The best way to quickly determine if your filter is operating properly is the quality of your water. If your water looks cloudy, grey or has debris in it, it’s probably time for filter maintenance.
Another effective way to determine the quality of your filter is the filter pressure indicator. This is usually a gauge or meter that is on the outside of your filter housing.
As your cartridge begins to accumulate dirt and debris it becomes more difficult for the pump to circulate water through the filter. As a result, the pressure on your filter system increases and less water is circulated through your system. Not only does this increase the workload on your pump, it also reduces the quantity of water that is filtered. This leaves more dirt and debris in your pool.
When the pressure of your filter rises 8 to 10 psi above the level it was at when your filter cartridge was new it is time to either replace you cartridge or clean it.
The first concern in replacing or cleaning your filter should be safety. This is especially true if your filter is fitted with a pressure-clamp. Pressure-clamps can sometimes “blow” under certain circumstances. This can cause property damage, severe injuries and sometimes even death.
You should ALWAYS refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines before performing maintenance on your swimming pool filter.
The first step is to turn of the electricity to the pool and pump. After you have verified that all of the power has been cut you should open the pressure release valve until the hissing sound stops. You are then ready to move to the next step.
After you have turned off the electricity to the pump and swimming pool, and released the pressure valve you should remove the retaining band and lift the lid.
There are three types of swimming pool filters: sand, DE (diatomaceous earth), and cartridge. Pool filters usually fall into one of two categories, pressure or vacuum pool filters. We will cover the third type, cartridge filters.
Swimming pool filter cartridge filters work by allowing water to pass through a very fine filter surface. This filter surface captures any impurities that attempt to pass through and hold them until you clean the filter cartridge or replace it.
Cartridge filters have more surface area than other options. This allows for fewer clogs and much easier maintenance. Cartridge filters also operate at a much lower pressure than sand. This causes less backpressure on the pump so you have a greater flow of water through the system.
The swimming pool filter cartridges can filter out anything down to 5 to 10 microns in size. To put this in perspective, a single grain of table salt is about 90 microns in size. Anything below 35 microns is invisible to the naked eye.
After you remove the lid the cartridge will be exposed. Remove the old cartridge and make careful note of how it was seated in the housing. Replace it with the new cartridge. After the new cartridge is installed, replace the lid and retaining band and close the pressure release valve.
You can then turn the power back on and check your filter. Also make note of the system pressure as this will be your baseline reading for future maintenance.
The whole process usually takes under 10 minutes and leaves you with a pool that is clean, clear and healthy.
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