less enjoyable when that pool’s water is not as clean and clear as it could be. One way to keep pool water as clean and clear as possible is with backwashing. No, we’re not talking about spitting your drink back into the glass, this is a legitimate cleaning process! Backwashing is a necessary procedure for cleaning, and keeps your pool running. Let’s discuss.

What is backwashing?

Backwashing is sort of exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of running the pool’s water back through the pump filter, reversing the flow. This cleans out your swimming pool filter

Why is backwashing important?

Backwashing is important because your pool often collects dirt, debris, and various other impurities over time. This buildup will clog your filter and slow its ability to clean water. Back washing uses the backwash flow to clean the water filter in a dirty pool. It also helps to prevent cloudy water, which can become cloudy due to excessive dirt and debris. Clear water looks better, and is healthier, too. 


Backwashing also helps to maintain proper water flow. A clogged water filter system can obstruct the flow of water, which leads to poor circulation. Proper flow of pool water ensures that the water is clean, and chemicals are distributed properly. Lastly, backwashing prolongs filter life, by reducing strain on the filter and extending its lifespan. 

When should you backwash your pool?

It is important to know exactly when you should backwash your pool so you can maintain the most efficient filtration and to have clean water. There’s no recommended fixed schedule for backwashing, but here are some signs that it may be time.

It might be time to backwash if you have cloudy water

If your pool looks cloudy, murky, or hazy, it might be time to backwash your pool. Cloudy or murky water can indicate excessive debris or contaminants in the filter. Backwashing will rectify these issues in the water.

Flow of water is a good indicator of needing a backwash

Check your return jets in your pool. If you notice that the flow of water is weak or reduced, then the filter may be clogged, and it’s time for a backwash.

Water pressure is going to be an obvious indicator of filter strain

Most modern pools are equipped with a water pressure gauge. Keep note of what your normal range is. When your gauge starts reading above the normal range, this is an obvious indicator that your filter is under a lot of strain and requires a backwash.

How you should backwash your pool

Backwashing your pool is luckily pretty straightforward! Let’s go over the steps below.

Make sure that nothing is running 

You’ll want to make sure that everything, all pool equipment, and the pool pump are all turned off before you start the backwashing process. This will prevent any accidents or damage during the procedure.

Make sure that you have a hose to connect to the filter

Your pool filter has a backwash valve. You’ll want to attach a hose to it that’s long enough to direct the discharged water away from the pool area. 

See if you have a backwash option or something related to backwash

As we said above, most pool filters have a multiport valve that would allow you to select a backwash setting. If you do, turn the valve to the backwash position. 

Let the filter system run until the water is clear

Once your multiport valve is set to the backwash position, turn your pool pump on. Then, allow the filter system to do its thing. Once the water in the discharge hose, or the sightglass is clear, then your water has been backwashed.

You are now able to turn off the filter and consider it done

Once the process is done, turn the pool pump off, and reset the valve back to its regular position. Then, you can consider the process done! Easy, right?

GPS Pools is here for any of your pool concerns, questions and maintenance needs!

Maintaining a well-functioning and clean pool can be a rewarding experience, so you can enjoy beautiful, year-round relaxation. However, that regular maintenance requires a little bit of expertise and dedication. GPS Pools has that experience and dedication! We understand the importance of proper and regular pool maintenance and are dedicated to preventing top of the line services for all of your pool needs. 


Whether you require assistance with the backwashing discussed above, general pool maintenance, acid washing, or water testing – you can rely on us. Contact your pool experts at GPS Pools today!