Pool Care Pool Troubleshooting

Why Intex Pool Filter not Working – (Troubleshooting Tips)

An Intex above-ground pool gives us a perfect escape during the summer. You can use it as your lounge during the hot months or hold a get-together pool party. However, if you’re pool gets dirty, these plans can get out of your hands.

And from experience, nothing is horrifying than finding that your swimming pool isn’t working. The only thing you can rely on is your Intex pool filter. It’s not working; then you’re in trouble.

Even the Intex pool filter comes with a pump on the side or inside the same housing. However, that doesn’t prevent them from few problems. Noisy pump or filter, leaks, and some equipment damage are some of the issues you might face with your Intex pool filter.

What are the Signs Intex Filter Isn’t Working? (Troubleshooting Tips)

Intex filter pump problems depend on the filter model. But, more or less, there’re common ones that pool owners get to deal with regularly.

Even though some Intex-filter-not-working symptoms are clear and straightforward, you wouldn’t notice until you get these signs.

Dirty Pool: Filter Not Cleaning Water

If you’re starting to spot large debris in your pool water, your pool filters might not be cleaning it efficiently. And severe cases, your pool might turn green or slimy. If this is the state of your swimming pool, your pool filter isn’t functioning correctly.

What causes the problem?

Damage to the filter system can be allowing water to flow back to your pool unfiltered. It can also be that the pool filter isn’t strong enough to support pool water cleaning.

How to solve the problem:

Start by shutting off your Intex filter pump and check for any damaged parts. If you have to disassemble it, take your time.

If you find any broken or damaged pieces inside, replace them. If there is nothing the needs your attention, replace the filter media.

If the filter media is clean or just replaced and the water is still dirty, you might want to upgrade your Intex filter with a more robust model.

You can also try changing your cleaning products as they might also be contributing to this problem too.

Filter Media on the Pool Floor

If you’re starting to see some sand in your pool, your pool filter might be in trouble. It’s a common problem with Intex filter pumps, but it’s more common in Intex sand pool filters.

At its worst, your swimming pool might become sandy, and you will see more and more sand particles and small debris that the filter should be filtering accumulating at the bottom.

What causes the problem?

Since it’s a common problem in sand filters, not just Intex sand filter pumps, the sand might be exhausted to the extent that it’s pass through to the return lines to your pool.

It might also be caused by a broken or worn-out filter unit allowing the debris and filter media to pass through to your pool. It can be worn-out O-rings, broken filter grids, or faulty valves inside the Intex filter tank.

How to solve the problem:

Worn-Out Filter Media

The first step is to determine the last time you changed your pool filter. If it’s 4-5 years, then you need to make another change.

Changing the pool filter sand is quite simple. All you need is to know the right amount of filter sand you need and purchase it. Remove the old sand and replace it with the new sand.

Here is a complete guide on how to change sand in a sand filter.

Dirty Filter Media

If it’s less than 4-5 years since you last changed the sand in your Intex sand filter pump, they do regular backwashing.

With time, your Intex pool filter clogging worsens because all the filtered debris and the sand get stuck together.

The water forces through the sand, creating small direct channels to the filter fingers and directly to the return lines without getting filtered.

Regular backwashing can help loosen up the soil particle and improve the filtering.

Worn-Out or Broken Parts

If you perform regular backwashing and still get dirt on your pool floors, you might have a broken part or parts on your Intex filter pump.

Shut off the pool filter pump, disassemble the filter unit. While doing so, check for any damaged parts. How will you know? The broken are easy to notice, but the worn-out will seem to stay loose.

Remember to keep the sand in a clean place since you will be reusing it. If you find any broken part, replace it and return the filter media by adding water first and then the sand.

Once you’re done, backwash it one more time and connect everything up. Remember to keep the filter media at the ideal quantity to keep the pressure balanced.

High Pressure in the Filter Gauge

One maintenance routine that you must never forget to check is the pressure gauge on your filter system. Your user manual has the standard pressure that you Intex sand filter. If it goes above a certain level (above 10 PSI mostly), you have a filter problem.

What causes the problem?

The Intex sand filter pump pressure is maintained by the filter media, the pump, and water flow. If any of the three aren’t in good condition, the filter pressure will be affected.

The problem mainly occurs if the sand filter is too dirty or needs changing. Many debris and other contaminants can block the water flow through the sand filter causing pressure problems.

How to solve the problem:

The best solution here would be to start by backwashing your Intex sand filter. Set the multiport to backwash, and connect the drain hose. If too dirty, you can get a sand filter cleaner and add some.

Allow the water to drain until it becomes clear. Set the multiport to rinse, allow the water to drain, and set it back to filter. That’s how you backwash a sand filter.

Also, check your Intex sand filter thoroughly for any damages. If you find any damaged piece, replace it. While doing so, check for leaks in the pump and plumbing.

Little water flowing back to the pool

If you start to notice a flow change in the amount of water coming from the return jet, there might be a problem with your Intex pool filter. It affects both cartridge and sand Intex filter pumps.

What causes the problem?

Mostly, the cause of this problem is dirty filter media, cartridge, or sand. If your pool filter is dirty, the water flow will be reduced. It’s easier to troubleshoot this problem in sand filters since the pressure will rise.

But with Intex cartridge filter pumps, you have to monitor the behavior of the return jets and your pool’s state. It’s a common problem if your Intex Krystal clear filter pump is not working.

How to solve the problem:

Solution1: The best solution you can try is to give your filter media a nice clean.

Intex Cartridge Filter: Start by shutting off the unit and turn off the water valves. If there aren’t any, raise the unit on high ground.

Open the air release valve to allow air inside the housing. Open the top cover and remove the filter cartridge. Spray it with clean water using a garden hose.

If the filter cartridge isn’t getting clean even when you try a cartridge cleaner, it might be time to replace it with a new Intex filter cartridge.

If you cleaned the cartridge right, return it to the housing and close the top cover. Before you can close the air release valve, place the unit on the ground.

Allow the air inside the housing to gasp out until some water flows out. You can now close the air release valve.

Intex Sand Filter: Unlike cartridge filters, you need to backwash your sand to remove all the contaminants blocking the water flow.

Use the method I discussed earlier to set the multiport to backwash, allow the water to flow until clean, set the multiport to rinse, and set it back to filter.

If the sand has stuck together, even backwashing might not help, especially if it’s been over 5-years since you last changed it. If that’s your case, it’s time to order some for replacement.

Solution 2: Your Intex pump might be failing. The pump side of things might be causing the problem, and you’ve to check it out.

It might be a blockage or a faulty impeller. You can use this Intex pump troubleshooting guide to try and solve the problem. You can also use it if your Intex pump doesn’t turn on.


An Intex pool filter pump is the heart of your Intex above-ground pool. If it were to fail, that would mean a nightmare for you. Why is my Intex pool filter not working is a question of the past now. With the above guide, you’ll be able to solve almost any problem you face with your Intex filter pump.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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