Spreetail Blog

How to Clean Your Cartridge Pool Filter

6 Simple Steps to Keep Your Pool Filter Running Longer


by Will Folsom
May 3, 2019

Cleaning a pool filter might seem a little daunting if you’re a new pool owner. Luckily, taking care of your cartridge filter system is pretty straightforward. Plus, putting in that little bit of extra effort will help you save money on filter cartridges and keep your system running longer. What’s not to love about that? To help you out, we’ve outlined 6 simple steps to clean your own cartridge filter system:

  1. Shut Downthe Pool Pump and Filter System

The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off the power to your system so you can start taking things apart. Also remove excess air from the system. To do that, look around the top of your filter for an air release valve. Slowly turn it to remove excess air from the system.

  1. Take the Filter Apart

You’ll need to remove whatever clamps or latches are holding your filter housing together, usually around the diameter of your filter. If you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual for more detail on your specific filter. Sometimes this clamp can be loosened and tightened with a socket wrench. Once loose, remove the clamp and take the lid off the filter housing.

  1. Remove the Filter Cartridges

Depending on what kind of filter you have, it might hold 1 or multiple filter cartridges. You can slowly remove each cartridge by hand. If you’re dealing with multiple, you’ll also have to remove any kind of manifold (plastic top piece) holding the cartridges together. If you see that your cartridge is worn out and see tears or cracks, stop where you’re at. You need to replace your cartridge.

  1. Clean the Cartridges

Your cartridge or cartridges might be in various states of dirtiness depending on iwhen they were last cleaned. We recommend starting with a garden hose that’s fitted with a simple spray nozzle. You can rinse off the outside of the cartridge, just make sure to get inside the folded material pleats too. If the cartridge is really dirty, you might want to use a filter cleaner or soak the cartridge in filter cleaner overnight. Don’t forget to wash away any dirt or debris that’s settled near the ends of the cartridge as well.

  1. Return the Cartridges and Reassemble the System

Now’s a good time to check the condition of the o-ring on the tank. Applying some silicon-based lubricant to an o-ring that’s in good shape will help ensure a tight, longer-lasting seal. If it looks dry or rotted, replace your o-ring. Also wash the breather tube on the manifold if there is one. Next, return the cartridges into the filter and put the manifold back in place. Replace the lid and tighten the clamps again.

  1. Turn the System Back On

Turn your attention to your filter pump. Use your hose to prime the pump with a little water, and while you’re at it, rinse out the filter basket of any leaves or twigs that might be inside. Then, turn the system back on. Open the air relief valve again and release any more excess air until a steady stream of water sprays out. Then close the air release valve. Check the system pressure. If it’s higher or lower than the normal recommended pressure in the owner’s manual (usually around 10 to 15 PSI), you might have put things back together incorrectly.

It’s that easy, and with a little practice, you’ll have it down in no time. Still have some burning questions about the steps above, cartridge filters, or pool maintenance? Connect with our experts 24/7 at 833-777-3382, [email protected], or by chatting us down below. Also, be the first to know about new products and can't-miss promotions by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.