Pool filter cartridges don’t last forever, and when they begin to fail, there are a few telltale signs that alert you to the need for replacement. 

If you have a pool maintenance schedule, your technician will know when to replace the filter cartridge. But if you’re the DIY maintenance type, recognizing the signs of a deteriorating cartridge might not be your forte. 

To help you maintain your pool appropriately, the pool maintenance experts at Royal Pool & Spa explain six common signs of a failing pool filter below. 

1. Cracked Cartridge End Caps

The chemicals that balance your pool’s water chemistry can deteriorate plastic cartridge endcaps over time. If the endcaps crack, they can no longer maintain the cartridge’s tight, compact form, negatively affecting filter performance. 

Worse, if a piece of the broken material shears off and travels through the filter system, it can cause further equipment damage. To protect your pool and avoid an unnecessary repair expense, replace the cartridge as soon as you notice a chipped or cracked endcap. 

2. High PSI

If your pool pressure gauge registers a PSI spike, that may indicate a problem with the filter cartridge. When the cartridge is excessively dirty, it strains the filter, which causes the PSI to rise. 

If dirt and debris are causing the issue, a quick cartridge cleaning should resolve it. But if that doesn’t work, you should contact a pool filter repair specialist who can inspect the component and advise whether filter replacement is necessary.   

3. Flattened Filter Pleats

When the polyester material that forms the cartridge becomes oversaturated with dirt or debris, the pleats will begin to deform, a process known as flattening. Flattened pleats can significantly restrict water flow, limiting the filter’s cleaning capacity. 

If the cartridge has a missing or broken band, that can also result in flattening. You can replace the damaged cartridge if you’re well-versed in filter replacement. Otherwise, contact a professional to perform the job. 

4. Cartridge Collapse

If the inner core of your filter cartridge collapses, the filter may look like it’s been crushed. The inner plastic core reinforces the cartridge pleats, preventing them from collapsing, but if it breaks, there’s no support for the pleats. 

If you notice a crumpled filter, it could be due to improper cartridge size, sub-standard manufacturing, or a long-standing crack that finally gave way. In any case, you should contact a pool filter repair specialist for advice on your best course of action. 

5. Consistently High Pressure

When the pressure gauge on your pool filter is chronically elevated, that’s a solid sign that it’s time for a new filter. High pressure indicates the existing filter is working harder than it should, which may be because it’s clogged or because its functional life has expired.

If you’re unsure whether you need a cleaning or pool filter replacement, contact a pro who can assess the existing filter and advise you on your options. 

6. Increased Need for Chemicals

When you need to add more chemicals to the water to keep it clean and balance the pH, that’s a good sign that the filter is no longer working as it should and must be replaced. That said, other issues can cause your pool to need more chemicals, including algae growth, high evaporation rate, and more.

If your filter looks fine and you’re still adding more chemicals to the water than usual, contact a pro for help. An experienced pool maintenance specialist can test the water, assess the situation, and formulate an action plan for getting your pool back on track.

Need Pool Filter Replacement or Repair in the Twin Cities? Contact Royal Pool & Spa

If your pool filter appears to be malfunctioning or damaged, contact our team at Royal Pool & Spa right away. We can inspect the filter, advise you on repair or replacement options, and ensure your pool is clean and safe to swim in. Since 1988, we’ve proudly served Twin Cities pool owners, and anytime you need us, we’re here to serve you, too!

To request a quote or schedule a service appointment, feel free to give us a call today at 651-779-7606. You can also send us a message on our contact page, and a member of our team will get back to you promptly.