How Much Does a Pool Filter Cost?
A pool filter helps keep pool water clean and safe to swim in. When the pool needs a new filter, homeowners can expect to pay between $250 and $2,000, or an average cost of about $1,125.
- A pool filter has a typical cost range of $250 to $2,000 and a national average price of $1,125.
- Pool filter cost can depend on factors such as the type and size of pool, the type and size of filter, the filter brand, and the cost of labor.
- Homeowners may need to install or replace a pool filter if they notice cloudy or dirty water, excessive debris, unusual noises in the filter system, signs of leaking, or high water pressure.
- While some homeowners may have the experience to tackle this project themselves, most will likely need to hire a professional to install or replace a pool filter to ensure the job is completed correctly.
A pool is a great amenity to have at home, where it can be used to cool down after a long work day, splash around with the kids, or even swim laps to help stay in shape. However, a pool without a pool filter system is just a large tub of water that gradually accumulates dust, dirt, sticks, leaves, bugs, and other airborne debris. If the pool isn’t kept clean with a pool pump filter system and treated with the appropriate chemicals, the water becomes a prime area for algae growth.
There are a variety of pool filter options to choose from, depending on the type of pool, so it’s a good idea for a homeowner to research the best filter for the pool before purchase. According to Angi, pool filter prices can range from $250 to $2,000, with an average pool filter cost of $1,125. Learning more about the various factors that can affect pool filter cost can help homeowners make an informed decision about the right filtration system for their pool setup.
Factors in Calculating Pool Filter Cost
There are a variety of factors that can influence the cost of pool filter installation, including the type of pool, pool size, filter size, filter type, brand, and local labor rates. Before homeowners invest in a new pool filter or hire a professional pool filter installer, it’s recommended that they learn more about pool filter cost factors. Having more information and a clearer understanding of the products will make it easier for a homeowner to decide on the right filter for their pool.
The type of pool is a key factor for homeowners to consider when they are researching pool filter products. Not all pool filters work with every type of pool, so it’s important to find a compatible pool filter for a new pool setup or for an existing one.
- Above-ground pools generally have basic plumbing systems that are housed at the side or the back of the pool. These pool setups don’t require heavy-duty filtration systems, so the best above-ground pool filters are typically the most affordable, ranging in cost from $250 to $1,100.
- Inground pools are more complex than standard above-ground pools. They have more plumbing lines and connections, and they generally rely on larger and more powerful pumps to move the water through the filtration system. This means that inground pools require larger and more efficient filters to keep up with demands. Homeowners can expect to pay about $250 to $2,000 for an inground pool filter installation.
- Saltwater pools often sound intimidating because they rely on a different method to maintain the chlorine levels within the pool. However, as long as the filter is rated for use in saltwater pools, the filter types are essentially the same, so saltwater pool owners can feel comfortable purchasing a filter that is similar to an inground pool filter for an average cost of $250 to $2,000.
Pool and Filter Size
One of the most important considerations when homeowners are selecting a filter for the pool is the size of the pool. If the filter is not large enough to handle the volume of water and the pressure generated by the pump, then it can lead to cloudy water, excess debris buildup, clogs, high water pressure, and the premature failure of the pump and filtration system.
Before purchasing a filter for the pool, homeowners will want to find out the volume of the pool and the power of the pump to determine the best filter size. For example, if the pool has a volume of only 10,000 gallons, a 28-gallons-per-minute (GPM) filter is too large. Instead, homeowners will want to opt for a 14-GPM filter with a ¾- to 1-horsepower (HP) pump.
|Pool Volume (Gallons)||Recommended Filter Size (GPM)||Recommended Pump Size (HP)|
|10,000||14||¾ to 1|
|15,000||21||¾ to 1|
Pool filters come in several different types, based on the function and filter medium, including cartridge, diatomaceous earth (DE), glass, pocket, and sand filters. The effectiveness of the filtration system varies depending on the type of filter selected for the pool.
- Cartridge filters use removable cartridges to filter debris as small as 10 microns in size, though the cartridges need to be replaced about once every 2 to 3 years. These filters cost about $200 to $1,600 for the filter and installation.
- DE filters can capture debris as small as 3 microns in size, but these premium filters will cost about $520 to $2,000 for the filter and installation.
- Glass pool filters are slightly more affordable at an average cost of $500 to $1,500 for the filter and installation. These filters are almost as effective as DE, capable of capturing debris as small as 9 microns in size.
- Pocket filters aren’t much better than sand filters, and they are not designed for standalone use. Instead, these filters are typically added onto an existing filtration system. Pocket filters cost just $30 to $100 and don’t require professional installation.
- Sand filters are the standard option included with most pool installations, though these filters can only capture debris that is 20 microns in size or larger. Sand filters generally cost about $300 to $1,200 for the filter and installation.
The size and type of filter are not the only product considerations when estimating quality and cost; it’s also a good idea to research the various pool filter brands to find a product that meets the needs of the pool setup without exceeding the budget. Hayward, Intex, and Pentair design and sell some of the most popular pool filtration systems on the market.
- Hayward offers premium pool filters ranging in price from $300 to $1,800. This brand manufactures sand, cartridge, and DE filters, giving customers a variety of options to choose from.
- Intex pool filters are made for affordability with an average price range of $100 to $500. However, it’s important to note that these prices are just for the filter, so the total cost for the installation will be more than the purchase price.
- Pentair offers both sand and DE pool filter models for an average cost of about $300 to $1,600. These products are available in a range of sizes, so customers can find the right filter for the size and type of their pool.
|Brand||Price (Filter Only)|
|Hayward||$300 to $1,800|
|Intex||$100 to $500|
|Pentair||$300 to $1,600|
When homeowners are putting together the budget for the pool filter installation project, it’s important to factor in the labor costs. On average, the labor costs involved with a pool filter replacement range from $110 to $140. However, this does not take into consideration the possibility of needing a plumber or an electrician to complete the work. Labor costs for a plumber range from about $45 to $200 per hour, while the labor rates for an electrician are about $40 to $100 per hour.
There may be some pool installation professionals who can handle all aspects of the job, so homeowners don’t need to worry about hiring three different professionals to complete the pool filter installation. These pool techs will typically charge about $75 to $100 per hour, but they will be able to install a new pool filter or replace an existing filter without the need for a dedicated plumber or electrician.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Investing in a new pool filter will help to keep the pool working properly, and it will also ensure that the water is clean, clear, and safe for swimming. However, before installing a high-end diatomaceous filtration system for the pool, homeowners will want to consider these additional costs and installation factors to accurately assess the project budget.
New Filter Installation vs. Filter Replacement
An often-overlooked cost factor is whether the filter is for a new pool setup or if it will be used to replace an existing pool filter.
- New filter installations will typically cost about $250 to $2,000 or an average cost of about $1,125. This includes the installation, connection, and testing of the new filter with a new pump and pool. Homeowners can expect this type of filter installation to take longer to complete because the installer will also need to put in the wiring, housing, hoses, pump, and any connecting hoses.
- Filter replacement is generally the less expensive option because the wiring, housing, hoses, pump, and pool are already in place, so the installer just needs to remove the old filter and install the new filter in the same position. For this reason, filter replacement typically costs just $250 to $1,500. However, if the homeowner is upgrading an existing pool filter with a new type of filter, then it may not be compatible with the current setup. This could lead to higher costs because the installer will need to remove the old wiring, housing, and any other incompatible parts before installing the new filtration system.
Skimmer Box Installation
The skimmer box is the first stage in the filtration system. Water enters through the skimmer box and flows into the pipes connected to the pump and filter. There is a skimmer basket inside the skimmer box that is used to catch large objects, such as pool toys, and pool debris that is too big to be pulled through the filtration system, such as leaves and sticks.
If the skimmer box is leaking or the skimmer basket gets damaged, then it can reduce the filtration capabilities of the system. Thankfully, a new skimmer box isn’t that expensive and can usually be purchased for about $5 to $35. Homeowners will want to make sure to regularly empty the skimmer to prevent debris from building up inside the skimmer box and reducing the flow of water through the filtration system.
Pool Filter Cleaning
The pool filtration system is designed to keep the pool water clean by catching large debris in the skimmer and capturing any dust, dirt, or other small debris when the pool water is forced through the pool filter. However, over time and with frequent use, the pool filter will gradually accumulate dirt and debris. When this occurs, the buildup of debris may reduce the flow of water through the system, leading to an increase in water pressure as the pump struggles to move the pool water through the filter at the same rate.
To prevent problems, it’s necessary for a homeowner (or one of the best pool cleaning services) to clean the pool filter by backwashing about once every 1 to 3 months. Homeowners will also want to take this time to manually take apart and clean the hoses, pump, skimmer, and filter to remove any large obstructions or debris. For those who don’t have the time, a swimming pool maintenance service can complete this work for about $60 to $65 for filter cleaning only, while a deeper clean typically costs about $125.
Keeping up with pool maintenance cost is essential for a healthy, functional pool system. It can also help extend the life of the pool and the various parts, including the filtration system. If the homeowner doesn’t have time to take care of regular pool maintenance, then it’s suggested they hire a pool maintenance professional to keep the pool in good working order. A maintenance contract will generally cost about $1,800 per year and can include a wide range of services.
For pool owners who prefer to handle the maintenance on their own, there may be costs associated with pool filter upkeep, such as filter cleaning solution, filtration medium replacement, and pocket filter replacement.
|Pool Filter Maintenance Product or Service||Average Cost|
|Cartridge cleaning solution||$20|
|DE filtration medium||$30|
|Muriatic acid solution||$12|
|Replacement pocket filter||$60|
|Sand filtration medium||$15 to $40|
Pool Filter Cost by Type of Filter
Filters can differ in size, filtration medium, and type. The cost of the pool filter installation can range significantly depending on the type of pool filter. There are five primary filter options a homeowner can choose from based on the factors that are the most important for their pool setup. Filter types include cartridge, diatomaceous earth (DE), glass, pocket, and sand. Homeowners are advised to take some time to find out the differences between each type before selecting a new pool filter.
|Type of Filter||Cost Range||Average Cost|
|Cartridge||$200 to $1,600||$900|
|DE||$520 to $2,000||$1,260|
|Glass||$500 to $1,500||$1,000|
|$30 to $100||$60|
|Sand||$300 to $1,200||$750|
One of the most common options available is the cartridge filter. As the name implies, these filters use removable cartridges to filter out dust, dirt, and other debris as the pump forces the water through the filter. Cartridge filters typically cost about $200 to $1,600 and are capable of filtering out debris as small as 10 microns in size.
While glass and DE filters are more effective, the filtration capabilities of a cartridge filter exceed those of both sand and pocket filters. When the cartridges start to show signs of wear, the homeowner can purchase replacement cartridges without needing to replace the entire filter system. These cartridges tend to last about 2 to 3 years with regular cleaning and proper maintenance.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
If the homeowner’s budget is flexible enough for an upgrade, then DE filtration systems are often the best option for any pool. These filters are the most effective option for filtering dirt, dust, pollen, bacteria, and other debris. DE pool filters are capable of capturing contaminants as small as 3 microns in size, so swimmers can enjoy the pool without worrying about the cleanliness of the pool water.
This type of pool filter doesn’t just function the most efficiently; it also lasts the longest, with an average lifespan of about 10 years. However, there is a drawback to this superior filtration system: The cost of a DE pool filter is generally higher than the cost of any other type of pool filter. Homeowners can expect to pay about $520 to $2,000 for a DE pool filter.
Second only to DE pool filters, glass filters are capable of capturing tiny debris as small as 9 microns in size. These filters use a crushed glass filtration medium combined with an electric charge to draw in dust, dirt, algae, and bacteria. Glass pool filters are a step up from standard sand and cartridge filters, so while they filter.work more effectively than most other types, glass filters also cost more.
Homeowners will end up paying about $500 to $1,500 for the purchase and installation of a glass pool filter. After the initial purchase, the glass pool filter should last for about 8 to 10 years before needing to be replaced, assuming that homeowners keep up with regular maintenance, including backwashing the pool about once every 2 to 3 months. Pocket filters aren’t really a standalone solution for a functional pool setup, but they can be used on pool vacuums or added onto an existing filtration system. These products are not as effective as cartridge, DE, or glass filters, but they are capable of capturing debris as small as 15 to 20 microns in size. This is slightly better than the filtration capabilities of a standard sand filter.
Pocket filters are also known as filter bags, and they are the most affordable type of filter at an average cost of about $30 to $100. These filters are easy for a DIYer to install, so homeowners don’t have to worry about labor costs. While most pocket filters are disposable and need to be frequently replaced, other products are machine washable, so they can be cleaned and reused as needed.
The standard option for most pool setups is a sand filter. These filtration systems use a titration tank full of silica sand to filter out debris that is 20 microns in size or larger. Sand filters are the least effective filtration system for any pool setup, but they are less expensive than DE, glass, and most cartridge filters.
Homeowners will generally pay between $300 and $1,200 for a sand filtration system, which can last for about 3 to 7 years. It’s recommended that homeowners replace the sand filtration medium about once every 4 to 5 years to extend the life of the filter. When switching the filtration medium, homeowners will want to consider replacing the standard sand with silica glass to increase the effectiveness of the system if the filter is compatible with this medium.
Do I Need a Pool Filter?
A pool filter is a necessary component of a happy, healthy pool system. Without a functional pool filter, dust, dirt, pollen, sticks, leaves, insects, and other debris can accumulate in the pool, gradually contaminating the water to the point that it is unsafe to swim in.
Pool filters also help to prevent algae and bacteria growth, so if the filter stops functioning properly, the pool will change color to a cloudy green or brown as algae and bacteria spread throughout the water. Homeowners will want to regularly inspect the pool and filtration system for any of the following signs, which could indicate the filter needs to be repaired or replaced.
Cloudy or Dirty Water
One of the most common signs that a pool filter is not performing properly is that the water is no longer clear. Cloudy pool water can indicate that the water chemistry levels are not balanced, so before getting too concerned about the filtration system, homeowners will want to test the water to check the water chemistry.
If the water content doesn’t appear to be the problem, then the cloudiness may be due to a lack of proper filtration, sanitation, or circulation. Homeowners will want to check the filtration system. In some cases, cleaning out the skimmer box may be all that is required. However, depending on the age, frequency of use, and current condition of the filter, the homeowner may need to replace the filtration medium or invest in an entirely new filter.
Another sign that the filter requires some attention is too much debris. Filters are designed to clean the pool water by circulating the entire volume of water through the filtration system about once every 8 to 10 hours for residential pools or as frequently as once every 6 hours for commercial pools.
If the filter is functioning properly, when the pump forces the pool water through the filtration medium, it will trap any dust, dirt, and debris. Backwashing the pool can help clean the filtration system, but over time the filtration medium accumulates debris. At this point, the homeowner will need to replace the pool filter medium or remove the medium for cleaning before replacing it. Depending on the age of the filtration system, it may be a good time for the homeowner to invest in a new pool filter.
Most mechanical devices are designed for ordinary use in relatively quiet environments, so if the pool filter is making odd sounds or loud noises, then it’s most likely a sign that the system is not functioning properly. Small issues can lead to big problems, so it’s important for homeowners to find out why the system sounds odd.
First, they’ll want to check the base of the filtration system to ensure that it is sitting evenly and level; otherwise it could be causing the entire filter and pump to vibrate. If the filtration system is making a loud screeching or grinding sound, the pump motor may be obstructed by debris. In this case, homeowners will want to turn off the pump immediately to prevent further damage. Blocked filtration lines can also cause the filter or pump to make a loud humming sound. It’s recommended that homeowners clean out the filtration lines, pump, and filter before testing to see if this resolves the problem. They can contact a pool repair expert if the issue continues and may need to budget for pool pump cost as well as pool filter cost.
When everyone is jumping and splashing in the pool, it can be difficult to spot a leak in the filtration system, so it’s a good idea for a homeowner to inspect the pool setup at least once a week before the pool is in use. They’ll want to take the time to carefully examine the entire system to find leaks in any hoses, connections, or even in the pool filter tank.
If any connections are leaking, the homeowner or a pool repair professional may be able to fix the issue by simply adjusting the connection. However, if the pool filter tank, pool pump, or any hoses are damaged, resulting in a leak, then these components will likely need to be replaced before the pool system will function properly.
High Water Pressure
The pool pump is responsible for pulling water in through the pool skimmer, pumping it through the pool filter, and expelling the clean water back out into the pool through the pool jet. For this system to function without problems, it needs to remain relatively clear of debris; otherwise clogs can occur. When the skimmer, filter, pump, or hose is clogged or partially clogged, the water pressure throughout the filtration system will gradually increase as the blockage cuts off the flow of water.
The entire filtration system will then need to work harder to force the water through narrower channels. This can lead to the premature failure of the pump and filtration system. So, if the homeowner notices that the pressure gauge on the filter valve is higher than normal, then it’s important that they clean the debris from the filtration system by backwashing the pool and manually removing any large clogs or obstructions.
Pool Filter Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The average cost for pool filter installation ranges from $250 to $2,000. Out of this total cost, the professional labor cost for pool filter installation is just $110 to $140. Pool owners may also need to pay for a professional plumber at a rate of $45 to $200 per hour or an electrician at a rate of $40 to $100 per hour. This means that on average, a homeowner can save about $200 to $440 if they have the skill and knowledge to handle every aspect of this job.
Professional pool filter installers will cost a little more, but these trained individuals can complete the work at a faster pace and a higher quality than the average DIYer. The installer can also check the other components of the pool system, suggest an appropriate filter for the pool, and test the filtration system after installation to ensure everything is working correctly.
How to Save Money on Pool Filter Cost
Purchasing, installing, and maintaining a pool are costly, so when it comes time to install a new filter or replace an existing one, it’s important to take steps to keep product and installation costs low. On average, pool filter installation can cost between $250 and $2,000, depending on the size of the pool, type of pool, type of filter, and several additional cost factors. Consider these suggestions for saving money on pool filter costs.
- To compare prices, get at least three estimates with similar equipment. Researching several pool filter installers is the best way to ensure a fair estimate within the price range for the project.
- Schedule the installation during the off-season. Pool upgrades are typically completed during the warmer months of the year, so to help save on the cost of installation, it’s recommended that pool owners plan the work for early spring or late fall.
- Bundle the filter installation with other pool upgrades. If there are other necessary repairs or upgrades, like a pump installation, then homeowners may be able to get a reduced rate on the work by completing all the upgrades at the same time.
- Pay more upfront for a superior filtration system. Spending more on the initial cost of the installation won’t help save in the short term, but a superior DE pool filter will last longer and operate at a higher efficiency. This will reduce the long-term maintenance and upgrade costs.
- Keep up with regular maintenance. Learning how to maintain a pool can help homeowners take care of the filtration system, helping it to last longer and require fewer repairs as well as reducing the long-term maintenance costs and pool filter replacement frequency.
Questions to Ask About Pool Filter Installation
The main reason to hire a professional for any job around the home is that they have more experience, training, and knowledge about the required work. However, homeowners don’t need to stay in the dark and should be prepared with a series of key questions to ask the pool filter installer or the company’s customer service department. Homeowners can check out these important questions to ask the best pool installation companies or pool maintenance companies about pool filter installation before deciding on the best fit for their particular pool setup.
- Why do I need a pool filter?
- How much experience do you have installing pool filters?
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Do you have references and verified reviews?
- What warranties or guarantees are included?
- What kind of communication system will you have with me during the project?
- What type of pool filter is right for the current pool setup?
- Do you replace the filter with the same make and model?
- What filter size do I need for my pool?
- Do I need to be home for the installation?
- How often should I run the filter?
- How often should I change the cartridge?
- How can I clean and maintain the filter?
- How long will the installation take?
- Can you draw up a payment schedule?
- Can I have copies of our agreement on paper?
Trying to operate a pool without a functional pool filter can lead to a range of problems, but before homeowners hurry off to a local pool supply store, it’s important for them to have as much information about the product, installation process, and pool filter cost as possible. By reading the detailed answers to the following frequently asked questions, homeowners can find out more about pool filter canister sizes, pool water filtration frequency, inground pool filter replacement, and the top pool filter tank fill for above-ground pools.
Q. Do I really need a pool filter?
A pool filter is a requirement for a safe, healthy, and functional pool system. The filter removes dirt, dust, leaves, sticks, insects, and other debris that has fallen into the pool water and thereby helps reduce the spread of algae and bacteria. Without a filter, the pool water will quickly become contaminated, making it unsafe for kids, pets, and adults.
Q. What size pool filter do I need?
If a homeowner chooses a small pool filter that cannot keep up with the demands of a larger pool, then it can quickly become clogged, creating further problems with the pool system. Similarly, it’s necessary for a homeowner to select pool filter cartridges by size. The wrong size may not fit properly in the filter. Before selecting a pool filter, homeowners will also want to find out the volume of the pool and the power of the pump. They can then use this information to speak to the filter installer, discuss their options with a pool store employee, or look up the appropriate size online.
Q. What’s the best filtration system for an above-ground pool?
While an above-ground sand pool filter is a common option, the best pool filter type for an above-ground pool is actually a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter. These systems are the most expensive option for an above-ground pool, but DE filters provide the cleanest water, and they have the longest lifespan.
Q. How long does a pool filter last?
Depending on the type of filter, maintenance upkeep, and frequency of use, a pool filter can last from just a few months for a pocket pool filter to 10 years for a glass or DE filter. Sand filters last about 3 to 7 years, while pool cartridges should be changed about once every 1 to 2 years. Homeowners can budget for pool inspection cost to help determine whether their filter needs to be replaced.
Q. How often should pool water be filtered?
A turnover takes place when all the water in the pool is circulated through the filter. The length of time it takes for this to occur is known as the turnover rate. A minimum turnover rate of 12 hours is recommended, meaning that the water should be filtered at least twice a day. The average turnover rate for residential pools is about 8 to 10 hours, while commercial pools may have a 6-hour turnover rate.
Q. When should I replace my pool filter?
The average lifespan of a pool filter depends on the type of filter. Sand filters for pools can last about 3 to 7 years. A glass inline pool filter can typically last 8 to 10 years, as will a DE filter. Pool filters’ cartridges need to be replaced about once every 1 to 2 years, while a pocket filter will need to be replaced every few months, depending on the frequency of use.