Newbie backwash mistake

Nov 30, 2014
Dallas, TX
Okay, I just made my first (and probably not last) mistake. When doing the backwash for the first time (we just moved in to our house a week ago) I left the polaris on while doing the backwash. It doesn't look like a lot of DE made it in to the pool but there definitely is some. Do I need to vacuum it out or just leave it over the winter and over time let it make its way out?

Thanks in advance for your help.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Welcome to TFP!

You will need to vacuum out the DE at some point. Now is better than later, but you can wait if you need to (as long as no one is swimming).

I suspect something was wrong other than just the cleaner running. While it is best to make sure the pool cleaner is turned off when backwashing, there is no reason running the cleaner should allow DE to get in the pool. Did you remember to rinse after backwashing and before going back to filter mode?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
If you have a multiport valve, you set it to Rinse. If all you have is a push-pull valve, you just need to make sure you run it long enough to really flush the grids off completely. Myself - after the first minute, I shut it off and open the air bleed and let the filter drain out the backwash hose. Then I remove the clamp, close the air bleed, close the valve, cycle it for a split second to pop the lid loose, and then open it up and hose the grids off with a jet stream of water. Reassemble, and then resume the backwash.

As to the original question: vacuum the sludge up. With crystal-clear TFP pool water, you can see every speck of dirt. It will bug you if you let it settle out into drifts.