How does a push-pull backwash valve work?

The push pull backwash valve (also known as plunger valve) is the most common valve in the pool industry. It is preferred by many because of its simplicity as well as its lower cost and better flow as compared with multiport valves.


– There are two styles of push pull valves:

  • Manufacturer specific – almost all plunger valves are designed by the manufacturers to fit their specific filters. These valves come with unions that are perfectly matched to the filters. It is important to make sure you have the right valve for your filter.
  • Universal – Jandy makes a universal type plunger valve that can be adapted to several different filters. It is always preferable to go with the OEM valve, but if that is not available, this universal valve is a viable option.


– There are several components to a push pull backwash valve.

  • Valve body – this has two unions that match up to the filter. It also has three plumbing ports on it for intake, outlet and backwash line.
  • Valve Internals – this is the internal assembly that moves up and down. It has a handle, a shaft, and wafers with o-rings on them.


– there is just a little basic maintenance that is required on push-pull backwash valves.

  • Every six months (or sooner if the valve starts getting hard to operate), remove the top cap on the push-pull valve and pull out the internal assembly. Replace the o-rings and apply Magic Lube liberally to the o-rings. (Do NOT use any petroleum based products such as Vaseline on the o-rings).
  • Make sure that the backwash line drains out after you have backwashed the filter, so that you can avoid freeze damage from water remaining in the line.

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