Mike the Poolman

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Swimming pool cartridge filter cleaning

April 12, 2013

I run across this one all the time: “Mike, I’m having issues with water clarity. My filters get really clean when I wash them with my gas/electric pressure washer but I struggle with water flow and my filter pressure increases within one week of cleaning. What’s up?”

Using a pressure washer to clean filters is very effective for getting them clean and brilliant white but it damages the filter fabric in the process. The fabric frays and subsequently restricts water flow and causes clarity issues.

Cartridge pool filter

I offer the blue jeans analogy: You can get your blue jeans really clean by spraying them with a pressure washer but you’ll damage and tear the fabric in the process. It’s the same with pool filters- they just can’t take extraordinary water pressure.

Using a regular old garden hose and trigger nozzle or jet nozzle is the most effective way to clean the elements. Spraying up and down the pleats in a consistent pattern works best. While it’s monotonous, it’s effective and won’t damage the element.

By the way, those previously pressure washed elements? Throw them away and buy new ones, they are beyond repair.

Sincerely,
Mike the Poolman
Pool Service & Repair in Folsom, CA since 1995

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