How to Conserve Water Using Your Pool Filter

Written by Michael Dean
June 25, 2024

pool filter system

Every pool owner knows that water costs money. In the summer months, it can be a major struggle to prevent as much evaporation as possible to lower the water bill while still enjoying having your swimming pool in your backyard. There are many tips and tricks out there to help you conserve your pool water, but did you know you can also use the help of your pool filter?

In this article, I will discuss how to conserve water using your pool filter and other water-saving tips. Let’s dive in!

Main Takeaways

  • To conserve water using your pool filter, properly maintain the pool filter, go for a cartridge filter, and use a timer.
  • Other tips for conserving water in your pool include using a pool cover, keeping the water temperature low, fixing leaks and cracks, and discouraging splashing.
  • Depending on the local climate and pool usage, a pool can lose up to a quarter-inch of water daily.
  • On average, a pool owner will drain their pool every 5 to 7 years.

How to Conserve Water Using Your Pool Filter

Conserving your pool water starts with your filtration system. But how exactly can you use your filter to lessen the load on your water bill?

Properly Maintain the Pool Filter

If you maintain your pool filter to the best of your ability, you allow the filter to operate efficiently, which in turn helps to reduce any water wastage. So, regularly clean and backwash your filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but since backwashing uses lots of water, avoid over-backwashing when it comes to sand or DE filters. Over-backwashing can lead to unnecessary water loss, while under-backwashing can reduce filter efficiency, which may lead to more frequent backwashing down the line. It’s important to strike a balance here!

Go for a Cartridge Filter

The best way to conserve water using a pool filter is to opt for a cartridge filter. You won’t need to clean cartridge filters as frequently, and they don’t even require backwashing! This alone can significantly reduce the amount of water you’ll use to maintain your pool. Although the initial investment can be higher, the long-term savings in water and maintenance can be substantial.

Use a Timer

A pool timer is a great investment for many reasons. In terms of water conservation, you can set the timer for an optimal duration every day to avoid any excessive filtering. Calculate the minimum run time needed to keep your pool clean and clear. This is typically two turnovers per day. To achieve this, you will need to run your filter for around 8 hours a day. Use my pool pump calculator to help you optimize your pool filter run time. Running your filter for about 8 hours a day is sufficient for most pools. As a plus, a timer can also help you reduce energy consumption.

Other Tips to Conserve Water in Your Swimming Pool

Of course, using a filter is not the only way to conserve water in your pool. To effectively conserve water, consider following the below tips as well. You should notice a difference in your water bill in no time!

Use a Pool Cover

The reason you need to keep topping up your pool water levels is due to evaporation. One of the easiest ways to prevent evaporation is to use a pool cover. Did you know a pool cover can reduce evaporation by up to a whopping 95%? That’s pretty significant!

Keep the Water Temperature Low

If you have a pool heater, I recommend lowering the water temperature during the summer. High water temperatures accelerate evaporation, so keeping your pool’s temperature at a moderate level can slow down the process.

Take Care of Leaks and Cracks

Every pool deals with evaporation, which is certainly a major reason for pool water loss. But another common reason is leaks. So, inspect your pool regularly for any leaks or cracks. Even the smallest leaks can lead to pretty significant water loss over time.

If you notice your pool water evaporating faster than normal, inspect all of your pool equipment and surfaces to look for a leak. Repair any issues you find using appropriate sealants or by hiring a professional if needed.

Discourage Splashing

A bit of splashing while playing in the pool is inevitable. But try to discourage excessive splashing and rough play that can cause water to spill over the sides, as it can quickly lead to water loss. While splashing can be fun, it leads to water loss. Setting pool rules to discourage cannonballs and other high-splash activities can help better maintain your pool water levels.

Clean the Pool

Keeping your pool clean reduces the need for drastic maintenance, such as draining and refilling the pool, which may be necessary for an acid wash. Even a partial drain and refill uses a lot of water. So, regularly remove debris using a skimmer and vacuum the pool surfaces. Clean the pool and maintain balanced chemical levels to better prevent any need for draining and refilling.

Don’t Use Water Features

Water features like fountains and waterfalls may be visually appealing but contribute to increased water loss through evaporation. If you want to conserve water, don’t use these water features, no matter how tempting. If you have them and want to use them, I recommend only turning them on when you have guests or special occasions rather than continuously using them throughout the pool season.

Install a Pool Water Leveler

A pool water leveler can help maintain the water level automatically and prevent overfilling by human error. This device detects the water level and adds only the amount of water necessary, reducing the risk of water wastage. Plus, it makes your job easier, as it’s one less thing to worry about!

How Much Water Evaporates From a Pool Per Day?

How much water evaporates from your pool varies according to many factors. But generally, you may lose anywhere between two millimeters to two inches of water per week, meaning you can lose up to a quarter-inch of water per day. But the true answer is much more complicated than this. The exact amount depends on your local climate, including temperature, humidity, and wind speed. For example, high temperatures and low humidity accelerate evaporation, and windy conditions can further increase water loss in your pool. Furthermore, you would lose more water if your pool was directly in the sun than if it were shaded.

As we’ve discussed, how you use your pool can influence evaporation rates. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of how you use your filter, water features, and other pool equipment efficiently to prevent evaporation and water loss.

How often you use your pool can also affect water evaporation rates. Frequent swimming can increase water loss through splashing and increased surface agitation. To prevent evaporation as much as possible, follow the tips outlined above, use a pool cover, and perhaps even create windbreaks with landscaping or fencing to help control and minimize daily water loss.

How Often Do You Need to Drain Your Pool?

You really shouldn’t be draining your pool if possible. Draining your pool should be an absolute last resort option if you have no other choice. But on average, a pool owner will drain their pool every 5 to 7 years. So, if you’ve got to avoid it as best as you can, when and for what reasons should you drain your pool?

One of the main reasons to drain a pool is to address water quality issues that you simply cannot fix through normal maintenance. Over time, the buildup of dissolved solids, such as calcium, chlorides, and other minerals, can reach levels that make it difficult to maintain proper chemical balance. If you notice persistent problems with algae or cloudy water, or if the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level is too high, it might be time to consider draining and refilling the pool.

Additionally, draining is a must for certain types of maintenance or repairs, such as acid washing, resurfacing, fixing significant leaks, or replacing the pool liner.

Always consult a pool professional before draining your pool. Improper draining and refilling can lead to serious issues, such as the pool cracking or popping out of the ground due to hydrostatic pressure. That’s an incredibly difficult and expensive fix!

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Save Your Pool Water!

There are many ways to conserve water in your pool, using the tips and tricks outlined above with the help of your pool filter, pool cover, and more. My tips can help you save thousands of gallons of water each year by reducing water loss by up to 95%! Plus, you should always keep a sharp eye on how much water your pool is losing every day to deal with any cracks or leaks as soon as they appear before they snowball into bigger issues.

Any more questions regarding pool maintenance and money-saving tips? Reach out to me, and I’ll be happy to help!

Scroll to Top