How to Vacuum a Pool With a Cartridge Filter: Step-by-Step Guide 2023

Vacuuming your pool regularly is an essential part of maintaining your swimming area. With a cartridge filter, you can easily and quickly remove debris from the water without much hassle. 

Before giving it a go, make sure to assemble the filter and clean it thoroughly; this way, the job is more efficient and effective. Additionally, prepare the vacuum hose, poles, skimmer basket, and other necessary supplies and accessories before getting started. Now that you have everything ready to go, let’s begin!

What is Cartridge Filters?

If your pool has a cartridge filter, you’ll need to vacuum it differently than if it had a sand or DE filter. In this article, we’ll show you how to vacuum a pool with a cartridge filter step-by-step.

First, you’ll need to lower the water level in your pool so that the end of the hose can reach the bottom. You can do this by opening the main drain and/or any skimmer valves.

Once the water level is low enough, connect your vacuum hose to the skimmer (or dedicated vac port) and turn on the pump.

Via: Nelsencorp

Next, slowly lower the vacuum head into the water and move it around to suck up debris from the bottom and sides of the pool. Be sure to move slowly so that you don’t damage the cartridges in your filter.

When you’re finished vacuuming, turn off the pump and disconnect the hose. Then, backwash or clean your filter according to manufacturer’s instructions.

How to Prepare Your Pool for Vacuuming

Vacuuming your pool with a cartridge filter is a quick and easy way to keep your pool clean. Here are the steps you need to take to prepare your pool for vacuuming:

  • Make sure that all of the skimmer baskets are empty and that the skimmer covers are in place.
  • Check that the strainer pot is clear of debris.
  • Backwash the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Prime the vacuum hose by submerging it in water and turning on the vacuum pump.
  • Attach the vacuum head to the hose and lower it into the pool.
  • Begin vacuuming at the shallow end of the pool, working your way around in a clockwise direction. Be sure to overlap each stroke by about 6 inches to ensure that all areas are being covered.

How to Vacuum a Pool With a Cartridge Filter

It’s important to vacuum your pool regularly to remove debris and keep the water clean. A cartridge filter is a type of filtration system that uses cartridges to trap dirt and contaminants. Cartridge filters are easy to maintain and don’t require backwashing, so they’re a popular choice for many pool owners.

Via: Amazon

If you have a cartridge filter, you can vacuum your pool using the following steps:

  • Start by turning off the pump and removing the lid from the filter housing.
  • Take out the cartridges and rinse them off with a hose. Be sure to clean them thoroughly, as even a small amount of debris can cause issues down the line.
  • Once the cartridges are clean, put them back in the housing and close itup.
  • Turn on the pump and set it to “recirculate.” This will help loosen any stubborn dirt particles that may be clinging to the walls or floor of your pool.
  • Turn on your vacuum and lower it into the pool. Begin vacuuming in one corner of the pool and work your way around in a clockwise direction until you’ve covered the entire area. Remember to empty out the vacuum head frequently so it doesn’t get overloaded and stop working properly.

Tips and Tricks for Vacuuming with a Cartridge Filter

A cartridge filter is a type of pool filter that uses cartridges to trap dirt and debris. Cartridge filters are easy to maintain and usually don’t require backwashing, which makes them a popular choice for pool owners.

Here are some tips and tricks for vacuuming with a cartridge filter:

  • Start by pre-cleaning the pool with a leaf net or skimmer to remove any large debris. This will make vacuuming easier and help prolong the life of your filter cartridges.
  • When vacuumin vacuum in short strokes and overlap each stroke by about half. This will ensure that you’re picking up as much debris as possible.
  • Be sure to vacuum around the entire pool, including corners, steps, and ladders. Debris can collect in these areas and be difficult to reach with the vacuum head.
  • Every few strokes, stop vacuuming and empty the basket on your vacuum head. This will help prevent clogs and maximize suction power.
  • When you’re finished vacuuming, rinse off the filter cartridges with a garden hose to remove any dirt or debris that may be clinging to them. Allow the cartridges to dry completely before putting them back in the filter housing.

Maintenance for Cartridge Filters

If you have a cartridge filter, proper maintenance is key to keeping your pool clean. 

Via: Housegrail

Here are some tips on how to properly maintain your cartridge filter: 

  • Clean the filter regularly. Depending on how often you use your pool, you should clean the filter at least once a month. To clean the filter, remove it from the filtration system and spray it down with a hose.
  • Soak the filter in a cleaning solution. You can buy a commercial cleaning solution specifically for filters, or you can make your own by mixing one part muriatic acid with 20 parts water. Soak the filter for at least 12 hours before rinsing it off and putting it back in the filtration system.
  • Replace the filter regularly. Over time, filters will become less effective and will need to be replaced. Depending on how often you use your pool, you should replace your cartridge filter every 1-2 years.

Alternatives to Vacuuming With a Cartridge Filter

There are a few alternatives to vacuuming with a cartridge filter that you may want to consider. One alternative is to use a vacuum hose without a vacuum head. You can also use a brush to loosen up dirt and debris before vacuuming. Another alternative is to power wash the pool surface with a garden hose attachment.


Can you vacuum to waste with a cartridge pool filter?

Yes, you can vacuum to waste with a cartridge pool filter. The process is relatively simple and only requires a few steps: 

  • Turn off the pump and any other power sources to the pool.
  • Remove the lid to the skimmer basket and place the end of the vacuum hose inside of it. Make sure that the hose is secure so that it doesn’t come loose while you’re vacuuming.
  • Open the valve on the vacuum hose and start the pump. Let the pump run for a few minutes to prime the system before you start vacuuming.
  • Slowly lower the vacuum head into the pool, being careful not to touch any of the pool’s surfaces with it. Once the vacuum head is fully submerged, start moving it around in a slow, circular motion to ensure that all areas of the pool are being cleaned.
  • As dirt and debris are suctioned up into the hose, they will be filtered through your cartridge pool filter. You may need to clean or replace your filter cartridges more frequently when vacuuming to waste, as they will become clogged more quickly than usual.
  • When you’re finished vacuuming, turn off the pump and remove the hose from the skimmer basket. Be sure to put everything back in its proper place so that your pool is ready for use next time!

What setting should pool filter be on when vacuuming?

There are three settings on a pool filter – backwash, rinse and waste. Which one you use when vacuuming depends on the type of pool vacuum you have. 

If you have a suction-side pool vacuum, you’ll need to set the filter to waste. This setting allows water to bypass the filter and go straight into the drain, which prevents your vacuum from losing suction. 

If you have a pressure-side pool vacuum, you can either set the filter to backwash or rinse. Backwashing will clean out your filter, but it takes longer and uses more water. Rinsing simply recirculates the water without cleaning the filter, so it’s the quicker option.

What is the best way to clean pool filter cartridges?

Cleaning pool filter cartridges is an important part of maintaining your swimming pool. Cartridge filters are designed to trap dirt, debris, and other contaminants, which can then be removed from the water. A build-up of these contaminants can reduce the efficiency of the filter and cause problems with water quality.

There are a few different methods that can be used to clean pool filter cartridges. The most common method is to hose them down with a garden hose or power washer. This will remove any large particles of dirt and debris that may be trapped in the filter.

Another method that can be used is to soak the cartridge in a cleaning solution overnight. This will break down any oils and grease that may be present on the cartridge. After soaking, the cartridge should be rinsed off with fresh water to remove any residual cleaner.

How often should a pool cartridge filter be cleaned?

A cartridge filter should be cleaned every two to four weeks, or whenever the pressure gauge indicates that it is time for a cleaning. The best way to clean a cartridge filter is to remove it and soak it in a bucket of filter cleaner for at least six hours.

Does a cartridge filter backwash?

Yes, a cartridge filter backwash is necessary from time to time in order to clean the filter and prevent clogs. The backwash process is simple and only takes a few minutes. First, turn off the pump and disconnect the hoses. Next, remove the cartridges from the filter housing and rinse them with a hose. Put the cartridges back in the housing and turn on the pump to resume normal operation.


Vacuuming a pool with a cartridge filter is an important part of maintaining clean and healthy water. By following these easy steps, you can be sure that your pool will stay free of debris, offering swimmers the safest and most enjoyable experience possible. With regular vacuuming sessions, you’ll also save time and money in the long run by preventing bigger repair issues from developing down the line. Make vacuuming a priority to keep your swimming area looking its best!