Pool Filter Cartridge Cleaning

Pool filter cartridge cleaning is necessary to maintain the high level of filtration you expect from these popular units. They've grown steadily in popularity with residential pool owners partly due to their high performance when it comes to reducing water particulate and because they don't require a backwash. With a regular maintenance routine you can count of sparkling clean water for many years. 

pool filter cartridge cleaning

A salt water pool system combined with clean filter cartridges will produce unmatched water quality that will be sure to impress your friends and neighbours. When it's time to replace the cartridges it's important to find the cartridge paper that's compatible with your specific filter. They come in variety of shapes and sizes depending on the manufacturers and there's differences even among the major pool hardware brands. 

Pool Filter Cartridge Cleaning Instructions

An indicator that your cartridge filter needs to be cleaned is that your pool water isn’t as clear as it should be. If your cartridge filter is equipped with a pressure gauge you should clean your filter when the pressure rises 10 lbs above the original starting pressure. This rise in pressure is due to debris blocking the normal flow of water that means your filter will not be working optimally.

It’s important that cartridge pool filters are not backwashed like sand or diatomaceous earth filters. The paper filters that are found inside the filter are quite sensitive and a backwash will actually damage them. The papers will need to be removed and cleaned much like a vacuum filter needs to be cleaned occasionally. Precise pool filter cartridge cleaning will vary with different makes and models but a good basic guideline is as follows.

  1. Turn the pump off and any power supply to the cartridge filter
  2. Release any air from the filter using the filter air valve
  3. Remove any clamping mechanism or unscrew any bolts and remove the lid
  4. Lift the cartridges straight up and remove from base
  5. Clean the cartridges carefully with a water source that has adequate pressure to remove debris. This could be a garden hose with a jet attachment or a pressure washer on low setting. It’s important to not use too much pressure that could damage the filter paper.
  6. Drain water from the base of the filter by removing the drain plug, replace plug when completely drained
  7. Insert the cleaned cartridges back into the base
  8. Check the O-ring for damage and make sure it is installed snug to the base assembly
  9. Put top of filter back on and reattach the locking mechanism
  10. Turn pump on
  11. Using the release valve ensure that all the air is removed from the filter by opening the valve until water is released. Close the valve.
  12. Read the pressure valve to ensure that it is at the appropriate operating pressure
  13. Check for any leaks

Regular cleaning will ensure your pool remains clean at all times and will extend the life of your filters. Filters should be replaced every 2 to 3 years depending on usage. A larger filter will generally need to be cleaned and replaced more often and vice versa for a smaller filter. After a few times cleaning your cartridge filter it will become second nature. Pool filter cartridge cleaning is something that can be done by any pool owner on your own and will prevent having to call out a pool professional.

Replacement Cartridge Filters for Hayward SwimClear

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replacement cartridge filters

If you need to replace your cartridges, use the make and model of your specific unit and it should be located on a sticker on the top or side of your filter. If it's not legible or not attached to the filter you can measure the cartridge. Measurements should be taken for the length top to bottom of the cartridge and the diameter outside edges.

filter cartridge size comparison

Pool Filter Cartridge Cleaning FAQs

Are all filter cartridges the same quality?

The best replacement cartridge filters will be manufactured with 4oz paper, but you may find 3oz which won't filter as well or last as long.

Are replacement cartridge filters expensive?

A quality cartridge filer will cost between $100 and $200 for a full set. It's common for larger filters to require multiple filters but they are often sold in multi-packs designed specifically for the filter they will work with. 

Can cartridge filters be repaired?

Cartridge filter paper can be damaged by too much operating water pressure in the system or too much pressure while cleaning. If they are ripped or you notice small tears, they need to be replaced and cannot be repaired back to optimal performance.

Does a pool cartridge filter need to be backwashed?

A pool cartridge filter does not need to be backwashed. It only requires periodic cleaning of the cartridge paper with regular water at medium pressure to avoid damage.

Are cartridge filters as good as D.E. filters?

While a cartridge filter system won't filter particulate down to 5 microns like a D.E filter, they will get very close to that, and are a lot better at filtering than a sand filter. 


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