This pool season we’ve received our fair share of calls related to green pools and equipment issues. At first blush most would think that these green pools were likely due to neglect and poor water chemistry. However in recent scenarios we discovered that there was another culprit that was going unnoticed related to equipment failure.
In the picture (LEFT) this particular filter is a Hayward Super Star-Clear (model C-2000, 3000, 4000 & 5000) however other manufacturers have like designs.)

We want to draw your attention to TWO parts that act as a seal to most cartridge filter designs. The first part seats on the top of the filter called a “Top Closure Plate” (see #8) and the second part rests at the bottom of the filter called the “Bottom Collector Manifold” (see #15). These parts act as a seal prohibiting water from entering the central core of the filter. The dirty water is forced to pass through the cartridge(s) collecting in the folds. The filtered water continues to through the bottom of the filter and out the bottom manifold returning to the body of water (pool and/or spa).

In this discussion we are pointing out failures that can occur with the Bottom Collector Manifold (#15).

NEW (top view)

What we want to point out to our readers is that if there are ever any cracks present in the manifold, this allows the water to bypass the filter and returns dirty water directly back to the pool and/or spa.

NOTE: If you see dirty water or debris returning to your pool this is an indication of a cracked manifold. The picture labeled “NEW” is the top view of a new Bottom Collector Manifold. The second picture shows a “CRACKED” manifold that has a significant breach on the bottom half (not visible unless you dismantle the internal assembly).


  1. Release water pressure to the filter by opening up the purge valve (see #2) on the top of the filter allowing air to enter in to the filter chamber.
  2. Open the Clamp Assembly (see #5) that secures the top and bottom portions of the filter. (Make sure to set all hardware to the side making certain not to lose Clamp Spring Assembly.)
  3. Remove the Filter Head (see #4).
  4. Remove the Top Closer Plate that seats into the top of the filters (see #8).
  5. Remove the FOUR Cartridge Element(s) (see #14 – clean if necessary).
  6. You will likely still have water in the bottom half of the Filter Body (see #16) so go ahead and remove the Drain Plug (see #17) releasing the dirty water from the filter basin. Note: This is a good opportunity to inspect the O-Ring making sure it is still in good shape. If the O-Ring is worn it’s a good idea to replace as it can cause significant water lose when pump is running.
  7. Remove filter from PVC plumbing by rotating the Locknuts(see #22) to the left (lefty loosy). This will allow you to easily remove the Filter Body and set on a table for easier access. Note: Take a close look at the O-Ring (see #18) as this is typical leaking point after several years of service.
  8. The bottom Bulk Head Fitting (see #19) appears to have a nut flush with the outside of the Filter Body. Taking a 3-4″ plumbers wrench, loosen the Bulk Head Fitting turning it to the left. This will unscrew from the internal Outlet Elbow (see #10).
  9. Finally, reach into the inside of the Filter Body and remove the Bottom Collector Manifold (see #15). The Outlet Elbow will still be intact with the manifold.
  10. Removing the Outlet Elbow from the Manifold can be a little frustrating as it will appear to be immovable from the manifold. The trick is placing the handle of a wrench into the Outlet Elbow and proceed to turn in either direction loosening from the manifold. This step is easier if done with two sets of hands. Periodically rinsing off the shaft of the Outlet Elbow will remove dirt and debris that inhibits the removal.
  11. Note: Once Outlet Elbow is removed, notice the small O-Ring around the outside of the elbow. You should rinse off and lubricate when re-assembling.
  12. Inspect the surface of the Bottom Collector Manifold for hairline cracks or sections missing. These are the breaches that allows water to bypass the filters and distribute debris back to the pool and/or spa.

Assemble the filter taking note of worn O-Rings and lubricating when necessary. This repair should take you roughly 1-2 hours. I always recommend purchasing NEW O-Rings as these are easily accessible during the repair and likely will need to be replaced sooner than later. Taking the filter apart is a timely process and I always recommend replacing the O-Rings when completing a major repair like this one. It’s a real pain in the back side when you have to take the whole filter apart AGAIN to replace an O-Ring causing a leak. Using an once of prevention can save you hours of frustration later down the road.

Vaughn Berger
Red Square Pools
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 530-7331

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