How To Determine When a Filter Cartridge Needs to be Replaced


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Is your pool continuously cloudy? Is your suction cleaner moving slowly or stopped moving all together? Has the pressure from the return jets decreased? These are signs that it may be time to replace the cartridge element. The following guide will help you determine if it is time to replace the filter cartridge.

Things You'll Need

Step by Step


Step 1

Broken Bands- Most cartridges have bands that keep the pleats from flattening out when under pressure. If the bands are broken, the cartridge will need to be replaced because the cartridge is no longer covering it's optimal surface area.

Step 2

Pressure Does Not Decrease- If the pressure reading on the filter gauge remains the same or only slightly decreases after cleaning the cartridge, it’s likely time to replace the cartridge. This is due to the fact that the dirt and oils have embedded themselves within the media of the cartridge.

Step 3

Damaged Fabric- The fabric in the cartridge is generally made of a polyester material. This material will weaken over time due to high pressure, chemicals, and debris. If the fabric frays or develops a hole, the cartridge needs to be replaced.

Step 4

Cracked Top or Bottom- A cracked top or bottom will allow a large amount of water to pass through the cartridge without being filtered.


(1 to 9 of 9)

 Posted: 3/2/2023 

Just replaced my cartridge two weeks ago vacuumed and checked my filter cartridge to rinse it and it was cracked, this happened to my last filter, what could be causing this problem

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/3/2023 

Is your filter pressure spiking? I'd make sure you are purchasing the correct cartridges. Some filter models have two that use a cartridge with the same height and width dimensions, but one has more pleats (more filtering material) which gives it a high flow rate capacity.If you have chlorine tablets in the skimmer basket or pump strainer basket, they can cause plastic plumbing components to degrade quickly.

 Posted: 3/13/2019 

I use CLR to clean my filters and they come out looking like new every time. Just put it in a garden pump sprayer spray it on let them soak for about 20 or 30 minutes rinse off with high pressure garden hose let them dry in sun like new!!!!!!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/14/2019 

Guy - going forward I would try finding a different chemical, as CLR is clear they do not recommend their products for use in swimming pools.From CLR's website: "We do not recommend using CLR on or in any materials associated with a swimming pool. CLR should never come into contact with chlorine (or any other household chemical). It can create a poisonous gas and is not safe. We recommend consulting with a pool maintenance expert for recommendations for products that would be safe and effective."

 Posted: 11/13/2017 

Rolf Ericksen - Your pressure gauge should drop 5-10 psi after cleaning the cartridge filter. With use, the folds in a cartridge filter may become clogged with sunscreen oils and chemicals that are difficult to remove. You could try to remove these contaminates by soaking the filter in a cleaning solution like TSP, but most people just buy a new filter at this point.

 Posted: 11/3/2017 

What is the range of pressure after cleaning the filter? Ours seems to stay around 20 even after cleaning. Do I need to get a new cartridge as it seems to still be in good shape . Thanks for the help . Rolf Erickesn

 Posted: 4/14/2017 

Not mentioned is that a broken band May simply be replaced with a heavy duty zip tie. Of course if there are other indicators for replacing the cartridge as you mentioned.

The cartridge should also we occasionally soak in a filter cartridge cleaning solution so the detergent agents can break down and remove some grease and oils. After soaking the cartridge must be thoroughly rinsed off before using it again.


 Posted: 11/25/2016 

I should have read this 1st before submitting a question, lol. Oh well it never hurts to ask...................

 Posted: 4/13/2014 

Excellent info, thanx so much. Next time I need parts I'll give you my business. Thanx again, spyboy809