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Not all cartridge filters have a backwash valve, and so backwashing them may damage the materials. Most cartridge pool filters simply need to be manually cleaned. However, if you have a combination filter that demands backwashing and cleaning, you can follow the step-by-step guide below. 


For best results, you should look at your manufacturer's guide for cleaning and backwash instructions. 


How To Backwash Your Cartridge Pool Filter Step By Step?

1. Turn off Your Pool Pump

To start backwashing, turn off your pool pump first, so water stops flowing through the filter. Next, switch open the air valve to release pressure from the system. Once the pressure is released, you can move on to the next step. 


Turn off Your Pool Pump


2. Remove Filter

Open up your cartridge filter tank and take out the cartridge filter. Take this time to inspect the cartridge for any signs of breakage or general wear and tear. Excess damage to the cartridge system means it needs to be replaced entirely, not cleaned. 


3. Clean the Cartridge

To clean the pool filter cartridge, you should first clean the cartridge using a standard garden hose spray or use dedicated cartridge cleaning tools for the job. Never use pressure washing to clean the cartridge, as you may damage the materials. A cartridge cleaning tool is specially designed to clean debris from between the pleats of your cartridge. When spraying with water, be sure to spray at an angle from the top to push the debris down. 


For best results, you may want to give it a deep clean overnight. For this, you will have to submerge the pool filter cartridge overnight in a mix of filter cleaners. These cleaners will remove the residual stains, grease, and calcium build-up from your filter cartridge. 


4. Look for Signs of Breakage

Once you clean the cartridge, let it dry completely. You may give it a shake to remove any dry debris that remains. Once done, check it again for any signs of breakage that were not noticeable before cleaning. Sometimes dirt and debris can clog up the pool cartridge filter, making it difficult to spot these signs. 


5. Place the Cartridge Back 

If your cartridge seems to be in good condition, you can go ahead and place the cartridge back inside the pool filter. 


6. Check if the O Ring Needs Replacement 

The O ring is a rubber material that keeps the water from escaping the pool filter and entering the mechanism. These are usually present between the filter head and filter body. If you notice the O ring is not seated properly, or it is cracked or flattened, you should have it replaced. 



7. Turn on the Pump

Finally, you can turn on the pump again and run the system. You should also close the air release valve once the water starts flowing. 


8. Note Filter Pressure

For the final step, watch the PSI reading on your filter valve. If the PSI reading is too high or too low, something may be wrong with your cartridge. Either you set it up improperly, or the cartridge is damaged and needs replacement. 


However, if your PSI reading is within normal range, you did a great job and your pool cartridge filter is now good for operation! 



If you want to learn more about Pool Sand Filter, here are some answers to your questions:



How Much Are Cartridge Pool Filters?

How Long Does a Cartridge Pool Filter Last?

How Does a Cartridge Pool Filter Work?

Easiest Way To Clean Pool Cartridge Filters

How to Put Sand in a Pool Filter?

How to Backwash Pool Sand Filter?




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