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Thread: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

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    Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    We finished our pool in November of 2014. Since we are in Texas, we leave it open year round.

    Have a 3hp Tristar Hayward pool pump as the main pump, and a 525 sq ft cartridge filter. I stay on top of the chemistry and haven't had any chemistry related problems as of yet.

    I cleaned it not long after the pool was finished because of all the plaster dust. The PSI came immediately back down to the brand new level (right about 20 PSI). The pool builder put the red line indicator on the PSI gauge at 30 PSI. I cleaned it again sometime last year when it was approaching the red line and the PSI gauge came down, but not all the way. It stopped right about 22-23PSI.

    Just recently, I noticed that the pool heater wouldn't stay on. You could hear it trying to fire, and then it would go out. I texted my PB and he said that the filter is probably dirty (I hadn't checked because I didn't think it would be time to clean it again). Sure enough, it was borderline 29-30. So I took it off today and they were pretty dark and dirty. So I cleaned them very good, took a long time and got just about every speck of debris out. They don't get as bright white as they used to (some brown stains here and there), but this was a big difference between the before and after.

    I put it all back together, expecting the PSI to come back down...but it came down maybe 2 PSI. Its' reading about 28.5.

    I turned on the heater, and this time it worked and stayed on. But I also noticed that when the heater is on, the PSI jumps to almost 40 PSI.

    I came inside to order some new filters, but just can't believe they would only last 16 months.
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Your filters should last much longer. Typically we clean our filters when the PSI increase by about 25% from the baseline (clean) pressure.. But now you seem to have another problem. Increased pressure, even after cleaning the filters, may point to something else upstream increasing resistance. Still, to be safe, it may help if you can give us a full set of test results from your TF-100 or Taylor K-2006. Sometimes the tests clue us in on something else to be extra vigilant about related to your issue. I don't own a heater (South Texas) , but perhaps a heater expert will have a heater-specific diagnosis for you as well. More to follow.

    PS - Beautiful set-up you have there. Amazing stone work. Wow.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    have you tried to soak them and clean them in TSP cleaner

    Re: How to clean a cartridge filter
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    I'd try the TSI soak suggested above first before anything else. If that doesn't work then you can go on to something else.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    So I did the TSP soak overnight, washed it off, put it back together and it made zero difference. Not even a half PSI.

    So now, should I just go ahead and order new ones and then if THAT doesn't change we have a more serious problem?
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Before you order a new set of filters, could you post a set of test results? It would be good to rule-out a chemistry issue just to be safe.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    What's the pressure without the filters in there?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    If you order some new filters get some Pleatcos. Pleatcos work much better in my filter.
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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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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Well I went ahead and ordered some because I know I'll need some anyway at some point, even if I get this issue figured out (too late Pooldv, I ordered Unicel, I went back and forth and read good and bad things about the Pleatcos, I'll try that next time).

    Here are my results, they were a little out of whack I guess coming into the warmer months I let some things slip by me.

    pH 8.0 (added some MA)
    FC 2.0 (added some bleach)
    CC 0.0
    CH 175 (added some calcium)
    TA 80
    CYA 20 (adding some stabilizer)

    Pool water is crystal clear and has been.

    Any other ideas as to why my filters only lasted so short amount of time?

    By the way, my PSI when they were brand new was at 20. They climbed up to 30 when I washed them off this time and only went down to about 28.5. After the TSP soak, they stayed right at 28.5.

    The only other thing I can think of is we have a lot of really pretty verbena growing on one side of the pool and some of them were dipping down into the water (just about 5 or so buds worth). I've cut them back now, but could that be something so small that it clogs up the filters but won't wash out?
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    What's the pressure without the filters in there?
    That was my thought as well. If the pressure is still high without the filters, that points to maybe a sticking valve or a clog within the heater.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    That was my thought as well. If the pressure is still high without the filters, that points to maybe a sticking valve or a clog within the heater.
    Ahh, I didn't even think about that. I didn't know it was "okay" to run it without any filters?
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolabs View Post
    Ahh, I didn't even think about that. I didn't know it was "okay" to run it without any filters?
    It's not, generally, but you're troubleshooting, It's no different than jumpering some kind of safety switch during diagnosis.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    It's not, generally, but you're troubleshooting, It's no different than jumpering some kind of safety switch during diagnosis.
    Okay, so just essentially take everything out (including the top plastic portion that snaps onto the cartridges and the outflow pipe?) and fire it up for just a few seconds to see the PSI, then shut it down?
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolabs View Post
    Okay, so just essentially take everything out (including the top plastic portion that snaps onto the cartridges and the outflow pipe?) and fire it up for just a few seconds to see the PSI, then shut it down?
    I'm not familiar with the internals. But whatever it takes to eliminate the paper cartridge while still being watertight.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Just grasping at straws here but when I clean my filters I close the suction valves to keep water from flowing back. Is it posible a return valve was shut off or partially closed by mistake?
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    When your cartridges are in the filter and you are showing 29-30 psi, what rpm is that big pump running?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by rphpool View Post
    Just grasping at straws here but when I clean my filters I close the suction valves to keep water from flowing back. Is it posible a return valve was shut off or partially closed by mistake?
    I don't close any valves when I clean the filter. Perhaps I should? All I do is release the air pressure at the top, drain the entire filter container, and then open it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    When your cartridges are in the filter and you are showing 29-30 psi, what rpm is that big pump running?
    I have no clue. Its a one speed pump. I wouldn't even know how to go about finding out?
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Twolabs, the only other thing I would add to this discussion now that you have added your test results is chemistry. Once you've checked all the mechanical items that everyone else has suggested, if it doesn't seem to work, go back to basics - chemistry. I say that only because your CYA and FC were quite low. If they were that way for very long, your water may look clear but still be clogging-up the filter with organics. You might want to consider doing an OLT "IF" the other suggestions don't work. Just a thought. Doesn't really cost anything to do, and who knows?..... might show us something. You wouldn't be the first lately who had clear water clogging-up the filter only to find out it was algae in its early stages. Best of luck to you either way.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    Dumb question, did you tap your pressure gauge a little bit? My old pressure gauge can stick up high sometimes, and a quick tap on it settles it back down. Some day, I'll grab a better quality pressure gauge.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

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    Re: Cartridge Filter only last 16 months?

    First of all, thank you for all the help so far. This is such a great resource of information!

    Alright, I think we can rule out the cartridges (as others have suggested). So I guess I'll put the replacement cartridges in storage.

    I took out all 4 cartridges and ran the pump, zero change in PSI. Still sitting right around 28-29 PSI (20 PSI brand new). All main drains look clear. All returns look clear. So this means something in a pipe or in the heater?

    Thanks again for the help thus far.
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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