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Cartridge Cleaning

Cartridge filters work on the "clarification process." They utilize the debris they collect as an aid to improve filtration. As a result, cleaning too often does not allow the filter to work at optimum filtration efficiency, while not cleaning often enough will shorten the life of a cartridge element. So here's a tip.





When you replace the element with a new one, note the start-up pressure on the tank gauge. This reading is the system's total pressure in "pounds per square inch". Mark this point with a drop of fingernail polish or a grease pen. Then add 8 pounds to the reading and place another dot. You now have the normal operating pressure for your cartridge filter. Allow the filter to operate between these two points and clean whenever the gauge reaches the higher pressure mark.

Cartridge Cleaning Instructions for Chlorine Users

When should a cartridge element be cleaned?

For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 8 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure. For spas, establish a routine cartridge cleaning schedule based on the amount of spa usage.

What is the procedure to clean my cartridge?

1. Remove the cartridge from the filter housing following the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter element. Work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle, and wash all the pleats with emphasis between pleats.

3. Rinse until all dirt and debris is gone.

4. For all spa cartridges and elements used in swimming pools where perspiration, suntan lotions, and other oils are present, soak the element for at least one hour (over night is most effective) in (1) a commercial filter cleaner; or (2) one cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) to five gallons water .

5. Rinse the cartridge again to remove oils and cleaning solution.

6. If the filter has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (residue from calcium hypochlorite), iron, or other minerals, soak the cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops. .

WARNING: Failure to remove all oils and cleaning solution before acid soaking will result in a permanent restriction of water flow and cause premature cartridge failure.

7. Rinse the cartridge clean and reassemble housing.

WARINNG: Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when using acid and chlorine. Do not add water to acid. Do not mix chlorine and acid.

NOTE: Most manufacturers do not recommend the use of diatomaceous earth (DE) with cartridge filters. DE particles will become trapped in the body of the media and shorten cartridge life. If desired, a cellulose fiber (synthetic DE) can be used in moderation.


Unicel and Downtown Pools wish to thank thank Zeneca, Inc. for its assistance in compiling this information.