Cleaning Your Pool Filter Cartridges
Pool maintenance is probably not the highlight of having a swimming pool, but it is important. Here are a few pointers to consider when cleaning your pool filter.
Consequences of a Dirty Pool Filter
Small particles are known to attach to parts of the filter when water passes through it. Over time, these particles will build up and create a water circulation issue. This can reduce the effectiveness of your filter by 20% or more, which means that circulating your pool water for ten hours with an unclean filter will have the effectiveness of a two hour run with clear water. Also, if you find that your water still tends to have an awkward color and is not very clear, check the chemical levels of the water. If the chemical levels are not the problem, then the culprit may very well be a faulty or dirty filter.
Keep in mind that not all filters are made alike when it comes to taking out your filter to be cleaned. Please refer to the user manual, and take note of all key parts and steps in order to properly remove and clean your filter.
How to Clean Pool Filter Cartridge
Use the user manual’s guidelines to take out the cartridge from the filter housing location.
Starting from the top, wash the filter element with a garden hose held at a 45 degree angle. Concentrate on the pleats and the surrounding areas.
Rinse thoroughly, leaving no particles behind.
This step can take between one to ten hours, depending on how well you want your filter cleaned. Using a large bucket, soak your filter elements to get rid of tanning and sunscreen product buildup, body or other oil, and sweat. You can use a soaking solution of one cup dish liquid detergent (or one cup trisodium phosphate) per five gallons of water.
After soaking the cartridge for the desired time, rinse it again.
If substances like calcium carbonate (calcium hypochlorite byproduct), algae or iron are discovered during this rinse, try another soak using one part muriatic acid and twenty parts water. Soak until you no longer see any bubbles.
Important Note: Poor water circulation will occur if you do not successfully rid the cartridge of all oils and soaking solution prior to the muriatic acid soak. It could also result in a quick end to your cartridge’s efficiency, which means you will have to replace it sooner than you would for normal wear.
After the muriatic soak, rinse until all acid is gone, and put cartridge back together.
The more you wash a cartridge pool filter, the more it loses its efficiency. Therefore, you should replace your cartridge filter within 5 years or after 20 cleanings. To determine how long to keep using your cartridge, make sure it doesn’t have and damaged pleats or broke bands and ends.
Pool Filter Cleaning Frequency
Cleaning your filter is essential to maintaining clear and debris-free water. It also extends the life and effectiveness of the filter. That’s why you should make it a habit to clean your filter twice a month. Most cartridges last between 3 -5 years (or after 20 washings).
This is when you know your Filter Media needs to be changed:
- Big difference in skimmer suction
- You have to do more filter runs in order to have clear water
- Pool water lacks the glassy clear look
- Vacuuming causes increased filter clogs
- No longer easy to keep balanced ph of water balance
- More algae and dirt gets into pool
- You find yourself doing more filter cleanings and backwashing