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How To Service And Maintain A Swimming Pool Cartridge FIlter

A swimming pool cartridge filter is a very effective way to clean a swimming pool and or spa. Here are some tips to make your cartridge filter perform better and allow the cartridge element to last longer.

A pool filter is without a doubt one of the most important items of equipment installed on your swimming pool. A cartridge filter is a great way to keep your pool and spa looking great.

How should a cartridge filter be cleaned and serviced?


- Release the air from the tank by opening the air relief valve.

- Turn the top knob or release the upper clamp assembly and remove the top of the unit.

- Remove the cartridge element from the tank. - Use a garden hose and a pressure nozzle to remove dirt and debris from the material.

- Replace the cartridge back into the tank.

- Replace the top.

- Re tighten the top knob and or reinstall the clamp assembly and hand tighten.

- Restart the pump system, Bleed out the air inside the tank and close the air relief valve assembly.

- Check the system for leaks.

- Take note of the pressure gauge reading.

How can you insure your filter will last as long as possible?

Cleaning your filter on a regular basis is very important. As the element is "loaded" which dirt and debris, more and more pressure is asserted on the unit. If the unit is allowed to continue to operate without being cleaned the cartridge can and will be damaged. Regular cleaning removes the dirt and allows operation at a high level.

How important is the pressure gauge? Checking the pressure gauge on the top of the tank when the unit is clean and noting the reading is very important. When the pressure inside the unit rises 5-7 pounds it is time to perform a cleaning. Example: Clean Reading = 15 pounds, When the pressure goes up to 21 pounds, that would equal it is time to clean the cartridge.

Should the cartridge be washed with Muriatic Acid on a regular basis? Acid washing shortens the life of the cartridge and should be done on a limited basis, if at all. Acid will remove built up calcium inside the element. When using muriatic acid use extreme caution, proper safety equipment and follow safety regulations for disposal of the used muriatic acid. Products are available for soaking to remove excess oils; these should be used as per manufactures recommendations. Please remember that when cleaning the filter cartridge with muriatic acid, if there are oils on the cartridge, acid can "lock" the oil into the material. It is most important that a product to remove oils be utilized BEFORE acid is used for calcium removal.

How and why does calcium build up on the element? Poor water chemistry (high calcium and pH levels) in your swimming pool and spa water will contribute to calcium build up. Regular testing is critical and it is very important to check these levels in order to maintain cleaner and high level functioning filters.

Some of the parts of a cartridge filter are as follows:

- Upper Knob and or Clamp Assembly - Usually on top of the filter unit or tank and when unscrewed releases the filter head. Note: Always make sure the pump is turned OFF and the air pressure inside the tank has been released before loosening the upper knob.

- Tank Head - Provides easy access to the inner cartridge element. Usually can be rotated to position the pressure gauge and manual air relief valve in a convenient position.

- Tank - Unit or tank in which the filter element is housed.

- Air Relief Valve - Allows for the purging of air which is inside the unit.

- Pressure Gauge - Usually reads 0-60 PSI and advises when the element is dirty and is in need of disassembly and cleaning.

- Element - Usually engineered of high quality reinforced polyester with molded end caps. This unit can be removed and cleaned many times.

- Inlet and Outlet - Ports which are used to connect the filter to the piping which allows the water to flow in and out of the system. Depending on the brand and model, these ports can be either a slip or threaded port.

- Lower Plug - Used to drain the unit when necessary.

The filter which is installed within your swimming pool and or spa equipment is one of the most important items in your system. Having it operate at peak level is very important to maintaining crystal clear and sparkling water. Take sometime each week to monitor and clean this apparatus and have fun and enjoyment with your pool and spa. Disregard your system and plan on spending unnecessary money and time correcting a variety of problems on your swimming pool.

Article Tags: Swimming Pool, Cartridge Filter, Most Important, Relief Valve, Clamp Assembly, Pressure Gauge, Very Important, Muriatic Acid

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Ron Burr is a State of Florida licensed swimming pool contractor and has been active in the swimming pool industry for over 30 years. Ron is the owner of One Stop Pool Supplies a great place to shop for all your pool and spa needs.

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