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Thread: Cartridge Filters, Return Pressure and Vacuum

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    Cartridge Filters, Return Pressure and Vacuum

    Recently, I had a brand new Hayward Xstream 100sqft/1hp cartridge filter system hooked up to the 10,000 gallon pool (~21ft round, main drain, skimmer, one return) we inherited with the house last fall. We're not sure how long the pool was unkept, but it clearly fell into swamp/duck pond territory. After a very uphill battle, the water is now crystal clear with the exception of some sediment at the bottom.

    I'd like to vacuum the bottom, but it appears the pressure of the system isn't running at it's peak (i.e. it's hard to get the vacuum plate to stay attached, return jet flow gets really weak 8-12 hours after cleaning the cartage). Running without the cartage, however, the return jet blasts nearly the length of the pool. So I assume that what I need to do is replace the current cartridge since cleaning with the hose isn't giving me sustainable pressure. Before I go and drop another $80-90 on a new/fresh filter, I was wondering if any of the gurus here could give me other ideas or confirm my suspension. Also, is there any way to salvage the month and a half old cartridge or is it scrap at this point?

    Thanks in advance!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Cartridge Filters, Return Pressure and Vacuum

    Welcome to TFP!

    When a cartridge doesn't go all the way back to it's clean state after rinsing it off with a hose, the next thing to try is an overnight soak. To do the overnight soak, start by cleaning the cartridge normally, then soak overnight in a mixture of one cup of automatic disk washing detergent for every five gallons of water, finally rinse the cartridge off again throughly with a garden hose, and then replace in the filter. Most of the time, that will get it back into good condition.
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    Re: Cartridge Filters, Return Pressure and Vacuum

    Oh, awesome. I'll give that a shot and post back with the results. Thanks!
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    mcoonan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Mendota Heights, MN

    Re: Cartridge Filters, Return Pressure and Vacuum

    Per Pool School:
    To clean a cartridge filter, the pump must be turned off. If the filter is below the water level of the pool, there should be valves that have to be closed to prevent the pool from draining when the filter is opened. Open the air bleed valve on the top of the filter and the drain port on the bottom of the filter and allow the water to drain out. Then open the body of the filter (this may involve unscrewing some knobs, removing a nut at the top, or removing a bracket) and remove the cart or carts. Make sure you note their position and orientation so you have no trouble reassembling the unit! Rinse out the filter tank and take the carts to where you want to clean them. All you need is a garden hose with a nozzle. A small fixed brass nozzle, sold by many hardware stores, works best. Wash the carts from the top to the bottom aiming ~ 45 degrees down at them. Please remember to wash both the outside portion and the inner portion - it's a good idea to start at an identifying point on the cart and wash all the way around, then repeat on the inside. Once finished, reassemble the filter, close the drain port, open any valves you might have closed, turn the pump back on, when water runs steadily out of the air bleed valve close it, and you're good to go until the pressure raises again. If the pressure after cleaning does not return to your standard starting pressure you will need to do a more through cleaning, see this post for more details.

    For the inside of the filter, I use something like this:
    with the brass nozzle attached.
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