Your swimming pool is only as clean as you keep it. It doesn’t matter if you have owned a pool for years or this is your first time, having the right filter can make all the difference. Water filters come in all shapes and styles, including many that are specifically designed for a particular type of pool. Regardless of the type of pool that you have, it’s critical to get the appropriate filter installation to keep it in pristine condition at all times.
The average cost to install a pool water filter is between $500 and $2,000, with most owners spending an average of $1,000 for a professional plumber to install a cartridge or sand unit in a mid-sized in-ground swimming pool. A project could cost as little as $250 for a cartridge filter installation into a small above-ground pool or reach as high as $4,500 for a DE filter and pump installation into a 40,000-gallon in-ground pool.
|Pool Filter Costs|
|National average cost||$1,000|
Pools come in all shapes and sizes. There are also above-ground and in-ground options to consider, and each has its own requirements for a proper filtration system. You should always consult with a professional to determine which filter will be right for you, based both on the size and type, as well as any other factors that are deemed important. If you have a saltwater system, you will also need a specialty filtration system that may incur additional costs.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Above-Ground||$250 - $1,100|
|In-Ground||$250 - $2,500|
|Saltwater||$500 - $2,500|
The cost to replace a pool filter system in an above-ground system ranges from $250 to $1,100. A lot of above-ground pools are sold as packages that include a filtration system, pump, and everything that you need to install it and use it right away. In this situation, it’s a good idea to ask about what type of units are included so that you can choose what works best. They typically have sand or cartridge filters.
If you have an in-ground pool, you have a lot more options for the types of filters that you can use, with costs between $250 and $2,500. The DE (diatomaceous earth) filter is the best choice here but has the highest inground pool filter system cost. Again, you don’t have to choose the more expensive option if you are on a budget. Cartridge systems will do the job and sand models may get you by for a while, but if you’re looking at long-term potential, it’s best to stick to the DE or something that has better filtration. They are often more complex and expensive, so professional installation is a must.
Saltwater pools can be filtered using any of the three options available, with the installation prices ranging from $500 to $2,500. Sand units can last 3-5 years in a saltwater pool, offering an economical solution for those who need it. Cartridge units may be a bit more expensive, depending on the type of cartridges that you need. Of course, a DE unit is the best choice for premium filtration in this type of system. It will be more expensive, but well worth the investment. Like freshwater systems, the cost of the filter will depend on the exact size and type of filtration chosen.
The biggest impact on cost is also the most important decision when you are installing a filter: the type that you choose. It is critical that you choose the correct filtration system for your type of pool. One of the things to consider is the filtering capacity. This is measured in microns, which is one-millionth of a meter. Filtering capacity gives you insight into how effective it will be. A filter that is capable of trapping items that are five microns will be more efficient than one that only traps those that are 20 to 30 microns. The cost ranges from $30 for a standard pocket filter to $2,000 for the best diatomaceous earth filter.
|Type||Filtering Capacity in Microns||Average Cost (Only Unit)|
|15||$30 - $100|
|Cartridge||10 - 15||$200 - $1,600|
|Sand||20 - 100||$300 - $1,200|
|Glass||9||$500 - $1,500|
|Diatomaceous Earth||3 - 5||$520 - $2,000|
Pocket filters are typically used in addition to a pool filtration system and can range from $30 to $100 on average. These units are also known as filter bags, and they can be constructed from a number of materials. Some are even used with sand to increase filtration abilities. The size and type of filter that you choose will impact the final cost. This type of filter doesn’t typically require professional installation. It has a filtering capacity of 15 microns on average.
The average cartridge filter ranges from $200 to $1,600 and traps particles as small as 10 to 15 microns. Cartridge models are eco-friendly and require less water for cleaning. They can be cleaned, but they require disassembly, which can be a laborious process. Again, the exact price will depend on the size of your pool and the filtration system it requires.
The average sand filter cost ranges from $300 to $1,200, depending on the size of the filtration system you need. Sand models are filled with a special no. 20 silica sand that is specifically designed to trap debris and particles. This system works by keeping the sand in the housing, which is connected to the pool with intake and output hoses. It can capture particles ranging from 20-100 microns.
The glass filter ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the size and type chosen. Glass models are newer, but they are quite popular because they can filter particles as small as nine (9) microns. Unlike the jagged edges of sand, glass is smoothed to ensure that it can attract the finest particles and give you the cleanest results.
The average cost of a diatomaceous earth pool filter is between $520 and $2,000, depending on its size and complexity. This is one of the most efficient options. It is more expensive to maintain and requires a bigger investment upfront, but it will give your pool the filtration that it requires for the cleanest water possible. These units use a powder that dissolves and traps debris by sticking to the fabric of the filter housing. It can trap debris as small as 3-5 microns.
There are several brands of filtration systems on the market today. Some brands are better-known for certain types of filters, such as Intex, which is a popular choice for budget-friendly above-ground pools. There are also brands like Hayward, that are designed for all types of pools and offer premium filtration options at a slightly higher price point.
|Brand||Price (Only Unit)|
|Intex||$100 - $500|
|Pentair||$300 - $1,600|
|Hayward||$300 - $1,800|
An Intex swimming pool water filter ranges from $100 to $500. These are typically made for use in above-ground systems and come at an affordable cost. Many products by this brand are made of Dacron and designed to be simple to clean and replace as needed. The filter cartridges should typically be replaced about once every two weeks. The filters and other items from Intex are made specifically by pools manufactured by the same brand.
Pentair is another major provider that ranges in price from $300 to $1,600. These come in various shapes and sizes to ensure a healthy and clean pool. Both sand and diatomaceous earth models are available from this company. These can be rinsed to clean and designed to be highly efficient. They include large drains and continual air relief for long-lasting use.
The pool filtration system cost from Hayward is around $400 to $1,800 for cartridge, sand, and diatomaceous earth filters. They are made to provide excellent performance in any season, excellent water quality, and a simple maintenance process. These come in several types, so homeowners can choose the features that appeal to them most. The prices also vary based on how well the filter works, with sand units being the least expensive and diatomaceous earth the most expensive.
Having a pool filter installed is something that should always be done by a professional. There are DIY filtration solutions available for above-ground pools, but the initial installation is always best done by a professional. They will know how to make sure that everything is properly connected and will have the tools to do the job right. Depending on your pool, you may also need to have a pump and/or a hydraulic system installed if you haven’t already.
This type of installation is typically performed by a pool installation technician or a plumber. Electricians may be needed to assist with any wiring required, but usually, the work can be done without them. Labor is typically charged at an hourly rate. Plumbers will charge between $45 and $200 per hour, while specialized technicians will charge a rate of approximately $35 to $55 per hour for simple installations. If you need to hire an electrician, they typically cost about $40 to $120 per hour. The entire project should take one to three hours to complete.
This type of replacement may cost less than a new installation. If you are upgrading to a better filtration system, it may be more expensive. You may also only need to replace certain parts of the system, such as filtration sand or the filter gasket, which will incur a minimal cost. Typically, the average replacement cost ranges from $250 to $1,500, depending on the type of unit and replacement being made.
If the sand in your pool filter is all that needs to be replaced, professionals may charge as much as $100 for the service, plus any delivery fees when they bring it to you. You can buy this sand at most home improvement and pool stores, which costs an average of $25 to $35 for a 50 lb. bag.
Replacing the gasket in your filter may be required to ensure a good seal. Even if your filtration system is still in working order, the gasket could wear out or become damaged over time, requiring replacement. The gasket itself will only cost $10 to $40 on average and is usually something that requires less than an hour of work if you hire a professional.
Replacing a pool filter is not something that you can really schedule. Although there will come a point when it is better to replace it than to keep cleaning it, it is more about its condition and its ability to keep the water clean. If your current unit isn’t keeping up with the work or if it has died completely, you will want to do a full replacement. You can also consult a specialized tech to determine the state of your filter and when it may need to be replaced.
Many signs indicate that you may need to replace the filter in your pool. For instance, if you see particles or debris in the water that should have been removed, replacement may be needed. This is also the case if you need to clean the filter more frequently. If the PSI on your pressure gauge is spiking, this may mean it is clogged or faulty and should be replaced. You should also replace it if the pH balance is off, or the filter is clearly damaged.
The pool filter and pump are two separate components that work together to keep the water clean. The filter is responsible for the majority of the cleaning, while the pump helps move the water toward the filter. Any pump can be used with any filter. However, the horsepower needed by the pump depends on how large the pool is. More power is needed to move the water in a pool that holds more gallons of water.
Knowing the size of the filter that you need makes a big difference in pricing. In order to determine the size of that you need, use the equations below. We’ll also include an example to help visualize the process.
The first step is to calculate pool volume. Multiply the length by the width, multiply that by the depth, and then multiply by 7.5 if you have an oblong or a rectangular pool. For a round one, take the radius squared and multiply by 3.14 and then 5.9. Next, divide by the turnover rate. The general number to use is 12, the typical turnover of two for each day. Finally, determine the gallons per minute by dividing the gallons per hour you just calculated by 60.
After you have this final number, you want a filter that meets or exceeds the capacity to ensure your pool stays clean. For instance, if your pool is 32 feet long, 16 feet wide, and 5 feet deep, you multiply those numbers as well as 7.5 to get 19,200 gallons. Next, divide that number by 12 to get 1,600 gallons per hour. Take the result and divide by 60 for a total of 26.66 gallons per minute.
In this scenario, you would want to purchase a filter that does at least 27 gallons per minute (GPM). If you are sizing filters by the square foot, they need to have about one square foot per 10,000 gallons for appropriate filtration capacity.
|Gallonage||Pump Size (in HP)||Filter Size in (GPM)|
|10,000 Gallons||3/4 - 1||14|
|15,000 Gallons||3/4 - 1||21|
|20,000 Gallons||1 1/2||28|
|25,000 Gallons||1 1/2||35|
|40,000 Gallons||2 1/2||56|
|45,000 Gallons||2 1/2||63|
If there is not a need for a full replacement, you may be able to get your pool filter cleaned. Routine cleaning may be required, usually in 3-6 month intervals. You will also know that it is time to clean when your pressure gauge hits 8-10 PSI higher than where it should be operating. When performing your maintenance, see what issues you are having with filtration and perform a visual inspection of your filter system. If it has not yet reached its life expectancy but isn’t working as efficiently, a cleaning may be all that you need.
Regular cleaning can help keep your filter in good condition and give you more life out of it. On average, you can expect to spend between $60 to 65 for regular cleaning. In the event that you need more intensive cleaning, it could cost between $60 and $125 per hour.
Part of owning a pool is regular maintenance and cleaning of the filtration system. Every type of filter has its suggested maintenance requirements. From routine cleaning to how to identify potential repair or replacement needs, there are some things every owner should know.
|Type||Difficulty of Maintenance|
|Sand||Low to moderate|
|Cartridge||Low to moderate|
Pocket filters are designed to float around and capture debris, which makes them a lot easier to maintain. Typically, you’ll want to rinse the filter thoroughly after removing it to clean out all of the debris. These filters should be cleaned after every use, and at least every couple of days, depending on their capacity.
Sand filters are relatively simple to maintain. Regular cleaning should be done when the system is running 8-10 PSI higher than it normally does-- this increased pressure can be a sign of dirt buildup that needs to be removed. Backwashing the system is a quick and easy way to re-filter the sand and clean the system and should be done weekly. You may also need to replace lost or dirty sand every few years to maintain the system.
Cartridge filters typically last for 3-5 years and will only need to be cleaned about every six months or so. If there is a storm or another event that causes excess debris buildup, you may need to clean it sooner than the six-month mark. These can be cleaned by removing the cartridge and hosing it down. Just be careful not to use too much pressure or you could damage the filter material. You’ll also want to backwash the system to clean everything regularly.
DE filters also have a routine maintenance schedule to consider. The backwashing of this system should be done about once every four to six weeks. If you use your pool more often, you may want to clean your DE unit every three to four weeks instead. If the pressure gauge is 8 to 10 PSI above normal, it is time to clean it. This involves backwashing, cleaning out the grids and manifolds, and adding new diatomaceous earth.
Glass filters work similarly to sand ones, and should also be backwashed weekly. You should inspect the glass pieces and clean them thoroughly, replacing them as needed. Those who use their pools more frequently may want to clean it twice a week during peak use times. After backwashing the filter, it is also necessary to rinse it. This ensures that it continues to offer the best possible filtration.
In some cases, pool owners might have a pump and filter installed at the same time. If you choose to combine these services, you may pay more collectively, but you also may get a discount by having them done at the same time. The average cost to have both installations done simultaneously ranges from $650 to $5,500, depending on the size and the type of pump and filtration system you choose.
Installing a skimmer basket or pre-filter is a great way to extend the life of your filtration system. This basket can catch a lot of debris and prevent it from getting into the internal system, which means less cleaning and maintenance. These inexpensive devices typically cost between $5 and $35, depending on the type and size of your skimmer.
The average cost to install a filter is approximately $1,000.
Replacing a sand filter in your pool has a similar cost of installing a new one. You will pay for the unit itself, with sand models ranging from $300 to $1,200 and the professional installation. In some cases, you may be able to replace just the sand, which only costs about $25 to $35 for a 50 lb. bag.
They can cost anywhere from $30 to $2,000 or more, depending on the type of filter and filtration system, the size and volume of the pool, and other factors.
If you choose to have a pump and filter installed together, you could save a little money on labor costs and other fees. The average cost to install both of these at the same time ranges from $650 to $5,500, depending on the type and size of both units.
This type of installation typically requires setting up the filtration system, connecting it to the pool with intake and output hoses, and adding any accessories like sand or cartridges. It may be a simple process that only takes a few hours, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. You can also hire a professional to install a new pool filter to save the work and worry.
Above-ground pools typically come with sand filtration systems, but they aren’t the most efficient choice. The best filtration system for these pools, for those who are willing to spend the money, is the diatomaceous earth filtration system.