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Thread: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

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    Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    We bought our house last year and the pool has a cartridge filter. Growing up, we used to have a DE filter and I remember that as being relatively easy to backwash and clean. It also was pretty easy to vacuum to waste. I am just getting used to the cartridge filter and so far, I have not seen any real benefits. I suppose you can keep a spare set of cartridges available to swap in for dirty ones. But you still have to clean the dirty ones and that is an incredibly time-consuming process. Besides, opening the darn pump is somewhat of a pain, at least compared with what I remember about our old DE system. And vacuuming to waste is not nearly as easy. On the flip side, the filters don't catch a lot of stuff when I vacuum and it comes right back into the pool! This is the case even when the filters have been thoroughly cleaned. On top of that, the cartridges aren't cheap. I know they are only replaced every several years, but the cartridge filter is hardly cost effective compared with a DE filter.

    I am sure there are benefits to a cartridge filter. I just have yet to figure them out.
    33,000 gallon plaster pool
    Jandy L-Series -CL580 Cartridge Filter

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    If you have vacuumed debris coming back to the pool, something is not working with your cartridge filter. Nothing but clean filtered water should be coming back to the pool.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    People tend to prefer the kind of filter that they are most familiar with. Cartridge filters have their advantages. They don't require throwing away water every time you backwash. They don't need to be cleaned nearly as frequently when fighting algae compared to a DE filter.

    If you are getting debris back into the pool when vacuuming, there is something wrong with your filter, most likely torn cartridge fabric, as carlos31820 said.
    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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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    I love my cart filter. So easy to hose down. I add a bit of PuriFiber and it filters even better. Never have noticed anything returning to the pool.
    17,500 gal. ABG Doughboy Pool
    1/2 HP Pump/150 sq.ft. Cartridge Filter
    TF100 Test Kit And Speedstir

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    It takes me less than 10 minutes to clean my cartridge.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    re: cartridge cleaning - i definitely feel your pain. my filtration system contains 9 cartridges, and each one has 64 pleats. if the carts are very dirty (which is the case while clearing swamp at opening), a good cleaning would take hours. two weeks ago i bought the "filter flosser". i've used it only once so far, but i can already see that cleaning time will be drastically reduced. you might want to consider that product.
    20k gal, cartridge, IG, plaster

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddyf
    re: cartridge cleaning - i definitely feel your pain. my filtration system contains 9 cartridges, and each one has 64 pleats. if the carts are very dirty (which is the case while clearing swamp at opening), a good cleaning would take hours. two weeks ago i bought the "filter flosser". i've used it only once so far, but i can already see that cleaning time will be drastically reduced. you might want to consider that product.
    I thought about that, but thought it might be gimmicky. I cleaned the filter again today and tried to make it a "fun" project with the kids. Understandably, they did not see the fun in it. At least not after getting through the first of 4 cartridges.
    33,000 gallon plaster pool
    Jandy L-Series -CL580 Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    I have one large cartridge and it's really pretty simple to clean. Waited months to clean the first time and was surprised at how east it was. It was pretty dirty so I soaked it and it took several rinses but now I just clean it every 4-6 weeks and it takes 10 minutes to hose down.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieO
    I love my cart filter. So easy to hose down. I add a bit of PuriFiber and it filters even better. Never have noticed anything returning to the pool.
    I looked at the Purifiber website and it seemed like this product is for DE replacement. How are you using it with a cartridge filter?
    The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there.

    24' x 52" Intex ultra frame pool (12,400 gallons) with seperate Intex 2500gph pump and SWG and 2 Intex magnetic pool lights.
    Looking to upgrade to 27-30' semi inground install

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    UPSguy, fiber products can be used with a cartridge filter as a filter enhancer in the same way that DE can be used with a sand filter for the sam purpose. The fibers form a layer on top of the cartridge fabric that catches stuff that might otherwise get through the cartridge fabric.
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Try and hold your judgement till after you're done shocking. When you don't have to clean them again for months....

    I clean mine once a year, and it takes about an hour.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    I think the biggest reason that some people are turned off to cartridge filters is that the PB probably put too small of a filter on the pool and they end up cleaning it weekly or even monthly which would drive me insane. I clean my monster only once or twice a year which is more than enough for me but makes owning a cartridge a better choice than the others. Plus I am going on 6 years with my cartridges (no closing) so having an oversized filter also has other benefits.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    I clean my carts twice a year but I could probably go once a year. One reason that I like a cart filter is because I can rotate sets of cartridges out when needed. Basically, I have 2 sets of cartridges. When it is time to clean, I just pull the dirtys out and put the clean ones in. That way, the filter is not out of service for any longer than it takes to pop the hood and replace cartridges. I can then soak the dirty ones and clean them at my leisure.

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    I think the biggest reason that some people are turned off to cartridge filters is that the PB probably put too small of a filter on the pool and they end up cleaning it weekly or even monthly which would drive me insane. I clean my monster only once or twice a year which is more than enough for me but makes owning a cartridge a better choice than the others. Plus I am going on 6 years with my cartridges (no closing) so having an oversized filter also has other benefits.
    Maybe my filter is too small. I don't know. What I do know is that there are 4 of these buggers, and I have cleaned them 4 times since early May. The last time was probably unnecessary as I did not get rid of that much residue, but I was sure that I had caught an algae bloom on the verge of fouling up the pool. There was a heck of a lot of cloudiness the morning after shocking and I thought the proper procedure was to clean the filters after attacking an assumed algae bloom.

    If it were one filter, no problem. Maybe even two. But it is a pretty time consuming process to clean 4 of them. I bet it would be a little less frustrating with a 12 month pool as some other environmental factors might be less of an issue. But with a 4 month pool, just dealing with the start up makes it a pain.

    Right now I have an old set that came with the house that I am keeping as a spare set. They are pretty much on their last legs. Maybe when I get a new set next year it won't drive me as crazy, although I still don't enjoy opening the system up (actually opening it up isn't bad, closing it stinks).
    33,000 gallon plaster pool
    Jandy L-Series -CL580 Cartridge Filter

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    You have a huge filter. Once you get the water clean (and if you keep it that way!) you should be good to go for a LONG time.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Sounds like an on going issue with algae. That can force you to clean the filters more often.

    Also, I probably would not have cartridges or even DE if I had to close the pool. A sand filter just seems easier for opening and cleaning up a swamp.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Sounds like an on going issue with algae. That can force you to clean the filters more often.

    Also, I probably would not have cartridges or even DE if I had to close the pool. A sand filter just seems easier for opening and cleaning up a swamp.
    That's what I am thinking, although we had DE as a kid and it wasn't that bad.

    Plain and simple, if you have to open and close, you are likely to deal with some swamp issues. You might not have a green pool, but there will be junk in the pool to clear out. They tell you to vacuum to waste, but that is easier said than done with a cartridge filter, particularly when you are re-filling with well water.

    At least next year I will be more involved with the opening of the pool and will pounce on it right away to get my water balanced ASAP. I was too lax about it this year, not realizing how critical it was to get it right early so as to make it easier to have it right often.
    33,000 gallon plaster pool
    Jandy L-Series -CL580 Cartridge Filter

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Vacuuming to waste can easily be done with a cart filter; it just requires putting a 3-way valve between pump and filter. Using well water makes no difference. Making sure the pool is closed properly and opened soon enough will go a long way toward avoiding these problems in the future.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Why Get a Cartridge Filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Vacuuming to waste can easily be done with a cart filter; it just requires putting a 3-way valve between pump and filter. Using well water makes no difference. Making sure the pool is closed properly and opened soon enough will go a long way toward avoiding these problems in the future.
    That sounds a lot easier than my method, but for those that don't have the valve, this is what I do:

    I hook the hose to the skimmer plate like I would for regular vacuuming and once I get suction, about 20 sec, I pull the hose off the plate and toss the end out of the pool into the area where I want the water to go. You will keep suction until you lift the vac head out of the water. If you need it to travel farther than the hose reaches, you could probably attach a backwash hose to the end of it. I use the same method to lower the water level for closing. Kills 2 birds with one stone when the water level is too high from rain and I need to lower it and also need to vacuum. If the water level is not too high, I just stick the hose in the pool while I am vacuuming to backfill as much water as possible.

    I second having back up filters. It makes it so much easier. You get the pump and filter back up and running faster, and because you not rushed, you will do a better and more thorough job of cleaning the dirty ones. Also, newer filters are much easier to clean and keep clean than older ones.
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

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