How Much Does a Pool Filter Installation Cost?

Typical Range:

$500 - $2,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 5, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Pools require routine maintenance to keep operating smoothly and holding clear, refreshing water. It typically costs $1,000 to install a swimming pool filter. Most people pay between $500 and $2,000, although you could pay as little as $250 to install a small cartridge filter or as much as $4,500 to install a high-end diatomaceous earth filter and pump combo for a large pool.

Average Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Filter

Average Cost $1,000
Low Cost $250
High Cost $4,500

Estimating Costs for Pool Filter Installation

The cost for labor and materials is fairly evenly split unless a filter is particularly large or complex. 

Labor Costs

To install a pool filter, you need a plumber and, in some cases, an electrician. Plumbers charge between $45 and $200 per hour, and an electrician charges $40 to $100 per hour. Some pool technicians are also qualified to install pool filters, and these charge $35 to $55 per hour. You can expect an installation to take somewhere between one and three hours. 


The cost of the materials for pool filter installation is between $30 and $2,000. The range is significant because the necessary materials depend on the type of pool you have and the filtration system you choose. For example, a simple pocket filter, used in conjunction with a larger pool filtration system, costs as little as $30. In comparison, a highly efficient DE filter can cost up to $2,000.

How Much Does Pool Filter Installation Cost by Pool Type?

Different types of pools need different filtration systems. For example, you can't go all-out and splurge on a high-end saltwater pool, then install a little cartridge filter and expect it to work well. Figure out what type of filter you need based on your type of pool and budget accordingly.

Type of Pool Cost Range to Install Pool (All-in) Average Cost to Install Pool (All-in)
Above-Ground $250 – $1,100 $670
In-Ground $250 – $2,500 $1,370
Saltwater $500 – $2,500 $1,500

Filters for Above-Ground Pools

Filters for above-ground pools cost an average of $670, or between $250 and $1,100. Often, above-ground pools come as a package, with a filter and pump included in the price. This is usually a sand or cartridge filter.

Before buying, make sure you get details about the pre-installed filter and see if you can negotiate a filtration system upgrade. When the existing filter starts to wear out, you can replace it with another model of your choosing. 

Filters for In-Ground Pools

Filters for in-ground pools cost around $1,370, ranging from $250 to $2,500. With in-ground pools, you have a wider choice for filter selection. Sand filters are the least expensive option but have a short lifespan and aren't as efficient. Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters are the most expensive, but they're also the longest-lasting and most efficient choice.  

Filters for Saltwater Pools

Expect to pay an average of $1,500 for a saltwater pool filtration system, or between $500 and $2,500. Saltwater pools require specialty filters. While the same filter types are available—including sand, cartridge, and DE—they need to be rated for use in saltwater. As with other pools, a sand cartridge is the most budget-friendly to install but only lasts 3 to 5 years, while a good DE filter will last at least 10.

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How Much Does Swimming Pool Filter Installation Cost by Filter Type?

You'll pay anywhere from $30 to $2,000 for the filter itself. Sometimes this price also includes a pump setup. The type and size of the pool you have determine the filter you need. The smaller the microns (or filtering capacity), the more efficient the filter is because it can trap and remove small particles from the water. 

Type of Filter Cost Range (Materials Only) Average Cost Price (Materials Only)
Pocket $30 – $100 $60
Sand $300 – $1,200 $750
Cartridge $200 – $1,600 $900
Glass $500 – $1,500 $1,000
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) $520 – $2,000 $1,260


Pocket filters typically cost $60, with a price range of $30 to $100, and don't require professional installation. Also known as filter bags, pocket filters are not usually standalone items. Instead, they're added onto an existing filtration system. Generally, these budget-friendly models have a capacity of 15 to 20 microns.


Sand filters cost an average of $750, but you could pay anywhere from $300 to $1,200. Sand filters contain a number 20 silica sand that traps debris. They have a filtration capacity of 20 to 100 microns, so they're not the most efficient units but do manage to filter out the larger particles. 


Cartridge filters cost around $900, ranging from $200 to $1,600. They typically have a filtration capacity of 10 to 15 microns and are considered reasonably eco-friendly, as they have reduced water consumption due to not needing backwashing. They're moderately priced and moderately efficient, but cleaning can be difficult and time-consuming, so you may want to hire a local pool maintenance service to take care of it for you.


For a glass pool filter, expect to pay around $1,000, or between $500 and $1,500. Glass filters are increasingly popular because they're more efficient than sand and cartridge models and able to filter out particles as small as 9 microns. They're usually less expensive than diatomaceous earth models—a solid compromise between cost and effectiveness. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, or DE, pool filters average $1,260, but you could pay $520 for a small, budget-friendly model or up to $2,000 for a large, high-end unit. Able to filter out particles as small as 3 microns, DE filters are the gold standard of pool filtration systems. These filters give you the cleanest possible water and have a long lifespan. They're also eco-friendly as DE is a natural product. The filters are super-efficient compared to other types, reducing the filter and pump run time, thereby reducing your pool's energy costs.

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Swimming Pool Filter Replacement Price

The cost to replace a swimming pool filter is $250 to $1,500, on average. If you're replacing like-for-like, the cost falls at the lower end of this range because the wiring, housing, and everything else you need to hook up the filter is already in place. And, if it's still in good condition, it won't need replacement.

However, upgrading your filtration system could cost more than a new installation because you'll have to pay the pro to remove all parts of the old filtration system that don't work with the upgraded one.

To replace the sand in the filter, expect to pay a pro for around $100. And, if all that needs replacing is the gasket, you'll pay $10 to $40 for the materials plus about one hour for contractor time. 

Factors That Influence the Cost of Pool Filter Installation

Aside from replacing or installing a new pool filter, other factors influence the total project price, such as adding a skimmer box or replacing the pump. Plus, there are ongoing costs like cleaning, maintenance, and pool servicing.

Pool Filter Cleaning Costs

Pool filter cleaning costs $60 to $65 for general light cleaning. If it needs a more intense cleaning session, expect to pay up to $125. Ideally, to keep your filter working at its best, have it cleaned every 3 to 6 months. Or, if the PSI increases by 8 to 10 points higher than its normal range, you'll need to hire a pool maintenance company to give your filter an intermittent clean.

Swimming Pool Service

You may be able to get filter cleaning and maintenance taken care of as part of a pool service package. Costs vary widely, but for general pool service—including filter and pump maintenance—expect to pay around $180 per month during the summer. You can also purchase an annual pool service for an average of $1,800, which includes repairs, maintenance, and opening and closing the pool at the start and end of the season.

Skimmer Box Installation

You can purchase a skimmer box for between $5 and $35 and install it yourself. Also known as a pre-filter or a skimmer box, this device helps optimize the lifespan of your filter by removing large particles and debris before they make their way to the filter, protecting the internal mechanisms and the motor of your filter.

Pump Replacement

Assuming you're replacing like-for-like, pool pump replacement costs around $80 to $200 for labor, plus the cost of the pump, with a cost range of $200 to $1,200. If, however, you're changing brands, increasing size, or upgrading quality, labor costs will most likely increase because there may be changes to plumbing and electrical setups.

You can often save money by bundling filter and pump replacements, as many companies will offer a package deal or discount for replacing both simultaneously. 

DIY vs. Professional Swimming Pool Filter Installation

For smaller, simple filters, if you have some basic DIY skills, you may be able to complete the installation yourself. However, for more complex systems, or those where electrical and plumbing lines need adding, it's best to have a professional do the installation.

Yes, DIY installation saves you a substantial sum in labor costs, but if you've bought a high-end DE filter, it's not worth the risk of ruining a $2,000 filter.

FAQs About Installing a Swimming Pool

What size pool filter do I need?

The size of the filter you need depends on the volume of your pool, as is the power of the pump you need to move the water to the filter efficiently.

Pool Volume (Gallons) Recommended Filter Size (GPM) Recommended Pump Size (HP)
10,000 Gallons 14 3/4 – 1
15,000 Gallons 21 3/4 – 1
20,000 Gallons 28 1 1/2
25,000 Gallons 35 1 1/2
30,000 Gallons 42 2
35,000 Gallons 49 2
40,000 Gallons 56 2 1/2
45,000 Gallons 63 2 1/2

What's the best filtration system for an above-ground pool?

The best filtration system for an above-ground pool is a DE filter. While these are the most expensive option, they also provide the cleanest water. Most above-ground pools come with sand filters, but these are inefficient and have a short lifespan. A good compromise between budget and efficiency is a cartridge filter.

When should I replace my pool filter?

Oftentimes, instead of replacing your filter, you can simply have it cleaned. But eventually, it becomes more expensive than replacing the filter to continually have it cleaned or repaired. If the filter is no longer able to effectively keep up with keeping your water clean, regularly breaks down, the PSI keeps spiking, or the water quality is consistently poor, then it could be time to replace the old filter with a new one.

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