Your Pool's Filter Cartridge: When to Clean and When to Replace

A well kept cartridge filter lays at the heart of beautiful swimming pools all across Miami and the world. While this might be the most exciting part of your pool maintenance routine, having a properly kept cartridge filter not only keeps your pool sparkling clean, but it also extends the lifespan of your pool pump, and pool equipment. As pool owners it is important to know how often you should clean your cartridge filter and when it’s time to switch it out for a new one.
The golden rule for single cartridge filter cleaning is once a month. Remember to keep in mind that this rule does not apply to every swimming pool. EVERY POOL IS DIFFERENT. Your frequency of cleaning should depend on the size of your pool, the size of your cartridge filter, pool chemistry, your bather load and the amount of dirt on debris that falls in your pool. Many pools that have undersized filters may need to be cleaned more often, while pools with oversized filter might be able to wait 2-3 months between cleanings.
When you take your cartridge out many times you will be able to visually see the accumulation of dirt and oils on your filter media. This change in color is a good indication that it is time to wash down your cartridge. Another way to monitor your filter cartridge is by checking the pressure gauge. If the filter pressure increases by about 8-10 PSI or more above the normal operating pressure
How to Clean a Pool Filter Cartridge
Cleaning your filter cartridge is simple and easy. All you need is a hose and a high pressure nozzle.
First, turn off your pool pump. Then, depressurize your filter but opening the air-release valve. Once you have removed the cartridge put it safe place in a safe place to be cleaned. Take your hose and pressure nozzle and point it down at a 45º angle Use the water pressure to clean the pleats from top to bottom. Repeat this process as you make your way around the cartridge. The deeper you clean your pool filter cartridge, the longer it will last.
Make sure your air-relief valve is open to release any excess air in the system. Your can also use this valve as an indication that your pump system is fully primed once water starts spitting out.
If your filter has been exposed to a significant amount of dirt and oils, you can soak it overnight in a solution of 1/2 chlorine and 1/2 clean water. Use a five-gallon bucket or clean plastic trash can, and make sure the cartridges are completely submerged in the water and cleaner mixture.
When to Replace your Filter Cartridge
Unicel recommends a new filter cartridge after 12-15 cleanings.
Over time the filter media of your cartridge will begin the wear out and become less effective. The average lifespan for the single cartridge filter in Miami is 1-2 years. Many of the same factors that determine how often you should clean your cartridge apply to how often you should replace the cartridge all together.
Another way to gauge if your cartridge needs to be replaced is by the reams or rings around them. Once those start to break, you know it’s time. You will also begin to see physical damage to the fabric of the cartridge.
An old, beat up cartridge can lead to poor water quality as the fibers start to allow fine dirt and algae to pass through unfiltered.
Filter cleaning is included in our full service pool maintenance.
For a wide selection of filter cartridges available for local delivery, check out our online store.

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