Properly Clean Your Pool Cartridge Filter
So, the time has finally come. Your pressure gauge is reading 10 PSI over the recommended pressure for your pool filter and you know something is up. And in all honesty, this can really only mean one thing, its time to clean the filter. We all know that pool maintenance isn’t the most glamours part of owning a pool and we’re oftentimes asked if this process can be simplified. We’re hoping these tips will help to make your maintenance go smoother while also simplifying the process.
A Quick Filter Clean: 30-40 Minutes
A Deep Filter Clean: 8-10 Hours (soaking time)
The Step By Step Cartridge Filter Cleaning Process
- Power down your filtration system. Completely disconnecting power is ideal if it doesn’t affect other pool components. If this is not possible you’ll want to verify that the pool timer isn’t set to kick on while the cleaning process is taking place. Either turn of the timer or set it accordingly.
- You’ll now begin to slowly bleed the air from the filter. This can be done by slowly turning the air relief valve.
- Now that the power has been cut off and the air has been relieved you can now remove the tension clamp that hold the two parts of the filter housing together. Each filter housing is slightly different so you’ll want to make sure you read and follow the manufacturers instructions during this process.
- Once the tension clamp/clamps have been removed you can now separate the top portion of the filter housing and place it is a safe/clean location.
- Depending on your cartridge filter you may need to remove additional parts in order to remove the actual filter. If this is the case be sure to remember the removal step so you have the ability to reassemble it once cleaning is complete. You can also use the manufactures instructions to help with this step.
- It is now time to carefully remove the cartridge filters and set them aside for the time being. You can visually inspect the housing unit to ensure there are no cracks or obvious faults. You can then begin the examination of the filters. If the filter is in any way damaged, cracked or torn you will want to completely replace it. Even the smallest amount of damage can greatly impact the performance and reliability.
- Once you have inspected the filters you can then begin rinsing them off with a hose. You will want to work from top to bottom while also making sure to get all the debris out from between the pleats. You’ll also what to make sure that you clean out the inside of the filter as well, working from top to bottom. If you find this process to be cumbersome you can always use a brush to help you get out all of that hard to reach debris. There are even specially made brushes to help you accomplish this task.
- The next step entails the actual soaking of the filter(s). You will want to get either a large bucket of even a trash can and line it with a trash bag or some other form of water proof liner. You will then fill the bucket with water and a filter cleaner, if you don’t have filter cleaner you can also use dishwasher detergent. If using dishwasher detergent you will want to use 1 cup for every 5 gallons of water. This cleaning process with help with the removal of oils, sunscreen and lotions. To get the best results you’ll want to let the filters soak for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably 10 hours. After the soak you’ll want to make sure you rinse them thoroughly, if using dishwasher detergent you’ll want to make sure you rinse them VERY thoroughly.
- Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration while soaking your filter is the fact that there may be algae stuck in the filter cartridge. This can easily be handled by soaking the filter in a 20:1 ratio of Muriatic Acid (1 part) and water (20 parts). One thing you need to remember while doing this is to always add the Muriatic Acid to the water and not the other way around. You’ll want to soak the filter in the solution until the bubbling stops.
- Once the soaking is complete you then have the ability to give the filter(s) one final rinse to remove all remaining solution. One thing to take into consideration is the fact that during the reassembly of your cartridge filter, it is advised to apply a small but liberal amount of lubricant to the O-rings to help with their overall longevity and lifespan.
- Now that lubricant has been applied to the O-rings you can place the filters back in the filter housing. Make sure you securely place the lid back on the tank and securely fasten it with the clamp(s) you removed in step 3.
- You can now turn on the filtration system and open the air release valve to remove all of the air that’s in the tank. You’ll want to leave this valve open until there is a steady stream of water being sprayed out of it. This ensures that the air has been completely removed from the filtration system.
- By ensuring your filter is clean of all debris and assembled correctly it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not only receiving an increase in water flow but you’ll be able to visibly see this increase in water flow through the stronger suction of your pool cleaner. There is a potential that you may need to recalibrate the filter pressure so be sure to verify the correct pressure within the owner’s manual and recalibrate if need be. Generally speaking the pressure gauge should read anywhere between 10-15 PSI but this also greatly depends on your filtration system. You’ll also want to keep in mind that if you’re PSI is off by a large amount then there could potentially be something incorrectly installed during the reassembly process.
- That’s it, that’s all! Your system should be up and running and you can now use your system normally.