DIY - inline sock filter - possible?


Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
South Florida
Hey all,

I had an idea the other day (most likely NOT original) for a serviceable in-line sock filter on my intake.

Basically I would fit a coarser size sock filter (not too fine) INSIDE PVC large enough to contain it, and then use unions on each end to remove/replace for maintenance. Ball valves before and after will limit water loss during removal. Or I could fit a small drain into the assembly.

The sock would entirely cover the inside diameter of the pipe and thus nothing would get by it.

I would use clear PVC (2-3") and would just rinse/swap regularly so as not to affect flow if it gets too dirty and for visibilty to the sock itself. My intake is 1" so would just need to use bushings to match. The unions would be 1" and fit the intake. Only the sock portion PVC would be a larger diameter.

I would install this assembly PRIOR to the intake of the pump and AFTER the dual intakes are merged to one. This would filter the water BEFORE entering the pump (in addition to the sponges at the intakes) and would also keep the mech and bio canisters cleaner longer and help keep stuff from clogging the venturi :)

I am thinking $20-30 of parts plus a couple of micron sock filters and a few hours of time.

I am thinking this could be useful. Also since it is connected with true unions, I can always simply install flex hose there if I decide to no longer use it or it just doesn't work............

Is this viable or am I dopey?

Thanks as always.


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
The only problem I see with this is keeping the sock from ballooning out to fit the inside of the pipe, leaving only the end of the sock as a diaphragm filter, with far too little capacity. You would need some kind of support on the outside of the sock to keep it open to radial flow.


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 15, 2009
How will you know when it is dirty or clogged? The dirt will collect on the inside of the sock right? If something gets in there like a fish, snail, leaves, etc. will you be able to tell? If something gets in there, or as the filter clogs, you're going to have a massive restriction on the intake of the pump. If you put a larger strainer on the pipe intake you're still going to basically have a filter sock that's only the diameter of your pipe, or maybe a touch more if it bows out a little as the rest of the sock will be stuck up against the pipe. Very little area to filter through and it will likely clog up relatively quickly.

I'd suggest doing a larger sponge prefilter in the tank instead. More surface area so it's not as likely to clog. It's unfortunately in your face and another bit to have to reach in after but makes it less likely to restrict the inlet on the pump and less likely to stick critters to the inlet strainer or suck them in and clog up the sock.