Fun with filters

When was the last time your filter was cleaned? When was it last replaced? How do you know when to do…either? These types of questions are not uncommon. In fact, the filter acts like the traffic light at the busiest intersection in town. Every drop of water (theoretically) runs through the filter media so it is imperative that it is well maintained to avoid traffic jams (slow, inefficient water flow) or even accidents (equipment failure).

Let’s focus on the most widely used filter style in Southwest Florida…the single canister cartridge filters. Although there are generalities, far too many factors have an impact on a cartridge’s lifespan. A screened pool that rarely gets used will have a much longer filter lifespan than that of an unscreened pool with frequent pool parties (especially if the family dog enjoys pool-time). One pool could need a filter cleaning every few months and last well over a year, while another pool needs the filter to be cleaned every few weeks and will only last six months. The best way to answer the questions at hand is to remember this term…”DELTA 8”

No, “DELTA 8” is not a cheesy action film from the 80’s; it refers to a change in pressure of 8psi. The best performance you’ll receive from a filter is the moment your pump begins pushing water through a brand new filter. That is the best time to take note of the initial pressure reading from the gauge on top of the filter housing. (That is, assuming it is still there and functioning…but that is another article.) For this example, let’s say the reading on the first day of a new filter is 10psi. When it reaches 18psi, then it is time to clean it. (18 – 10 = 8…aka DELTA 8) Obviously the filter can be cleaned before then, but anything beyond this will drastically impair the system’s ability to function.

So now you know when to clean the cartridge, but when do you replace it? That is also DELTA 8. Over time, you will notice that the starting pressure after each cleaning will be higher and higher. Using the same example above, if the brand new cartridge pressure was 10psi, but after several cleanings you notice that a freshly cleaned filter is starting out at 18psi then it is time to replace that filter.

Now that is a pool of information. However, there is an easier way to determine when to clean or replace your filter cartridge and have your pool looking better than ever. Hire a certified pool professional to manage your pool’s cleaning cycle and properly balance your water’s chemistry. Mention this article when you contact us to receive a free estimate.

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