How often does a cartridge filter need cleaning?

TriPool

Active member
Feb 27, 2015
36
Dallas, TX
I have a Jandy 450 SQ cartridge for my roughly 15K gallon pool here in north Texas. Last time I cleaned the filter was in October. I was told the PSI would increase over time and when it went from the 10PSI post last cleaning to roughly 20PSI I would need to clean the filter again. After leaving the pool open all winter ( and swimming at least once a week at least down to the low 50s :p ) It is still reading at 10PSI when the pump is running.

We don't get a lot of leaves ( maybe 20 all winter ) and the skimmers are usually empty in the mornings and typically end up only needing to be cleaned at most twice a week. So is this normal to go this long without having to clean my filters? Or should I be doing it anyways periodically?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
TriPool, the first thing I would suggest is to give your gauge a few "love taps" to make sure it's not stuck. Those factory gauges will do that and go bad without warning. How is your output pressure at the return jets? Do they feel firm and strong? If your filter was extremely clogged or dirty, you might suspect a slightly lower return pressure if detectable.

You and I may have similar situations. I use a Hayward single cartridge filter set-up. Modest in size really, but works fine for my pool at just under 18K. Now that my water has been TFP clear for a couple years, the cleaning has slowed way down. Still, I make it a habit to hose it off about once a month. Not a lot of tress, but general debris and bugs that start to build-up over time, and dirt can settle in the bottom of the filter housing. Since it's a single cartridge, it's easy to clean which is good peace of mind since my (factory) filter gauge doesn't really move all that much. After a good cleaning, my baseline (clean) pressure is only about 6, and I clean it when it rises to about 10 (20-25% increase). When this gauge goes bad, I'll try one of the glycerin-filled gauges from TFTTestkits.com. It may give better/more accurate readings.

Having said all of that, if your filter is not a single cartridge, but multiple, then you can easily spread your cleanings out further apart. Folks with quad filters may only clean once or twice each year.

That's my story. :) You can compare it to yours and some others who will reply. Have a great day.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
As Texas Splash stated, we recommend cleaning any type of filter when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure. And at least once a year.

Waiting for a 10psi rise is usually much too long as the flow rate becomes drastically lower.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,894
Tucson, AZ
+1 to the annual tear down and clean as it is critical to PM a filter annually to make sure the internals are all good.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk,16k gal SWG pool (All Pentair), QuadDE100 Filter, Taylor K-2006
 

greddy09sc

Member
Mar 28, 2016
15
houston, tx
What that being asked, How often do you recommend changing/replacing the filters? My filter guage showing 10% AFTER cleaning. Guess it needs to replaced or cleaned better? I'm a new to a used pool. When I cleaned the cartridge for the first time, it looked horrific. Looks like it was not clean for over a year. Cleaning caused gauge to drop from 20 to 10.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
What that being asked, How often do you recommend changing/replacing the filters? My filter guage showing 10% AFTER cleaning. Guess it needs to replaced or cleaned better? I'm a new to a used pool. When I cleaned the cartridge for the first time, it looked horrific. Looks like it was not clean for over a year. Cleaning caused gauge to drop from 20 to 10.
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!

You misunderstand. Your filter gauge is showing 10psi. You should clean it when it rises to 12-13psi ... not waiting until 20psi.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
3,436
Fletcher, OK
I agree, mine after cleaning is at 13 psi on high and I clean when it reaches 15 psi, that just happens to be once a year because it never reaches 15 psi
 

Sunbaby

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 27, 2015
1,309
Conroe, TX
Ive only had my pool since last summer. My PB said 3X a year to prolong my filters but to absolutely do it - if my gauge raises (I have it set to show me when it raises however much past the start pressure). I just cleaned mine for the first time last month - the pressure reading was FINE - but they were DIRTY - and when I finished - I have SO much more movement in my water! I plan on doing it 3X a year. Spring/Summer/Fall
 

bobby1017

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 2, 2011
665
Petaluma, Ca
Twice a year for me. It is nice to have 2 sets of filter cartriges, just install the new then clean the used ones, I usually TSP soak, rince, then muratic acid to remove any calcium. Last time I skipped the acid since I couldnt see many bubbles on the previous soakings. My original set will be 5 years old in may.
 

TriPool

Active member
Feb 27, 2015
36
Dallas, TX
Thanks all, sounds like it is reasonable for my filter to not be to clogged after 6 months since I don't have a lot of debris. The gauge is fine, it moves around when I change the pump speed so that doesn't appear to be an issue. Either way it is probably worthwhile cleaning at least once a year. Sounds like I may kick it off some time soon just to see how things look.
 

ComputerGuyInNOLA

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 20, 2012
648
Mandeville, Louisiana
Your filter is oversized for your pool volume just as mine is. I have a 340 sq/ft filter on a 13,500 gallon pool. The last time I cleaned was last May and I waited two years due to very little rise in pressure. Below is a link to my last cleaning with pictures of the cleaning process. What I learned is clean it once a year even if you dont hit the 25% mark.

2 years since filter cleaning and SWCG inspection. How does it look?