How to Install an Above-Ground Pool Filter

An above-ground pool.

A properly functioning above-ground pool filter is a vital element for the cleanliness of your swimming pool. It works in concert with the pump and chemical water treatment, to ensure the pool is always clean and free from unsightly and harmful particles, minerals and bacteria. Follow these directions to install, check, and maintain your above-ground pool filter in good operational condition. Have an electrician install and connect the filter's electric motor for safety and to validate your filter's warranty.

Step 1 - Choose and Purchase the Type of Pool Filter You Want to Use

The three most common pool filters available for above-ground pools are sand filters, cartridge filters, and DE filters. Sand DE filters using specific filtering materials contained in a large canister to screen out impurities and bacteria from swimming pool water.

A cartridge filter runs water through a multi-part cartridge, usually containing activated charcoal as a filtering material.

Step 2 - Identify All the Parts of Your Pool Filter System

Open the package and place all the components on a tarpaulin or on the pool deck. Assemble the main filter canister and its internal components. Find the PVC pipes that will be connected to the filter system. Identify and confirm which are the filter's inlet, outlet and backwash/waste hoses.

Complete the assembly of the filter and add the appropriate filtering material: diatomaceous earth, sand, or a fresh, clean cartridge. Set the filter unit where it will remain while in operation, close to the pool inlet and outlet access.

Step 3 - Attach the Correct Hoses to the Correct Pool Pipes

Connect a hose to the air filter intake valve to the outflow pipe from the pool. Water leaves the pool and enters the filter to be cleaned. Attach the second flex hose to the output valve on the filter, and join it to the intake pipe of the pool. Cleaned and filtered water will flow back into the pool from this location.

Find the backwash/wastewater inlet on the filter and connect it via a hose to the waste pipe outlet from the pool. Water leaves the pool and is flushed through this section to purge the filter of dirt and grime. This water is discharged and does not recirculate.

Step 4 - Prime the Pool Filter Unit

Twist open the valve knob atop the filter unit. Water enters the filter until it is at full capacity. Turn on the filter, which should operate normally.

Step 5 - Activate the Pool Pump

Prime the pump by opening the top and adding water to it to the specified fill line. Replace and fasten down the pump lid with the appropriate bolts. Press the switch to activate the pool pump. It should start pumping water throughout the pool immediately.

Step 6 - Jump into the Pool for an Operational Inspection

Jump in the pool to troubleshoot: listen for smooth quiet operating of both the pool filter and pump. Attach the pool vacuum and test it. Watch the pool water as it circles around the pool. Check that surface debris is washed out through the outlet.