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Thread: Cartridge Filter Question

  1. #1
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    Cartridge Filter Question

    Hello All,
    Awesome site, lots of great information here.

    Last fall my wife and I bought a foreclosed home with a pool that was not kept up for about a year, from what I can tell. We are now in the process of trying to convert our swamp back to a swimming pool and I have a question about the filter. We bought a new cartridge (pleatco) for the filter, but it seems as if I have to clean it A LOT, about 4 times a day which is hard to find the time for with work and kids.

    Per the instructions for the filter, the cartridge and here, it should be cleaned when the PSI raises about 8, which it starts off at about 12 and gets to about 20 before water flow is basically stopped. When I take it out to clean it, it is dirty (like a light tanish white mix), but not as much as I would have expected. I follow the cleaning instructions that the manufacture recommends (the same instructions posted on this site) with hosing it down, soaking in a dishwasher detergent and hosing it down again, then soaking in muriatic acid and hosing down one final time before re-installing it.

    After reinstalling, I will get about an hour of normal water flow (12 PSI) and like I mentioned above about 3 hours later I get to that 20 PSI point at which water is barely flowing. I guess I am wondering if this at all is normal or does it sound like I managed to break my cartridge?

    The only thing I have to compare to is growing up my parents had a pool and me to take care of it ( Aren't kids great! Can't wait for mine to be old enough...lol) with a DE filter. It seems we would start everything up, shock the pool until the water was clear, vacuum up the junk on the bottom and then back flush and be good to go for a while.
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  2. #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    What does your pool look like? If you have a lot of algae (dead or alive) then this sounds pretty normal. Clearing a swamp with a cartridge can be a hassle. Many people actually buy a spare cartridge or 2 so they can switch them out.

    That said, I think you are cleaning it more than you need to. Definitely no need for the acid wash unless there is scale build up. I do not think there is much point in the detergent soak at this point either. You are just trying to get all the dead stuff out (are you currently in shock mode?).

    I think you should be able to just pull the cartridge, spray it down and put it back in (although I have never had a cartridge filter).

    Also, if you flow is basically stopping by 20psi, you should be cleaning earlier than that. Generally we recommend a 20-25% increase in pressure over the clean pressure (12psi), so you should be cleaning about 15 psi if you can as you are not really filtering if no water is passing through.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Samantha_in_AL's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    As jblizzle said, cartridge filters normally don't have to be cleaned that often. Your swamp must be pretty bad. Do you have alot of debris in the water? I would just take it out and spray clean it at this point until you get your water clear.
    AG 18' X 52" Round Pacifica Pool w/ Metal Diamond Unibead Liner. Installed in March 2007.
    2.5 HP Baquapure 2 Speed Pump, 200 GPM Waterway ProClean Cartridge Filter System.


    Former Baquacil user
    Converted to BBB in Fall of 2009 - Now I have a truly trouble free pool!

  4. #4
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Thank you for the quick responses!

    The swamp did start out pretty bad, nice dark green. The couple random weeks of warm weather we had up here in Wisconsin really got things going. Lots of algae was floating in the water and on the bottom. Using a net, I got everything off the surface and off the bottom, at least what I could see.

    I am in the process of shocking the pool, progress was being made, as the water went to that milky blue type of color where I can kind of see the bottom in the deep end (My guess is maybe 6 - 7 feet) . All the floating debris in the water is now removed, when I take the cartridge out, it is just tan type of color which I am guessing is the dead algae.

    The cartridge has seemed like a hassle for this process, which is why I had to ask as it seems I should get more than 4 hours between cleanings but I really have no idea. I will skip the additional cleaning steps, that will at least save a bit of down time. I will also try to clean it more often, though the time to do that is difficult during the week. Well see how things look after this weekend, when I can spend a bunch of time with it, if it is still a problem and things aren't getting cleaned up, I may end up buying another to swap out as needed.

    I do have a question though, how would I know if my cartridge failed and would need replacement aside from failing apart (physically the cartridge is in good condition and does turn back white after cleaning)?
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  5. #5
    Senior Member bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Cartridge is bad if it ripped, torn, has holes or doesn't filter properly. If after you clean it, the pressure doesn't drop to an acceptable level.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CPX36, SmartPool Nitro SmartKleen NC22 robotic pool cleaner, Lakeland Florida

  6. #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Might be hard now, but you can try putting a sock over the return jets in the pool. If it catches a lot of dirt, then that dirt is somehow making it past the filter. This seems to be suggest when people are vacuuming the floor and feel like dirt just keeps reappearing on the floor.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  7. #7
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown
    Cartridge is bad if it ripped, torn, has holes or doesn't filter properly. If after you clean it, the pressure doesn't drop to an acceptable level.
    based on that, I don't think the cartridge is bad. Physically it looks to be in good shape and after I clean it, no matter how I clean it, the pressure always returns to 12 PSI. The filter, without the cartridge in it, does operate normally so I don't know what else it would be.

    This evening, I cleaned the cartridge 3 times in the span of about 4 and a half hours, with the last cleaning being completed a few minutes ago. My time between cleanings is declining rather than getting longer. All I did tonight was to give the cartridge a quick spray down, taking about 20 - 25 minutes each time. The results were pretty much the same as if I had gone through the whole process taking a couple hours. The one difference I did notice though, was when I took the cartridge out, it was visibly whiter, not really looking dirty at all except in a few spots. which I didn't really expect as I stirred up the water trying to net some of those shadows I can see on the bottom. Having done that I figured it would have been dirtier.

    I am interested in the sock trick, how does that work? Not really sure how to get a sock over the return jet.

    Beyond that I did also email Pleatco, hoping for more than I expect at this point. I am just getting a bit frustrated with this cartridge, wondering how I am going to get this pool cleaned up. Having to clean it after a couple hours of run time means there isn't much point in running the filter over night or during the day while at work...
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  8. #8
    Senior Member linen's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Welcome to tfp, Timotheus

    That cartridge filter is pretty small for your pool, which means it is even worse when you are trying to clear an algae outbreak. If you can, I would go at least 2 times larger at some point in the future. In addition, that pump is really large for it, so that isn't helping either.

    By the way, we like test numbers! Show us yours if you would like, we might be able to help.
    TFP Moderator who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  9. #9
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Testing out the posting pictures...

    This is what the pool looked like when we first saw it...Yikes!

    I will see if I can get some updated ones in the next day or so to see what I am working with... I have no idea on the heater, can't even find a make / model number to look up on it. Figure I can worry about that after the pool is cleaned up.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  10. #10
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, Timotheus

    That cartridge filter is pretty small for your pool, which means it is even worse when you are trying to clear an algae outbreak. If you can, I would go at least 2 times larger at some point in the future. In addition, that pump is really large for it, so that isn't helping either.

    By the way, we like test numbers! Show us yours if you would like, we might be able to help.
    Yes, I wondered about the size of the filter. Its funny you mentioned that as I was talking (thinking out loud maybe) to my wife about it. I would really not want to replace it, at least not this year if we can avoid it but if / when, bigger sounds better!

    I tested FC and PH this evening between cleanings and had...
    FC: 5
    PH: 8.0

    CYA, not tested today but was at 20. When I started shocking a few days ago PH was at 7.6. Being it is suggested to clean the cartridge with muriatic acid, I added 2 1/2 pints of muriatic acid to get the PH back down. I thought getting the PH back down might help the 'filtering' from what I read on Pleatco's website.

    I don't know if I should have, but I held off on adding bleach tonight. It has held its bleach levels the last two nights and I would like to get the filtering figured out before continuing. My thought was, if I was going to have down time I would have to start over again.
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  11. #11
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    A progress update, just in case anyone else is where I was at with their cartridge..

    Since my last post I took a couple of steps that, seem to have helped a bit...

    As Jblizzle suggested, I skipped all the cleaning steps and just went to spraying the cartridge down and getting back in and running, this definantly helped maximize the run time. The cartridge was performing just the same without the soap and acid bath, thank you!

    I also got a different nozzle for the hose to clean with too. Somewhere on this site, sorry I don't remember where, someone suggested using a brass jet (no idea what the name actually is) so I went and picked one up. This was huge too, as it gave me a bit more water pressure to really get the cartridge clean and it is A LOT easier to get in between all the pleats with. This again was made cleanings more efficient and quicker, maximizing run time.

    I also got the ph down to 7.4. I don't know if this made much difference, it was probably more physiological than anything...lol We do have hard water, the water used to top off the pool wasn't through the softener, so my thought was this would help to prevent any scaling.

    All this has got the water pretty clear over the last week, now I can truly see the bottom all around the pool, even all the dust piles that I need to vacuum up, because they are small enough scoping doesn't work. Overall, linen is exactly right, the filter is just to small for the pool so cleaning the swamp takes a LONG time.

    With the exception of the one day, I have continually been shocking (cl level of 12) and should hopefully be done in another day or two - just need to get the sparkle in the water and the few piles vacuumed up.

    Thank you all!
    21' x 41 Dough-boy AG 25K Gallons
    Hayward Star Clear C1750 (I think?)
    1.5 HP Pump

  12. #12
    Senior Member linen's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Sounds like you are making great progress!

    Do not adjust ph while FC is over 10 ppm since the ph will read high at that FC level.

    Now make sure and simultaneously pass all three of the finished shocking process criteria (also in my sig) and lets make sure those little organic interlopers are eradicated
    TFP Moderator who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  13. #13
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Cartridge Filter Question

    Sounds like some great progress is being made, thanks for the feedback.
    Hopefully you are just a few days away from a crystal clear pool you can enjoy all summer.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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