Pool Equipment Troubleshooting

What do all the Multiport valve settings actually do?

 There are normally 6 different pool filter settings on a multiport valve learn what one those below.

By Allen Hayward

If you’ve never used a diatomaceous filter or sand filter before, then you might be surprised by the handle on it. This handle contains a lot of weird settings that you’re probably not familiar with. It is not as simple as flicking a switch on and off. So, you might be worried now.

Well, don’t worry because these settings just mean you have more options for your filter. Whether you chose the diatomaceous filter or sand filter, either one does a great job of cleaning pool water.

The Function of a Multiport Valve

Aside from cleaning your pool water, a pool filter does a lot more things too. There is a multiport valve positioned on the side or top of the pool filter which has several different settings. Each setting moves the water flow in a different direction in your pool. This creates several different purposes for your filter.

The gallons per minute for each square foot is how filters get rated. The flow rate of your filter must match or exceed the gallons per minute of your pump. Just to be safe, it’s better to choose a larger filter in order to ensure that it can tolerate your pump’s power and force. To help you figure this out, the size of your filter should have a minimum of one square foot for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool.

Be careful when you look for cheaper brands or bargains on these filter products. Sometimes you’ll find a defunct company’s brand when you go looking for replacement items. Always purchase your filter from a reputable manufacturer, even if you need to pay a little more. This will ensure that you’re getting a good quality filter.

Multiport Valve Settings

The multiport valve has many helpful settings that make it easier to clean the filter and winterize your pool. When the pool filter is activated, do not turn the handle of the multiport valve or else its rubber diverter gasket may break or loosen. If that were to happen, unwanted water leakage would occur.


The filter setting cleans small bacteria, debris, and contaminants out of the pool water. This is the most popular setting of the multiport valve.


Your filter must be cleaned after you’re done using it. You don’t need to remove the filter components to do this. Instead, you can backwash the filtration media. The valve has a setting for this. Once it is set, the pump will send pool water through the filter so that the media gets cleaned. The water then comes out of the waste port. You can backwash no matter if you have a diatomaceous earth filter or sand filter.

If the filtration media is still dirty, then you may need to get a special filter cleaner for it. Just remember to backwash once the pressure is 10 pounds more than the regular pressure rate. If you do this properly, then a special filter cleaner shouldn’t be necessary.


Don’t forget to rinse your filter after you’ve backwashed it. You do this because the filter will still contain loose particles of debris and dirt. If you don’t rinse the filter, then these particles will end up back in your pool water.


While vacuuming your pool, turn on the filter to help it pull out extra debris that is in the water. But you don’t want the leaves and dirt to clog your filter after they’re sucked up by the vacuum. It would also be bad if dirty water made its way back into your pool too.

To prevent these situations from happening, use the “Waste” setting so that water can go into the filter without hitting the filtration media. The water will just go right back out of the system.

When you dispose of wastewater from your pool, make sure you do it safely without damaging your environment or landscape. Also, the water level in the pool will go down while using the multiport valve setting. To replace the removed water, place a garden hose into the swimming pool and let it run. Keep the water balanced.


Sometimes your pool water doesn’t need to be filtered when you circulate it. If a pool clarifier was used, such as flocculant, then this would be one example of not needing to filter the water.

Whenever you have cloudy pool water, the flocculant will make it easier for the vacuum to suck up the particles which are making the water cloudy. The filtration system must be activated for the flocculant to circulate. The only problem is that you don’t want the flocculant to get filtered out of the water either.

The solution here is the “Recirculate” setting. This will cause the water to pass into the filter while bypassing the filtration media.

Alternatively, the Waste setting can be used if you want to eliminate your dirty water completely instead of sending it back into the pool.


The “closed” setting will do just that. It will close the valve and prevent water from getting through. You probably won’t ever need to use this function, except when blowing the lines after the pool is opened.

If the Closed setting is activated on the multiport valve, then do not activate your pool pump. Otherwise, it could blow out your pump and/or filter.


If you have a multiport valve and a sand filter or diatomaceous filter, then you’ll have plenty of options for maintaining and cleaning your swimming pool. Just practice using the different settings and have fun with it.


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