The following information is the recommendation of the PLEATCO cartridge company.
With no moving parts or electrical switches to fail, Filters Cartridges do not have a defined end-of-life. Instead media will gradually plug up over time.
In a typical spa, the culprit that plugs the media is perspiration and body oils combined with soaps, chemicals, and very fine particulate. In a swimming pool, the loading is primarily debris along with suntan lotions and organic matter, such as, algae.
Assuming the Filter is properly maintained and correctly sized to the pump, determining when the Filter Cartridge is exhausted depends primarily upon three factors:
- Shorter cycle time between cleanings
- Low water flow rate and high differential pressure
- Catastrophic failure such as a tear in the media or center core collapse.
All three are dependent upon proper pool or spa water chemistry and following a routine maintenance schedule. Filter elements are plastic and should be handled and maintained accordingly.
How do I maximize the life of a filter cartridge?
- Clean the elements per manufacturers cleaning instructions
- Never use a stiff brush to clean the media
- Maintain your pool or spa water chemistry in proper balance
- Alternate two sets of filter cartridges when cleaning
For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 8 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure. For spas, establish a routine cartridge cleaning schedule based on the amount of spa usage. If Baquacil (or other biguanide such as SoftSwim) is used as a sanitizer, the filter element must be cleaned with Baqua Clean before any cartridge cleaner is used.
What is the procedure to clean my filter cartridge?
- Remove the cartridge from the filter housing following the manufacturer’s instructions
- Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter element. Work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45 degree angle, and wash all the pleats with emphasis between the pleats.
- Rinse until all dirt and debris is gone
- For all spa cartridges and elements used in swimming pools where perspiration, suntan lotions, and other oils are present, soak the element for at least one hour (overnight is most effective) in:
- a commercial filter cleaner, or,
- one cup tri sodium phosphate (TSP) to five gallons of water
- one cup dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water.
- Rinse the cartridge again to remove oils and cleaning solution.
- If the filter has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (residue from calcium hypo chlorite), iron, or other minerals, soak the cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops.
- Rinse the filter cartridge clean and reassemble housing.
Filter cleaning instructions for chlorine users. The life of your Pleatco Replacement Filter Cartridge depends upon you the consumer. Our heavy duty Polyester filter cartridge elements will show maximum longevity with proper care and maintenance. Here are some helpful hints to help you get the most out of our product.
The best indications of a “soiled” filter cartridge in need of a cleaning are an increase in pressure within the cartridge’s housing canister or a visible decrease in the system’s water flow rate. Generally an increase in pressure of 8 pounds per square inch (PSI) or greater above the filer’s normal operating pressure (as prescribed in the manufacturer’s owner’s manual) indicates the need to clean the cartridge.
The filter cartridge can be cleansed of coarse dirt and debris by pressure washing inside and out with a garden hose. Fine particles of dirt are more easily removed from the filter pleats when the cartridge is dry. Therefore after hosing the cartridge, allow the filter to dry and either CAREFULLY BRUSH. Do not – scrub the pleated surface areas or apply a stream of compressed air to the filter’s outer surface to remove fine particles.
Algae, suntan oil, and body oils can form a coating on the filter pleats which may not be thoroughly removed by hosing. Such a film of algae and/or oils will rapidly clog up the filter’s pores thereby greatly reducing filtration. Therefore, it is imperative to remove such materials from the filter element as soon as possible. We recommend soaking the cartridge in a solution of commercially available filter element cleaner to remove algae and /or oils from the filter media. Follow the manufacturers’ directions for the proper use of such (surfactant, soap) – cleaning solutions. Allow one hour for soaking and then hose the cartridge thoroughly before re-installing in the filer. If clogging persists due to either algae or oils readjustment of water chemistry is necessary to combat the problem.
Excessive calcium or mineral deposits on the filter media can be removed by treatment with a muriatic acid soaking solution. Use commercially available 20% muriatic acid and add to water in a 1 to 1 ratio to make a 10% muriatic acid solution. CAUTION: Make sure to use a plastic container and take extreme care when handling acid solutions as they can be harmful to eyes, skin, and clothing. After cleaning the cartridge, flush the filter element with water, and remember to dispose of the acid solution properly.
A spare “stand-by” filter cartridge is an excellent investment. It provides convenience and a well maintained clean cartridge assures you that your filter will always be ready to operate at peak efficiency.