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Thread: Brown Stains on Cartridge

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    Join Date
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    Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a fairly new pool owner (built our pool in May 2015). I was instructed by our pool company to clean our filter cartridges every 3-4 months. I finally got to it yesterday. Rinsed the cartridges with the aqua comb, then soaked them in dishwashing liquid mixed with water overnight. Two of the cartridges still have a brown stain on one side after soaking and rinsing. Do I need to do anything else? The pool company told me to soak them in water and muriatic acid every time I clean them but based on everything I've read it sounds like that might be harmful.

    Does anyone know what these stains are from and how to clean them? Please see a picture of stain attached.

    Thanks so much!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Does hosing 'em down good not release anything from the stained area? Is there anything in between the pleats?

    On some older cartridges I had, I soaked them in a strong bleach/chlorine solution and that seemed to help a little bit. I dunno if it was harmful...they seemed fine aftterwards but I replaced them anyway since they had other issues.

    Are you on well water or city water? I'm just wondering if you have any metals in your water. Those stains look like it might be iron but just a guess. What filter do you have? Can you reorient the cartridges or do they go in only one way?

    Kindly fill in your signature with all the details of your pool and equipment. See mine for some ideas.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Iron was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Definitely don't soak in muriatic acid. If you really felt the need to deep-clean, then use a mixture of TSP (hardware store) or Cascade powder with water to soak overnight. For me, it was just easier to order a new cartridge on-line for about $50. Also, I know the PB say clean every 3-4 months, but that was too long in my opinion. I check/clean mine about every 2-3 weeks. I have to vacuum anyways, so it's no big deal.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Chris,

    Hosing them down doesn't appear to remove the stain. But there doesn't appear to be anything between the pleats because all the dirt and occasional bugs came out. All the filters were brown at first but everything washed out to white on all four filters except the two with these spots. These are brand new filters that just got started May 1st. The ph and chlorine have been balanced and we don't have any stains in the pool. We are on city water so you would think iron shouldn't be an issue.

    We have the Hayward cartridges and it doesn't seem to matter which way they go in. I updated my signature so hopefully it worked.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Looks like the signature didn't save so here is my pool info:

    17,000 gallon pool built May 2015
    Pebble Sheen
    Hayard Cartridge Filter by Hayward 525
    TriStar by Hayward High Performance Pump 2 HP
    Polaris 280 Includes 3/4 HP Booster Pump
    400,000 BTU Hayward H- Series Low NOX Induced Draft Heater
    Hayward 320 Chlorinator with UltraPure Ozanation

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    Re: Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Pat,

    I may need to buy TSP for the next cleaning. Right now I just went ahead and put them in the way they are. They are only 3 months old so I can't imagine they need replacing. Maybe I should wash them out more often. Can there be iron build up despite us being on city water? What would soaking them in muriatic acid and water do? Why would my pool company tell me to clean them like this each time? So much to learn

    Here is my pool information since I can't seem to figure out how to attach the signature for now:
    17,000 gallon pool built May 2015
    Pebble Sheen
    Hayard Cartridge Filter by Hayward 525
    TriStar by Hayward High Performance Pump 2 HP
    Polaris 280 Includes 3/4 HP Booster Pump
    400,000 BTU Hayward H- Series Low NOX Induced Draft Heater
    Hayward 320 Chlorinator with UltraPure Ozanation

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Brown Stains on Cartridge

    Check the show sig box on the left under the text box. It should stay checked always after you do.

    They are going to get a little dirtier every time you clean them, as long as the filter pressure drops after cleaning then they are fine.

    No, do NOT clean with muriatic acid. See these articles,
    Pool School - Maintenance and Cleaning of Pool Filters
    Re: How to clean a cartridge filter
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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