How to Clean a Cartridge Pool Filter

A cartridge pool filterIf you have a swimming pool, there’s a good chance it operates with a cartridge filter. This is the most common type of pool filter and also one of the most effective. Specifically, this type of filter operates by removing debris and other particles using a fabric or paper cartridge that’s located inside the filter housing unit itself. If you’re one of the many pool owners with a cartridge filter, here is how to clean your filter:

The Importance of Cleaning Your Filter

Taking the time to clean your cartridge pool filter is key to keeping your pool clean and safe for swimming. A dirty filter will not be able to effectively remove debris from your pool, leaving you with dirty pool water that will eventually be unsafe for swimming. As your pool filter gets dirtier, you may find that it becomes more difficult to maintain the delicate balance of pool chemicals in the water as well.

Cleaning out your cartridge filter as needed also helps prolong the life of your pool equipment. A dirty cartridge will require the filter equipment to work harder in order to remove any debris from your pool, which can lead to premature wear and tear on the equipment itself. By replacing or cleaning the filter as needed, you can ensure that your pool equipment will last longer.

Tools You’ll Need to Get Started

In order to clean your cartridge pool filter, there are a few basic tools you’ll need. Fortunately, you probably have a lot of these on-hand already. Tools needed include:

  • a wrench

  • a screwdriver

  • a garden hose

  • a large tub

  • work gloves

  • replacement filter cartridge

The entire cleaning process usually takes about an hour, so make sure you have enough time set aside for the filter cleaning.

Cleaning a Cartridge Filter: Step by Step

  1. The first step to cleaning your cartridge pool filter is to turn off the filter and pump system. The easiest way to do this is usually to shut off the breaker that is linked to the pool equipment.

  2. Locate the air relief valve (it should be on the top of the filter) and open it to release the air pressure.

  3. Remove the clamp that holds your filter in place. This is where having a wrench or screwdriver can be helpful, especially if the filter is older and may be more difficult to remove.

  4. Locate the lid of the cartridge filter and open it. There are probably a few clamps holding the filter in place, so you’ll want to remove these carefully before removing the cartridge itself.

  5. Carefully inspect the filter for signs of damage (such as holes or tears). If there is any damage, you’ll need to replace the cartridge.

  6. If it’s just dirty and not damaged, spray the cartridges down with a hose and a nozzle.  Do not take the cartridges to the car wash or use a high-pressure washer as these can damage the cartridges.  For stubborn stains or stuck on debris you can place the cartridges in a tub of water with very little acid. Soaking the filter overnight is a great way to make scrubbing the debris off easier in the morning. If you’re in more of a hurry, there are specialized cartridge cleaning solutions you can use that don’t require soaking.

  7. After you’ve cleaned and rinsed your filter thoroughly, you can re-insert the cartridge into the filter housing and close the lid.

If you don’t want to do this laborious process yourself – or if you have another type of filter, our team at Summerhill Pools is here to help. We’ve been providing the Dallas area with the pool and service they need since 1989; contact our team today to find out more about what we can do for you. We’re ready to take on any pool building, remodeling, or maintenance service.