Which backwash valve is best for me?

School Summary:

When the time comes to buy a new filter or just replace your old backwash valve, you have a choice to make. What type of backwash valve do you want?

Choosing the Right Backwash Valve.

When the time comes to buy a new filter or just replace your old backwash valve, you have a choice to make. What type of backwash valve do you want? This article helps you sort through your options.

Push Pull Valves - Lowest Overall Cost & Maintenance

If you are simply looking for the backwash valve with the lowest cost to install and the lowest ongoing cost to maintain and repair, then the push pull valve is for you.

The installed cost is almost $100 less than a multiport valve, but it does have fewer features. It has only two settings: Backwash and Filter. If you want to have a rinse or filter bypass setting, then you will want a multiport valve instead.

Most people never ever use these features, so for them, the push-pull valve is just fine.

Multiport Backwash Valves - Highest Cost, Most Features

Multiport valves have one major thing going in their favor – features. Here is a list of the settings on most multiport valves.

  • Filter – sends the water through the filter and back to the pool.  This is the normal setting for any backwash valve.
  • Backwash – this sends the water backwards through the filter to flush out the dirt and DE inside the filter.  It then directs this water out to the sanitary sewer by means of the backwash line.
  • Rinse – this sends the water through the filter, as in normal filter mode, but then instead of returning the water to the pool, it sends it to the backwash line.  This is helpful with sand filters that need a rinse cycle.
  • Recirculate – this bypasses the filter and sends the water directly back to the pool. This is not advisable for long periods of time as it can send unfiltered water through the poolsweep or other places where it is not wanted.
  • Waste – this directs the water from the pump, directly to the waste line.
  • Closed – this does not allow water to flow any direction through the backwash valve. Do not try to run the filter with the valve in this position.

Diverter Style Backwash Valves - Higher Cost, Higher Flow

These style backwash valves probably have the highest flow of all the backwash valves because they are a “straight through” design like a Jandy valve and the valve itself provides very little resistance to slow the water down.

These valves are less proven than the other valves and there were some issues early on. The manufacturers will tell you that all the problems are resolved (as always), but the buyer should understand that it is not as proven as other designs.


For most customers, the push-pull backwash valve is the way to go. If you must have the other features, then choose multiport. If you need the absolutely best flow, then choose the diverter style valve.

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