Understanding Pool Filter Valve Positions: A Comprehensive Guide

May 11, 2023 by 

When it comes to maintaining a clean and healthy swimming pool, understanding your pool filter valve positions can make all the difference. This guide will help you navigate the world of pool filter valve positions, ensuring your pool stays in top-notch condition all year round.


There’s nothing quite like a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day. But to keep that water crystal clear and free from impurities, a functioning filter system is paramount. At the heart of this system, controlling the flow of water through the filter and back to the pool, is the multiport valve. Understanding the pool filter valve positions and how to use them properly is an essential part of pool maintenance.

What Is a Pool Filter Valve?

Before we delve into the various pool filter valve positions, it’s vital to understand what a pool filter valve is. Often referred to as a multiport valve, this mechanism controls the direction of water in your pool system. It is attached to the top or side of your pool filter and has several settings that help maintain your pool’s cleanliness and functionality.

Understanding Pool Filter Valve Positions

Now, let’s explore the primary pool filter valve positions and their functions. These positions typically include filter, backwash, rinse, waste, recirculate, and closed.

Filter Position

The filter position is probably the one you’ll use most often. In this setting, water from the pool is pumped through the multiport valve and into the filter. The filtered water is then returned to the pool. This is the standard position for routine operation and pool filtering.

Backwash Position

Over time, the filter collects debris and its doing its job well can decrease. This is where the backwash position comes in. When the valve is set to backwash, the flow of water is reversed, flushing out accumulated debris from the filter and out through a waste line.

Rinse Position

After backwashing, it’s important to set the valve to the rinse position. This helps to clear any remaining debris, resetting the filter system and preparing it for normal operation. It also ensures that any dirty water from backwashing doesn’t return to your pool.

Waste Position

The waste position bypasses the filter entirely, allowing water to exit directly through the waste line. This is particularly useful when you need to lower the water level or remove large amounts of debris.

Recirculate Position

In the recirculate position, water bypasses the filter and returns directly to the pool. This can be useful when you’re adding chemicals to the pool or when the filter isn’t working properly.

Closed Position

Finally, the closed position shuts off flow from the pump to the filter. It’s important to note that this position should only be used when the pump is off, to prevent damage to the pump or the multiport valve.

Importance of Understanding Pool Filter Valve Positions

Understanding pool filter valve positions isn’t just about knowing which knob to turn or button to push. It’s about maintaining the balance and health of your pool. Each position has a unique role to play in different situations. Knowing when and how to use them can extend the life of your filter, save money on unnecessary repairs, and ensure your pool water remains spotless and harmless for everyone to enjoy.

Tips for Using Pool Filter Valve Positions

As we’ve seen, each position on the pool filter valve has a distinct purpose. However, there are some general tips and best practices to keep in mind to ensure you’re using these positions effectively.

Regularly Monitor Your Pool

Regular monitoring of your pool’s clarity and the pressure gauge on your filter can give you a good indication of when it’s time to backwash. A significant increase in pressure typically means there’s a buildup of debris, and it’s time for a good backwash.

Don’t Over Backwash

It might be tempting to regularly backwash your filter, but overdoing it can lead to water wastage and could also disrupt the optimal functioning of your filter. Backwash only when the pressure gauge indicates it’s necessary or if you notice a significant decrease in water clarity.

Don’t Neglect the Rinse Position

After backwashing, always remember to use the rinse setting. This ensures any residual debris is removed and that dirty water doesn’t make its way back into your pool.

Use the Recirculate Position Wisely

While the recirculate position can be useful for certain situations, such as evenly distributing chemicals, it should be used sparingly. Remember, in this setting, the water bypasses the filter, meaning it’s not being cleaned of any potential debris.

Troubleshooting Your Pool Filter Valve

Despite our best efforts, things can sometimes go wrong. If you’re having trouble with your pool filter valve, there are a few common issues you can check:

  1. Leaking valve: If water is leaking from your valve, this could be due to worn-out O-rings or seals, which may need replacing.
  2. Valve won’t turn: If your valve won’t turn, it could be jammed with debris. Try backwashing to see if that clears the problem. If not, you may need to disassemble and clean the valve.
  3. Water not clear: If your pool water isn’t clear, even after backwashing and rinsing, you may need to check your filter. It could be that it’s not working properly, or it may need a more thorough cleaning.


Understanding pool filter valve positions is key to maintaining a healthy and sparkling pool. By learning the different valve settings and when to use them, you’ll be well equipped to tackle routine pool maintenance, saving you time, money, and potential headaches down the road. Happy swimming!