The Pool Man Podcast

Episode 3 - The Pool Man Podcast - “An End to Cartridge Filters”

June 2, 2018

The Pool Man Podcast Show Notes


Episode 3 - “An End to Cartridge Filters!!”




Today in iOS Podcast

MacOS Ken Podcast

Mac Power Users Podcast

Accidental Tech Podcast

The MacCast Podcast


  • Introduction and format:


You’re listening to episode three of The Pool Man Podcast - “An End to Cartridge Filters!! 


This episode was recorded on June 1st, 2018. 


I’ve designed this podcast to give you all the information you need to keep your pool in tip top condition all year round. The Pool Man Podcast is written and produced by me, and is intended as a guide only. I always recommend that you employ the services of a professional pool technician, should you encounter any problems you are unable to solve yourself.


Welcome to the third episode of The Pool Man Podcast… and I’m beginning to find my feet with this whole podcast venture. I’m getting to know the best way to do things and it’s getting easier each time. 


I’d like to send out a big thanks to Rob Walch from the “Today in iOS podcast” and Ken Ray from the “Mac OS Ken” podcast. These guys are two of the technology podcasters I started listening to many years ago, and I still listen to them daily!! 


Podcasting is a brilliant, and quickly growing medium, and you’ll find just about anything you’re interested in will be available in the form of a podcast. 


If you’re interested in trying your own podcast feel free to drop me an email and I’ll be happy to tell you what you’ll need and how you can do it on a budget. 


Search the iBooks store for a free eBook by Rob Walch called Podcast 101: Creating and Hosting an Audio Podcast. 


These guys are what I would class as true pioneers in the podcast space. I’ve been incredibly inspired by their respective shows, and I’ve taken many queues from them in the early formulation of this show. 


Search for “Today in iOS” and “Mac OS Ken” in your favoured podcast receptacle. See also “Mac Power Users” “Accidental Tech Podcast” and “The MacCast” for other terrific examples of great shows by awesome podcasters, and I’ll put links to their individual shows in the show notes for this episode.


So, in the last last episode, I had a question regarding how often you should clean your filter cartridge, and I said for best results it should really be cleaned out weekly. This week I want to go into the pros and cons of cartridge filters, sand or glass media filters and what the best applications for both really are. As a pool tech, theres probably no area I have such black and white feelings about, than the abomination that is the cartridge filter!! 


About six years ago during the building of our house, (And shortly after I was told I would be made redundant: Now there’s a wake-up call) I had at that time very little experience in servicing pools, other than the fact that we had owned a pool before, and the temporary house we were renting whilst we were building also had a pool. 


I really had no idea about water chemistry, cleaning it properly and even basic pool maintenance. This all aside, it was pretty much a given that we were going to put in a pool at the new house because were really are pool people. 


So when we ordered our pool I had no idea about what to order as far as the filtration equipment goes. We ended up getting exactly what the pool builder decided to put in, and that was a cartridge filter!! I regretted it almost from day one!! 


I could have had a media filter installed for the same price but was sold the cartridge filter on it’s more compact size, even though I had plenty of room to fit in a media filter. 


Needless to say, if I knew then what I know now, I would have made a different decision!!


We thought a suction cleaner would be the best option. You’ll probably know the type of cleaner I’m talking about. It’s the old Kreepy Krawly style cleaner you see with a hose hat connects to the vacuum plate and uses the pool’s existing pump to drive the hammer or diaphragm. 


Most of the time this type of cleaner works pretty well, but being in a new housing development, there was a lot of dirt and dust generated by the building of new houses that settled on the floor of the pool, and the combination of that with a cartridge filter was not a happy marriage!!


A filter cartridge element, (The removable paper cylinder part inside the housing), tends to block up a lot quicker than a media filter, and it’s a lot harder to clean it out again. This is because a suction cleaner vacuums up a very high concentration of dirt and dust and feeds it directly into the cartridge and blocks up the paper veins very quickly, to the point where the suction cleaner stops working and water flow is restricted. This can also damage the pump and chlorinator due to the lack of water flow.


The only way to get it running again is to take it apart and hose out the cartridge element which can take a good thirty minutes to do properly, and I guarantee that you’ll get sick of doing that every day or two if you want to continue to run the suction cleaner. You’ll need to do it at least weekly without a suction cleaner as well.


A media filter is in my opinion the only option you should use. This will run with a suction cleaner for weeks without any noticeable slowdown. 


To clean (Or backwash) a media filter takes about two minutes in total. You turn the valve handle around to backwash and run the pump. You look at the sight glass, and when the water goes clear, give it a quick rinse and you’re back in business for another month, all without the need to dismantle anything, and with your sanity intact!!


There are a few claims out there that some manufacturers make about cartridge filters being superior to media filters. Some of the claims you’ll hear are as follows...



  • No backwashing: I don’t see that as a positive!! Backwashing is much easier but does lower the water level and dilutes the chemicals, but in my opinion it’s well worth the trade off.
  • Better filtration: Down to 10-15 microns for cartridge vs 20-40 microns for media filters. Not visibly better and too many trade offs.
  • Saves water: This is a blatant false claim!! In my experience thirty minutes of hosing the filter every week uses much more water than backwashing once a month for two minutes.
  • Easy to clean: Not even close compared to cleaning media filters, for the reasons I’ve mentioned before.
  • Cheaper maintenance: 12 to 24 months from a cartridge filter costing $100.00 to $300.00 vs 5 to 20 years from filter media costing about $100.00 to $200.00


It really is a no brainer!!


So when I walk into a new customer’s pool area and see a cartridge filter I kind of feel like Luke Skywalker just after he learns that Darth Vader is his father... I want to reach for my light sabre and strike it down!! 


In a nutshell, I’m not a big fan of the cartridge filter!!


So, listener feedback... I’m proud to announce that I’ve had a 300% increase in the amount of emails I received last episode!! First up I have Peter from George’s Hall who says... 


Hi there Pool Man, 


A friend of mine, and one of your customers, passed the podcast onto me this week. I’ve listened to all of it now and found it to be very helpful. 


I took your advice about testing my pool water and discovered that the reason it has been looking cloudy is probably as you suggested, a lack of chlorine!! 


I poured in 10 litres of liquid chlorine about three days ago and by the next morning I could already notice the difference. Just one question, how long does chlorine last in the water? 


I thought 10 litres would be more than enough to last a week or so, but yesterday I tested it again and there was a very low reading for chlorine again, almost zero. 


I have a faulty chlorinator so I’ve been adding about 2 litres a week... is this enough? I can only assume that it’s not.


Regards Peter

George’s Hall


Peter, great work on testing your pool water!! It’s even more critical that you do this when your chlorinator isn’t working and you are manually chlorinating the pool. 


The formula is a simple one: If your test kit tells you there’s not enough chlorine, it means just that... there’s not enough chlorine!! Add some more and test again the next day until you get the hang of how much chlorine your pool needs(We call this the chlorine demand).


There a few factors that influence the chlorine demand.


  • Bather Load: The more bodies in the water means that you’ll need more chlorine.
  • Temperature: Warmer water needs more chlorine.
  • Sunlight: The sun burns off chlorine very quickly.
  • PH: Affects the chlorine’s ability to sanitise.


One thing I did pick up from your email was that it appears that you are only chlorinating once weekly. Sadly you can’t dump a large dose of chlorine in only once a week and expect it to still be there at the end of the week. The sun will burn it mostly all off by about the second day. 


You’ll have much better results using the same amount of chlorine if you divide it up and add a smaller amount daily. 


You’ll probably get sick of doing this so that’s a good reason to explore repairing or replacing your chlorinator which will give you an automated way of sanitising your pool. 


Give your local pool tech a call and get it sorted out.


Next I have an email from Alex of Liverpool who writes...


I downloaded and listened to your podcast today and I have some feedback on how you can make it better. 


I don’t really like the music you are using, and it’s kind of annoying being in the background for the whole show. 


Can you change the music to something a bit more well known?


Apart from that I like the actual show, and you seem to be a very knowledgeable pool man. 


Keep up the good work.


Yours Sincerely 

Alex P. 




Well thanks Alex for your kind words, I’ll be introducing some original music in the form of a Pool Man Podcast theme song soon. I have some mates working on it right now so as soon as it’s ready I’ll get it into the show for you!!


And finally I have one here from Oliver at Moorebank. Oliver writes...




Can I have a raise!! 






I believe this one is from my youngest son Oliver who comes out on the road and works with me during the school holidays.




All I can say is when Mummy gives me a raise I’ll give you a raise!! 


And not a moment before!”


I’d like to thank all the listeners who emailed me your questions... even you Oliver!!


You can email your questions to and put the word “Question” in the subject field. It just helps me sort through them all a bit more easily. 


So drop me an email and I’ll do my best to answer them for you in an upcoming episode. 


I’m very excited about the next episode, where if all things go well, I’ll be talking to Brett Blair from Jim’s Pool Care. He’ll be talking a little bit about the franchise model, and how you go about becoming a pool man, or pool lady.


You can also use this email address if you’d like me to come out and have a look at your pool. If it’s too far for me personally, I’ll be happy to hook you up with a professional pool technician in your area, Australia wide. 


This production was made by me and should only be used s a guide to keep your swimming pool clean and clear. I always recommend that you employ the services of a professional pool technician should you have any issues you are an able to solve yourself. 


I now have a Facebook page up and running and you can find it over at, and I’m also up and running with the Pool Man website where you’ll find all the show notes for the podcast, info on my business and tips and tricks for you to keep your pool sparkling!! Head over to or just search for The Pool Man Podcast in the Apple Podcasts app, in the excellent Overcast app, Stitcher Radio which is available on iOS and Android, or over at and search for The Pool Man Podcast.


I do ask that after you listen, could you please give me a rating and subscribe so you automatically get the next episode when it becomes available, it also gets my numbers up so I rank a little higher and that really helps other people find me too, so I thank you very much in advance for that!! 


So stay safe and stay in touch at


I hope you can join me again for the next episode of The Pool Man Podcast, coming soon to a pod catcher near you.