When Should I Replace My Pool Filter O-Ring?

Changing out o-rings in your pool equipment can seem like a quick and easy task. And it is. Compared to other replacement parts, o-rings are rather inexpensive and are fairly easy to replace. However, failing to replace your o-ring can cause damage to other parts within your pool equipment resulting in a lot more spending.

O-rings and gaskets are typically made from an elastic-type rubber and are designed to seal, or in our case, help prevent water from entering in. O-rings are prevalent in most pool equipment including pumps, filters, chlorinators, valves, and heaters. Most pool owners know at some point they need to change the o-rings on their filter. However, most are unsure when and how often.

Filter Body O-ring
Filter Body O-ring

Pool filters may come with several different o-rings, but the one that tends to wear the most is the tank o-ring. The tank o-ring is the large round o-ring located between the filter head and filter body. It can be found in all three types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (D.E). Sand and D.E filters may have additional smaller bulkhead and valve o-rings which should also be changed routinely.

Pool owners tend to replace their filter o-ring once they notice water leaking down their tank. The only problem with waiting until you see the leak is the potential damage it can cause in the meantime. O-rings should be checked every time you replace your cartridge or grid elements and every time you clean your filter. It is never a bad idea to check other parts while your have a particular part open, whether a filter, pump, or chlorinator. Examine the o-ring for tears, rips, cracks, or any damage or defect that may compromise the seal.

Three Indicators of a Bad Seal

  1. Thoroughly Inspect Your Body O-ring

    The filter seems to leak when under pressure or when the filter is turned off.

  2. If your pump is losing pressure and you checked your pump for leaks. A faulty seal in your filter could be the culprit.
  3. An increase in water loss in an above ground pool.

All of these are signs that the filter o-ring may not be reliable anymore and we recommend you change it immediately

Once you purchase your new o-ring, there are a few steps you can take to prolong its life. O-rings should last several pool seasons with proper care. Be sure to examine the new o-ring before installing it. If you see any tears, rips, or anything that seemingly compromises the quality of the o-ring, do not install it and return for a replacement.

Aladdin Magic Lube
Aladdin Magic Lube

Also, use the proper lubrication for your o-ring. You should use Magic Lube II or another silicone-based lubricant, not Teflon. Teflon will dry out the rubber and eventually cause it to crack.

O-rings vary depending upon the make and model of the filter. If you need help identifying the correct o-ring for your filter, do not hesitate to give us a call at 877-372-6038. We’re always here to help!

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63 thoughts on “When Should I Replace My Pool Filter O-Ring?

  1. I am looking for the top o-ring for my Pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter without valve. Do you stock it? We just had our sand replaced and the filter is leaking from the top lid.

  2. Hi Matthew, I have a Hayward DE filter and am noticing a tiny leak in the middle of the filter body, right by the clamp bolt. This leak was not there until I opened the filter to clean it and the cartridges up. I tightened the clamp bolt a bit but am worried to keep tightening as I don’t want to cause any damage. Do you know overtightning can damage the filter body?

    Thanks for your continued and informative contribution to your articles’ comments!

    1. The most likely issue is that the filter’s body oring got pinched or shifted out of place when you were installing the lid and clamp. But the thing to do is open it back up and retry the process. Overtightening wouldn’t cause a leak in one specific spot. But overtightening can strip the screw or bolt assembly on the clamp

  3. My pump lid is leaking when the pump is turned off ? The pool is less than a year old. Should the Pump Lid O Ring be defective already ?

    1. The pump lid o-ring usually last a couple of seasons. While cleaning the pump basket the O-ring could have been pinched or stretched while reinstalling the lid.

      It is a relatively inexpensive part, so I wouldn’t put too much thought into changing it. Try to be more careful when handling it.

  4. I have a salt water pool. Recently I noticed my Pentair SuperFlo pump will not run it goes to start and after a few seconds it trips the breaker and shuts off. I changed the capacitor and that didn’t work, I also made sure o ring gasket was good on lid, the pump is holding water doesn’t appear to be leaking and the impeller isn’t clogged. I do not know much about pools but after doing a little research I looked at my filter and the psi gauge seems to be broke, and I took the top off and the slider gasket was no good it’s stretched out . Also I noticed that my sight class has no water in it. Could the issues with my filter have anything to do with my pump not turning over and run?

    1. If your gaskets were in bad enough condition as to prevent your pump from priming or to lose prime thereby causing the pump to run dry and overheat, then yes those gaskets could have caused the motor issue. We have a few guides that have in-depth troubleshooting steps, I would give these a read: Pool Pump Trips Breaker / GFCI
      Pool Motor Troubleshooting & Using the Proper Test Equipment to Troubleshoot Pool Motors

      The problem could be as simple as moisture interfering with the circuit, or it may be a motor windings issue which would require a motor replacement. I’d use the guides above to try to narrow the suspect list.

  5. I sealed my filter cover with silicone. Will this air tight cause a high pressure build up and cause it to crack or explode?

  6. My issue is simply getting the o ring to seal. There is nothing wrong with it I just have always had problems getting it to seal back. My immediate thought is to just get a thicker o ring for this old setup. I have a Hayward sand filter and the canister lid and o ring near the valve just by
    Builds up pressure and air throughout.

  7. Hi Matthew, My pool pump I suspect has an air leak as sometimes my jets and vaccume stop working and I have to prime the pump and release air from the tank valve. What is the best way to determine where the leak is at? I imagine it is either at the auction side of the Hayward pump. Thanks

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