If you are using a water reclamation system in your cannabis garden, changing the water filters based on the manufacturer’s recommendation, or sooner if needed, ensures your system runs smoothly and effectively without lengthy interruptions.
In our indoor facility, we depend on Hydrologic’s Mini Automated Reclaimed Condensate System (ARCS) to filter byproducts and contaminants found in condensate water from air conditioners, dehumidifiers, cooling towers, and other HVAC devices.
Changing water filters regularly on your water filtration systems maintains a high filtration efficiency throughout the plant’s life cycle. Here is everything you need to know about changing water filters on the Hydrologic Mini ARCS.
What Is the Hydrologic Mini ARCS?
Hydrologic purification systems are designed for gardening, hydroponic, residential, and commercial applications. In the cannabis industry, Hydrologic’s systems remove contaminants from water through filtration. Systems can remove dirt, oil, suspended solids, heavy metals, pathogens, and harmful bacteria from water.
For small-scale growers, the Hydrologic Mini Automated Reclaimed Condensate System (ARCS) is an innovative system designed to purify condensate water that comes from your HVAC equipment. The Mini ARCS allows you to filter the condensate water that would normally be wasted.
Filtering condensate water to produce a pure water source ensures your facility reduces its waste and discharge. Purifying water can help indoor growers save money and time by supplying their crops with a pure water supply.
The Hydrologic Mini ARCS includes:
- Four-stage filter unit
- Filter wrench
- 10-foot white ¼ inch tubing
- 10-foot blue ¼ inch tubing
- Manual for Mini ARCS and UV
Here are some of the benefits of the Mini ARCS:
- Removes dust, sediment, particulates, and suspended solids from the condensate water
- Filters residual oil from new and old HVAC components
- Filters out heavy metals such as copper, lead, zinc, and more
- Balances pH levels
- Removes bacteria and pathogens
Why Is Changing Water Filters Regularly Important?
Proper maintenance of the Mini ARCS is essential to maintaining high-efficiency filtration. Therefore, we recommend monitoring the amount of water produced by the system to ensure you retain a high-efficiency level. An inline flow meter/filter monitor (sold separately) can let you know how much water the system produces.
Knowing how much water the system has produced ensures you know when to perform regular filter changes. Over time, the filter quality can significantly drop, letting bacteria, pathogens, heavy metals, and other contaminants pass through and end up in the “purified” water.
If your water filter seems to be producing significantly less clean water than it used to, it may mean you have a dirty filter. Clogged filters can slow down the water flow due to the buildup of contaminants in the filter membrane.
Proper maintenance and changing the water filters are essential to avoid voiding the manufacturer’s one-year warranty against manufacturer defects. Clogged filters due to improper maintenance or too much sediment or contaminants in the water voids Hydrologic’s warranty.
When Do You Have to Change Water Filters?
Performing regular filter changes keeps your condensate reclamation system running smoothly. The Mini ARCS comprises three cartridges, each designed to filter different particles. Here is how often to replace water filters in every Mini ARCS cartridge:
- Stage One Sediment Cartridge: Must be replaced every 2,500 gallons on average. If the condensate water appears dirty, you may need to replace it more frequently. Hydrologic recommends replacing it at least every six months.
- Stage Two Heavy Metal Reduction Cartridge: Must be replaced every 2,500 gallons.
- Stage Three pH Neutralizing/Remineralizing Cartridge: Must be replaced every 2,500 gallons.
Important note: The UV sterilizer bulb lasts for about one year. The ballast will show you when the UV bulb needs to be replaced. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to replace the UV bulb safely.
How to Change Hydrologic Mini ARCS Water Filters
If your Hydrologic Mini ARCS water filters need a replacement, replace them as soon as you can. Make sure you buy the appropriate water filters ahead of time and in the correct micron size. Having extra water filters ready for replacement ensures there is no interruption in your cultivation process.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to change your Hydrologic Mini ARCS water filters:
- Before handling the Hydrologic Mini ARCS, ensure the system is not running.
- Grab a filter wrench and gently twist the stage one sediment cartridge out.
- Then, you can untwist the rest of the cartridge manually.
- Take your old filter out of the cartridge and discard it properly.
- Put the new filter (double-check the micron size) in the cartridge
- Tighten up the cartridge by hand.
- Use the filter wrench to give the cartridge just under a quarter turn to get it in a firm and secure position. Avoid over-tightening the cartridge.
- Now, you can change the water filter from the stage two heavy metal cartridge using the same process listed above for the stage one filter. When securing the cartridge to the system, you want to ensure that the gasket fits properly.
- To change the stage three pH neutralizer and remineralization cartridge, follow the process listed above for the previous two cartridges.
- Turn the system on and check for any leaks.
Pro tip: We recommend having a calendar reminder or setting up an alert on your smartphone to remind you to change or buy replacement water filters.
Subscribe to Growing Exposed on YouTube
For behind-the-scenes insight into the world’s best cannabis gardens and advice from top growers on how to set up a garden of your own, subscribe to the Growing Exposed channel on YouTube. We travel all over the country to show you the most exciting developments in cannabis cultivation.