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Pentair Safety Series: Cleaning and Maintaining Your Pool Filters

Let's be honest... so many of the things we encounter on a daily basis have the potential to impact us. For example, if you don't change the filters in your home's heating and air conditioning system, you can experience decreased air quality, higher energy costs, and even clogs that cause the system to fail. Imagine if we never washed our dishes, did our laundry, or mopped our floors. Maintaining the home is so important!

The same is true outside the home — especially if you own a pool. Maintenance is an essential piece of pool ownership. Doing maintenance the right way is also vital... You wouldn't replace the brake lines on your car if you didn't have a mechanical background, and the same should be true when it comes to pool equipment.

Today, we're going to take a look at the Clean & Clear® Plus Cartridge Filters and the Clean & Clear RP Cartridge Pool Filter from Pentair to discuss the importance of maintenance and safety. This pool filter series has a large filter area for increased dirt capacity, which makes it an excellent option for many types of pools. However, before you decide on this type of product for your pool, you’ll want to understand what goes into cleaning and maintaining it.

Understanding Pool Filters

What does a pool filter do?

Understanding your pool equipment pad and how everything works together is essential. Think of a pool as a person; the automation system is a bit like its brain, sending signals to the different body parts to ensure they're working accordingly. The chemicals you add to the pool water are like white blood cells, attacking germs and keeping the environment clean. And the filter? That would be the lungs of the pool. Filters take in dirty water, reduce contaminants, and push out cleaner water.

Why do I need to clean my pool filter?

As pool filters are designed to capture debris, they must be cleaned out periodically. While they are like the lungs of the pool, they're unfortunately not self-cleaning. Before you consider cleaning your pool pump, consult a pool professional. Better yet, call your trusted neighborhood pool pro to handle it for you! Either way, be sure to watch the video on how to safely clean a Clean & Clear Plus Filter or how to safely clean a Clean & Clear and Clean & Clear RP Cartridge Pool Filter to understand what the process looks like.

How often do I need to clean my pool filter?

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer on how frequently you should clean your pool filter. You'll have to consider a few different factors, including the length of your pool season, the amount of debris like leaves and oak catkins in your backyard, and your specific type of pool and filter. Your neighborhood pool professional can help you narrow in on how often a pool filter should be rinsed at your unique pool.

Fortunately, the Clean & Clear Plus Filter has a gauge that makes it easy to predict when it's time for a cleaning. Once the pressure gauge shows that the system is running at 10 PSI higher than its starting pressure, you'll know it's time to clean your pool filter. The Clean & Clear RP Cartridge Pool Filter has a similar feature - when the pressure reads between 8 to 10 psi higher than its starting pressure, the filter is getting clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned.

Maintaining Pool Filters

Now that you know what filters do and that cleaning is necessary, you should also consider the maintenance necessitated by pool filters. Like any other piece of pool equipment, these are easily maintained through a relationship with a good pool pro. Pentair offers a Find a Dealer search service to help you find water experts in your neighborhood.

Where can I find information on maintaining my Pentair pool filter?

If you have a Clean & Clear Plus Filter, Pentair has a video on how to safely clean it. You can also find information on the Clean & Clear series of filters and other products in the installation and user guides.

With any product, be sure to glance at the warning labels before using it. This label highlights anything you should be aware of, from steps you can take to reduce risk to possible operational errors to avoid. Your safety is essential.

What safety issues should I be aware of with pool filters?

Your approach to cleaning may vary depending on the type of filter at your pool, so it is important to read and follow manual instructions carefully. One primary safety consideration for all filter cleanings is the risk of trapped air. If air becomes trapped and is not released, it can compress and cause pressure to build. That pressure may cause the lid to separate from the base, which is a serious safety hazard and can be especially injurious if you are standing close.

This is why you should find a pool professional to handle this service. Trained experts know how to prevent this from happening, and they can answer any questions you have about your pool, too. (If you're curious to learn more, however, this and other precautions are outlined in the Clean & Clear Plus safety video.)

What important step do I need to take before cleaning my pool filter?

Before you even think about disassembling your pool filter, put your automation system into service mode to ensure the pump doesn't unexpectedly start. If your pool doesn't have an automation system, you can skip this step.

Next, head over to the breakers in your control panel to turn off power to all pool features. This step is essential, as you want to prevent your pool equipment from turning on until all maintenance is satisfactory.

When you are finished, one of the most important steps before restoring power to the system is to open the manual air relief valve to evacuate trapped air.

How long does it take to clean a pool filter?

You can expect the process of disassembling, cleaning, reassembling, and restarting a pool filter to take at least 30 minutes.

What tools do I need to clean a pool filter?

Your pool pro will need a ratchet wrench, a 7/8" socket, and a dead-blow hammer for a standard Clean & Clear Plus Filter cleaning. You can help them out by having a garden hose with a spray attachment handy, as they will need to spray out the cartridges on a clean, hard surface.

Your pool pro may also occasionally soak the cartridges in a cleaning solution to get rid of oils like suntan lotion. You may see them using commercial filter cleaner or a cup of trisodium phosphate to complete the job. This is an excellent way to clean pool cartridge filter algae, too.

How do I know if the pool filter is not working properly?

After service is completed and your filter is restarted, you'll know there's a problem if a solid stream of water does not appear within 30 seconds or if water leaks from the two halves of the filter. Another thing to watch for is if the Clean & Clear RP Filter gauge indicates pressure before water outflow appears. If these problems do appear, shut off the pump immediately.

Before attempting to address any observable leaks, always turn off the power, open the manual air relief valve to relieve all pressure, stand clear of the filter, and wait until all pressure is relieved and the gauge is at zero.

For more helpful tricks and tips, you can visit the Pentair Pool Education Center. You can also follow Pentair on Facebook for more useful information, fun facts, and company news.