When it comes to a must-have cleaning tool for your pool, we can all agree that having a backwash hose is the real deal. It works by filtering out your pool and clearing out all the contaminants in the filter and from your pool.
Although, finding an efficient pool backlash hose will always be a struggle because many brands are out there to choose from.
How do you install a backwash hose? To install it, the hose needs to be attached to a waste port hose adapter. It will then be held on using a hose clamp. Ensure that the hose is not twisted before turning on the pump to perform a backwash.
This article will have all the information you need to perform a backwash procedure for your pool. Backwashing is an essential step in making sure your pool is at its prime and is needed for your pool to remain clean and safe,
The Definition Of Backwashing
Backwash, most commonly known as backwashing, is when you thoroughly clean a swimming pool’s filter to avoid cleaning it manually.
Usually, it just takes a few minutes to run, and you are done before you know it. First, however, a backwashing procedure is required to make sure your pool filter is running efficiently.
You will know if it is time to perform the backwashing routine when you see your pressure gauge recorded a pressure rise of 8 to 10 pounds above the clean or start-up pressure. This is important as you need to take action so the pool filter is not working double time.
The Use Of Backwash Hose
A backwash hose is a convenient item as it is primarily constructed out of heavy-duty materials that can allow you to backwash your filter and clean out the dirt and debris.
This debris accumulated in your filter over time, which is why backwashing should be done occasionally as soon as you notice the pressure in your filter is too high.
It means that the debris may be blocking all the water from pushing through the return. Therefore, when you perform backwashing, you need a hose long enough to reach your plumbing to your curb, storm drain, or some grass where water can be released.
Having a backwash hose can drain your pool or remove all the wastewater from your pool filter. Usually, you can find this attached to a tapered fitting inserted into the backwash port of the filter.
Then a clamp usually holds it in place, and it is made from heavily reinforced material that can easily be rolled up when not in use.
Installing A Backwash Hose
When it comes to the installation of backwash hoses, many homeowners find this optional. But not using one can be a little all over the place as it can erode the soils around your backwash equipment pad, and it can cause slipping and sliding.
You can choose from a 1.5” to 2” vinyl hose with different variations depending on how far your drainage will be.
You can use the 1.5” hose for small pumps, and the 2” hose is primarily used for larger pumps with a greater water volume.
You can easily install a backwash hose by attaching it with a waste port hose adapter and then held on using a hose clamp.
A shorter host can be easily managed, but a longer hose will be your best option. It is because it can reach your best discharge destination, and it can also be joined with some insert connectors and clamps.
Before even turning on the pump to perform the backwash, you need to make sure that the hose is attached correctly and not twisted.
Always keep an eye on it, and if it happens to kink, you need to shut down the pump completely before the hose breaks.
When you are done backwashing, you can drain the hose by raising it with your hand in the filter area. Then you can walk to the other end of the hose, where you can start to roll it up.
Rolling the hose properly is a must as it can jeopardize the overall quality and well-being of the hose. After rolling it up tightly, you can place the hose in a clean and dry area, usually between the filter tank and the valve.
You can also put it up against the base of the filter tank or even on the concrete beneath an upside-down bucket. This way, you can easily protect it from the outside elements and keep it from becoming slimy and grimy.
If you have a pool that has limited space or locations where you can send your backwash water, you can try to repurpose it. This can be either watering your lawn or garden or preventing erosion.
There is a pre-set-up pool backwash fountain that turns your backwash wastewater into a lawn sprinkler. It can prevent any erosion or even flooding your area when you are trying to backwash your filter.
Buying Guide To Backwash Hose
There are many crucial factors when purchasing a pool filter hose, as you need to consider things. Finding the right one will ensure you make the best choice you have and get the best out of it. Here are among the factors that you need to consider when buying your first ever backwash hose:
As mentioned above, the backwash hose comes in different lengths, and it should always align with the distance you want to take your wastewater to.
Before making any purchase, you need to consider the location to dump the wastewater. This can be in the street, sewer system, or, if you have the proper permits, in the woods.
Also, consider the timing on how long it will take for your wastewater dumping ground to your pool. Knowing all this information can help you figure out how much length you need for your backwashing.
Before buying any hose, you need to ensure that you measure your pool filter and that your item sums up with the attachment point of your filter. In addition, it is vital to ensure that you will have a smooth process. According to many pool professionals, it is always recommended to purchase a hose 0.25” larger than your pool filter size.
You have to consider the quality of the hose material before even purchasing one, as it can go a long way if you find the right one.
Getting the suitable material can determine how long your hose will serve you and how it can be resistant to age, chemicals, water, and weather. You can always go for a hose with a reinforced PVC material or if the hose is woven in a circular motion using a polyester fiber.
Dirt Passing Back Into Pool
Backwashing can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to your pool maintenance. If any dirt or diatomaceous earth gets through your filter and into the pool, it is never a good sign.
You can always check for damaged goods, laterals, or even cartridges. Usually, some broken manifolds or retainers or some backwash valves might have bad gaskets or o-rings.
When it comes to your backwashing and your hose, generally, maintenance and prevention are always the keys. For example, when you feel that a backwash valve is becoming difficult to turn, you can do a teardown and then perform lubrication before even having any leaks.
While you are in its process, you can examine the grids, cartridges, manifolds, and laterals every single time you break down a filter for cleaning.
Filters And Backwashing
While most filter types can keep your pool clean, maintaining it this way ensures that the filter is in the correct size and regularly cleaned.
The one you are most likely to keep clean is the best filter type. Cartridge filters are often a popular choice by many homeowners because they are easy to maintain.
Backwashing a DE filter should be considered a band-aid solution when a complete teardown and cleaning are impractical.
Having a sand filter works well in terms of backwashing, and since there is no DE to add, it can just remove the potential errors that can result in a dirty pool.
How Often Should You Backwash?
Backwashing and teardown usually depend on how you often use your swimming pool and how often it accumulates dirt from frequent usage. For example, DE filters are torn down and cleaned at least six times a year.
Therefore, unless your pool gets filthy, you do not need to backwash it now and then beyond your regular maintenance.
There is another theory where some pool professionals recommend backwash when your pressure gauge reaches up to 10 psi.
It is a good sign that you might have accumulated a lot of dirt, and backwash is needed to make sure your pool is running efficiently and safely. Backwashing is also required if there is a significant storm or weather event in your region.
Backwashing Best Practices
Backwashing is the method of reversing the flow of water in and out of the filter tank. It is the process where it cleans sand or DE pool filters.
Most sand and DE filters are backwashed to remove all the trapped debris, raise water flow, and reduce system pressure. Cartridge filters are not backwashed, but the cartridges are removed, and then they can be hosed clean.
Backwashing sand and DE filters is a simple task, and all you have to do is shut off your pump and set the multiport valve to backwash settings. Then you can roll out the backwash hose and turn the pump on again.
Backwashing typically takes about 3 – 4 minutes until your water runs clear, then you can shut the pump off and return the pump into filter settings.
When To Backwash
The perfect time to backwash is when you see the pressure gauge indicating that it is time to backwash. As much of the dirt starts to build up inside the tank, the flow rate will decrease, and the tank pressure will increase.
So when you see that your pressure gauge reads 8 to 10 psi higher than the clean start-up pressure, it is the right time. However, if you see that the flow rate or skimmer suction is significantly reduced at 5 psi, do not wait until it reaches 8 psi to backwash.
If you are backwashing, you can easily do it yourself as there are some settings that you can follow installed in your pool system. If you do not want to engage in that heavy work, you can engage pool services to do it for you.
If you are planning to do the backwash yourself, you can follow the steps below to make sure you get it right:
- Switch off your pool’s pump and filtration system. Clamp your backwash hose into your water outlet.
- Set the filter value to backwash, then make sure that the handle is correctly locked in its place. You will typically see water flow through the hose in the view glass.
- Wait for at least 5 minutes until the water coming out turns clear. Then you can turn off the pump to stop the backwashing procedure.
- Turn the filter valve handle to rinse, and always make sure that the handle locks are still in place. Allow the rinse process to occur for another minute until the water is clear.
- Turn off the pump, and to prevent water from entering the filter from your pool, you need to close the skimmer valve.
- Empty, then clean the skimmer basket and the hair catcher if you have one, and then you can easily position them back in their place.
- Open the skimmer, reset the filter valve to filter, ensure that the locks are in place, and turn the pump back on.
When Not To Backwash
Knowing when to backwash is easy as you have a pressure gauge to depend on. But, backwashing a sand filter too often can produce less filtration.
It is because having a sand filter will perform better if it is a little dirty. This is because dirt trapped in some of the sand grains will trap more dirt. So when half dirty, a sand filter can be twice as effective.
Backwashing is an excellent way to clean your filters, but sometimes it’s not the same if you do it more than you should. For example, if your pool has an algae issue, it is recommended to bypass your filter entirely and vacuum all the waste directly.
It is because live algae can easily pass through to your filtration device and can quickly re-enter your pool. In addition, you need to vacuum directly to water and down the drain if your pool has been exposed to a high level of dirt.
Duration Of Backwashing
Many pool technicians recommend having it clean for about 2 to 3 minutes, but they also mentioned that it would depend on your case.
You can backwash as long as you need to until the water turns clear at the end of the backwash hose. You can also see it through a sight glass which some valves have for viewing all the wastewater clarity.
The larger the filter is, the longer it will expect to be backwashed, and more minor to medium-sized can only take less than 3 minutes. You can expect to wait until 3 to 5 minutes for many larger filters until you get precise results.
When you plan to backwash, you always need to ensure that your pump is turned off or the filter valve is in the correct settings. It is because it can easily damage your whole system if you do not do this first step.
It is also known to result in a loss of water, and while this might be unavoidable, you can still minimize the amount of water you lose by not overdoing it.
Keep a close eye on the color of the water through your viewing glass and stop it the moment you see clear water. You will also inevitably wash out some of your sand along with the debris and dirt if you are using the sand filter.
As a result, this will require you to top up the amount of sand inside your filter. To minimize this, run the filter system on the rinse setting for a minute when you do the top-up.
Overall, installing a backwash hose is an easy task that you can do by yourself. All you need to do is have the right amount of tools and materials for a backwash procedure.
If you are not comfortable doing it by yourself, you can tap some of your pool providers, and they will hook you up with some professionals to take care of it. Backwashing can also be done with your routine pool maintenance to hit two birds with one stone.