How To Clean a Pentair / Sta-Rite System 2 Mod D.E. Filter


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The Pentair/Sta-Rite System 2 Mod D.E. Filter's unique design provides two major advantages over traditional-style D.E. filters: its single cartridge style module replaces the more complicated multi-grid assemblies that are difficult to clean and reassemble; and its unique balanced-flow tank design maximizes the use of the module’s surface area to trap more dirt and reduce the frequency of cleaning. This guide shows you how to clean a Sta-Rite System 2 Mod D.E. Filter. As water flows through the D.E. coated folds of this cartridge filter, the folds will become clogged, water will not flow thru the filter as easily, and pressure within the filter will increase. Operationally, with water flow down, you will not be turning you pool water as frequently and your pool decontaminates will start to build up. It's time to clean your filter. As a general rule of thumb, your filter should be clean at least once a month during the summer and every other month if running in the winter.

Step by Step


Step 1

Before you start, you will need to line up the following equipment: 1. Gasket Lube. Click MAGIC LUBE, 2. Medium pressure spray nozzle. 3. O Ring Gasket if yours is old. Click O-ring, Key 4,

Click here to view Magic Lube O-ring Lubricant. 

Click here to view the body o-ring. (You will need to know the approximate year of manufacture based on filter serial number)

Step 2

OK, to start, even from a professional standpoint, this can be bit messy and your feet are more than likely to get wet. Wear an old pair of shoes (no Florsheim’s) and wear rubber gloves. You will also reach a point once the top is off that you will see the large rubber O-ring (Cord-Ring/Body Ring) which seals the whole filter. Inspect it closely, if it is loose or stretched in any way, replace it immediately! If you try to put the top on and the gasket is bad, you are spinning your wheels. It is a fruitless endeavor that brings no satisfaction. If you haven’t cleaned this filter for a while, do yourself a favor and order a new one and just replace it (app. $35.00)

Step 3

Identify a label or distinguishing mark on the lid to put it back-on the same way. Or, make a scratch below and above the lock ring so you can line it up.

Step 4

Turn-off power to the pump.

Step 5

THIS PROCEDURE HAS BEEN CHANGED. RELEASE THE PRESSURE IN THE TANK BY OPENING THE BOTTOM DRAIN VALVE BEFORE LOOSENING THE LOCK RING.  Loosen the ring around the middle of the filter tank counterclockwise. Some models have a release lever that you have to push down while you do this. This can be tricky, be patient. Take off the lock ring. (Note on some models the ring will not come off entirely, it will only loosen. Leave it turned as far as it will go.)

Click here to view the Sta-Rite System 2 MOD Media parts. 

Step 6

IGNORE THIS PARAGRAPH "Turn on the pump for a few seconds and then off again. The lid will pop off. You may have to pull the lid up, and/or do it again."
IGNORE THIS PARAGRAPH "Note: This is where you will get wet as the water drains from the top of the pump. Is there an easier way to do this? Not really. You can try and pull the top off but because it has been sealed under pressure, it is on tight. "
INSPECT THE O-RING for cracks or stretching. Replace it if either is apparent.

Step 7

Leave pump off.

Step 8

Drain excess water from bottom of filter to get the weight of the water out of the cartridge. Typically, there is a drain plug with a blue drain hose and valve attached. Be sure you close it once done.

Step 9

Place your feet firmly on the ground and pull the filter straight out. Many of these systems have lots of pipes around it so be careful and safe. At the bottom of the filter there is a 3” port hole that fits onto the hole inside the filter. When you put this back together, it is important that the two pieces match up.

Step 10

Put the filter on a flat, clean surface and with a medium pressure spray nozzle (available at any hardware store) clean the filter by spraying from the top to the bottom of one area, then turn the filter a quarter turn, and clean the next area. Clean it inside also and then outside once again.

Click here to view the filter flosser. 

Step 11

Put the filter back in the bottom of the pump housing. IMPORTANT! Put the filter back-on with the port hole going back inside the opening in the bottom of the filter tank. Wipe the top and bottom of the housing along the rim so there is no debris to interfere with sealing it properly,

Step 12

Lube the O-Ring well with lube tube. Don’t be shy, the more you use, the easier it goes on. It will not seat if you don't. Remember, if the O-ring is stretched, cracked or broken, it is almost impossible to get the top back on.

Click here to view Magic Lube O-ring Lubricant.

Step 13

With a garden hose, fill up the bottom of the housing with water. It may take a while as water to and from the pool will be filling up the pipes.

Step 14

Line up the distinguishing marks you established on the filter, loosen the air release valve on the lid and push the lid back on. This involves a bit of brute strength so be patient. When done, closely inspect the top and bottom housings to be sure that they are flat and make a good seal. If it is crooked, you will have problem putting the ring on. Or, the ring will go on crooked and it is a bear to get off. Trust me.

Step 15

Turn the lock ring clockwise until you hear it click. Tighten the air release valve.

Click here to view the Sta-Rite System 2 MOD Media parts. 

Step 16

Turn on the pump. At this point, water is going inside the filter and there may be air trapped inside. Slowly loosen the air valve and release any excess air. When water starts spraying ou, close the valve.

Step 17

Add D.E. slurry to coat the cartridge folds. Check your owner's manual for the correct amount of D.E. to add. Too much will clog the cartridge; too little will give an uneven precoat and shorten the life of the cartridge. To prepare to precoat slurry, mix D.E. and water to a light consistency. Use four pounds of DE for Model PLD70; use six pounds of DE for Model PLD50. Empty slurry slowly into the pool's SKIMMER to coat filter cartridge with an even filtering precoat.

Click here to view D.E. powder/accessories. 

Step 18

With the pump running, note where your air pressure value needle is and make a mark with a felt tip pen. When the pressure goes 10 psi above that mark, it’s time to clean your filter.


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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/15/2017 

Anonymous (Step 6 error) - Thank you very much for your comment. We are changing the guide per your suggestions.

 Posted: 9/13/2017 

Step 6 is completely wrong and will void your warranty. You drain the tank by opening the bottom release drain plug. Then open the top air valve to let air into the top of the tank so it can drain out the bottom drain. In less than a minute the tank will drain out and you will just lift the top half of the tank shell off. There is absolutely zero reason to get wet while cleaning this filter or you are doing it wrong. NEVER TURN THE PUMP ON WHILE THE LOCKING SEAL IS LOOSE OR OFF. YOU ARE ASKING FOR INJURY OR WORSE BY DOING SO.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/17/2017 

Anonymous (Step 6) - First, release any pressure in the tank by opening up the air release valve. Then, try tapping the joint where the band was and around the upper part of the tank with a rubber mallet.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/17/2017 

How do you do step 6 if your filter is already disconnected from water and power? Cannot seem to get the pieces apart!!!