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View Full Version : Best way to clean a CARTRIDGE FILTER?



PopcornGirl
04-18-2006, 11:31 PM
Sorry to be such a pain tonight, but I suddenly don't trust ANYTHING I've been told before finding this board! ;)

Ok, for the past 4 years, whenever I needed to clean my cartridge filters (there are 4 of them), I have purchased a bottle of filter cleaner/degreaser and put them inside a clean 30gal. garbage can (purchased just for this use!), filled it with water (and the cleaner) and let them soak overnight. Then I would spend a couple of hours thoroughly spraying them out the next day.

I was told by a friend who has the same kind of cartridge filter that I could use muriatic acid to clean the filters by soaking them overnight with 1 gallon of acid to 29 gallons of water (in other words, same as before, but using a bottle of muriatic acid instead of the filter cleaner/degreaser.)
What do you think of this advice???
I have NOT tried this yet, but my friend SWEARS by it and has always done this (he has owned his pool for 4 years also). He has had no trouble with his cartridges.
Is there any reason(s) to do or NOT DO this???
Just looking for a little more experience and guidance here... I sure appreciate all the help I have already been given!
Thanks in advance,

SJohnson
04-19-2006, 12:00 AM
Hi, thought this might help you, it's from Hayward's manual for their cartridge filter:

"If calcium or mineral deposits are found, clean cartridge by soaking in a plastic container with muriatic acid added to water in a 1 to 1 ratio. Always use caution when handling muriatic acid. After cleaning, flush with water."

That would be a much higher concentration than your friend advised, so I think you'll be fine. You may want to add more acid . . . Wait for a few more replies though, someone here may have a better cleaning method . . . From my research on this board before the big crash, I seem to remember this being a pretty common method of cleaning cartridge elements. Be VERY careful with the acid, remember add acid to water, not the other way around!!

Hope that helps!

-SJ

PoolDesignnet
04-19-2006, 12:42 AM
Here is a tip.... Cascade dishwasher detergent works great for soaking.

PopcornGirl
04-19-2006, 11:00 AM
SJ, Thanks so much; That's the answer I was hoping for. I'll be very careful!

Zina, Are you serious???
I'm sorry; I'm not suggesting you are not serious; I've just never heard of that.
What if I don't get all the residue from the detergent out of my filters? Won't that wreak havoc with my pool chemistry?
Then again, maybe not... maybe it's really no different than the pool cleaner/degreaser that I already use... Hmmm... interesting.

waterbear
04-19-2006, 12:34 PM
best way to clean a cartidge filter is to hose it off once a month BEFORE the pressure gauge climbs up. That way you might only need to soak it maybe yearly (if that!). Run the hose on stream from the top to the bottom between the pleats.
A little preventive maintenance goes a long way!

When I owned my portable spa the dealer told me to put the filter in the dishwasher but not to put any detergent in with it. his advice was generally good. That filter would fit (barely!)...my pool filter won't..never tried it so I don't know if it works.

Most automatic dishwasher deterents are very low or non foaming and many have a lot of TSP or one of the non phospahte replacements for it in their ingredients. once again, don't know if this is a good idea. TSP is probably cheaper at the hardware store.

What I DO know from living with cartridge filters in a pool, portable hot tub, and MANY large aquariums is that hosing them off BEFORE they need it is the best way to keep them running at peak and makes cleaning a 10 minute job.:D (IF you think a pool filter gets dirty you should see what an aquarium does to a cartridge!:eek:)

One last thing...as far as acid washing a cartridge. using just acid and water is not a good idea . Oils and organics on the filter can harden in the fabric and make it useless. The cartridge will not let water through afterward. (Is Hayward trying to $ell replacement cartridge$ here?) Clean the cartridge first with a cartridge degreaser/cleaner (usually TSP is a main indgredient...check it out!), inspect it to see if there are any calcium deposits and if there are use the acid bath to remove them; or you can one step it and soak it in a mixutre of TSP and muriatic acid for about an hour. Use one cup of TSP and one cup of acid for every 5 gallons of water in a large plastic garbage can. Afterward clean it off with fresh water and hose it off well! (learned this one from someone I knew who serviced swimming pools in Ft. Lauderdale, it's what he did with all his customers with cartridge filters)

Every time you clean or hose off your filter inspect the pleats to make sure there are no tears.
(btw, with my aquariums I "heavy" cleaned my cartridges by first hosing them, then soaking them in bleach and water (1 part bleach, 2-3 parts water) for a few hours to burn off the organics, hosing them off again and then soaking in diluted acid to remove the calcium (calcium deposits are a BIG problem in salt water aquariums) and then a final hose down. Don't know if the bleach method would work on a pool filter but I don't see why it wouldn't. I think the strong bleach solution might shorten the cartridge life but that is just my opinion. TSP is just not something you want to indroduce into an aquarium and chlorine residual is easy to remove...not an issue with a pool!)

CarlD
04-19-2006, 12:36 PM
Hire someone ELSE to clean it! :D

Zina's absolutely serious. It's non-sudsing and seems to be well-documented.

There's a trick I've read about: You need 2 cartridges. Someone sells PVC canisters that you slide the filter into, add water and Cascade, then close, seal and forget about. When the one you are using is dirty, you pull the one out of the canister, hose it off, pop it in. The dirty one you hose it off a little, slide it into the canister with fresh water and Cascade.

I don't know where you find these canisters--a Google search may help.

PopcornGirl
04-19-2006, 01:44 PM
Wow, who knew???

Ok, this gives me some ideas what to do... and I agree that a little preventative maintenance goes a long way!
I'll figure out which method to try and get back to you.
Thanks all!

MaxxFusion
04-19-2006, 02:17 PM
I like the cascade option.

Anyone know the ratio?

prh129
04-19-2006, 02:21 PM
Has anyone with a cartridge filter heard of (or used) something called Eco Spray? I ordered some scum socks the other day and saw this - it's supposed to be an earth-friendly cartridge cleaner. Since I have a well/septic system, I'm reluctant to dump chemicals I don't have to use.

Peter

luvapool
04-19-2006, 09:51 PM
I saw this on another site. http://www.unicelfilters.com/

Click on "Professor Uni"

I guess Unicel makea a lot of cartridge filters.

Make note it suggests DISHWASHER detergent and not dishwashing detergent. Cascade or Electrosol and the like , not Joy or Dawn, etc.

west1745
04-23-2006, 04:41 PM
Hire someone ELSE to clean it! :D

Zina's absolutely serious. It's non-sudsing and seems to be well-documented.

There's a trick I've read about: You need 2 cartridges. Someone sells PVC canisters that you slide the filter into, add water and Cascade, then close, seal and forget about. When the one you are using is dirty, you pull the one out of the canister, hose it off, pop it in. The dirty one you hose it off a little, slide it into the canister with fresh water and Cascade.

I don't know where you find these canisters--a Google search may help.

Does anyone know where you find these canisters or what they are called?

salinda
05-03-2006, 01:28 PM
I would love to know where to get these too. I have the largest Clean & Clear Plus cartridge filter and to soak the cartridges requires me to use a 30 gallon garbage can and soak 1/2 at a time. Then, there are 4 cartridges. What a pain!

kearpaul
06-28-2006, 09:54 PM
Could someone post the "recommended" proportion of Cascade and water?

I've never soaked my cartridges, just hosed them off. And what an ugly job. I could rinse those things for 100 hours and they would still give off dirt. They're like 4 of those big brown Easter Island statues, just sitting there looking at me. And my psi is not that much better after re-installing! I'm obviously willing to try something else.

Peace,
Paul

waterbear
06-28-2006, 10:08 PM
Could someone post the "recommended" proportion of Cascade and water?
Once cup per every 5 gallons water



Hope this helps.

kearpaul
06-28-2006, 11:28 PM
Thanks, Waterbear.

I'm off to try the Cascade solution right now. Gonna use my new big recycling cart. That should hold two filters.

Cheers,
Paul


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