How to Clean an Intex Pool Filter Pump

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Pool filters can become clogged and dirty pretty quickly depending on the level of use. The Intex pool filter cartridge, a common filter used in Intex filter pumps, needs to be cleaned frequently, but after a while, you'll just need a new filter.

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Signs That the Filter Is Dirty

You are ready to hop in your pool, but you notice that the flow from the filter is exceedingly slow or isn't pumping at all. Before you assume that there's something wrong with your whole pump, check the filter cartridge inside. Excessively dirty filters are a common reason pumps stop filtering.

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You might also notice that the pool just doesn't look clean, which is a sign that the filter isn't doing its job well. This could be due to a chemical imbalance in the pool or a problem with the pH levels, but a dirty cartridge could also be the culprit.

Preparing to Clean or Replace the Filter

Before touching your filter pump, turn off its power by unplugging it from the electrical outlet. You never want to work on your pump when it is still plugged in.

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Then, the first thing to do is to elevate your pump above the valves inside your pool unless you have drained your pool. If the filter is at ground level, the intake and outtake valves are at least 2 feet above it, and gravity will force water through the pump and all over the place when you open its top. Many pools have corner bracing that is broad enough to use as a shelf. If your pool has this, place the filter on this "shelf," which will offer enough height to avoid losing water out of the pump. If not, find a table or something to place your pump on, or if you're dexterous enough, place it on your knee.

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Removing the Filter

First, turn the air release valve on the top of the filter to release pressure. Unscrew the threaded filter housing collar that anchors the top to the base. At this point, you should be able to easily remove the filter's housing cover. If water begins to spew out, the pump is not elevated enough.

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Pull out the filter, which is likely to be full of gunk, hair, and other unpleasant debris. It's time to either clean it or replace it.

Cleaning the Intex Pool Filter

You should remove and clean your filter once a week using a strong stream of water. Once monthly, clean it by soaking it in a chemical solution. After a certain amount of time, your filter will just need to be replaced; this will depend on use and the quality of the filter.

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To clean your Intex pool filter, you'll need at minimum a garden hose and for the chemical clean, a bucket and some commercial filter cleaner. A 5-gallon bucket is ideal, but the goal is just to be able to submerge your filter inside the solution.

Once a week, remove the filter and grab your hose with a hose nozzle that can produce a jet of water. Spray your filter all around, spreading apart each pleat to remove dirt and junk from inside the folds. Let the filter completely dry and then reinsert it in your pump.

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Once a month, prepare a chemical cleaning solution in a bucket of water. Several cleaning products are commercially available. Some pool owners use bleach or vinegar or a combination of these with dish soap, but nothing beats a solution designed specifically for pool filters.

Soak your filter according to the product's directions and then let it completely dry. Place the clean or new filter back in the pump housing. Put the cover seal on top and then add the threaded cover on the housing and turn clockwise to tighten. Place the pump back on the ground and then plug it back in.

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