The short answer to this is YES, it is OK to run your pool pump without the filter cartridge installed. The better question would be why you would want to run your pool pump without the filter cartridge installed?
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Reasons to run your pool pump without the filter cartridge
There are a few acceptable reasons to run your pool pump without the filter cartridge and extending the life of your filter cartridge isn’t one of them.
- Deep Cleaning your filter cartridge – When you have to soak your filter cartridge in a cleaning solution like the Zodiac Filter to deep clean your gunked-up filter elements.
- While Waiting for your replacement filter cartridge – If you’re replacing your filter cartridge for any reason, it’s best to keep your water circulating.
If you plan to run your pool pump without the filter cartridge, make sure to remove any clips or fittings that are supposed to be attached to the filter cartridge and securely close the cartridge filter just like you would with the filter elements in place. Running your pump without the filter cartridge circulates the water to allow the chemicals in your pool to continue sanitizing your pool water even though the filter isn’t there to catch the particles.
Always Keep A Backup Filter Cartridge
While this may sound like common sense, a lot of people don’t have backup filter cartridges. Having a backup filter cartridge will allow you to rotate your filter cartridges so you don’t have to run your pool pump without a filter cartridge installed. Deep cleaning your filter cartridge? Pop the backup filter cartridge in. Filter cartridge cracked for no reason? Pop the backup filter cartridge in. Relatives staying over and you have extra heavy pool use? Clean and rotate your cartridges to ensure that your pool water is always filtered.
While filter cartridges are easily available online and they can be shipped to you in a couple of days, remember that your pool water NEEDS to be filtered. Chemicals are only half of the equation when it comes to your pool water clarity. So yes, while it’s perfectly fine to run your pool pump without a filter cartridge installed, it’s better to have a backup filter cartridge to ensure that you don’t have to run it without one.
Need to get a backup or replacement filter cartridge but you don't know which size to get? Read our guide on how to correctly measure your filter cartridge here.
Need information on how long filter cartridges last and how to know when to replace them? Dive on to our guide on how to tell if your filter cartridge needs replacing here.
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Happy swimming :)