How do I know I need a water filter?
Your public water authority does the best it can to ensure that your water is free of disease causing pathogens and sediment. However, it cannot ensure that your water is free of sediment after passing through the series of distribution lines to reach your home. Virtually all private well water supplies contain sediment. Therefore, a dirt/rust filter is advisable on the incoming water line. A filter can protect washers and seals from premature wear, it can prevent aerators and valves from plugging and keep your hot water heater from collecting excessive sediment.
Acid Wash 101
Acid washing is perhaps the biggest single factor leading to premature cartridge failure. For years, service technicians and homeowners have acid washed DE grids, however cartridge elements do not have the protective DE powder coating that grids have and can be permanently damaged by the acid. As a rule of thumb, acid wash only when required, if at all, and never without thoroughly cleaning the element with a cartridge degreaser first. Here is a simple test to determine if acid washing is required. After thoroughly cleaning the cartridge with a degreasing agent, flush the cartridge with a garden hose to remove all traces of soap, etc. Now apply several drops of acid directly to a small area of the filter media. If bubbling occurs, this indicates a build up of calcium or minerals, and you should proceed with a mild acid soak. If no bubbling is observed, your cartridge most likely does not require acid washing.
Sharp Pleat Folds vs. Rounded Pleats
One of the first things a filter expert will look for when examining a pool or spa element is the pleat fold or "knuckle radius" of the pleat. Why is this important? If you look carefully, you will notice that some manufacturers' pleats are very sharp while others are rounded and even appear puffy. With Reemay or other spunbonded polyester medias it is much easier to make a rounded fold than a sharp pleat. Moreover, a rounded fold can mask the filter manufacturer's inability to make straight pleats or maintain proper spacing.
Unicel filters featured exclusively in the Spa Filter section of YourFilters.com, have sharp pleat folds and here's why:
- Cleanability - sharp folds increase the spacing between pleats making it easier to flush out loose debris.
- Eliminates Bridging - allows particles to get down into the pleat instead of laying across the top of two or more pleats. This assures maximum dirt holding.
- Full utilization of the pleat surface - allows debris to build up from the inside out, critical to obtaining the maximum cycle life between cleanings.
- Maximizes flow, minimizes pressure loss - by decreasing the surface contact between the inner pleat knuckle and center tube.
When should a Unicel spa or pool filter cartridge be cleaned? (chlorine users)
For swimming pools, clean the cartridge when filter canister pressure reaches 8 PSI above the initial system or new cartridge starting pressure. For spas, establish a routine cartridge cleaning schedule based on the amount of spa usage. A good rule of thumb is at least every other month. If Baquacil is used as a sanitizer, the filter element MUST be cleaned with Baqua Clean before any cartridge cleaner is used.