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How to Clean Your Cartridge Filter

Posted by The Giant on 7/11/2014 to News

Have you noticed that your pool filter just doesn’t get the job done? If you use a cartridge filter system, you will likely need to replace the cartridge approximately every two to five years. However, if your filter is newer, and you don’t see any visible damage, save yourself some cash and clean the filter yourself with just a few easy steps! This article has all the info you need to clean your dirty cartridge filter.

How do I know if my filter needs to be cleaned?

The signs of a dirty filter may not be obvious at first, but upon closer inspection, you can detect when your filter doesn’t run as efficiently as it should.

When you first install a new cartridge filter, take note of the psi (pounds per square inch) - this is your clean operating pressure. The pressure gauge is typically located on top of your pool filter. We recommend that you check the pressure gauge about once a week. When the water pressure rises approximately 10 psi above the clean operating pressure, it’s time to clean your cartridge filter.

At the minimum, your pool filter should be cleaned at least once a year. However, if the pool is frequently used by people wearing sunscreen, the filter may need to be cleaned more often as the oil can easily clog the pores in the filter.

How to clean your filter

Cleaning your cartridge filter is easy, and can be done in just a few days! Follow these steps to clean your filter correctly:

  1. Remove the filter and inspect for damage.
  2. If undamaged, use a hose to rinse off the surface debris. Do not use a high-pressure nozzle; this can damage the pleats on the filter and push dirt and grime further into the filter. If the filter is damaged, you may need to replace it with a new one.
  3. Soak the filter overnight in a cartridge cleaner solution. Make sure the bucket is clean of any dirt or chemicals prior to submerging the filter in the solution. Depending on the brand and concentration of the solution you use, the cartridge should soak for 12-48 hours. Browse Pool & Spa Giant’s selection of filter cleaning solutions here.
  4. Take the filter out of the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with the hose. You can use a higher pressure hose for this step, but be sure to spray parallel to the pleats.
  5. Re-install your freshly cleaned pool cartridge!

Do I need a new filter?

If your pool filter is still dirty after you go through the cleaning process, it may be time to invest in a new one. Here are a few signs that your pool filter may be past the point of no return:

  • Flattened Pleats – Over time, filter pleats begin to flatten due to the high water pressure. Flattened pleats do not effectively keep your pool clean.
  • Broken Bands - If you notice the bands on the outside of your filter are broken, this could cause the pleats to flatten under the water pressure.
  • Ripped or frayed fabric – Pleats are typically made of polyester, which doesn’t last forever. When exposed to high pressure, chemicals, and debris, the pleats wear out over time. If you notice any holes or discover that the material is wearing thin, we recommend you replace the cartridge to avoid debris getting through the filter.
  • Cracked plastic – While this is a rare problem, if you notice that the plastic endcaps on your pool filter are cracked or broken, it’s time to purchase a new filter.

Pool & Spa Giant offers a variety of cartridge filters for both above-ground and in-ground pools. Visit our website to browse all of the filter options for your pool.

About Pool and Spa Giant

Established in 1960, Pool & Spa Giant offers a huge selection of pool and spa supplies and equipment. Today, Pool & Spa Giant provides the best value on the web! Whether you want to buy a brand new pool, or just purchase supplies to maintain your existing pool, Pool & Spa Giant has everything you need!

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