Swimming pool and spa filters are complete units including Filter Elements, O-rings, Air Relief, or other applicable designs. It is important to size filter according to pump and gallonage. Improper sizing can result in equipment failure or inadequate filtration. If in doubt, please e-mail us with spa or pool gallonage and pump size.

E-Pool Pool & Spa
Filter Care

How to Care for your Cartridge Filter

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Glossary of Filtration Terms


Questions you might ask:

How can I tell when a Cartridge Filter element needs to be replaced?

With no moving parts or electrical switches to fail, Cartridge Filters do not have a defined termination point. Instead the fine interstices of the media matrix gradually plug up over time. In a typical spa, the culprit that plugs the media is perspiration and body oils combined with soaps, chemicals and very fine particulate. In a swimming pool, the loading is primarily debris along with suntan lotions and organic matter such as algae.

Assuming the Filter is properly maintained and correctly sized to the pump, determining when the Cartridge is exhausted depends primarily upon three factors: 1) Shorter cycle time between cleanings, 2) Low water flow rate and high differential pressure, and 3) Catastrophic failure such as a tear in the media or center core collapse. All three are dependent upon proper pool or spa water chemistry and following a routine maintenance schedule. Filter elements are plastic and should be handled and maintained accordingly.

To maximize the life of a Cartridge:

When should a Cartridge element be cleaned?

For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 8 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure. For spas, establish a routine cartridge-cleaning schedule based on the amount of spa usage. If Baquacil is used as a sanitizer, the filter element must be cleaned with Baqua Clean before any cartridge cleaner is used.

What is the procedure to clean my cartridge?

1) Remove the cartridge from the filter housing following the manufacturer's instructions
2) Use a garden hose with a straight flow nozzle to wash down the filter element. Work from the top down, holding the nozzle at a 45-degree angle, and wash all the pleats with emphasis between the pleats.
3) Rinse until all dirt and debris is gone
4) For all spa cartridges and elements used in swimming pools where perspiration, suntan lotions, and other oils are present, soak the element for at least one hour (overnight is most effective) in (1) a commercial filter cleaner, or, (2) one cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) to five gallons of water or (3) one cup dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water.
5) Rinse the cartridge again to remove oils and cleaning solution.
6) If the filter has a coating of algae, calcium carbonate (residue from calcium hypo-chlorite), iron, or other minerals, soak the cartridge in a solution of one part muriatic acid to twenty parts water until all bubbling stops.WARNING: Wear rubber gloves and glasses when using acid and chlorine. Do not add water to acid. Do not mix chlorine and acid!
WARNING: Failure to remove all oils and cleaning solutions before acid soaking will result in permanent restriction of water flows and causes premature cartridge failure.
7) Rinse the cartridge clean and reassemble housing.
NOTE* Unicel does not recommend the use of diatomaceous earth (DE) with cartridge filters. DE Particles will become trapped in the body of the media and shorten cartridge life. If desired, a cellulose fiber (synthetic DE) can be used in moderation.

What should I know about cleaning my cartridge element if I use Baquacil ?

Unlike chlorine, which oxidizes the bacteria in the water, the active ingredient in Baquacil--polyhexamethylene biqunaide (PHMB)-- destroys the bacterial cells. PHMB locates and binds the bacterial surfaces, and then attacks the bacterial wall. Once this wall has been compromised, the inner cell membrane (the cytoplasmic membrane) is destroyed. This destruction allows the cell contents to disperse into their surroundings. Baquashock, a non-chlorine oxidizer, further breaks them down into their elemental parts.

In addition, Baquacil is a mild coagulant which combines bacterial cells and other small particles in the environment into particles large enough to be trapped by the filter. The resulting deposit is a gray sticky film on the media, which can only be removed with Baqua Clean. If trisodium phosphate (TSP) or any TSP type cleaner is used prior to stripping the film, the cleaner and the gray film will combine to form a gum-like substance. Once this occurs, the substance cannot be removed from the media and the filter cartridge must be replaced.

WARNING: Follow all manufacturers' instructions when using Baquacil, Baqua Shock, and Baqua Clean.

Glossary of Filtration Terms

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