Brown Water Backwash, NOT Rinse, Nor Return Jets


New member
Feb 19, 2018
Kailua, Hawaii
Hello everyone!
I'm having quite the puzzler, and Google searches aren't helping.
After rainfalls add inches to my pool water, I backwash for a minute, then rinse for a minute, then return to filter. When I turn on the backwash, brown water...pretty much muddy water, shoots out. The water clears up when I switch to rinse, and no muddy water goes to returns when I flip to filter.
I can't figure out where the muddy water is coming from, but seems obvious there is a leak somewhere. But, I'm puzzled how it clears when I go to rinse, and is gone when set to filter.
Thank you for any ideas/suggestions!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!

Since you are backwashing you have either a DE or sand filter, right? A signature detailing your equipment really helps there. See Pool School - Getting Started

So, if your filter is working correctly, it should be backwashing out any dirt collected by your filter. If it is DE, it is sending out the DE too that has to be recharged. If sand, it clears up once the dirt in the filter is gone.

Why would you say you have a leak then?

Take care.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Welcome to TFP... A great place to find the answers to all your backwash questions... :shark:

Sounds pretty normal to me also???

Keep in mind when you backwash, you are sending water through your filter backward... which of course washes all the 'stuff' the filter has collected out the backwash pipe... Rinse and filter modes push water through your filter by the normal path and clean the water before it comes out.

Maybe we just don't understand the issue... Tell us more details..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.


Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
Edmond OK
That sounds normal. The "muddy" water is just all the gunk that your filter has removed from your water, ie. dirt and dust that have blown into the pool, sunscreen, bugs, grass, bird droppings, etc.

Backwashing gets that all out of your filter so that there's room for more. After the backwash, the Rinse cycle clears any dirty water still inside the filter out so that it doesn't get shot back into your pool when you switch it back to Filter mode.