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Thread: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually work?

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    Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually work?

    Getting ready to start up my pool ...
    ... I wish there was a better method of cleaning the filters:


    Do you know if these nice filter pleat brushes actually work:


    http://www.amazon.com/Hayward-EC2024-Cl ... B003MBXKOC
    http://www.intheswim.com/shopping/produ ... &pcode=208
    etc.

    Have you ever tried them?
    Do they work any better than a garden hose?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    kenandshari's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    I'm all about products that let us spend more time enjoying our pool and less time maintaining it. To this end we have tried several methods. We have a "Filter Flosser" that attaches to a garden hose. It is made of aluminum and is similar to what you show in the picture. It does a fairly decent job for the price, but nothing like what they show in the advertisements. We also have one of those lawn sprinkler looking water powered filter cleaners (it is blue and white and came from amazon - judt looked it up, it is called the Blaster 1000) and that is OK as well. Just put the filter on it, turn on the water, and it rotates and rinses. Move it around the lawn and you can water the grass at the same time. How we clean the filters really depends on available time. We now have 2 sets of filters so we can swap out and then clean the dirty ones when we feel like it. Actually, soaking the filters overnight with Dawn in a Roughneck trash can (A tip we got from TFP) and then rinsing them with the pressure washer using a lower power tip gives us really good results. Filter makers say not to PW filters, but using a lower power spray has not caused any problems for us. What I've seen is that the easy clean options are OK, but nothing beats the more labor intensive PW method - Just be sure to use the lower PSI wand tip if you do this. We're happy with both the Flosser and Blaster, the advantage of the Blaster is you can rinse a really long time without having to use much of your time to do it and that is worth something to me when it is time to clean the 4 pool filters and 3 hot tub filters.

    The overnight soaking with Dawn really helps with cleaning and as for the tools I've tried, here's the breakdown:

    Normal hose sprayer on jet setting - kids can manage it, cheap, simple, cleans decent but takes a long time.

    Filter Flosser - reasonably priced, kids can manage it, I prefer it over a normal hose sprayer

    Blaster Automated roller cleaner - cleans decent, costs about $100, saves my time - drop filter on it, do something fun or productive, change it out after about 20 - 30 min and repeat, once again, kids can handle it.

    Pressure Washer (Low power tip) - Need a PW, have to get it out and hook it up, takes a little time, I have to do it myself with a little help from the kids, cleans best.

    I hope this helps in your decision. Best of luck to you and if you try the brush, please post a review for the rest of us.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    "Filter Flosser" ... does a ... decent job ... but nothing like what they show in the advertisements.
    This is good to know, especially since I'm leery of magic solutions.

    Filter makers say not to PW filters, but using a lower power spray has not caused any problems
    I've used my 2600 psi pressure washer on the filter in the past - but it is just too easy to blow a hole right through the filter, even when using the fattest stream ... so I kind of avoid the pressure washer nowadays (that thing will blow a hole in concrete if you let it).

    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    Blaster 1000) ... is OK ... Just put the filter on it, turn on the water, and it rotates and rinses.
    My filters are huge, so I don't think that will work.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    you can water the grass at the same time.
    Funny thing. I've washed my filters on the lawn, and it killed the grass. I'm not sure why. I figured maybe it was the chlorine in the crud that was washed off the filter?

    if you try the brush, please post a review for the rest of us.
    What I'm wondering is whether the brush gets inside the pleats better, since they're so tightly packed. But maybe the soaking gets inside the pleats just as well?

    soaking the filters overnight with Dawn in a Roughneck trash can
    Heh heh ... I tried that.


    I came up with the seemingly bright idea of soaking the pool filter in this big green recycling bucket:


    So, I put the little filter inside the big filter in the big recycling bucket:


    And I dumped a vitamin-bottle-full of laundry detergent inside:


    Then I proceeded to attempt to fill the can with the garden hose:


    However, my bright idea of soaking the filter had this fatal flaw:


    So now I'm trying to figure out what is big enough to hold that huge pool filter so that I can soak it for a day or so in laundry detergent or dawn dish detergent.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    LOL i did that with the big rolling trash can too......i considered caulking around the metal bar to make it watertight, should work, might have to redo it occasionally....
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    Hmm, I thought it was dishwasher detergent, like Cascade, that we were supposed to use. I've not used either so maybe someone can correct me on this if this is wrong.

    FWIW, I have used Liquid Nails on low pressure wet applications like plugging a small leak as in that trash can. You could try that.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    i considered caulking around the metal bar to make it watertight
    I am going to try again tomorrow, with a big plastic bag as an insert.
    If that doesn't work - I'll see if I can plug up those holes from the inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I thought it was dishwasher detergent
    Some people say to use "Dawn" dish detergent; others say trisodium phosphate.

    For the life of me, I can't figure out how TSP is any different than laundry detergent.

    Anyone know which is the better one to use?

    PS: Is it just me, or does the residue from cleaning the filter seem to kill the grass where I dump it?
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    I allways just use the hose with a spray nozzel with the dial turned to the flat setting. It's time consuming but I make the best of it if you know what I mean. I clean my filters on the lawn as well with no issues. I've also drained lots of water from my pool staight onto the lawn and landscape with no issues.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

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    kenandshari's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    When using the Pressure Washer, don't put the wand up close to the pleats, hold the wand a bit away (SWAG about 12" or so as appropriate) from the pleats so you don't drill holes. The actual cleaning like this goes relatively fast and it gets them the cleanest for us but it is not the method we use every time. We also have a 2600 psi PW and have used this technique with no issues. Our filter is a Pentair quad so they easily fit in the roughneck can and on the Blaster. They make several models of the Blaster to accommodate larger filters. If you try the brush please post a review for the rest of us.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    I used just the garden hose, which develops water pressure enough to shoot water 30 feet or more so it was ok.

    My only problem was that I must not have gotten all the HE detergent out, even though I washed the filters for more than an hour.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    I bought a blue/green wand from poolsupplyworld, it leaked from every single seam. I just threw it away and bought the white/blue cleaner mentioned above. My filter is about 3' tall and it fits just fine, but have to flip it over.
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

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    kenandshari's Avatar
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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    The filter cleaning tip I read here on TFP said to use Dawn brand dish soap to soak the filters. I think it has something to do with the grease removing properties of the brand. For us, this has been a huge revelation just as the BBB method was for water care. We use about a cup and a half of the non-concentrated liquid Dawn for the entire garbage can with all 4 of our filters in it and enough water to cover them all. Over the past year plus cleaning this way we've never turned our pool into a bubble bath. I made the mistake of using this same method for the hot tub though and it did become a bubble bath. You can buy anti-foam in the hot tub chemicals area at Wal-Mart, Lowes, etc and that kills the foam pretty fast with good circulation. I only takes about 2-3 cap fulls to cure the hot tub, so a pool may need a bottle or two (three?). Search the boards here for the dawn cleaning tip. I couldn't find it in the search I just did, but it gives a measuring recipe that has worked for us - I think it is 1 cup per 5 gal water. (Perhaps one of the moderators could put it in the routine filter maintenance section of pool school if appropriate?) You do have to rinse thoroughly - which it appears you did given the good water pressure and time you invested. I'm no soap expert, but perhaps HE detergent is a concentrated soap. If so, that may explain the different results you achieved.

    Updated Edit: I just found the post about filter cleaning through the Pool School, so now you can reference it at the link below.
    re-how-to-clean-a-cartridge-filter-t4465.html
    I may be off on the Dawn being specifically recommended and apologize if that was wrong, but that's what we've used this whole time. This may have initially been due to Dawn being what we had in the house the first time we tried this. At any rate, it has served us well through quite a few cleanings. Hope you find it helpful.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    Re: Cleaning the filter: Do those pleat brushes actually wor

    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    We use about a cup and a half of the non-concentrated liquid Dawn
    Thanks; the dosage is good to know!
    I used a vitamin bottle's worth of Kirkland Signature Institutional Laundry Detergent 28 lbs Powder
    Item # 119903
    from Costco.

    The pool didn't any bubbles; and neither did the spa until I turned on the jets. I think it was only temporary though, but I'm still working on the pumps so I'll have to report back if it continues.
    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    Perhaps one of the moderators could put it in the routine filter maintenance section of pool school if appropriate?
    Since filter cleaning is so common, it would be nice to make it easier for us to find, I agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    Perhaps HE detergent is a concentrated soap. If so, that may explain the different results you achieved.
    Actually my results are good, at least in my opinion - it seemed the greenish coating on the filter pleats washed off much more easily this time with the soaking than in the past without it. I just thought the bubbles in the spa after I turned on the jets were funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by kenandshari
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/re-how-to-clean-a-cartridge-filter-t4465.html
    Thanks for the reference point!
    I'll post a cross reference from there to here for us to benefit from.
    Silicon Valley, 38,500 gallons in-ground plaster; Sta-Rite System 3 Model S8M150, 259 sqft cartridge 25022-0203S + 191 sqft cartridge #25021-0202S = 450 sqft filter@0.28gpm/sqft = 125 gpm@50psi max. Three 220v Sta-Rite Max-e-Glas II pumps {AO Smith QC1102 1.0x1.65SF for filter + cleaner; SQ1152 1.5x1.47SF for spa jets; square 48Y flange}. 13 Fafco 12'x4' professionally installed "Revolution" solar heating panels + Raypak RP2100 P-R 405A-EP LPG 399,000/hour heater + Compool Lx3600 controller + Infinity 4000 automatic pool cover (120v 3/4 HP motor); both skimmers are NOT filtered & serve only as intake for 9-port water valves (aka cleaner heads) controlling fifteen Paramount PCC2000 3" self-cleaning jets with the optional Debris Containment Canister.

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