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Thread: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

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    tasilva's Avatar
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    My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    Newbie here, sorry in advance if this has already been answered. I tried the search function with no luck.

    I just set up my above ground pool (14'x42", only filled to 30 inches (due to small children), approx 2900 gallons. I have an intex cartridge filter that pumps 1000gph connected to the intex SWG) I am in the process of getting the readings right (ph is 8, FC 0, CYA 0, Alk 80, but I am working on this). My issue is this, every other day I have to replace the cartridge filter due to a "low flow" error message/beep which then sends the unit into sleep mode. To be fair, I only set this up 3 days ago so the filter/SWG have been running 32-45 hours since then. When I pull out the cartridge it is not very dirty and could be cleaned and reused. Is this normal at startup? Is there something I can do to stop this issue? If it continues like this I will go through $20 in cartridges a week!

    Thanks so much!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    You can get a reusable cartridge.

    Still, this is somewhat unusual. Is there any chance there is something blocking the water flow other than a dirty filter? Perhaps there is a valve that is not completely open, etc.

    I would only expect the behavior you describe if the water was cloudy/murky.
    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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    tasilva's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Still, this is somewhat unusual. Is there any chance there is something blocking the water flow other than a dirty filter? Perhaps there is a valve that is not completely open, etc.
    No, nothing blocking as far as I can tell. And, once it gives me this error code and I replace with a new (or even no) filter it resumes working perfectly.

    I'll have to check into those reusable filters though.

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    tasilva's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    Here's a pic of my pool now:
    pool.jpg
    we do have some build up of dust/fine dirt on the bottom as I didn't vacuum this morning, it looked fine when I removed the solar cover. We live out in the country with pretty high/steady winds on a near daily basis. Perhaps this is the issue?

    Here's the pic of a "problematic" cartridge I had to take out this afternoon:
    cartridge.jpg

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    your water isnt indicative of any problem with it. A bit of dirt on the bottom shouldnt clog that filter.

    I have a question... just a thought. Does it feel like it might possibly be clogged with calcium? Does it feel rough or extra stiff? Can you scrape it with something and see if anything white in color flakes off of it?

    Im with jason though, you should look into a reusable filter of good quality.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    I use Unicel filter carts, and there are other good brands out there. For you, the Unicel C-4607 would work, or the Filbur FC-3710.

    Be careful with buying these online, there are many sellers that are putting in their description "replaces" these numbers. Most often they are low quality imitations. Make sure it is the genuine Filbur or Unicel they are selling.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    tasilva's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    I have a question... just a thought. Does it feel like it might possibly be clogged with calcium? Does it feel rough or extra stiff? Can you scrape it with something and see if anything white in color flakes off of it?
    Just checked, no calcium buildup at all. A very few white particles between the folds but they might just be leftover salt from the startup 3 days ago. It is not stiff at all.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    hummm... I dont know what it could be except maybe its just a bad filter.

    wish I could be of more help......
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: My cartridge is only lasting 2 days before I get "Low Flow" error

    I'm sure about what type of filter your use, but for my SWG their a flow switch in the water line after the salt generator. If the switch isn't facing the right direction it will give you a no flow reading. The switch has an arrow to direct which way it should face.


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