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Thread: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

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    Default Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Here's why you don't want Harmsco cartridge filters: the pleats collapse, leaving you with filter with 1/4 or less of the original capacity. The same basic thing happens to StaRite System3 filters.


    PoolDoc

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    Cool Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Wow! I've used cartridge filters for about 12 years now, but have never seen anything like that--even when it's been time to change them! Thanks for the warning, Ben. I'll be staying away from Harmsco.

    Chris

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Actually, it's a problem with ALL the so-called high capacity cartridges that they started selling over 10 years ago. I think that now, all the companies have them. They just added more and more pleats in the same space, and the structure was not sufficient to support the pleat separation.

    This is one of the main reasons why cartridge filters are the poorest of the three options (sand, DE, or cartridge) in most circumstances. There are places where they are needed, primarily where various restrictions prevent any sort of backwashing.

    PoolDoc

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    FWIW, I have never seen those problems with Unicel and Aladdin filters (although I have seen the bands break on the Aladdin, particularly on their Hayward replacement carts). I have seen this problem on System 3 filters, which are HUGE (and I suspect is part of the reason they collapse. As Ben said, the pleats are just not supported well.) I have two carts (an Aladdin and a Unicel) for my Clean and Clear 150 that I rotate and they are both 5 years and going strong. I do clean and soak them on a regular basis (swap cart and clean dirty one 4 times a year and soak each cart yearly or more if needed).
    For soaking I either use automatic dishwasher detergent or tile soap. Both work well. I have never had to acid wash a cart myself at home but have had to do so after soaking when I was doing commercial pool maintenance.
    Retired pool store and commercial pool maintenance guy.

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    My Sta-Rite System3 cartridges are fine after 4.5yrs of service. I have the S7M120 model filter. I have never had to do anything beyond spraying with water to clean, once a year.

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    "Sta-Rite System3 S7M120 Cartridge filter
    Sta-Rite MAX-E-PRO 1HP pump"

    What causes the problems with the StaRite filters is excess pressure differential across the filter membrane. On a clean filter, with a matched pump, this is never a problem. The water flows easily through the membrane, so the differential across the membrane is not great enough to cause the collapse.

    Also, the filters have an enormous surface area -- at least before collapse of the pleats. There is so much surface area, that they may continue to work acceptably in lightly loaded residential pools even if the collapse occurs.

    In Arizona . . . filters tend not to get dirty the way they do in damper parts of the country. And, residential pools don't have the dirt load -- especially, the greasy slimy body dirt -- that the commercial pools where I've used those filters have.

    So, your filter may work fine, because your dirt load is low enough, so that 1x per year cleaning is enough to prevent any problems. Or, problems may have occurred, but you didn't notice because the filter has enough capacity to keep going anyhow. Or, perhaps Pentair has made some major improvement in the cartridges since I last purchased one.

    I have no way of knowing, without seeing detailed photos of your cartridges.

    But, I'll stand by my statements. The StaRite System 3 DE filter is an awesome filter. The System 3 sand filter is greatly inferior to the Pentair TR series filters. And, the System 3 cartridge filter is completely unsatisfactory for many pools with loads, circulation rates, and pressures that are completely within the Sta Rite / Pentair specs.

    However, the fact that they are unsuited for many listed applications, doesn't mean that they are failing on your pool.

    PoolDoc

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    steveinaz is offline Lifetime Member Weir Watcher steveinaz 2 stars steveinaz 2 stars
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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Ben,
    Can I use a different brand of filter cartridge in my Sta-Rite filter, or am I stuck using the questionable type?

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Wouldn't worry about it.

    If it works for you, it works for you. Doesn't matter that it's generally not a good filter, and doesn't have the capability Sta-Rite claimed . . . since it obviously has the capability to do YOUR pool well!

    But, to answer your question, the problem is the design, not Sta-Rite's cartridge construction techniques. An aftermarket filter can't fix the faulty design.

    Again, the problem is that the filter was designed in such a way that StaRite could CLAIM much more capacity than the filter actually has, after it's operated for a little while. But, in lightly loaded situations like your pool, it can function just fine.

    Ben

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    Default Re: Photo test: Harmsco filters are messed up!

    Why is it i'm the only one that wonders how old they are, and how often they were cleaned? Two of the major reasons why filters wind up looking like that. Along with the over-sized pump scenario too. It's easy to blame the manufacturer, when the owner is watching you take apart the filter and sees this, and asks you "what happened".

    Edit: never mind. Didn't see how old this thread was...
    4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions.

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