Pool Equipment Troubleshooting

Overview of the Pool Filter Pressure Gauge

A pool filter pressure gauge is the small dial typically located on the head of the filter that reads the number of pressure mounting up inside your filter.

By Allen Hayward

Nothing is more important to your pool than the filter. The amazing thing is the filter doesn’t need electricity and doesn’t contain very many parts. The filter simply depends on water pressure to stay functional and clean the water of the pool.

On each pool filter, the top of it has a pressure gauge which gives you a reading of the filter pressure. You’ll need to use this gauge regularly if you want to maintain the cleanliness of your pool properly.

The pool filter pressure gauge looks like a small dial on top of the filter. The range of the gauge starts at 0 PSI (pounds per square inch) and goes up to 60 PSI. You can use this gauge to determine if the filter pressure in your pool is holding or not.

Normal Pressure

You must learn how to read the gauge before you can understand what it’s telling you about your pool filter pressure.

If you’re wondering what normal pressure is, there is really no fixed number to tell you. The number is different for everybody.

When your pool filter is installed for the first time, look at the pressure gauge number you’re given. This is usually the normal pressure amount for your particular pool filter.

If you’ve already installed your pool filter and don’t remember what the original pressure amount was, then change the filter or clean it thoroughly and record the pressure amount afterwards.

Keep this number written down or recorded so you can look back on it in the future. On a weekly basis, check the pressure when you perform your regular pool maintenance.

High Pressure

How will you know when your pool filter pressure is high? Well, if you already know what normal pressure looks like, then you can figure out what high pressure is.

Basically, if the pressure reading is 10 PSI more than normal, then you have high pressure. You don’t want high pressure in your filter system because it indicates the water flow doesn’t pass through the filter as fast as it should.

To resolve the issue, you should replace or clean your filters. A cleaning should eliminate a high-pressure reading in most cases. Eventually, you’ll need to replace the filter with a completely new one to get a normal pressure reading again.

Low Pressure

In some cases, you may have a low-pressure reading rather than a high-pressure reading. Low pressure indicates that water isn’t flowing fast enough through the filter. It is possible to see a fluctuation in the water pressure reading, but most of the time, the pressure should remain near a normal level.

Low pressure is a minimum of 5 PSI less than the normal level reading. Since the water flow is not going through the filter as fast as it should, there is probably a blockage or leak somewhere. Inspect the impeller and pump basket to see if they’re clogged with debris. Check the covers of the main drain to ensure they’re not blocked either. Finally, inspect your pump to check for leakage.

If you cannot find a leak or blockage and you still have low pressure, then have a professional pool repair person figure out the problem for you.

Air Relief Valve

The air relief valve helps the pressure gauge sustain a normal level of pressure. Air may accumulate within the pool system because of low water levels or whenever you deactivate the pool system for too long.

When you activate the pool pump, the air relief valve allows the extra air to flow out of the system. This is able to happen because the water flow within the system pushes the excess air out of it. The air relief valve is like the escape route for the air and prevents system damage. Best of all, it lets you achieve a normal level of pressure.

Checking the Pressure Gauge

As you can see, several different things can cause pool problems. If none of these problems exists, then you might have a faulty pressure gauge. Like any other component of your pool, gauges will wear out eventually. The good news is that a replacement gauge costs no more than $20.

You’ll know if you have a bad pool filter pressure gauge because it’ll look cracked and worn out. The worst-case scenario is you spend $20 on a replacement gauge but then find out it was a pressure problem all along.


The pool filter pressure gauge may not seem like an important component because of how small it looks. But it is actually a very important component for your pool system. It is recommended that you inspect the pressure gauge every week. If you notice a problem with the pressure, then act right away. Don’t ignore any pressure problem or else you could risk damaging your pool and having to spend a lot of money on repairs.