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Thread: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

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    Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    I am a brand new pool owner and I think I have some mustard algae in my pool after going on vacation for a week. Is there any way to vacuum out algae/dead algae without passing it out through my cartridge filter?
    21' Round AGP 54" deep (11,700 gal), vinyl liner, TF-100 test kit
    Waterway dual-speed 2HP pump, 125 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    Patriot automatic vacuum

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    You can vacuum in the "waste" position if you have a multiport valve on your filter. That will bypass your filter.

    It is futile to vacuum live algae. Live algae is a chemistry issue.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    Cartridge Filters to not have multiport valves on them to allow for vacuuming to waste.

    However, there are some folks (me for one), who have installed a 3 way valve and a "waste" pipe between my Pump and cartridge filter. A valve and waste pipe can be used for vacuuming to waste.

    This can come in handy for reasons other than vacuuming to waste too.

    Quote Originally Posted by backyardchill View Post
    I am a brand new pool owner and I think I have some mustard algae in my pool after going on vacation for a week. Is there any way to vacuum out algae/dead algae without passing it out through my cartridge filter?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    Should I contact Waterways Plastics to find out how to install that. It sure would be helpful to be able to vacuum to waste instead of through my cartridge all the time. May I ask another question. I think I did a boo-boo. As I stated, I came back to mustard algae on a Wednesday. I put 6 oz. of algaecide in my pool; it clouded the water really bad so that I couldn't see the bottom very well. On Saturday, I mustard shocked the pool with 3 gallons of 8.25% Clorox. On Monday, I had my water tested and the CYA was 116, the FC was 24. I added Phosphate remover to clear the water. Tuesday I could see the bottom now. When I brushed I could still see some yellow dust. Shouldn't that be gone. Also, my vinyl liner looks lighter on the bottom but normal on the walls. I brushed thinking it was dead algae but it doesn't appear to move the lighter color around. Have I messed up with too much Clorox?
    21' Round AGP 54" deep (11,700 gal), vinyl liner, TF-100 test kit
    Waterway dual-speed 2HP pump, 125 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    Patriot automatic vacuum

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    I dont know if waterway plastics will do you any good or not. You can ask them. Its very easy DIY. You need a 3 way Valve of the appropriate size for your plumbing. Here is a link below to a 3 way valve.
    Just cut the piple between your pump and filter and install the Valve. Then from the side port, install a PVC pipe and onto that PVC pipe, connect a backwash hose.

    When you want to vacuum to waste, turn off teh pump, turn the handle on the valve and start the pump back up, and water will be diverted to waste.
    Disclaimer: Link for informational purpose only. No affiliation and no recommendation intended.
    Jandy 3406 Space Saver Three Port Valve 1 1/2in.-2in. Positive Seal

    Regarding your algae. You need to drain enough water from your pool in order to get the CYA down.
    Otherwise, you are going to have a nightmare maintaining adequate FC and keeping algae away.

    If you will follow the SLAM procedure to completion, you will eliminate the algae. The SLAM is a process, it is not a one time shot. The pool stores push phosphate removers and algaecides, but they will not do the trick. There are 1000s of posts on TFP of successful slams.
    Here is the link.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    Thanks for all your help. It is awesome that there is help and information on this forum for us "newbies". I think I will certainly install the valve. Would be nice to have that when vacuuming if there are a lot of debris or in my case some algae. I am happy to say that I drained some water off, added some phosphate remover and scrubbed and vacuumed. My water was crystal clear this morning! Yeah! Will still have to work on the CYA but it is down to 90 now with one partial drain. Again, you guys are awesome!!
    21' Round AGP 54" deep (11,700 gal), vinyl liner, TF-100 test kit
    Waterway dual-speed 2HP pump, 125 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    Patriot automatic vacuum

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    Re: Is it possible to backwash a cartridge filter

    Thanks for all your help. It is awesome that there is help and information on this forum for us "newbies". I think I will certainly install the valve. Would be nice to have that when vacuuming if there are a lot of debris or in my case some algae. I am happy to say that I drained some water off, added some phosphate remover and scrubbed and vacuumed. My water was crystal clear this morning! Yeah! Will still have to work on the CYA but it is down to 90 now with one partial drain. Again, you guys are awesome!!
    21' Round AGP 54" deep (11,700 gal), vinyl liner, TF-100 test kit
    Waterway dual-speed 2HP pump, 125 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    Patriot automatic vacuum

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