Spring Maintenance for UV Clarifyers and Bead Filters

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You may have to replace your bulb. Bulbs in UV’s have an effective usage life of 9 to 12 months. If you unplugged your UV during the winter months you extended it’s life. As a rule of thumb, a UV’s lamp should be replaced every year. The bulb loses power as it burns, therefore, it may still be lit but operating at 20% of its original power, rendering it ineffective for the purpose of killing algae. You’ll know when you need to replace your lamp simply by noticing that your UV is no longer clearing up the free-flowing algae.


You should clean your quartz sleeve. Most commercial brand UV’s - Aqua Ultraviolet, Emperor & Misty Mountain - have a quartz sleeve inside the PVC that protects the bulb from water so it doesn’t short out. This sleeve will need to be cleaned. Periodic cleaning improves performance by stripping away the dirt that can block the ultraviolet rays and prevent them from penetrating the water and killing the algae. The brands we mentioned above have a fitting that can be unscrewed and allows you to pull out the quartz sleeve for ease of cleaning. CAUTION. This sleeve and the bulb are extremely fragile. Utmost care should be taken when handling these parts.


Bead Filters


Bead filters are the easiest filters on the market to maintain. Depending on pond conditions and fish load weekly or bi-weekly simple backwashing is all that’s needed to keep the unit working properly. To insure that your unit is working at peak efficiency it is a great idea to perform spring maintenance for better performance throughout the next season.


ProBead .5 and 1.0 BioFilter:


  • Turn off the pump.
  • Draw out all the water from the unit by opening the bottom drain valve. Beads float so by draining the unit the beads will fall to the bottom of the tank.
  • Close the drain valve when the tank is empty of water.
  • Unscrew the clamp that holds the 6-way valve on top of the filter.
  • You can then lift out the valve assembly. Clean all debris from the laterals (pipe with slots) attached to the valve assembly and hose off well. The objective is to remove all materials lodged in the slots.
  • Pull up on the 1 1/2" white PVC pipe and expose the bottom lateral.
  • Unscrew the bottom lateral, remove and clean.
  • While the bottom lateral is out of the unit, take a long handle and stir the beads. Sometimes in dirtier systems the beads cake together, reducing the efficiency of the filter.
  • Replace the bottom lateral by screwing it back onto the hub that is attached to the 1 1/2" PVC pipe. CAUTION: Screw finger-tight only. Do not over tighten.
  • Add water to the tank until the beads begin to float. Don’t add too much water or the unit will overflow carrying the beads with it.
  • Stand up the lateral hub and 1 1/2" PVC pipe.
  • Place the lateral hub that is now in the bottom of the tank so that the 1 1/2" PVC pipe protrudes straight up.
  • Reattach the 6-way valve and "C" clamp.
  • Backwash for 3 to 4 minutes and you’re finished.


This sounds harder to do than it actually is. If you’re not sure about how to do it, come by the store and we’ll demonstrate it for you.


ProBead Ultra High Flow 1.65, 2.65 and 3.5 BioFilter:


The .5 and 1.0 models of the ProBead Biofilters are single unit canisters. The larger capacity ProBead Ultra High Flow models (1.65, 2.65 and 3.5) have double canisters and have fundamental design differences. The basics are the same. The laterals need to be cleaned and the beads need to be stirred. The difference is in how you take it apart. The split canister design allows easier access to the beads by removing the top half. Some of our Ultra High Flows were sold with optional 6-way or Ultra High Flow valves. Regardless of which type of valve was attached all are located on the side of the unit as opposed to the top.


Again and as always, we are here if you need assistance with maintaining any of our equipment.

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