can you ruin a cartridge filter by cleaning too often?

JenLar

Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2007
15
Escondido, CA
Last year was our first year with a pool - it came with the house.
It took me like 2 or 3 months to get it cleaned up, but what seemed to make the most difference was when my pool store lady told me I should be hosing down the filter cartridge every day or so.
She told me this just after I bought a new one.
So this year, I have been cleaning the cartridge (almost) daily.
But I just read a post that said that every time you do this, you damage the filter media a little bit.
So my question is - have I ruined my (semi-) new cartridge?
Thanks for any help,
JL
 

Chris S

Active member
May 29, 2007
31
Central VA
I also replied to your other post. I'm not sure what kind of cartridge that you have, but I had to replace mine a few times when I was filtering all my dead algae out of my pool. I also read on here ( I think) that you can soak it over night in a mild solution of dishwasher soap to release the stubborn dirt.
 

JenLar

Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2007
15
Escondido, CA
at $70 per cartridge, I hope I don't have to replace it very often. I thought they were good for a few years. Does it just depend on how dirty your water gets?
 

andysutt

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2007
88
Arkansas
I've hosed my cheapo walmart filter for my Intex pool out everyday now and no damage.. Doing it for 2 weeks... I do have 2 filters tho... swap them daily and rinse the one i took out
 
G

Guest

A slightly dirty cart will actually filter better than a clean one but if the cart is too dirty you will not get enought water flow for good filtration. It is generally accepted that you should clean the cart when the pressure rises 8psi. However, many newer builds have oversized cartridge filters (a good idea) and can literally go for a year or more before the pressure rises this much. In that case I would recommend hosing off the cart monthly. If you wait until the pressure rises the cart becomes a real chore to clean. The BEST thing for hosing it off is one of those $3 short brass high pressure garden nozzles (the non adjustable kind with the small bore hole). They do a better job than anything! Once or twice a year soak the cart in a solutiion of 1 cup Electrosol or Cascade or other powder automatic dishwasher detergent or REAL TSP (not the phosphate free substitiute sold in many localities) to every 5 gallons of water overnight and hose off again. This will remove any organics that tend to clog up the polyester filter fabric. IF after soaking and rinsing the cart you see scale or metal stains then you can acid wash it in a solution of 1 part acid to 20 parts water for about 20-30 minutes but be aware that acid washing shortens a cart's life by causing the polyester fabric to stretch and makes it less effecient at filtering. Also, never acid wash a cart without first degreasing it or the organics will harden into a cement like substance that will plug up the fabric. If you do you will find that your filter pressure rises too high in a very short time and the only solution is to replace the cart. It's a good idea to have two carts and rotate them. If cared for properly you can get 5-7 years out of a cart. If you have a suction side cleaner, an undersized filter, or a lot of debris in your pool you will have to clean more often and you might have a shorter useful lifetime for the cart.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
Keeping on top of your pool chemistry has to help, too. If you let it get algae and or green, it's harder on your filters as well as your pool, your time and your money.
 

JenLar

Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2007
15
Escondido, CA
my water is still totally cloudy after 10 days with the pump on non-stop. My cartridge is less than a year old - I got it half way through last season - but it must be toast. It is a 100 sq ft cartridge. I must have damaged it with over-cleaning, or the pressure out of the hose was too high. I use one of those brass ones that you twist to focus the stream, and it did a great job cleaning it - still looks new. My chemistry is still fine, except for the high Cl - 25. Everything else it within normal ranges, and I can't see the bottom. :cry: I am so discouraged! I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy another cartridge. If that doesn't do the trick, then I am at a total loss.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
It can be handy to have two cartridges and swap them out. You can leave one soaking in dishwasher detergent while the other one is in use. Don't give up on your old cartridge completely till you see if a new one behaves differently or not.

Now might be a good time to double check some of the things that often go without saying. Has the main valve been set to filter? Has there been anything on the cartridge that gets washed off when you clean it? Have you been letting the air out of the filter after replacing the cartridge?