Chemicals like calcium and oils from bathers can become embedded in the pleats of your pool cartridge filter. These contaminates are difficult to remove with a standard hose cleaning and may have to be removed chemically. If you are having to clean your cartridge filter every 3-4 days to keep the pool pressure down, it may be time to clean your cartridge chemically with a solution like TSP. This guide shows you how to chemically clean your pool's cartridge filter. Although this description is specific to a Hayward cartridge filter, many of the steps can apply to other models of cartridge filters.
CLEAN CARTRIDGE - Set the filter cartridge on the lawn and begin cleaning it with a garden hose. Use a full stray nozzle. A pressure nozzle may be too strong and will cause unnecessary wear on the pleated folds. When spraying, start at the top of the cartridge. Work your way straight down the cartridge to work the debris down and out the bottom of the pool filter cartridge
PLACE CARTRIDGE IN CONTAINER - Place the cartridge in a tall narrow container. You will want to fill the container with cleaning solution so get one that is as close to the size of the cartridge as possible. The one we have selected isn't quite tall enough to submerge the whole filter, but it will be suffice as long as we can clean the majority of the cartridge. Place the dirtiest end (bottom) at the bottom of the container.
MIX TSP CLEANER - Using a 5 gallon bucket mix up enough buckets of TSP solution to fill your container. Stir in 1 cup of TSP powder per 4 gallons of water Some people may be sensitive to this cleaner so, as a precausion, wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. Do not get this solution in your eyes or on your clothes. Read the safety instructions on the TSP box.
RINSE CARTRIDGE - Rinse the TSP solution off of the cartridge in the grass. As before, wear rubber gloves and safety glasses as a precaution and avoid back splashes to your clothes.
CHECK O-RING - When replacing the filter top, watch that the O-ring doesn't bulge out of its grove. This becomes more of a problem as the O-ring becomes older and stretches. If the O-ring is not set properly the top will not close correctly and water will spray out when the pump is restarted. The O-ring should be replaced if this is a recurring problem.
CHECK PRESSURE GAUGE - Check the pressure gauge. It typically reads between 10 - 15 psi but this will vary according to the make of pool cartridge filter or its age.