Pool Filter Maintenance Tips - How to Clear Cartridge Filters in 3 Steps

by Pool Builders on 09-22-2009 in Articles

You want your swimming pool clean, and you want it to last long. But hold on a minute-have you cleaned your pool's cartridge filters?

Many homeowners do not bother with pool filter maintenance-until their filter starts bothering them. If you cannot imagine what incredible complications filthy filters can cause, then you've obviously never owned a pool before. That, or you've always had some guy come over and take care of pool filter maintenance. But let's suppose pool filter maintenance is something you need to take on yourself-are you ready for it?

The proper way of cleaning your pool's cartridge filters can be summed up in three basic steps.

  1. Rinse any loose dirt.
  2. Soak the filter in a cleaner.
  3. Rinse again.
Rinsing Loose Dirt

In the first step, it's important that you rinse off the debris and loose dirt from the cartridge gently. A word of caution to the wise-you shouldn't use a spray nozzle to do this. Why? Because if you spray too much or too hard, you will end up driving the dirt deeper into the cartridge, instead of out of it. So, go easy on the rinsing, and keep in mind you only need to do away with the loose stuff first.

Soaking the Filter in a Cleaner

Next, soak the cartridge for one night in an alkaline-based cleaning solution that is specifically made for cartridges. This is necessary because while acids are capable of breaking down dirt, they cannot break down the lotions and body oils that trap-and thus, hold-the dirt stubbornly to the cartridge.

On the other hand, if you use a cartridge cleaning solution, you can remove dirt, body oils, and lotions thus keeping dirt from getting glued to filters. Make sure you do this in a trash can or a plastic bucket which you have thoroughly rinsed of dirt and chemicals. Otherwise, you defeat the purpose of soaking.

Can't completely immerse your cartridge in the solution because it's too long? Here's a quick fix: soak one end first, and work on the other end next.

Rinsing Again

Finally, after you've done steps 1 and 2, it's time to give the cartridge a thorough rinsing to remove any debris or chemical that remained. Again, don't spray onto the cartridge directly-this will drive dirt in, not out, of the membrane. Make sure to hold your nozzle so it's parallel to the cartridge membranes.

Pool filter maintenance is not as daunting as you believe it to be-if you have the time for it. If you don't, it may be best to leave the grunt work to the pros who know precisely what to do right from the word go. 

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