The reason why pool experts recommend pool cartridge filters is because of their advantages. Basically, it makes pool maintenance easier, not to mention that filters are even easier to clean. When it is time to replace your cartridge, you can easily do so because they are easily replaceable. Your only concern should be learning when to clean and when to replace your cartridge.
When is The Right Time for Cleaning?
Finding out if your pool filter cartridges are due for cleaning is actually not that hard. You can simply check the pressure on the gauge, and there you will find your answer. If you notice that the pressure is above the starting pressure, as indicated in psi (pressure per square inch), that is an indicator that it is time to clean the pool cartridge. The cartridge should also be cleaned whenever you apply an algae bloom treatment as a general maintenance routine.
If it is a public pool, the cartridge should be cleaned every opening and closing to keep the water safe. Other than that, other factors can make you change your routine; for instance, if there is a major storm, the pool cartridge should be cleaned after.
2. How Should You Clean Your Filter Cartridges?
It is always advisable to get the experts to do the job, but if you believe you can clean or replace your filter cartridge on your own, below is the tip on how to go about it:
- Start by switching off the breaker to the filler pump.
- Release the air valve on top to relieve the pressure in the filler.
- Remove the drain plug and ensure it is completely drained.
- Turn the locking knob counterclockwise to loosen it. Use the right tool to achieve your objective, such as a wrench to loosen the clamp. The filter should come with an instruction manual so go through it to see which socket it takes.
- Remove the bolt along with the C-clamp.
- Remove the top of the pool cartridge.
- Spray the filter with a full-spray nozzle; you can use the one on your garden hose and spray until the filters are clean. Rotate the cartridge to clean every side. Note that you should avoid using pressure water lest it damages the filter.
- Put water in a bucket and mix it with a cartridge cleaner; soak the cartridge for 24 hours to break the compounds that may be resistant to water alone.
- After soaking the cartridge, repeat the process of hosing it down to ensure it is thoroughly clean.
- Follow the instruction manual to re-install the filter cartridge once the cleaning is done.
- Ensure the knob is tightened properly.
- Switch on the breaker to the filler pump.
- Check the pressure gauge to see if the pressure level is okay; the pressure level should be 8-15, as usually recommended.
3. When Should You Replace Your Pool Cartridges?
1. Band Wear
Band wear is one of the indicators that the cartridge is nearing its end; however, that is not always the case. In some cases, a band can wear off even though the pool cartridge is still in good condition, so you should look closely or get another set of eyes to help you confirm. But it is usually an indicator that the cartridge needs a replacement.
2. Cartridge Color and Oils
It is natural for a cartridge to change color after some time, but color can also tell you if the cartridge is wearing out. If the cartridge has dark brown, oily stains even though you clean it as recommended, then that is an indicator that it has worn out and is due for replacement.
3. Filter Pleat Condition
Taking a closer look at the pleat can give you a good idea if the cartridge is worn out. It can show you if the material is falling apart and warrants a replacement. If you see that the cartridge is obviously degrading, then it is time to get a new one.
4. End Caps
And finally, the easiest way to know if the pool cartridge has reached the end of its lifespan is by checking the end caps. If you see that the end caps are broken, then it is a clear indication that the cartridge should be replaced. If you spot some stress cracks on it then you can still use it but if it is broken or close to breaking, you should replace it.
The pool filter cartridges, like everything else, have a lifespan. If it is not cleaned regularly, it can get damaged before its time but regular cleaning can extend its lifespan. Nothing lasts forever, so there will always come a time to replace your filter cartridge. Knowing when that time has come can be tricky because cartridges usually do not have an expiration date.
It takes an expert opinion to know when the cartridge is due for replacement. This article can help you know the time. Again, it is usually recommended that you leave the job to cleaning professionals, so you should only try it if you are sure you can do it right.