How and When to Clean Your Pool Cartridge Filter

How and When to Clean Your Pool Cartridge Filter

To prevent a dirty pool, it is important to clean your pool cartridge on a regular basis. Get familiar with the average psi operating level and whenever the gauge increases by 8 to 10psi over its normal operating level, you know it’s time to clean your pool cartridge filter. Circumstantial reasons may prompt you to clean your pool filter as well, such as after a major storm or algae bloom. 

Prefer to leave it to the experts? We are more than happy to take care of cleaning your pool cartridge filter as part of our full-service pool cleaning and maintenance. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Clean Your Pool Cartridge Filter in 9 Simple Steps

It’s surprisingly easy to clean your pool cartridge filter, just follow the steps below! 

Step #1: Turn the filter pump off

Step #2: Open the air relief valve to release pressure in the tank. Open the tank to remove the filter. [Side note—this is a good time to check on the O-ring. Apply lubricant as necessary to maintain proper function.]

Step #3: Use light water pressure from a garden hose to spray off the filter and remove dirt and debris.

Step #4: Oils are persistent, even after a good hosing. Remove oils for good by soaking the filter using a bath designed for soaking cartridge filters and a specialized cleaner tablet. It’ll need to soak for approximately 25 minutes, or whatever the manufacture guidelines recommend.

Step #5: Remove filter and rinse

Step #6: Let the filter dry until no moisture remains

Step #7: Reinsert a completely dry filter so that it is ready to collect as much debris as possible.

Step #8: Close the air relief valve

Step #9: Restart the valve pump and you are back in business with a more efficient and clean filter in place.

We recommend keeping an additional filter on hand so that you can continue to run your pump while you clean the other one.

When Should You Replace Your Filter Cartridge?

At some point, cleaning is not going to do the trick and you’ll need to replace your cartridge. Here are some signs it’s time to say “bye-bye” to your old filter.

  • PSI levels remain spiked even after cleaning the filter.
  • More than one band is breaking down. Check areas with breakage to see if the cartridge is still in operating condition. The bands are engineered to offer precise spacing between pleats. Broken bands lead to reduced absorption of debris.
  • You clean and clean and still dark brown or oily stains remain etched into the filter. If a recommended cartridge cleaning solution doesn’t do the trick, it might be time to replace your cartridge.
  • Too much dirt and debris deforms pleats over time. Check out pleats to see if they look flattened, or if any are missing or broken.
  • Look between the pleats to see if any materials are fraying or coming apart. If you can see the material fraying or breaking down, or it has a fuzzy appearance, it is no longer offering proper filtration.
  • Filters need to be replaced after end caps break. Small cracks are not typically an issue, but indicate the looming possibility of a full break in the future. Be prepared by having an extra filter on hand! Change out the filter before a full crack occurs, as broken pieces of material can circulate through the filter system and result in damage.
  • A crushed cartridge resembles a crushed soda can and results from a serious collapse of the inner core. This is often caused by a small or sub-standard cartridge, or a cracked inner core.

Need help cleaning or replacing your pool cartridge? From installation to maintenance and repairs we are the leading pool experts in Davie and the greater Miami area.