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Thread: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

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    Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Hello,
    Is there any type of water chemistry (such as running low pH levels), that can actually ruin a filter cartridge? Thanks.

    Jeff

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Welcome to the forum. Calcium scaling could destroy a cartridge. What symptoms are yours showing? Got a pic?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    What brand and model filter and cartridges are you using?

    What happens to the carts that they're not lasting?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Hello Jeff,
    Welcome to the forums. There are many factors that contribute to filter cartridge failure. What size is the cartridge, how large is the pool, what size is the pump, what is the pressure on the gauge.

    Answers to these questions can help us give you better advise.
    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 CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Hi, and thanks for the warm welcome.
    I wanted to keep this brief (for your sakes!), so I'll do my best. Before I begin, I just wanted to say "Hats-Off" to those of you who care for above ground pools. I had an in-ground in Antioch, Ca., that I cared for for 13 years, and with the Polaris I had, the thing practically took care of itself. But this 10K gallon Splash above ground I have now...Jesus, Mary, Mother of God! It is THE biggest pain in the a.. I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED!!! OK, now I've got that out of my system, I can proceed.

    Been here in Rocklin, Ca. for 7 years now with my wonderful Splash "Superpool" (really?). The first couple of years were not too bad, other than the fact the pool is surrounded by big trees and is hard keeping debris out. Then at some point, I started having trouble keeping my pressure down. By the way, it's a Sta-Rite cartridge filter system, with a 1 hp Sta-Rite pump, and a system 2 PLM-150 cartridge. The thing was normally running between 10-12 lbs. when clean. When it got dirty, maybe 16-18 lbs.. But then I noticed shorter and shorter durations between cleanings, until it got to the point where the thing would only run for an hour or two after I hosed it down, before the pressure would shoot back up to around 20-22 lbs. At that rate there wasn't enough water pressure going back into the pool to run my little Polaris Turtle.

    I did the filter test by running system with and without cartridge. Huge difference. 10-12 lbs. without, 20-22 lbs. with. Without the cartridge, my Turtle almost jumped out of the water. No clogs, pump ok, so it's my cartridge right? I was given a variety of solutions by different sources. Started with cartridge cleaner spray. Moved on to an overnight soaking in TSP solution. Also tried an overnight soak in garbage can with water and pool shock. All these solutions produced some lowering of pressure, but only temporarily. Within a day, right back to square one. Then I found out it was not good to hose cartridge with too much pressure. I had been using one of those little cone shaped nozzles on my hose that produce a hard stream. So I concluded I must have damaged the cartridge, so I bought another one.

    Life was bliss...for a while. By the following summer I was back to square one again. The only difference being, I wasn't using the hard spray nozzle to clean with. I did buy one of those soft brush wands that attach to your hose and allow you to brush between pleats of cartridge. I bought this because I noticed it was quite slimy and slick way down between pleats, and just hitting it with a light to moderate hose spray was not getting that out. But alas, that too proved futile in the face of the powerful pressure demon. So I forked out another $150 for a new cartridge. That was in June of 2012. I've been pretty good until now. My pressure has been creeping back up the past few months, and is now back where it was with old cartridge. So I've got yet another one ordered.

    I guess a few words about my chemistry are in order, as my original question pointed towards this as a possible culprit. First off I haven't used anything in my pool in a couple of years besides Chlorine tablets, shock, and pH increaser. I've taken my water and had it tested, and was told my pH was on the low side. I've always struggled to keep it even as high as 6.8, and at times I've let it go even lower. I just found out that makes for terribly acidic water and could do damage to the system. So in the past couple of days I've added lots of increaser and raised the level to about 7.6. However, I think the damage is done. After hosing cartridge, pressure is back up to 22 lbs. within an hour or so. I don't know if my chronically low pH levels could be the culprit here?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for staying with my book so far. I'll end it here. Thanks for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff
    PS. I guess I should mention...now that I have my pH up where it should be my total Alk. is off the charts. But maybe that's a topic for another discussion. I love my pool, I love my pool, I love my pool
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    I'm going with the thought that it's a water issue and not a filter issue. If the filter is getting that dirty that quickly, you've got something going on in the water.

    Can you post a full set of test results. They won't be nearly as good as if you had your own good kit but maybe they'll be fo some help.
    Also, could you post a pic of the water?

    Tablets are the reason you can't keep the pH up. They're very acidic. They also add a ton of CYA to the water and that's contributing to your problem.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Low PH can cause oils that accumulate on the filter fabric to congeal and become impossible to remove. PH at 6.8 wouldn't do that, it would have to be lower than 6.8. However, the common PH test will read anything below 6.8 as if it was 6.8, so it is possible your PH was low enough for this to be an issue.
    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: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Going to take my water in to be tested again, and I'll take a pic of the water. What do you recommend if I don't use tablets, and what is CYA? Thanks

    Jeff

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Welcome.

    I suggest reading up in Pool School a bit to see what we recommend and why. Also, you will have much better luck with your pool if you invest in one of the test kits we recommend and take control of your pool ... not trusting the inadequate water testing you get done at a store.

    We generally recommend the use of liquid chlorine (bleach) as it does not add CYA (stabilizer) and does not lower the pH. When the CYA gets higher, the require FC to prevent algae gets higher. Given that you have stated you use pucks a LOT, likely your CYA is too high and you are not keeping your FC high enough ... thus algae is growing and you filter is clogging.

    Pool School here:
    category.php?c=getting_started

    Read this for chemical info:
    pool-school/pool_water_chemistry
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    I've been using test strips. (OK I'm an idiot-I figured that part out). Are you saying the liquid chlorine is the same as regular bleach you would buy at the store for your clothing? Speaking of liquid chlorine, I've tried it before and I can say it's not easy keeping your levels up-especially when it's hot. I found myself adding it constantly. Maybe that's because other attributes were out of range. All I know for sure is I used the pucks for 13 years with my in ground, and never had a problem. God I miss that pool.

    Jeff

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Hey Jeff, Lots of good info coming quickly at you. Pool school is the place.

    You'll get it figured out with the good info from this forum. Don't give up the pool.
    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 CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Welcome to tfp, rain6460

    Quote Originally Posted by rain6460
    Are you saying the liquid chlorine is the same as regular bleach you would buy at the store for your clothing?
    Yes, though watch out for the splashless or scented. All you want is straight bleach.

    Quote Originally Posted by rain6460
    Speaking of liquid chlorine, I've tried it before and I can say it's not easy keeping your levels up-especially when it's hot.
    Most likely you will need to add chlorine daily...just as you were adding chlorine from tabs daily. It becomes easy and quick once you get feel for what your pool needs (test kit is important here).

    Quote Originally Posted by rain6460
    All I know for sure is I used the pucks for 13 years with my in ground, and never had a problem. God I miss that pool.
    Hard to say why, since pools at different locales potentially need different amounts of chemicals. No two pools or their environments are the same.

    Once you get yourself and appropriate test kit you will have the knowledge to know what this pool needs to be "trouble free".
    TFP Expert 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.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Welcome to TFP!

    Read Pool School. When you are done, read it again. And then again.

    When you have read Pool School front and back, order the TF-100!

    In due time, you will come to love your pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Hello,
    I was asked earlier to provide some detail on my water and a photo. No I don't have one of the recommended kits yet, so this will have to do. FYI, I just removed my floater and pucks and added some liquid chlorine, which is reflected in the results below. I was getting low on chlorine anyway due to the very poor filtration I have at the moment. I added the liquid and stirred...FUN My new cartridge should arrive tomorrow...Hopefully. Anyway, here it is...

    Hardness-400
    Free Chlorine-3
    Bromine-6
    pH-7.5
    TA-240
    CYA-150

    I referred to my Polaris earlier as a Turtle. I did have that model before this one. Actually it's the exact same unit mechanically, just without the goofy looking Turtle...and was about $30 cheaper too! It works great...when you have enough return pressure to run it!!!
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    How did you get the cya level? Most tests are not accurate above 100 ppm.

    If that is even close to right, and it could be since you were trichlor user, then your first course of action is to do a partial drain and refill. Our recommended level for a standard chlorine pool is 50 ppm.

    My recommendation as I said before, I to start with and appropriate test kit. See the link I included in my previous post.
    TFP Expert 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.

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Without that proper test kit you won't know what you have there.......I would be willing to bet that as soon as your chemistry is good, you will not have to buy another cartidge.

    TF-100 or Taylor 2006.....your choice. You will be throwing money down the drain until you get one. Don't depend on the pool store giving you accurate results.....

    Bob E.

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Thanks everyone for all the great insights. I'll be investing in the right kit for sure. In the meantime I've known my stabilizer has been high for some time, I guess because I've been using the pucks since day one. This seems to explain a lot of things, since everything is connected. I just got through draining about half the pool, and my new cartridge should be here today. So hopefully getting things balanced properly will put an end to this madness I've endured the past several years. My thanks again to everyone who contributed, and in such a timely fashion. I'll be reporting back on my progress.

    One last question...Hopefully discontinuing my use of the chlorine tabs, combined with refilling half the pool, should bring the CYA down and possibly solve my chronic low pH problem. So as long as I can keep the pH at proper levels, is the higher TA really a problem? Thanks again.

    Jeff

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Probably not. TA is really only an issue when you cannot comfortably control your pH. I would ignore your TA for now.

    Two other things worth mentioning.....

    1. Don't be surprised if your own testing from a good kit results in WILDLY different readings than what you have had before. TRUST YOUR OWN TESTING....always!

    2. Draining half your pool may or may not have reduced your CYA to a more correct 50ppm level. I strongly suggest you do nothing more to your chemistry until you can report your own results.

    You are certainly on the right track and beginning to get your pool water sorted out. Keep reading up in Pool School and keep asking questions.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Draining half the water was a good start and switching to liquid was smart.

    Once you get the new kit test the water and trust what you get. Post those results when you get them and we'll be here to help and advise what to do next. In the mean time add enough bleach to keep the chlorine at about 5 ppm.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Filter Cartridges Do Not Last

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Low PH can cause oils that accumulate on the filter fabric to congeal and become impossible to remove. PH at 6.8 wouldn't do that, it would have to be lower than 6.8. However, the common PH test will read anything below 6.8 as if it was 6.8, so it is possible your PH was low enough for this to be an issue.
    Hello Just a quick update. Got the recommended test kit from Leslies. The new cartridge is in, and I drained just about half the pool and refilled. What a difference the new cartridge is making. I'm running at a cool 8-9 lbs., and about 13-14 with the Turtle hooked up. Had to open up pressure release valve quite a bit because the unit was traveling through the water more like a Maco shark than a turtle!

    Here are my latest results...

    FC- 3
    TC- 5
    pH- 7.5
    TA-120
    CH- 250
    CYA- Just barely under 100

    So I'm going to assume that if I keep my pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8, I should not have an issue with any congealed oils clogging my cartridge?

    Also, I've already drained half the pool, which really knocked my CYA down from where it was. I know it's supposed to be 30-50 but I really don't want to drain any further if possible. I live on a small hill and when I drain it all goes into neighbors yard. He didn't complain, but I'd rather not push it if I don't have to. Any other way to get CYA down? And if I leave the level where it is, what issues might I have? Thanks

    Jeff

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