Difference in Cartridge Filters

Shani

Platinum Supporter
Hello,

My pool wasn't as clear as it has been in previous years and I believe I broke my cartridge filter over the winter due to me forgetting to drain the filter unit. I took it apart yesterday and many fans look damaged. My current filter is a Starite PLM150, I found the replacement cartridge but the cost on this is quite high.

Looking around I found another filter unit (Hayward CC150CAN XStream) which is about the same cost as just the cartridge for the PLM150, on top of that the filter replacement unit on the Hayward is about 1/3 the cost of the Starite.

My question was is there a difference in units themselves in terms of one being better for filtration that would explain the significant price difference? I am trying to decide if it is better to replace the cartridge in the Starite or just go with an entire new filter unit, saving me money in the long run.

Thanks for the help.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
Just to be clear, if your pool is looking more cloudy that usual, that is likely to be chemistry problem rather than a filter problem. When filters fails, you will usually see debris coming out of the returns but this debris will sink to the bottom, not be suspended in the water. Anything suspended in the water making it look cloudy is more likely to be algae.

Have you performed an OCLT?
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the response. I realized my initial post was unclear, the water is actually quite clear. I can see the bottom everywhere. I do have debris at the bottom of the pool, looks like dirt. I did go through this past weekend and vacuum all I could see and today I am seeing clumps of the dirt again (but seems much less than before). I had also thought about the algae, I did the OCLT test last night, I have two test kits, results below:

Ran test last night at 11:30PM:

ColorQ Test Kit
FC: 4.7
tCL: 4.71
pH: 7.6
TA: 110
CH: 140
CYA: 63

Taylor Test Kit
- FC: 6.2
- tCL: 6.4
- pH: 7.5
- CYA: 60

I left the pump running and unplugged the SWG, ran the FC, tCl test this morning at 5:50am:

ColorQ Test Kit:
FC: 4.31
tCl: 4.49

Taylor Test Kit
FC: 6.0
tCl: 6.2

I am thinking that small drop in FC should be acceptable?

Thanks.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
That should be an ok loss although you might rethinking the ColorQ test set. Doesn't seem like it is close at all to being accurate for FC.

Have you taken the filter apart to see if there is a tear in the media? It should be obvious if that is the problem. Another issue can be the filter was not seated properly the last time it was cleaned.

But to answer your original question, the effectiveness of a cartridge filter is really dependent on the media and I don't think there is a large difference between them. Even it there were a big difference, probably not worth any cost difference. It won't make maintaining the pool any easier. One might just collect more finer debris than another but again, I don't think there is that much difference.
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
Thanks for the feedback Mark. Agreed on the ColorQ results, I wonder if my reagents are bad. I'll contact the company to get further information.

The current filter unit is only a year old, I took it apart for the first time a few days ago to check and clean it. At that time I wasn't really sure what I was looking for so I didn't notice much but did give it a good clean. I will take it apart tonight again and get a closer look at the media. I think if it required replacement media I will just purchase the Hayward unit.

Would there be any concern in using a Hayward 1.5 HP Power Flo Matrix 2 Speed Above Ground Pump (SP56152) with the Hayward CC150CAN XStream filter?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
No but I would recommend a larger filter. How often do you clean it? If more than once per season, I would go with something larger.
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
This is my first year with a cartridge filter, so I only opened it once to clean so far. Prior I had a sand filter.

When you say larger filter, do you mean the Effective Filtration Area: SQ FT? I was checking the Canadian site I usually buy the pool products (PoolSuppliesCanada), they only have a few above ground cartridge filters, but many more labeled for In ground pools, not sure what the diff would be there.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
There is no difference between an AG and IG filter. However, there are AG systems which pair both a filter and a pump together.

And yes, a larger filter would have a larger sq-ft media surface.

But a cartridge should not have failed that quickly. I suspect something else is going on. If there is an issue, it should be covered under warranty.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
Unless you can see some visible tears in the media, it is not likely to be leaking through that. More likely, is debris is getting around the seal between the media and the filter housing.

If you brush the debris that falls to the pool floor, does it just move along or does it mix up with the water like a cloud of dust? If the later, it could be algae or even dead algae.
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
Nothing visible I could see on the filter in terms of tears. I re-seated the filter, will see if that makes any difference.

If I brush the debris it does cloud up, it doesn't just move along. Would dead algae be too fine and pass through a filter?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
Yes, some algae is too small for filters, especially sand filters. Cartridges usually do better with dead algae though. If you have the setup, one thing you could try is to vacuum to waste.

Did you recently have an algae bloom?

Another test is to get some of that dust and see if it is slimy or gritty. Also, what is the color?
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
The current cartridge filter I have doesn't seem to have a vacuum to waste, would that make sense?

My last sand filter had that option with a muliport on it.

I don't recall any algae bloom but I've had this issue since opening this year, the weather has been pretty blah here so we haven't used the much. Last weekend was the first time I got in and did a full vacuum (to filter) of the entire pool. When I was in last week and tried to feel the "dirt", it didn't feel gritty like sand or dirt would. Color is like a dark brown to black almost. I'll try to get a picture today when I get home.

I also started this year to use a Filter Sock in my skimmer basket, when I vacuumed the pool last weekend it got very dirty (as expected) but the odd part was that after replacing it with a new one and just letting the pump run in normal operation (I usually runs for 12 hours a day) for about 5 days, I checked the filter sock and it was very dirty (picture attached), a lot more than I would expect for an unused pool with a solar cover on it. Would that be normal?
 

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mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,633
Pleasanton, CA
Most cartridge filters don't have vacuum to waste but sometimes it can be plumbed in as a separate feature. Basically a bypass before the filter.

It is difficult to tell what that is in the skimmer sock. Given that the filter looks like it is in good working order, it might suggest that there is an issue with the water although the OCLT does not confirm that.

Can you take a picture of your entire pad? This may have nothing to do with the issue you are experiencing but I noticed the plumbing going into the filter is very small. What size pipe is that?
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
The filter I did just clean on Monday, first time I had it open since it was installed last year. It was pretty dirty.

I will take some pictures today and post. I will also check the piping size, I believe the pool company installed 1.5" piping for plumbing.
 

Shani

Platinum Supporter
All the plumbing is 1.5" with the exception of the intake for the SWG cell it is a 1.25".

I went through and vacuumed the bottom of the pool again tonigjht, there was a significantly less of the debris since the weekend when I last vacuumed (I attached some pictures). I am going to continue vacuuming tomorrow and see if it does slowly go away. I also noticed this year there has been more floating debris in the pool, I think this could be from the dirt and pollen that settles on the pool cover and falls in when I roll it up.

I was reading the manual on the Low SWG I have and noticed that the chemistry requirements specifically for the CYA are much lower than recommended on Pool School. The manual indicates 20 to 30 but Pool School mentions 70 - 80, I was wondering why such a difference and does the low SWG make a difference?

When the OCLT shows little loss overnight as mind did is that a safe enough test to rule out active algae in the pool?

I took a video underwater, to me the water looks clear: Underwater.mov

I have also contacted both Taylor and ColorQ, they have recommended replacing the reagents based on the lots / when I purchased them, so I will be ordering new sets of each to see how much difference that makes.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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