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Thread: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

  1. Back To Top    #1
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    Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Hi guys, nice site you have here!

    I'm stuck, hoping for some help.

    I live in a Chicago suburb, and this is only my 2nd summer with an above ground pool. It's an 18 ft round, ~8k gallons. It came with our new house, and included a DE filter. I hated the DE filter last year, so this summer, I bought a 90 sq ft. cartridge filter with a 1hp pump. I heard/read the cartridge filter was much lower maintenance than the DE.

    Well, so far, it hasn't been. On pool opening, the water was pretty green. After lots of shock, the water is no longer green, but significantly cloudy. I can just barely make out some discoloration on the pool bottom (most likely leaves).

    pH is 7.4, alkalinity is 160 ppm, free chlorine is 10 ppm (lots of shock to try to reduce the cloudiness), calcium hardness of 120 ppm.

    Everyone tells me to just let the filter run and run as much as I can. But here's my problem... the pressure goes from about 9 psi to 17-18 psi in half an hour, and the flow of water completely stops.

    I take out the cartridge, cleaning it the proper way (I've read the thread on how to properly clean it), and start the pump back up. I'm back down to about 9 psi every time, but without fail, within half an hour, it goes up 8-9 psi and I get no flow. I've been doing this repeatedly for about 2 weeks now.

    The pool store where I bought the filter/pump suggested a muriatic acid soak. I did that (20:1 water:acid ratio), but there were no bubbles like I've read that indicate minerals being dissolved or whatever. I clean it again, start up the filter, same result.

    Is it possible that something in the water is clogging the filter element? Should I try letting it soak in a dishwashing detergent mix over night?

    I'm going crazy here. I can only run the stupid filter in half hour increments. At this rate, the pool will never be clear.

    Help, please?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Anytime you are clearing up a significant green pool, any filter will clog up quickly. Just continue the shock process and cleaning the filter as best you can...

    The acid soak should only have been done after the dishwasher/tsp soak. I'm not sure if doing the acid soak first could have caused any issues? Usually its a good sign when the filter pressure returns to normal after cleaning. This leads me to suspect it's simply the algae causing the clogging.

    I'd suggest opening sooner next May, to prevent super green water.

    Back to shocking - which is likely what is causing it to clog so quickly - what are you testing with? Are you following the instructions in

    Shocking Your Pool

    Even tho the water is not green anymore you could still have algae issues which is complicating things...
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  3. Back To Top    #3
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Anytime you are clearing up a significant green pool, any filter will clog up quickly. Just continue the shock process and cleaning the filter as best you can...

    The acid soak should only have been done after the dishwasher/tsp soak. I'm not sure if doing the acid soak first could have caused any issues? Usually its a good sign when the filter pressure returns to normal after cleaning. This leads me to suspect it's simply the algae causing the clogging.

    I'd suggest opening sooner next May, to prevent super green water.

    Back to shocking - which is likely what is causing it to clog so quickly - what are you testing with? Are you following the instructions in

    Shocking Your Pool

    Even tho the water is not green anymore you could still have algae issues which is complicating things...
    Thanks for such a quick response!

    I'm testing with Aquachek Pool Strips, and got two different pool store test results.

    I've followed the Shocking Your Pool instructions. My FC is at 9 - 10 (depending on the test), and has been for a few days. In the last couple of weeks (since opening), I've also added in about a gallon and a half of algaecide. If there's still algae in there, it's pretty badass Rambo-like algae!

    I don't think the muriatic soak has caused any issues. It's simply doing the same thing after it as it was doing before.

    Thanks again!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Kk...what is your CYA level (from the pool store, I don't trust strips...)
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  5. Back To Top    #5
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    cya is low to non-existent. One pool store test showed 0, the other was 5. And FWIW, the strips show 0, too.

    I have some stabilizer I could add, but I wanted to figure out the filter needing to be cleaned every 30 min. before throwing more stuff in the water.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Nah, you need CYA to protect your FC during the day or you'll make little progress. Go ahead and calculate enough to get you to 30ppm. Use the Pool Calculator - and then use the "sock method" to add the CYA. Then your shock level will be 12.

    With low CYA, we know you're probably at shock level then at about 10. Are you keeping it at that number or are you letting it fall down in between chlorine additions? You can test and add chlorine up to hourly.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. Back To Top    #7
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Okay, so I'll add in some stabilizer.

    But certainly that doesn't have anything to do with the filter getting clogged(?) and the flow stopping every half hour?

    I have the cartridge soaking overnight in cartridge cleaner ( http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 30/I/14225 ) so tomorrow I'll see if that helped.

    The cartridge is only a couple weeks old now, but I've already cleaned it 30-40 times. I wonder if I should bit the bullet and just buy a new element...?

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Your filter is being clogged from filtering the debris from your water and you obviously have a heck of a lot of it. Dead algae is perhaps the biggest contributor to clogging the filter and, from your descriptions, you have killed a lot of algae so that's likely what's clogging your filter so rapidly.

    You have little choice but to continue to rinse the filter over and over until all the debris is cleared from your pool.

    If you can't stand that thought, you could go to the pool store and get some flocculant. (This is not my first choice....my first choice is to continue to clean your filter and keep your FC at shock level) Flocculant is supposed to clump up the debris in your pool so it will sink to the bottom. Then, it can be manually vacuumed up. Some people have fairly good succes with this, others say it did no good at all.s
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by neags23
    The cartridge is only a couple weeks old now, but I've already cleaned it 30-40 times. I wonder if I should bit the bullet and just buy a new element...?
    Yes. Bite the bullet and get a second filter cartridge. I buy a new cartridge every spring and keep one or two of the older ones for moments just like this one. Never fear, though, once you get your pool cleared up, you will only need to clean the cartridge one or twice during the swimming season.

    Something else that might help, and that I use religiously, are filter savers (a.k.a skimmer socks). They fit over your skimmer basket and do filter out a lot of material, keeping it from getting to the cartridge. I you are not using them, I would strongly suggest you do. Check your local pool store (if you want them quickly), or search for filter savers at your favorite on-line retailer.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    I actually switched FROM a cartridge filter to a DE filter. Best decision I ever made.

    Once you get things working and clean the DE is a much better option, imo.
    32k Gallon Vinyl IG, Hayward 75 DE, 1 HP, Chlorine. 4 top skimmers, 1 bottom skimmer. 2 top returns, 1 bottom return.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    whoozer's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    I myself had to clean a really algae filled pool. It was a mess, but I spent a lot of my time wasted at least 3 weeks because my filtration wasn't sufficient. One of my carts was new but clogged quickly and the other one was older. Once I bought a new cart it took very minimal time to clear my pool up. My old carts had done most of the heavy work and now that my pool is clear I only rinse once a week, mostly because alot of little bugs get in my pool. Most people once maintained don't have to clean even that often. Having 2 carts allows for you to clean and soak one while the other goes in. Works best for me. Good luck.
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
    Variable speed Pentair intelliflo superpump
    420 Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter.
    pool-school/pool_calculator , http://www.tftestkits.net/

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Your filter is being clogged from filtering the debris from your water and you obviously have a heck of a lot of it. Dead algae is perhaps the biggest contributor to clogging the filter and, from your descriptions, you have killed a lot of algae so that's likely what's clogging your filter so rapidly.

    You have little choice but to continue to rinse the filter over and over until all the debris is cleared from your pool.

    If you can't stand that thought, you could go to the pool store and get some flocculant. (This is not my first choice....my first choice is to continue to clean your filter and keep your FC at shock level) Flocculant is supposed to clump up the debris in your pool so it will sink to the bottom. Then, it can be manually vacuumed up. Some people have fairly good succes with this, others say it did no good at all.s
    It's not so much that I can't stand the thought of rinsing the filter 10-15 times a day, it's that I can't. I'm not at home from 7am to 6pm during the week. So that only leaves me with one rinsing in the morning, and about four at night. And at that rate, I fear I'll never make progress.

    I'll see later today if the cartridge cleaner did any good, but maybe the flocculant is in my future.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Find another pump and make a temporary pool-side set up with your old DE filter to run concurrently with your new cartridge filter.

    I just cleaned a pool filled with dirt with two DE filters and maybe 20 lbs of DE. Took 3 days.
    32k Gallon Vinyl IG, Hayward 75 DE, 1 HP, Chlorine. 4 top skimmers, 1 bottom skimmer. 2 top returns, 1 bottom return.

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Well, bad news and some more bad news.

    The cartridge cleaner had no effect. I also tried the filter saver/skimmer sock thing. I had really high hopes for it, and it did collect some stuff. But again, the filter pressure went high and the flow stopped a little after half an hour.

    The water really isn't even that bad! Certainly not dirty enough to clog a filter in half an hour, I wouldn't think. I can even see the leaf skimmer when it's at the bottom. Kinda.

    Is it possible the cartridge is just totally worn out after only a few weeks?

    I guess I'll just keep on cleaning it every half hour until I can get a new cartridge.

    My yard sure would look bigger without that stupid pool there......

  15. Back To Top    #15
    whoozer's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Getting a new cart will be your best bet, as I said before mine clogged up quickly and nothing helped it either. I have resigned to the fact that I'm gonna have to purchase new possible every year at least 1. Sometimes the filter size is sufficient for the pool but is at its max. That really is my issue, if I have any amount of anything in my pool it is tough for my cart to keep up.
    14x33 fiberglass freeform
    Variable speed Pentair intelliflo superpump
    420 Clean and Clear Plus cartridge filter.
    pool-school/pool_calculator , http://www.tftestkits.net/

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    I am about to tell you how to ruin your cartridge.

    The following steps should only be taken after you get a new cartridge, and are about ready to throw the old one away.

    Take the old filter, and rinse it in pure muratic acid. Then rinse it out really well and try it again.

    I did this on one set of my filters, and after a year, they are still going strong. I am surprised I didn't ruin them. Honestly, I was really mad at having to replace the cartridges... and... well... I will spare you the details of my tempertantrum.

    If you are still having problems, punch some holes in your cartridge, and make sure your skimmer sock is on. This should keep your flow strong enough for a few days while your skimmer sock picks up a bunch of stuff.

    My filter holds 4 cartridges. I have one punched out cartridge I use when clearing my yearly swamp for just this reason.

    I am really hesitant to post these "suggestions", that aren't really suggestions. I just go through this every year, and I have found the above methods beneficial to my sanity.

    Another thing to keep in mind: I REALLY hate cleaning my cartridges, and would like to go to sand. But as long as my filter is working I cannot justify it. So... if I were to go see a shrink, he may be able to uncover some sub conscious ratioanlizations to my methods.

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by waskydiver
    I am about to tell you how to ruin your cartridge.

    The following steps should only be taken after you get a new cartridge, and are about ready to throw the old one away.

    Take the old filter, and rinse it in pure muratic acid. Then rinse it out really well and try it again.

    I did this on one set of my filters, and after a year, they are still going strong. I am surprised I didn't ruin them. Honestly, I was really mad at having to replace the cartridges... and... well... I will spare you the details of my tempertantrum.

    If you are still having problems, punch some holes in your cartridge, and make sure your skimmer sock is on. This should keep your flow strong enough for a few days while your skimmer sock picks up a bunch of stuff.

    My filter holds 4 cartridges. I have one punched out cartridge I use when clearing my yearly swamp for just this reason.

    I am really hesitant to post these "suggestions", that aren't really suggestions. I just go through this every year, and I have found the above methods beneficial to my sanity.

    Another thing to keep in mind: I REALLY hate cleaning my cartridges, and would like to go to sand. But as long as my filter is working I cannot justify it. So... if I were to go see a shrink, he may be able to uncover some sub conscious ratioanlizations to my methods.
    I think I'll try anything at this point. So thanks for the psychotic suggestions!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Guest

    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    Good news and some mediocre news...

    Maybe I just had to break the cartridge in or something? The other night, I took the cartridge out to clean it (for the 4th time that night), and decided to just let the water circulate overnight with a skimmer sock, and left the cartridge out to dry.

    The next day when I put it back in and it filtered for 3 hours before stopping. Huge improvement!

    The best part, I cleaned it last night at about 11, and almost 12 hours later, it's still going. No cleaning needed. So, I'm not really sure what it was that did the trick. Maybe I just needed to let the water circulate overnight or maybe the cartridge just needed to sit out out overnight, or maybe after all this time, I've finally just filtered out whatever was clogging it.

    For the mediocre news, my water is still kind of cloudy. Going to head to Leslie's later today to get a test, but from my own testing, everything is okay, except my alkalinity is high. I'm still well over shock level.

    I read in pool school that you shouldn't lower alkalinity just to reach a number. Only if it's affecting ph or there's calcium scaling. But can high alkalinity cause cloudiness?

    After reading another thread on here, for now I'll just keep above shock level and let the filter do its thing. It's supposed to be in the 90's here today and tomorrow (I don't think we hit the 90's at all last summer!) so maybe by mid day tomorrow I'll have a pool to use!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    If you have hight TA and high CH and high pH, it can give you a high CSI which can cause some clouding.

    If you bring down your pH to 7.0 to 7.2 ish, and the clouding goes away, this very well may be what is going on.

    If this is the case, I would probably just try to keep your pH at about 7.2, and aerate. Under these conditions, you will require a lot of acid to hold it there, but that acid is what would lower your TA.

    You would also want to look at the CH of your fill water. Depending on what your CH is of your fill water, you may want to do a partial refill, or you may end up controlling your CSI with your TA and pH.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Clean Cartridge Every Half Hour??

    High TA levels can cause cloudiness sometimes, but not usually when CH is as low as your is.

    How is your FC level doing?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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