Changing a filter element can cause massive contamination ingression if the proper precautions are not taken and the proper procedures followed. We have compiled a step-by-step guide to minimize contamination ingression while changing out elements. Check out how to change out a filter element below
Instructions for Replacing a Filter Element
1. Disable air handling units.
Before you start, make sure to disable any air handling units that may be blowing across the area where the filter assembly is located.
2. Shop-Vac around the filter head to minimize the contamination ingression when opening the assembly.
If a Shop-Vac is not available, wipe the area clean with a lint-free rag. If you need to use liquid to clean the area, do not use a solvent as it may contaminate the system fluid. We suggest using new system fluid if a wet, lint-free rag is needed to clean around the filter head.
3. Vent and drain the assembly before opening.
An outside-to-inside flow element will cascade contamination fluid into the assembly as you lift the element out of the fluid. If you cannot drain the assembly into the system, drain it down into a bucket and add to a quarantine barrel.
1. When the quarantine barrel is 2/3 full, cycle it through a filter cart to remove contamination.
2. After cleaning the fluid, send a sample out for testing to ensure the fluid still meets your application's requirements in relation to additive packages, viscosity, etc.
3. If the fluid still meets your requirements, transfer it back to the system via the filter cart.
If the lid of the assembly completely detaches, do not place it on the ground. place the lint-free rag facing up and place another lint-free rag over the exposed portion of the lid. If the assembly is a bowl style, keep the bowl in an upright position throughout the process to reduce the amount of environmental contamination that the bowl is exposed to.
4. Open the plastic bag containing the new element.
Be sure to open from the bottom and keep the element covered to minimize the amount of environmental contamination that the element is exposed to. This will also keep contamination from your hand/glove from being transferred to the element. The large particles will block off the midea below them that would hold smaller contamination particles. This will also greatly reduce element life. Most contamination that affects our systems can't even be seen. If dirt is on your hand/glove, it is a huge amount of contamination that will be added if the hand/glove touches the element
If the new element is a spin-on canister, open the end opposite the gasket.
5. Set the new element in place.
If the assembly is top-entry, let the filter slide down out of the bag into the assembly. You may have to turn the element while pushing it down to be ensure the element properly seats on the bottom nipple. If you must touch the element with your hand/glove as you line the element up with the nipple, besure that your hand/glove is clean. You wil be transferring contamination to the element regardless, but you want to ensure that you are minimizing the amount of contaminant transferred.
If the assembly is a REMOVABLE BOWL, slide the filter out of the bag and into the bowl.
If the assembly is a SPIN-ON CANISTER, lubricate the element gasket with system oil and immediately thread element head after is is removed from the packaging.
If you must touch the element with your hand/glove as you line the element up with the nipple, be sure that your hand/glove is clean. You will be transferring contamination to the element regardless, but you want to ensure that you are minimizing the amount of contaminant transferred.
6. Inspect the lid or bowl o-ring.
Check out the lid or bowl o-ring to ensure that it is free of defects and still suitable for use.
7. Secure the filter assembly head or bowl to reseal the system.
If the assembly is a removable bowl style, ensure the top end cap centers with the nipple in the assembly head as you reattach the bowl. If you must touch the element with your hand/glove as you line the element up with the nipple, be sure that your hand/glove is clean. You will be transferring contaminant to the element regardless, but you want to ensure that you are minimizing the amount of contaminant transferrred.
8. Air purge assembly as necessary when bringing back online.
With this last step, you should be finished with the proper filter element change out procedure. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.