How to Clean a Hayward Pool Filter

By Greg Jarvis | Last Updated: September 8, 2022

Cleaning a Hayward pool filter is not an easy task. We are here to help you and make the process a bit easier. You don’t have to spend a fortune on new filters to keep your pool running at its best. Continue reading and learn how! These steps also apply to any pleated cartridge pool filter. You can use this guide on cleaning any filter used in a hot tub or Jacuzzi.

What You Need

Before starting with the steps, here are the materials you will need to clean your pool filter.

  • Trisodium Phosphate Powder (TSP – a must-have for all-around housekeeping. It is powerful, inexpensive, non-foaming, and simple to remove with water.
  • Muriatic acid – If you’re using a large garbage can to clean your filters, you will need 1 to 2 gallons of muriatic acid.
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic trash can
  • Multi-function hose spray nozzle
  • Silicone paste
  • 3/8” drive ratchet
  • 3/8” drive torque wrench
  • Nitrile gloves
  • 19mm or ¾” socket
  • Rubber mallet
  • Paper towels and/or rags

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cleaning a Hayward Pool Filter

Step #1 Open the Filter Housing in the Pool

Close all intake and output valves before shutting down the pump. This is crucial if the pump has an automatic timer.

Remove the clamp’s bolt with a socket and ratchet. Then you will need a 19mm or 3/4′′ socket. After removing the clamp, you may require a rubber mallet to liberate it.

Remove the top housing to see the filters. Remove the top to reveal a waterproof box.

To clean a Hayward pool filter, remove the Top Manifold, then the Filters. Lift the filter cartridge sections out of the housing, gently shaking.

Step #2 Use Water to Flush the Cartridge Pool Filters

Rinse the filters as soon as possible after taking them out of the water. Maintain at least a 45-degree angle when using a garden hose to avoid harming the filter. Do not use a power washer as it could damage the Hayward pool filter. Emphasis should be placed on removing the debris from the pleats. You can also use a soft brush to clean dust and other debris from the pleated surface.

If you clean the filters thoroughly, you’ll get rid of far more sludge than you ever thought possible. Ironically, after cleaning, the filters were noticeably lighter. To avoid cleaning up after yourself, pick an area where you intend to clean the filter thoroughly. Grass would be ideal.

Step #3 Dip the Pool Filters in TSP Cleaner Solution

Use approximately 1 cup of TSP every 5 gallons of water in a bucket (or garbage can in this example). About two pounds’ worth. If possible, leave the filters submerged overnight (3 hours minimum). 

Adding one cup of dishwashing to five gallons of water can also be used, but keep in mind that dishwasher detergent (for machine washing) is not the same as dishwashing detergent (for machine washing handwashing). Many dishwasher detergents are primarily TSP alternatives since they are made to produce less foam.

Rinse the filters afterward to eliminate any loose particles.

Step #4 Clean and Rinse the Hayward Filter Housing 

You can wash the filter housing as you allow the filters to soak in the TSP cleaner solution. Flush out any dirt at the bottom and drain. Pour a cup of TSP to clean the inside thoroughly. Clean the outside of the housing as well.

Then, reassemble the housing, pour water into it up to the brim, and allow the degreaser to work. You can use a bamboo rod to mix and dissolve the powder. After a few hours, drain the liquid out and seal it. Allow the pump to circulate without the filters to keep the water chlorinated.

Note: Repeat step #3 if the cartridge pool filters are filthy. If not, you can proceed with the next step.

Step #5 Muriatic Acid Wash

Before you start working with Muriatic Acid, make sure you wear protective gear, safety glasses to protect your eyes, and gloves for your hands.

A muriatic acid bath is needed if the filters have accumulated too many algae, iron, calcium carbonate, or other minerals. Sometimes, even if the filters look clean, you can still do the muriatic acid wash.

Warning: Ensure the filters are free from oils and other cleaning solutions before submerging them into the acid, as it could permanently damage the filter.

We suggest that you combine one part of Muriatic Acid in 20 parts of water. Others recommend 1:1 or 1:29. Do not forget to rinse any surfaces where acid may have spilled. In case of accidental contact with the acid, wash the area right away.

Bath the filters overnight or until there are no bubbles. After removing the filters from the bath, rinse them with a large amount of water. Neutralize the muriatic acid solution before disposing of it by adding ammonia or baking soda. Some would add more water to it and pour it into a safe area.

Step #6 Final Wash

Hose the pool filters down again. There should be no dirt coming out the pleats.

Step #7 Reinstall the Pool Filters

Put the pool filters back into the housing. Keep the filters wet by popping them into the housing temporarily. Before reinstalling the filters, ensure that the bottom seal plate is in the correct place.

Step #8 Reassemble the Filter Housing

It’s time to tighten up that clamp again. Lubricate the bolt threads as needed.

Read more: Best Pool Cartridge Filter

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ)

How to backwash a Hayward pool filter?

Before starting, prepare 4-6 pounds of DE Powder to replace the one stripped off during backwash. Here are the steps on backwashing a Hayward filter:
·         Drain the pool water and old DE with the backwash hose.
·         Turn off the pump.
·         Move the MPV handle to the backwash.
·         Turn on the pump and backwash.
·         As the filter backwash, check on the sight glass. The water should change from cloudy to clear.
·         Turn off the pump again and set it to rinse the cycle.
·         Turn on the pump for 30 seconds or more to rinse the grids.
·         Turn off the pump again.
·         Do the backwash again and rinse.
·         Turn off the pump.
·         Move the MPV handle to filter.
·         Turn on the pump and add the new DE Powder.

How long do you backwash a Hayward pool filter?

In order to clear the water in the sight glass, you should backwash for about 2 minutes or less, depending on the amount of debris that has accumulated.

How often should I clean my Hayward pool filter?

In order to prolong the life of your filter cartridges and improve pool filtration and water flow, we typically recommend cleaning your filter cartridges every three months.

Why does my pool filter get dirty so quickly?

Your pool’s chlorine level may be too low, causing algae to grow, die, and clog your filter, even though you can’t see it.

Final Thoughts

The steps in how to clean a Hayward pool filter are not easy. But you can do it on your own if you follow the steps above. You need to be extra careful when dealing with Muriatic Acid. Keep in mind all the precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident. It is much safer and fun to swim if you know the pool water is clean and free from algae and bacteria. Share your thoughts about the topic. Comment below.

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