Over time, a cartridge swimming pool filter can demonstrate weaker performance as a result of the buildup of chemicals and dirt. This will negatively impact the filter’s ability to keep the water clean and hygienic. You don’t necessarily need to buy a new cartridge filter. Instead, with a bit of effort and time to spare, you can clean the filter cartridge easily.
If you are clueless about how to clean pool filter cartridges, keep on reading and we’ll let you know some of the best things that you can do. You don’t need to pay the pros to do such a simple task for you!
When Should I Clean my Pool Filter Cartridge?
Before you clean the pool filter cartridge with vinegar, muriatic acid, or any other material, the first thing that you need to know is the right time to clean the filter. As a general rule, it would be best to clean your swimming pool’s cartridge filter once every three months to maintain the filtration system.
However, take note that various factors can affect the frequency of cleaning needed. For instance, if there are trees above and if the pool is heavily used, you might find the need to be cleaning the filter more often.
Another good thing to do is to refer to the pressure reading of the filter cartridge. Ideally, the PSI should be anywhere from 8 to 15. If it is more than that, then this is another obvious sign that you will need to clean the pool filter cartridge with bleach or any other appropriate material.
Pay attention to the change in water quality. While you can use a pool test kit to test water quality, a quick look at the pool can also be an indication that you need to change the cartridge filter. If the water is murky and you see a lot of dirt on the pool, this may be a sign that the filter is not working properly, and hence, it needs cleaning or a replacement.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Pool Cartridge Filter
Ready to start cleaning the filter cartridge of your swimming pool? Below, we’ll talk about the specific steps you need to follow. We’ll be talking specifically about how to clean a Hayward pool filter cartridge, but most of the steps will also apply to other brands.
Before we start talking about how to clean a pool cartridge filter, allow us to set the record straight. Backwashing is not an option. They are not built for reverse water flow, and hence, you cannot backwash this type of filter. Instead, you will need to clean them manually by following the steps that are briefly mentioned below.
1. Turn Off the Pump
The first step is pretty much obvious. You need to turn off the pool pump for safety reasons. It would be best if you turn off the main power supply as well so that you can work with peace of mind.
2. Remove the Filter
Now that you have turned off the pump, it’s time to remove the filter cartridge. Open the compartment and pull the cartridge out. In most cases, the filter is secured with a clamp, so you will need pliers or screws.
3. Wash the Filter
Once it is off, inspects for visible damages. Watch out for rips, holes, and tears. If there are significant damages, then it is time for a replacement.
Before you, clean the pool filter cartridge with vinegar or other cleaning solutions, rinse it with water first. This preliminary cleaning will get rid of most of the dirt and debris outside. Use a garden hose. You can also use an air compressor. Give the filter a vigorous shake. Allow the filter to dry before you proceed to the next step.
During this initial process, you can also clean the pool filter cartridge with bleach. All that you have to do is to mix bleach with water and spray it on the filter. Similar to pool deck cleaning, be careful about the amount of bleach that you use. Using too much will corrode some of the filter’s components while using too little can make it ineffective.
4. Submerge the Filters in TSP
This is the most important step on how to clean the pool filter cartridge. The step mentioned above is only for initial cleaning. If you want a more thorough cleaning, then you have to submerge the filter in a cleaning solution.
Sunscreens, tanning lotions, and sweat can make the filter accumulate oils over time. You cannot remove these residues using water alone. Because of this, you will need to use a special cleaning solution, such as TSP or trisodium phosphate.
You will need a bucket that is deep enough to accommodate the entire filter. Fill the bucket with approximately five gallons of water for every one cup of TSP. Once the bucket is ready, submerge the filters and leave it for a minimum of three hours. For the best outcome, leave the filter in the bucket for at least 24 hours.
If you do not have TSP, you can use one cup of dishwasher detergent as an alternative. Mix it with five gallons of water. Take note that this is different from a traditional dishwashing detergent. You will need one that does not create too much foam.
Another good alternative that you can use is vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar will make it do an equally impressive job in removing the buildup of calcium and other minerals in the filter.
5. Rinse the Filter Housing
While the filters are soaked, clean the filter. Use a garden hose for this procedure. Clean the interior of the housing. You can also use a TSP for this process. A degreaser will also work to get rid of the dirt and grime that you will find in the housing.
6. Remove the Filter from the Soak
After cleaning the housing and soaking the filter overnight, get it out of the soak bath. Use the garden hose to remove any residue on the surface. Look at the filters and see if it is already clean. If there are still remnants, give it another soak. If there are hard chemicals, then there is an additional step.
7. Use Acid to Dissolve Minerals
Minerals like calcium can harden over time, and this can negatively impact the performance of the filter. Before you do this, make sure to wear protective equipment. Especially before diluting an acid, it can be harsh and has a strong smell, so protect yourself. It can burn your skin irritate your eyes, and damage your lungs, among other health problems.
For this step, you will use muriatic acid. It can dissolve plastic and metals, so you need to be careful.
Mix one-part muriatic acid with 20 parts of water. This will dissolve the materials that have hardened. You will need a clean bucket. Fill it with the cleaning solution and seal it tightly with a lid. Soak the filter in the cleaning solution until there are no more bubbles. Once it stops bubbling, this is an indication that there are no more hard chemicals on the filter.
8. Scrub Algae with Baking Soda
Knowing how to get rid of algae in your pool is important to make the water clean. Algae in the pool can get into the filter, and you also have to remove this. You can also use a pool algaecide or baking soda as an alternative. Baking soda contains bicarbonate, which is the active ingredient used to clean algae in pool filter cartridges.
9. Rinse the Filter
At this point, you are almost ready to complete the process. Before you do this, give the filter a final rinse. While doing this, make sure that you are still wearing protection. Give the filters the last wash using a garden hose. After cleaning the filter with muriatic acid, take it off the cleaning solution and rinse. Shake it vigorously to get rid of any dirt or debris that could still be remaining on the filter.
10. Return the Cartridge Filter
The last step on how to clean a pool cartridge filter is to bring the filter back to its original position before using the swimming pool. Insert the filter and return the cover. Lubricate the O-ring, which will make it easier to clean the next time you have to remove the filter. Make sure that it is screwed tightly.
There’s just one more step before you can finally use the pool and enjoy clean water. Turn the pump on! Switch the main power supply if you have turned it off before cleaning the filter.
Globo Surf Overview
Knowing how to clean the pool filter cartridge can save you time and money! While you can always rely on the help of the pros for cleaning the pool, you can always do it by yourself. Follow the simple steps mentioned above to make sure that the filter cartridge will deliver peak performance. You will need basic materials, such as a bucket, water, TSP, vinegar, bleach, and a garden hose.