Pool Care Pool Equipment

What’s the Ideal Pool Filter Pressure Gauge Reading?

One of the underrated pieces of pool maintenance is the pool filter pressure gauge. It’s available in those huge sand and D.E pool filters and also available in some cartridge filters. Have you ever use it? Do you know its function? What’s the correct pool filter pressure gauge reading?

If you have never used it, you might want to know that the pool filter gauge reading depends on the pool filter. However, averagely, it’s between 10 psi and 25 psi – the ‘normal’ pressure reading. Also note, it’s affected by the filter size, how clean or dirty the pool filter is, the pump size, and strength.

Is this your first time to hear about or interact with a pool filter pressure gauge? If it is, you have to stick around; this post is for you. It can also help anyone looking for what to do when the readings are too high or too low. And the end, you will learn how to replace a filter pressure gauge.

What is the Correct Reading for Pool Filter Pressure Gauge?

When the pressure is too high or too low, your pool filter isn’t cleaning, or its performance is limited. It can be tough to know when there is a problem with your pool filter if you don’t know the correct reading to look for on the pressure gauge.

What you need to know is, there is no one magic number. Every pool filter type has its pressure reading. However, the ideal pressure gauge reading for all the filter types ranges from 10 psi to 25 psi.

However, that can also change depending on the filter size and the pool pump’s size and strength. It’s up to you to ensure the pressure stays at the base range.

You can also set a baseline reading to consider as your pool filter’s normal. The best time to do this is installing the filter with clean media and other pool equipment, mainly when the pool pump is operating normally.

After the installation, turn pool filtration on and write down the pressure gauge reading. It will be your ‘normal’ filter pressure reading.

It’d also be best to take another ‘normal’ reading during the first cleaning or change the filter media. The current reading and the first reading give you the range to which the pressure gauge allows you to read.

High or low readings would mean a problem in the filter. It’s best to check the pool filter pressure gauge once a week during regular pool maintenance.

Always record the readings to make it easy for you to know when the pressure rises or drops. It will help you know when there is a problem so that you can troubleshoot it.

Why Get Concerned With Pool Filter Pressure Gauge Reading?

Your pool filter requires some pressure inside its tank to function right. When the pressure goes too low or too high, it won’t function properly. What’s more, it could get worse to the point that it causes damages to other equipment.

A pressure gauge can help you know when things are getting out of hand. It measures the tank pressure in pounds per square inch, calibrated as PSI.

It comes attached at the filter tank top or slightly on the side and looks similar to any other pressure gauge.

When the pool water flow through the pool filter remains normal, the filter pressure gauge readings will stay ideal.

But if something interfered with the water flow, increasing or decreasing it, there will be a change inside the filter tank.

And the only way to notice the change is by monitoring the pressure change on the pool filter pressure gauge.

Why is Pool Filter Pressure Gauge Reading High?

If your pool filter pressure gauge read higher than your established normal range, it can mean a problem but not always; at times, it can even mean a good thing.

The most common problem causing high-pressure reading is dirt concentration inside the tank. When the filter media becomes filthy and clogged with debris and dirt, the water flow rate through it is reduced, increasing the pressure.

However, this is not always a bad thing. If the dirt and debris reduce the flow rate by a small margin, it can go your way. In such a case, the tiny debris the filter media collects, especially in the sand and D.E filter, can help capture more dirty particles passing through it.

That’s an exception when the pool filter pressure gauge reads a slight increase above the normal range. If the reading goes 10 psi higher, you have to take action. The solution here is to clean the pool filter.

However, it doesn’t work all the time. The pressure might not drop even after cleaning the cartridge or backwashing the sand or D.E. The best solution now would be to replace the filter media.

Why is Pool Filter Pressure Gauge Reading Low?

If your pool filter pressure gauge reads lower than the normal range, it means that the pool water isn’t flowing into it with enough speed.

There could be an issue with your pool pump, a clog, or a leak in the system, with the parts feeding water into the pool pump being the likely culprits.

If your pool filter pressure gauges read anything below 5 psi, it’d be best to inspect the whole filtration line for blockage and any other problems.

Start at the water entry point and work your way to the pool filter. Clean the skimmers, drains, and baskets while checking the pressure change. Any improvement?

If nothing is happening, check if the pool pump is working right. Is it priming?

No! Shut the system down, clean the pump skimmer basket, add water into the housing, close the top cover and start the system again. If nothing is happening, it would be best to learn how to prime your pool pump.

Yes! Then there might be a leak between the pump and the filter. Locate it by following the various joints and valves between the two pieces of equipment.

If you can’t find anything wrong, it’d be best to spare some cash and hire a professional to help. Underperforming pool filters could mean no cleaning is taking place, which might lead to more expenses later.

When Should You Use the Air Relief Valve?

If you check your pool filter pressure gauge, a small pin-like valve (air relief valve) is mainly used to regulate the air pressure insider the filter tank and help you maintain it at the expected levels.

When the circulation system has air, air pressure could build up in the filter gauge and cause a rise. It could happen when the pool water level is too low, the bottom end of the skimmer. It needs to be at the skimmer midpoint.

It can also happen when reopening your swimming after winter or vacation. When you connect things up, some air might remain in the system.

When you power on the pool pump and the rest, the water will start flowing to the pool filter and start forcing out the air. It can start to compete for space with water at the filter tank, thus raising the pressure.

If left unmonitored, the high pressure could cause damage to pool equipment and plumbing, not forgetting the pump. It has to keep pumping the water even when the pressure build-up blocks the water flow.

An air relief valve can help you release this air from your pool filter tank and allow the water to flow again. By doing so, the pressure should be back to normal.

When to Replace Pool Filter Pressure Gauge?

Inconsistent pressure readings that seem to be all over the place or persistent low or high readings, even after your pool has been thoroughly maintained, are signs that something may be wrong with the gauge


If your pressure gauge readings are all over the place or you’re getting persistent high or low readings even after giving your pool filter the proper maintenance, it a sign it’s time to replace it.

Visible wear

If your filter pressure gauge has visible wear like corroded fittings or a cracked glass face, it needs replacement.

It’s the same thing if the gauge needle moves quickly stay loose or sticky. If the indicator is worn out, too, think of getting a new pool filter pressure gauge.

It’d be best to replace a malfunctioning pressure gauge than fixing damages that occurred because you relied on a fault gauge.

How to Replace Pool Filter Pressure Gauge?

Is your filter pressure gauge giving you inconsistent reading, or does it have visible worn-out parts? If so, you might want to know how to replace it as you will need to do it soon.

Replacing it isn’t that hard. Here are the steps you need to follow to easily remove the defective pressure gauge and replace it with a new one.

What do you need?

  • Wrench
  • Plumbing tape
  • Metal cleaning wire brush

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Turn off the pool pump and ensure there’s no power in the system. It’ll help avoid risking damaging it or exposing yourself to electric shock.

Step 2: Open the air relief valve. It would be best to release all the pressure in the filter tank before you can remove the filter gauge to avoid injury or damage.

Step 3: Loosen the pool filter pressure gauge. Use a wrench to turn it in a counter-clockwise direction.

Step 4: Once you detach the old filter pressure gauge from the filter fitting, clean the area using a metal cleaning wire brush to remove all the dirt.

Step 5: Get your plumbing tape and wrap three layers of it to the new filter pressure gauge threading to prevent leaks.

Step 6: Place the new filter pressure gauge into the filter fitting and hand-tighten it. Finish the tightening using a wrench to secure it.

Step 7: Now, you can turn on your pool pump. Remember to open the air relief valve release excess air in the tank.

Related Questions

Can I Use Any Pressure Gauge for the Pool Filter?

Not necessarily! The dial size and NPT lower mount have to be compatible. The pressure range is similar, but the fitting is different. That’s why some models come with a list of pool filters they are compatible with.

Pool Filter Pressure Gauge – the Filter Performance Monitor

A pressure filter pressure gauge is there to help ensure your swimming pool filter is working correctly. It monitors the air pressure inside the filter tank to alert you when there is a problem. Once you know the ‘normal’ pressure range for your pool filter, it gets easier to know when the pressure is too high or too low. Either way, you will want to make sure it stays with the range to avoid underperformance or damages.

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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