No Pool Pump Filter? How to Keep Your Pool Clean Without

There is nothing enjoyable about a dirty pool. No one wants to look at it, no one wants to swim in it, and no one wants to be stuck with the task of cleaning it. Pool pump filters are designed to keep your pool clean, but what if you do not have one or yours temporarily breaks?

To keep your pool clean without a pool pump filter, first, concentrate on keeping the pH level of the water balanced as well as chlorine levels. After these are controlled, work continuously to keep the pool itself clean through brushing, skimming, vacuuming, and covering when it is not being used.

It can be frustrating to be without a pool pump filter and notice that your pool is slowly declining when it comes to cleanliness. Although a pool pump filter is the most effective means to keep your pool clean, it is not the only option, especially if you are only without one for a short period of time. Continue reading to figure out what chemicals, hands-on methods, and proactive options are best for keeping your pool clean when without a pool pump filter. 

What Chemicals to Use to Keep your Pool Clean Without a Pool Pump Filter 

For those of you that have experienced the beauty of a pool pump filter, you know the ease that it offers when it comes to keeping a pool pristinely clean. However, there are certainly times when the pool pump filter is out of commission or when pool users simply do not have a filter available to them. If the latter example is you, you are left wondering how to keep your pool clean so that it is safe for you and all others to swim about in whenever they please. 

There is no one way that is going to be the most effective when it comes to keeping your pool clean without a pool pump filter. Different methods must be combined to ensure that your water and your pool remain clean without having to constantly go back and restart your steps from square one. Maintaining a clean pool without a pool pump filter is hands-on, but it can certainly be done. 

Here are the best ways (including what chemicals to use) to keep your pool sparkling clean without a pool pump filter. 

Control the pH Level 

The pH level of your pool is where you have to start first. The pH is what tells you the acidity as well as the basicity of the water within your pool and it is the key component to water that is healthy to swim in. Your pool may look clean, but if the pH is off, you may be swimming in water that is full of bacteria that could be harmful to you and others.

The pH level of a pool should be between 7.2 and 7.7 in order to achieve a neutral pH. If it is too high or too low the chlorine will not interact well with the pH which will cause it to be less effective or not effective at all. With chlorine being the bacteria-killing component for your pool’s water, an imbalanced pH can be the reason that this chemical is not working. If that happens, bacteria blooms and the environment becomes unsanitary and visibly dirty. 

In order to check your pH levels, you will need to get a sample of your water and either test it at home with pH strips or take the sample to your local pool store. They will tell you your water levels and can then direct you to either add a reducer or an increaser to your pool to help get the pH level back into a neutral range. Before doing anything more, be sure that the pH is at the right level to ensure that all other chemicals can work effectively in the water. 

Add Chlorine 

After you have the pH levels in the right range, you are going to want to add chlorine. Chlorine is the diamond of pool products because of its effectiveness. Chlorine is able to be added and within minutes begins to take action in getting rid of bacteria, fungi, and other types of other tiny microorganisms that simply do not belong in your swimming water. Chlorine should also be maintained at a certain level, just as pH, and should be kept at a level between 1-3 ppm. 

Chlorine levels should be checked often to determine how much is needed for your pool on a regular basis. How much you have to add chlorine to your pool that does not have a pool pump filter will depend on how often the pool is used as well as how the environment affects your pool. With no pool pump filter, it is likely that you will be adding chlorine more often than those with a filter, just be sure to watch the chlorine levels to determine when more is needed. 

Add Algaecide

One of the most noticeable and the most unsightly contaminants in a pool is algae. Even if you have a pool filter, this pesky microorganism can make its way in without a single notice. Algae, once it has started in your pool, spread like wildfire and can be difficult to get rid of if you don’t have the proper tools. Algae grow rapidly when the temperature outside is high, therefore your water temperature increases.  

Without a pool pump filter, water is not continuously moved, therefore your water cannot be cleaned of algae as easily. This is why algaecide is so important. When it is combined with chlorine, it works quickly to get rid of any algae that are currently within your pool but also works to prevent them from coming back or spreading further. When you do not have a pool pump filter, this is an essential add due to the decreased circulation in your pool of fresh water. 

Add Pool Flocculant 

The word is a bit bizarre, but pool flocculant is a magic additive when it comes to keeping a pool clean without a pool pump filter. Pool flocculant must be used along with chlorine, but it does things a bit differently than chlorine. Flocculant is especially used when your pool is cloudy and you are having difficulty clearing it. When poured in, flocculant seeks out the impurities in your pool and actually lumps them together in visible groups. 

Once these groups have been established, they settle to the bottom of your pool. They do not dissolve but remain in a hard state until they are removed from the area. The most effective way to remove the debris is with a vacuum, but a pool skimmer can do the trick with a bit more time and effort. Flocculant works very quickly and is an ultra-effective solution when you find that your pH and chlorine levels are perfectly normal yet your pool is still cloudy. 

Hands-On Ways to Keep Your Pool Clean Without a Pool Pump Filter  

After adding chemicals and getting your pool’s pH levels completely on track, you are still going to have to commit a little time to keep the pool itself clean. Without a pool filter pump, the water in your pool will not be regularly circulated or filtered and this means that debris can build up within the water, but also that the walls and floor of your pool can begin to get a bit grimy as well. 

These next steps are not as easy as adding chlorine or algaecide but require a bit more elbow grease from you to make sure that your pool is maintained properly and that the water within it stays nice and sanitary. Each of these methods should be employed regularly or should be interchanged as they all serve a specific purpose that affects all other methods and how well your pool is maintained and kept clean. 

Brush Down the Pool 

Algae was mentioned earlier and you now know how pesky this little microorganism can be to your pool. Beyond being caused by heat, algae can also occur due to a lack of movement within the water. When this happens, the first place that algae are going to appear is on the sides and on the floor of your pool. You will begin to either feel slick spots along the floor of your pool or start to see little green patches along its walls, this is algae. 

To keep algae from forming along the bottom of your pool or on its sides, you need to regularly brush the entirety of the inside of your pool area down. This can be a time-consuming step, but it is one that will make a tremendous difference if you do not have a pool pump filter. Be sure to use a soft brush to avoid any scratching or tearing of your liner and scrub in a circular motion to ensure the most surface agitation. 

Skim the Pool 

Once you have the pool brushed down, the best thing to do is get a skimmer out and begin skimming the water to grab and free debris that was shaken from the sides or the bottom of your pool. This is a quick step that can help to get small and large particles out of your water quickly without the use of a filtration system or anything more formal like a vacuum. However, skimming should be done more often than once a week. 

When it comes to skimming a pool that does not have a pool pump filter, it should be skimmed at least once a day, if not more. A telescope pole can help to extend the skimmer so you can reach down deeper into the pool and lift debris from within the water as well as along the bottom of the pool. Skimming daily will help to keep dirt and debris from building up and will thus keep your water cleaner. 

Shock the Pool 

Shocking is not something that should be done on a regular basis and it is a chemical, but it should be used in a way that it is treated as more of a tool than a regular additive like chlorine or algaecide. Shocking a pool is a way to drastically and very quickly raise the chlorine levels of a pool in order to quickly and effectively kill bacteria. This method is typically used when there is a problem with water cloudiness. 

To shock your pool, you will dilute 3 to 5 times the level of sanitizer with water and add it straight into your pool. Since you don’t have a pool pump filter, the shock will need to be evenly distributed throughout the pool quickly. This can be done by using the skimmer and a telescope pole to go around the edges of the pool and drag the water in a continuous circle. Also, be sure to make your way to the middle of the pool for even distribution. 

Vacuum the Pool 

You may be thinking this is impossible, after all, you don’t have a pool filter pump which is what powers most pool vacuums. However, there are vacuums out there that are battery-operated and can be completely submerged without any issue. Vacuuming your pool is one of the most effective methods for keeping your water and the floor of your pool clean. Yes, you can always skim the bottom of the pool, but it will never be as effective as a vacuum. 

By vacuuming with something like this, you will be able to pick up particles as small as sand. A skimmer simply cannot reach that small of an item. Vacuums offer you the ability to quickly clean your pool without the worry of missing the small things that build up very quickly and cause your pool to look dirty within a few days. This is an item that is truly the cherry on top when it comes to keeping a pool without a pool filter pump clean.  

How to Be Proactive With a Pool That Does Not Have a Pool Filter Pump 

There are so many things that you can do to help maintain the cleanliness of your pool throughout the swimming season when you do not have a pool filter pump. If you follow these guidelines and implement them as they should be, you should be able to have a clean pool without having to immediately install a pool filter pump. However, even with all of your efforts for maintaining a clean environment to swim in at the moment, could you do even more? 

As with most things, there is more than you can do to make sure that your pool stays free of dirt, bacteria, and maintains the proper chemical levels. Lucky for you, these suggestions are not as strenuous as the hands-on directives, but they can make a very big difference when it comes to how clean your pool stays in between uses. Simple yet effective, look at these few tips to be more proactive in your pool’s cleanliness. 

Add a Pool Cover 

Pool covers are a fantastic way to passively protect your pool from all types of dirt, limbs, leaves, bugs, and the occasional frog or two. Even more, but keeping a cover on your pool, less water is able to evaporate which means that the chemical levels in your pool will remain more consistent. In between uses, a summer cover is a great option for keeping the dirt out and keeping your chemicals in. 

For the winter, consider investing in a winter pool cover. This is certainly a more long-term investment, but even if you do end up installing a pool pump filter, it is one that is going to save you quite a bit of trouble when it comes time to open the pool back up. These covers are a bit more solid and are more durable than a summer cover. They are designed to withstand inclement weather, which is why they are not ideal for summertime use. 

Consider a Foot Bath 

No, this does not mean head to your local spa. A foot bath is a very simple solution to those of you that are dealing with people constantly bringing grass and dirt into your pool. Wet feet attract grass and when people are running in and out of the pool, grass is one of the most often brought in materials. Even more, it is one of the most difficult to remove. This is where the purpose of a food bath comes in. 

Place a tub of water next to the entry point of the pool or right beside the entry ladder. When someone enters the pool, they will submerge their feet and clean them of any dirt or grass that may be sticking to them. This helps to minimize what is brought into the pool which means less cleaning for you and better water for those who are swimming within it. 

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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