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Support Bands
QUESTION:
Support bands why are they put on some cartridges and not others?
  ANSWER:
The bands you see on swimming pool cartridges are added to prevent pleat flutter caused by turbulence inside the canister during the filtration cycle. In addition, bands maintain pleat spacing and make cartridge cleaning and maintenance easier.

Skim filters used in spas rarely require bands. This is because the water flow through the element is under less pressure and is more laminar. Furthermore, the generally smaller size of cartridge used in skim filters can actually make separating the pleats for cleaning more difficult if held firmly in place by a band.

QUESTION:
What if the band breaks or comes off?
  ANSWER:
On a well-made cartridge, the bands are carefully adhered to the outer edge of the pleat knuckle and rarely come loose or break in normal use. However, acid soaking or rough handling can cause the bands to break and, in some instances, even separate from the element.

A split band - even if broken in several places - will not affect the filtration performance of the element and is not considered a cause to warranty the cartridge. Loose or missing bands is often a sign that the cartridge is worn out and can be a good indication that it's time to replace the element.

Here's a quick tip. When buying a new filter, place your thumb between the pleats and under the band to check for adhesion. The band should be firmly attached and not separate easily.