How to Clean a UV Water Filter | Tutorial

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Maintenance of a UV water filter mostly comes down to three points:

  • Keeping the UV lamp in a good working condition,
  • ensuring that enough of its light makes it to the water that passes through the filter,
  • and preventing leaks.

Cleaning your UV water filter regularly is important for keeping UV transmission at an optimal level.

Filtering your water supply before it reaches your UV purifier can help reduce the need for cleaning, but you should still clean it at least once a year for the best results. Here’s how.

Key Takeaways

These are the simple steps for cleaning a UV water filter:

  1. Shut off the water and power supply.
  2. Open the UV water filter and take out the quartz sleeve + UV lamp. Tip: Wear gloves when touching the UV lamp.
  3. Use a soft cloth with a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down the quartz sleeve.
  4. Check the quartz sleeve for scratches or signs of wear (replace it if there is a crack)
  5. Put everything back together

How to Clean a UV Water Filter

The only part of a UV water filter that you need to clean regularly is the quartz sleeve that covers the UV lamp. This sleeve acts as the main insulating barrier between the lamp and the water that surrounds it and is made of quartz glass to maximize its UV transmission properties.

You should avoid touching the UV lamp itself. If you must, always wear gloves to avoid leaving a deposit of skin oil its surface. This can be dangerous, as even tiny amounts of oil that are invisible to the naked eye can lead to unwanted side effects once the lamp is turned on, due to the heat it produces.

burned out UV light bulb

Before you begin, shut off your home’s water supply and disconnect power to the UV purifier. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the purifier to cool down, as its interiors will likely be hot. Open your UV water purifier according to the instructions and remove the quartz sleeve together with the UV lamp inside it. Remove the sleeve’s screws and sealing rings and separate it from the lamp.

How to Clean a UV Quartz Sleeve

A UV water purifier’s quartz sleeve is delicate and should be cleaned carefully. Use a soft cloth, avoiding any rough fabrics that could leave scratches.

Don’t use any harsh chemicals either – a mixture of vinegar and water should be enough. Give your quartz sleeve a thorough wipe until it’s clear, and rinse it with water.

Before reattaching it to the UV lamp, check for any scratches or other signs of wear. The quartz sleeve of your UV water purifier needs to be as clear as possible to do its job, and even a small scratch can impede its ability to transmit UV light. Additionally, small cracks can propagate over time, especially with the added heat from the operation of the UV lamp.

You should replace a cracked quartz sleeve immediately.

How Often Should You Clean the Glass Sleeve?

The ideal frequency for cleaning your quartz glass sleeve will depend on the hardness of your water and how well you are filtering it before running it through the UV system.

Hard water will leave more residues on the sleeve. And if other particles aren’t filtered out of your water supply, they will gradually build up a layer of grime on the sleeve as well.

For most households cleaning the quartz glass sleeve once a year is sufficient.

You should monitor the condition of your sleeve during the first few months after installing a UV water purifier for the first time to get an idea of how fast it accumulates grime. If you find yourself cleaning the sleeve too often, you should consider filtering your water supply more thoroughly.

How Often Should You Replace the Glass Sleeve?

Even with regular cleaning, your UV purifier’s quartz glass sleeve will eventually start to fog up permanently. Replacing it is the only solution at that stage. On average, you should do that once every two years.

Some manufacturers claim that their sleeves can last up to three years without replacement, but those statements are usually made with ideal water conditions in mind.

As we mentioned above, factors like water hardness and particle content play a big role here. If you live in an area with harder water, you might need to replace your glass sleeve more frequently. You should consider investing in a water softener for your household’s water supply if the situation is especially bad in your area.

What Is a Quartz Sleeve in UV Water Purification and What Is It Used for?

A UV water purifier works by exposing water to UV light. This kills a large number of microorganisms commonly found in water supplies by scrambling their DNA. The quartz sleeve acts as a layer of insulation that protects the UV lamp from coming in direct contact with the water.

Regular glass is not suitable for this application due to the high level of impurities it typically contains. Many of them – such as sodium oxide and magnesia – absorb UV light, which would decrease the efficiency of the disinfection system. This is not a problem for common applications of glass, such as household windows. Blocking UV light is actually a beneficial factor in those cases.

Quartz glass has a much purer composition in comparison, allowing UV light to pass more easily. However, this requires the quartz sleeve to be kept as clean as possible. In addition, you must be careful to avoid any scratches on its surface, as they can degrade the ability to permit UV light through.

Top Tips to Remember

  • Always use a soft cloth. Never wipe your quartz sleeve with any rough fabrics, and don’t apply too much pressure when cleaning it. If you use a simple solution of vinegar and water, it should do most of the work for you. You just need to wipe down the sleeve and rinse it afterward.
  • Always wear gloves when touching the UV lamp. UV lamps are more sensitive than regular light bulbs, and even small amounts of skin oil can lead to damage once the lamp is turned on. Ideally, you should avoid touching the lamp altogether while you’re taking apart your UV purifier for cleaning.
  • Consider additional water treatment if your sleeve requires frequent cleaning. Purifying your water more thoroughly before it reaches your UV water filter will improve its performance and reduce the need for cleaning the quartz sleeve as often. Water softening can be particularly helpful if you live in an area with harder water.

If you have any questions about how to clean a UV water filter please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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