How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Water Filter?

Average range: $500 - $2,000
Average Cost
$500 - $2,000
(installation of a cartridge filter in a medium sized in-ground pool)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Water Filter?

Average range: $500 - $2,000
Average Cost
$500 - $2,000
(installation of a cartridge filter in a medium sized in-ground pool)

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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by

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 pool water 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 pool water filter installation to keep your pool in pristine condition at all times.

The average cost to install a pool water filter is between $500 and $2,000, with most pool owners spending an average of $975 for a professional plumber to install a filter, pre-filter, and cleaner in a mid-sized in-ground swimming pool.

Pool Filter Installation Cost

Pool Filter Costs
National average cost$975
Average range$500-$2,000
Minimum cost$225
Maximum cost$2,900

Water Filter Installation Cost by Project Range

Sand or cartridge filter system in a small above-ground pool
Average Cost
$500 - $2,000
Installation of a cartridge filter in a medium sized in-ground pool
DE filter and pump installation in a 40,000-gallon in-ground pool

Pool Filter Cost by Type of Filter

The biggest impact on cost is also the most important decision when you are installing a pool filter: the type of filter that you choose. It is critical that you choose the correct filtration system for your type of pool.

Pool Filter Cost

Pool Filter Cost

Filter typeAverage costFiltering capacity
Pocket$30-$10015 microns
Cartridge$200-$1,60010-15 microns
Sand$250-$1,20020-100 microns
Glass$500-$1,5009 microns
Diatomaceous Earth$520-$1,6003-5 microns

Pocket Filter Cost

Pocket filters are typically used in addition to a pool filtration system and can range from $30 to $100 on average. These filters 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.

Cartridge Filter Cost

Cartridge filters are eco-friendly and require less water for cleaning. The filters 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 cartridge filter cost ranges from $200-$1,600 and can trap particles as small as 10-15 microns.

Sand Filter Cost

Sand filters 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 filter housing, which is connected to the pool with intake and output hoses. This filter can capture particles ranging from 20-100 microns. The average sand filter cost ranges from $250 to $1,200, depending on the size of the filtration system you need.

Glass Filter Cost

Glass filters 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. These pool filters have an average cost of $500 to $1,500, depending on the size and type of your pool and the filter unit chosen.

Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter Cost

This is one of the most efficient options for pool filtration. 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 filters 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. The average cost of a diatomaceous earth pool filter is between $520 and $1,600, depending on its size and complexity.

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Pool Filter Cost by Type of Pool

Pools come in all shapes and sizes. There are also above-ground and in-ground pools 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 your pool, based both on its size and type, as well as any other factors that are deemed important. If you have a saltwater pool, you will also need a specialty filtration system that may incur additional costs.

How Much Does a Pool Filter Cost

Type of poolSuggested filterAverage filter cost
Above-groundSand/Glass or Cartridge$250-$1,100

Sand/Cartridge for smaller or above-ground saltwater pools

DE for larger, in-ground pools

In-groundDiatomaceous Earth (DE)$250-$2,500

Above-ground Pool Filters

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 filters are included in the pool so that you can choose what works best. Above-ground pools typically have sand filters or cartridge filters.DIY and professional options are available.

Saltwater Pool Filter Cost

Saltwater pools can be filtered using any of the three options available. Sand filters can last 3-5 years in a saltwater pool, offering an economical solution for those who need it. Cartridge filters may be a bit more expensive, depending on the type of cartridges that you need. Of course, the DE filter is the best choice for premium filtration in a saltwater pool. It will be more expensive, but well worth the investment. Like freshwater pools, the cost of the filter will depend on the exact size of the pool and type of filtration chosen.

In-ground Pool Filters

If you have an in-ground pool, you have a lot more options for the types of filters that you can use. The DE (diatomaceous earth) filter is the best choice here, but 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 filters 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. In-ground pool filters are often more complex and expensive, so professional installation is a must.

Pool Filter Installation Cost

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.

The installation of pool filters 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 pool technicians will charge a rate of approximately $35 to $55 per hour for simple filter installations. If you need to hire an electrician, they typically cost about $40-$100 per hour. The entire project should take one to three hours to complete.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Pool Filter?

Replacing a pool filter 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 1, which will incur a minimal cost. Typically, the average cost to fully replace a pool filter ranges from $150 to $1,500, depending on the type of filter and replacement being made.

Cost to Replace Sand in Pool Filter

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 pool filter sand at most home improvement and pool stores, which costs an average of $25-$35 for a 50 lb. bag.

Pool Filter Gasket Replacement

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-$40 on average and is usually something that requires less than an hour of work if you hire a professional.

When to Replace a Pool Filter

Replacing a pool filter is not something that you can really schedule. Although there will come a point when it is better to replace a filter than to keep cleaning it, it is more about the condition of the filter and its ability to keep your pool clean. If your current filter 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 pool tech to determine the state of your filter and when it may need to be replaced.

Signs it may be time to replace your pool filter include:

  • Obvious debris or particles in the pool that should be captured by the filtration system.
  • Having to clean the filter or the pool more frequently than normal.
  • A spike in PSI on your pressure gauge could indicate a clogged or faulty filter that needs to be replaced.
  • Changes or inconsistencies in pool chemical levels, such as pH balance.
  • If the filter is obviously broken or in disrepair.

A pool water filter being cleaned

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How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Pool Filter?

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 for some filters, 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 pool maintenance, see what issues you are having with filtration and perform a visual inspection of your filter system. If your filter 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 $60-65 for regular filter cleaning. In the event that you need more intensive cleaning, it could cost between $60 and $125 per hour.

Pool Filter Size Calculator

Knowing the size of the filter that you need makes a big difference in pricing. In order to determine the size of the filter that your pool needs, use the equations below. We’ll also include an example to help visualize the process.

  • Calculate Pool Volume: Length x Width x Depth x 7.5 for rectangular or oblong pools, or the radius squared x 3.14 x 5.9 for round pools.
  • Divide by Turnover Rate: Capacity divided by 12 (to meet the standard turnover requirement of 2 times in a 24-hour period).
  • Determine Gallons Per Minute: Divide the gallons per hour from above by 60.

Once you have this number, you should choose a pool filter that meets or exceeds this capacity in order to keep your pool clean. For example, here’s a calculation of the average pool:

  • 32’ L x 16’ W x 5’D x 7.5 = 19,200 gallons
  • 19,200 / 12 = 1,600 gallons per hour
  • 1,600 / 60 = 26.66 gallons per minute

In this scenario, you would want to purchase a filter that does at least 27 gallons per minute.

Pool sizeGallon capacityRecommended filter size (GPM)


20-foot round

12x24 rectangle

16x32 oval/rectangle

10,000-20,000 gallons20-30 gallons per minute


18x36 oval/rectangle

20x38 kidney

20,000-30,000 gallons30-40 gallons per minute


20x40 rectangle

25x50 rectangle/oval

30,000-40,000 gallons40-50 gallons per minute

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.

What Is the Best Pool Filtration System?

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.

Although a lot of the decision regarding which pool filter is going to be best will be circumstantial based on your pool, the leading brands include:

  • Hayward
  • Intex
  • Pentair

Any list or guide that provides reviews of the top pool filters will all include multiple models from these three brands, proving that when you choose them, you will be choosing the optimal filtration system. Again, as with all things related to your pool filter installation, it may be best to consult with a pool tech to choose the ideal model and brand for your needs.

Pool Filter Prices

Pool Filter Prices

Pool Filter Maintenance

Part of owning a pool is regular maintenance and cleaning of the filtration system. Every type of pool filter has its suggested maintenance requirements. From routine cleaning to how to identify potential repair or replacement needs, there are some things every pool owner should know.

Sand Filter Maintenance

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 Filter Maintenance

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 filters 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.

Diatomaceous Earth Filter Maintenance

DE filters also have a routine maintenance schedule to consider. The backwashing of this filter 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 filter system every three to four weeks instead.

Glass Filter Maintenance

Glass filters work similarly to sand filters, 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 this filter twice weekly during peak use times.

Pocket Filter Maintenance

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 from the pool 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.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Pool Pump and Filter Installation

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 a pump and filter installation done simultaneously ranges from $700 to $2,200, depending on the size of your pool and the type of pump and filtration system you choose.

Pool Skimmer Box Installation

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.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • In some cases, you may be able to install your own pool filter or replace a filtration system without professional assistance. If that is the case, you will only incur charges for the filter or equipment that you purchase. This could save you a lot of money on labor costs and service charges.
  • It is important to get at least 3-5 estimates before you hire a plumber, electrician, or pool contractor to assist with your filter installation or replacement. Not every technician will offer the same services or pricing, so you will want to compare not only what you are paying, but what you are getting for the money.
  • Many pool technicians and plumbers will have service call fees or trip charges in addition to their labor costs. Make sure that you ask about this prior to hiring someone. Service calls range from $65-$75 per visit, while trip charges may range from $50-$100 per trip if they are traveling from a distance.


  • How much does it cost to install a pool filter?

The average cost to install a pool filter is approximately $975.

  • How much does it cost to install a pool timer?

Pool timer installation typically costs about $50, which is just for the device itself. Installing a pool timer is a fairly simple process. Typically, it can be done in a couple of minutes and by anyone with basic handy skills.

  • How much does it cost to replace a pool sand filter?

Replacing a sand filter in your pool has a similar cost of installing a new filter ($290-$1,440). You will pay for the filter itself, with sand filters ranging from $250-$1,200 and the professional installation.

  • How much does it cost to buy and install an above ground pool?

The average above-ground pool package costs between $10,000 and $12,000 for a complete pool system with the filter, pump, and professional installation.

  • How much do pool filters cost?

Pool filters can cost anywhere from $50 to $2,500 or more, depending on the type of filter and filtration system, the size and volume of the pool, and other factors.

  • How much is a pool pump and filter?

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 $700 to $2,200, depending on the type and size of the pump and filter, as well as the type and size of your pool.

  • How much does it cost to replace a pool sand filter?

Replacing a pool sand filter can be as cheap as $290, but can also cost as much as $1,000 or more, on average, depending on how big your pool is and what type of sand filter you choose. In some cases, you may be able to replace just the sand, which only costs about $25-$35 for a 50 lb. bag.

  • How do you install a new pool filter?

Installing a new pool filter 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.

  • What is the best filtration system for above-ground pools?&

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.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Gasket: A seal that fills the space between two or more surfaces that are joined together, allowing a tight seal even when the surfaces do not fit against each other perfectly

Cost to install a swimming pool water filter varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Cost to install a swimming pool water filter varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources