Acid washing filters?

Heckmonkey

In The Industry
May 8, 2017
6
Rancho Santa Margarita
#1
Pool service noob here... But is there really any reason to acid wash a filter? other than making it white? I mean I figure a normal rinse and clean would do the trick of cleaning it till you need to replace the filter? Why run the risk of mixing acid with water, ratio's, plus flushing that stuff everywhere in and after filling a garbage can? Just clean the filter without the acid??? Keep it clean till needing to replace filter.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#3
You would only need the acid wash if the CH was high and the pH was not well maintained so that calcium scaling was forming on the filter media (cartridge or DE fins).
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
787
Parkland, FL
#4
I've used a little acid with water to clean cartridge filters years back. It did clean them pretty well and get the pressure down like new. But I'd consider it more of a last ditch effort as I believe it eats up the material a bit. It seemed like the material was more brittle after.
 

AUSpool

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 23, 2015
509
Sunshine Coast, Australia.
#5
If you need something more than the hose I would be inclined to soak or wash them in chlorine, SLAM them.

And if you really think you need something a little more industrial I would go hydroxide rather than acid but either way extreme care is needed, gloves and eye protection. I have in the past used a sodium hydroxide solution to clean calcium carbonate based marine aquarium substrate (coral rubble). It works a treat at getting rid of even the most ingrained algae, after rinsing I'd put the substrate back and the sensitive corals were never affected. It worked a treat on my grease soaked range hood air filters today too.
 
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Heckmonkey

In The Industry
May 8, 2017
6
Rancho Santa Margarita
#6
Thanks everyone for your knowledge. Im pretty certain ill stay clear of ever doing this unless as one person put it, it was a last ditch effort. But just seen it in the past and made me think? Seems to me that its more of a hassle in the long run.
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
787
Parkland, FL
#7
Thanks everyone for your knowledge. Im pretty certain ill stay clear of ever doing this unless as one person put it, it was a last ditch effort. But just seen it in the past and made me think? Seems to me that its more of a hassle in the long run.
I'll put it this way, I wouldn't spend 80 plus for a new one before dropping it in some water with a little acid and testing it out. Potentially could save 80 plus for a bit. The problem is finding a bucket that is about the right size so you arent wasting a ton of water and acid.
 

Davegvg

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 30, 2008
326
#9
I've used a little acid with water to clean cartridge filters years back. It did clean them pretty well and get the pressure down like new. But I'd consider it more of a last ditch effort as I believe it eats up the material a bit. It seemed like the material was more brittle after.
Yup. Its effective.

It definitely takes material off and effects the remaining material from my experience.

I consider acid washing the last step before replacing scaled up or habitually mistreated elements.
What I do is was more an acid "soaking" than washing per se.


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JayBauman

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 5, 2014
617
Katy, TX
#10
You don't need to clean your filter cartridges as thoroughly as you think. As particles build up on the filter media, the effective pore size decreases which effectively makes for better filtration. If your media get dirty enough, they can approach DE in terms of filter efficiency. I can definitely tell he difference between clean cartridges and dirty cartridges when I look into the water with the pool lights on at night. Dirty media give me a much cleaner pool.

Since the pressure drop across my filter doesn't change very much, I clean my cartridges once a year. I pull them out, simply spray my garden hose into the pleats, and then put it all back together.
 

Davegvg

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 30, 2008
326
#11
You don't need to clean your filter cartridges as thoroughly as you think. As particles build up on the filter media, the effective pore size decreases which effectively makes for better filtration. If your media get dirty enough, they can approach DE in terms of filter efficiency. I can definitely tell he difference between clean cartridges and dirty cartridges when I look into the water with the pool lights on at night. Dirty media give me a much cleaner pool.

Since the pressure drop across my filter doesn't change very much, I clean my cartridges once a year. I pull them out, simply spray my garden hose into the pleats, and then put it all back together.
Sure, a plugged up filter catches ever smaller debris as it reaches and exceeds its rated capacity for holding.

That added filtering efficiency due to lack of thorough cleaning comes at the cost of flow.

In pools that have low slow 24 hour pump runs, run at higher solar RPM during the day, run suction side cleaners,chlorinators, or heaters with high GPM pressure switches this kreeping loss of flow as the filter plugs up ultimately degrades system performance.



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