problems keeping cartridge clean

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#1
Hi all,

I am new to pool keeping and have a major algae problem right now. I have been reading the forums and have been shocking the pool for the last 2 days with liquid shock. The water is starting to clear, but I am having some major problems with the cartridge. I have a 21' ABP with a 1HP pump and a 75 sq ft cartridge filter. The problem is the cartridge. After running for about 3 hours, the cartridge is completely green and the water does not filter at all. The pool store recommends using bacquacil (sp) to soak the cartridge. We have done that without that much success. We purchased a new cartridge and it was in the same condition as the old one within 6 hours. Is there something we can do to get the algae completely off the cartridge or to prevent ruining another new one? At $50 a pop, we can't afford to keep replacing the cartridges, but we know we can't get rid of the algae without good filtering.

Thanks.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#2
Algae blooms carry a ton of debris that needs cleared. Unfortunately it can plug ANY type of filter quickly.

Only thing you can really do is monitor the pressure, and when it goes up by 10 psi (assuming this is still under the safety rating of your filter) pull the cartridge and clean it, or backwash a sand or DE filter.

Not sure if cartridge filters can be backwashed.

Having two cartridges would be handy, so you can fire the filter right back up while you clean the other one following the manufacturers directions. Over time, you'll get the dead algae out and things should go back to normal.

Good Luck :)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
#3
Having a cartridge clog up quickly during an algae fight is not surprising.

You should be able to wash the cartridge off with a garden hose and use it again. If that doesn't work, rinse it off, soak it in automatic dish washing detergent overnight, and rinse it off again.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#4
Maybe I just don't know everything (ok, well, I am SURE I don't know everything) but if you have a chlorine pool, why in the world would you soak your cartridge in baquacil??? Baqua and chlorine are not compatible! Baqua plus chlorine produces a slimy mess, as you may be finding out...

What are your test numbers? if you have a really high CYA level, you may not be getting your FC up high enough. It should also kill any algae in the cartridge

To clean your cartridge well, you can get a high-pressure nozzle (brass, short, not adjustable) for a few bucks at your local home or hardware store. spray off your cartridge well. When you are having a major problem, you will have to clean it frequently!
I believe you can also soak the cartridge in dishwasher soap solution, like cascade... will try to search that out for you.

ETA Jason said it before me!

btw, welcome to TFP!
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#5
The pressure is not going up by a significant amount. Maybe 2 or 3 psi. What prompts us to clean it is the lack of return flow. It gradually drops down to nothing. We have been using the new and old cartridge alternately. We soak one while the other is in. We have to change them every day. I am going to purchase a new cartridge today, but I am not going to put it in until after the algae bloom is cleared. We also don't have a floor drain. It is difficult to get a good vacuum because the cartridges are in such bad shape. Is there anything else we can soak them in that will get more algae out of the pleats?
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#6
Perhaps your PSI gauge is no good? I've had that issue before as well...

As for soaking, why not in a shock level of bleach?

Calculate how many gallons are in your soak container, do the math, add some bleach and soak?

Get input from others first. I've never dealth with a cartridge filter before, only DE and sand.
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#7
Oops, I got some more replies while I was replying.

I will definitely try out the dishwasher detergent.

We used the bacqua because that is what the pool store recommended when we asked how to clean the cartridge.

(just for some background. We bought our house last year and the pool came with it. It was a year old at the time. We don't know anything about keeping a pool, this is our first. The previous owner turned the pump off and we didn't know we had to turn it back on. Of course, we ended up with pea soup very quickly. We tried to clear it up, but eventually gave up and threw the winter cover on it. We are now trying to clear up the mess and have been asking the "pool professionals" for advice. Needless to say, I am now learning that we got a lot of bad advice)

I don't have any test numbers yet because I don't have the right test kit. None of the area pool stores we have been in carried the full kit. Only the OTO and pH. I lowered the ph from over 8.4 down to 6.8. I know that is too low, but I haven't had a chance to readjust it yet.


We dumped 4- 3qt bottles of clorox in on monday evening. I dumped 2 more bottles yesterday morning. I caught a "sale" on liquid shock, so we put 2g in last night and I put 2 more in this morning. The CL levels were dropping down to almost 0 overnight. I found a local Leslie's, so I will go there today after work to get the FAS-DPD kit. I suspect that my CYA is high because we were using the powder shock prior to reading that the liquid was better.
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#8
The Mermaid Queen said:
Maybe I just don't know everything (ok, well, I am SURE I don't know everything) but if you have a chlorine pool, why in the world would you soak your cartridge in baquacil??? Baqua and chlorine are not compatible! Baqua plus chlorine produces a slimy mess, as you may be finding out...
I guess that is why we have what looks like green soap scum floating around the pool?
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#10
JasonLion said:
Yep, bacquacil combines with chlorine to make a sticky mess that does tend to destroy cartridges. That was some particuarly bad advice.
And we got it twice. Last summer they told us to use it and again this year. Since we have been soaking both of these cartridges in this stuff, should we just write them both off and start over with a new one?
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
#11
We used the bacqua because that is what the pool store recommended when we asked how to clean the cartridge.
I guess I should have said "why would they tell you to do that??" I realized your were just following their instructions. :?

I guess that is why we have what looks like green soap scum floating around the pool?
could be! When a person with a baqua pool switches to chlorine, the procedure is to shock and shock and shock the heck out of the water, and clean your filter like crazy. When your pool is clear and can hold chlorine, you replace your filter media. If you do not replace it, you will very likely keep having trouble.

Get your test kit, post some numbers, and keep at it! I am not sure if you will need to replace your filters or not since you have not done a full-blown conversion... perhaps you can get them clean enough with the spraying and dishwasher soap... anyone??
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#12
wow, we have really been shooting ourselves in the foot! we are creating more problems trying to clean up the ones we have.

I will definitely be getting a new test kit today but I won't be able to post the numbers today because now it is pouring down rain. Great....more shocking..(sigh)
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
#13
Chalk this up to experience :)

Once this is all resolved, you will be enjoying an easily maintained crystal clear pool and won't have to rely on people after your money for advice.

Once you get ahead of your pool and stay there, it's easy. And this experience will ensure you don't ever fall behind it again :)
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
413
Joliet, Il.
#14
Check with the others here first. But you may want to continue to use your current cartridges (cleaned with a garden hose) while you continue to get the Baquaslime out of the pool. Once the baquaslime is resolved you would then want to purchase a new filter.

Check with the others here...but putting a new cartridge in now may be a third filter that gets slimed up.

dan
 
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heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
#15
ok, just an update:

I went to Leslie's, but I was unable to get the test kit. They did not have the FAS-DPD kit. They apparently don't sell it in the store because he said the only way I could test for CYA was to bring my water in. He also told me that a CYA reading of 30-50ppm was the minimum. He said that my CYA should be between 60-80ppm. That is what he usually sees. He also told me that having a high CYA reading meant I would have to use less chlorine to shock and a low CYA meant I would have to use a lot more. Obviously, I do not believe anything he told me. I ended up getting the 6-way HtH test from Wal-mart.

Here are my readings:

TC: 5ppm
TB: 10ppm
pH: 6.8
TA: 70
TH: 180
CYA: <30

Here is what we did:

-Removed the soaking filter from the baquacil, rinsed it, and now having it soaking in dishwasher detergent
-Left the current filter in since it seemed to be working ok. (runs at 12psi, btw)
-Shocked the pool again with 2g of liquid shock
-Brushed the walls and bottom (we don't have a floor drain)
-Added some pH increase (already had some)
-Put a puck in the floater. (didn't put in the skimmer because it is catching a lot of leaves and the ladder is not on right now so I couldn't suspend it from that)

Is there anything else we should do? BTW, our water is clear, but the pool is still green (a lot lighter, but green)
 

poolio

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2007
58
#16
I highly doubt the pool store told him to soak the cartridge in Baquacil. They maybe sold him the Baquacil filter cleaner which is the same as any filter cleaner, a degreaser mainly detergent and an acidic solution. I'm sure if he looks at the bottle of whatever it is that he would see it says filter cleaner. If this is what it is then it is completely ok to use. Now if someone gave him baquacil to clean a cartridge then that is stupid no matter if you use chlorine or baqua.
 

poolio

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2007
58
#17
I just wanted to apologize for the negativity of my last post.


EDIT 7/12/07 TMQ - Removed snide remarks - this is not the place for that. We were advising based on the info given.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
#19
Ah, the baq filter cleaner is just filter cleaner, not the nasty sanitizer. Nothing to worry about then. It can get confusing with everyone calling the sanatizing chemical by the brand name, when the company actually makes a whole line of different chemicals. By and large we tend to be so annoyed with them that we avoid their other chemicals as well.

They make an acid based DE and cartridge cleaner and a general purpose filter cleaner. The automatic dish detergent is different from the acid based cleaner, it might give better results or it might not. I am not sure what is in their other filter cleaner.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
#20
BTW, the pool store guy told you wrong about your CYA level. Your FC and shock levels of chlorine are dependent on your CYA level; the higher the CYA, the higher your FC and shock levels have to be. I'd have to look at the best guess chart, but I'm thinking you want to keep your CYA between 30 and 50. I wouldn't be using any pucks right now, as the pucks add CYA to the water as they dissolve.

If you can get a fairly accurate CYA and FC measurement for your pool, then one of us can figure out what the shock level of chlorine needs to be, and if you know the size of your pool, we can figure out how much bleach you'll need to add to get it to shock level.