Small Homemade Pool Filters

Written by donna armstrong
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Small Homemade Pool Filters
Keep your pool clean. (colourful pool toy floating in a summer pool image by Jorge Moro from

Small pool filters often get clogged or wear out in a few days. Small aboveground pools require a small filter and pump to keep the water fresh and clean. A sand filter works for months without needing maintenance. Building a small sand filter for your pool will save you money and time. Once the filter is installed, you can forget about buying those replacement filters.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket with lid, 3 gallon
  • Marker
  • Rotary tool or craft knife
  • Silicone sealant
  • Screen, 2-inch square
  • 1 bag pool sand
  • 2 plastic sink flanges
  • Water-resistant epoxy
  • 2 hose clamps
  • Hose clamp pliers or screwdriver
  • Brick or breeze blocks

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  1. 1

    Place one sink flange in the centre of the bucket lid. Place the other flange on the bottom of the bucket. Use the marker to outline the base of the flanges on the bucket and lid.

  2. 2

    Cut holes out of the lid and bottom of the bucket that are the same size as the outlines you drew. Use a rotary tool or craft knife to make the cut.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the flanges from the gaskets and strainers. Slide the sink flanges into the holes and place the gasket and strainer on the inside of the lid and bucket. Screw the pieces back together to attach the flange to the bucket and lid.

  4. 4

    Apply silicone sealant around the flanges where they meet the bucket or lid. Let the silicone dry, according to the product's instructions.

  5. 5

    Place the screen in the centre of the bottom of the bucket. Use the epoxy to hold the screen in place over the flange.

  6. 6

    Pour the pool sand into the bucket until it is two-thirds full. The screen and flange will hold the sand in the bucket.

  7. 7

    Apply a generous amount of epoxy around the inside of the lid's rim. Make sure the entire rim has epoxy in it. Put the lid back on the bucket and press the lid down. Allow the epoxy to dry.

  8. 8

    Place the filter on its side between the intake port on the side of the pool and the filter. Turn the filter off and place the filter plugs in the intake and output ports.

  9. 9

    Cut the intake hose in half and slide hose clamps over each hose end. Connect the hose coming from the pool to the sink flange in the bucket's lid. Slide the other half of the hose over the sink flange in the bottom of the bucket. Fit the clamps over the flanges. Using hose clamp pliers or a screwdriver, clamp the hoses to the sink flanges.

  10. 10

    Place a brick or breeze block under the lid of the bucket and brace the bucket with bricks or breeze blocks to keep it from rolling. Gravity will force the water through the sand and into the pump. Unplug the filter ports.

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