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Old 01/08/2016, 12:44 PM   #1
skp
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When to Discard Filter Socks

Hi,

I've been using a couple of 200 micron felt filter socks since I started my tank about 7 months ago. At first they never clogged up. I just rinsed and wrung them several times in the old tank water during my weekly water changes. After about 4 months, they started to clog but the same rinsing during the water change was able to unclog them. Another month after that they started to clog every 2-3 days so I started to do a more thorough cleaning by rinsing and ringing in tap water, letting it dry out, then rinsing and ringing one more time to get the dry debris then letting it dry out. This allowed the socks to go about 5 days before they clogged. I even tried the soaking in bleach and it allows the socks to go about the same 5 days. About 9 days ago, I replaced the socks with new ones and these are nowhere near clogging. And so I started to think about this. My new socks can go longer without cleaning which means either:

A. All the ways that I have tried to clean the socks do not really clear out all of the debris...or
B. The internal structure of the felt on the old socks has degraded and I need to just throw them away.

What do you all think is the case?

thanks!


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Old 01/08/2016, 02:02 PM   #2
d0ughb0y
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I would recommend DIY. Each new sock cost me 25 cents, so just toss out and use a brand new one every time. You will never be able to wash/clean a filter sock back to a brand new state.

before you toss out your current filter socks, cut out the filter fabric and keep the ring for use with your diy sock.

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Old 01/08/2016, 02:51 PM   #3
skp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0ughb0y View Post
I would recommend DIY. Each new sock cost me 25 cents, so just toss out and use a brand new one every time. You will never be able to wash/clean a filter sock back to a brand new state.

before you toss out your current filter socks, cut out the filter fabric and keep the ring for use with your diy sock.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...3&postcount=13
How do you control the micron rating? I feed my sps and so I would like to stay around the 200 micron range. Also, do you ever worry about any polyester coming off and making it into a pump? I noticed with my filter socks, that the inside of the socks material has 'fluff' that can come off but the outside of the sock fabric is a smooth porous material with no breaks or 'fluff'.


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:00 PM   #4
sticky polyps
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I turn mine inside out and wash them with a few capfuls of plain bleach, no need to run a cycle pre sock wash to rid of soap and no need to declorinate either, just completely air dry before use. This is with older style washing machine btw... been doing this for over a year with 2 socks without any problems


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:02 PM   #5
05cummins
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Good question. I have been rinsing mine as you described above. Going to put them in washer this weekend.


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:21 PM   #6
skp
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Originally Posted by jakes65mixer View Post
I turn mine inside out and wash them with a few capfuls of plain bleach, no need to run a cycle pre sock wash to rid of soap and no need to declorinate either, just completely air dry before use. This is with older style washing machine btw... been doing this for over a year with 2 socks without any problems
Can I ask how long do your washed socks last before clogging?


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:22 PM   #7
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I've been using the same 200 micron felt filter socks for the last 5 years and have yet to buy new ones. I use 4 socks in my sump at a time and usually wash 6 weeks worth at a time. I've always (since day 1) got the same 7-10 days out of them before they clogged. I've been cleaning mine the same way since day 1 too. I wash them in the washing machine with a small amount of bleach. I set the machine to include a pre-wash and a 2nd rinse and medium to high temp. The socks always come like new. I suspect your cleaning method isn't working as well as you may think (looks can be deceiving) which would explain why they don't last as long. The extra agitation of the washing machine really does help free up any trapped solids. That or your tank has more solids in it now (that it did months back) from increased load or increased feeding. The length of time it takes for them clog is dependant on the amount of solid waste in your tank as well as the amount of flow through the socks.

If you use the washing machine which I strongly recommend, try to clean out the soap trays if you can before you do the wash. It's something I make a point of doing as a matter of habit every time I wash my socks. If by chance there is some residual soap, the rinse cycles will remove it but it's easy for me to clean the soap/fabric soften trays in my machine so I always do that first. Also be sure to use a 2nd rinse cycle and even a pre wash if you have that option. Then let them air dry before putting them back in. .


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:37 PM   #8
skp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slief View Post
I've been using the same 200 micron felt filter socks for the last 5 years and have yet to buy new ones. I use 4 socks in my sump at a time and usually wash 6 weeks worth at a time. I've always (since day 1) got the same 7-10 days out of them before they clogged. I've been cleaning mine the same way since day 1 too. I wash them in the washing machine with a small amount of bleach. I set the machine to include a pre-wash and a 2nd rinse and medium to high temp. The socks always come like new. I suspect your cleaning method isn't working as well as you may think (looks can be deceiving) which would explain why they don't last as long. The extra agitation of the washing machine really does help free up any trapped solids. That or your tank has more solids in it now (that it did months back) from increased load or increased feeding. The length of time it takes for them clog is dependant on the amount of solid waste in your tank as well as the amount of flow through the socks.

If you use the washing machine which I strongly recommend, try to clean out the soap trays if you can before you do the wash. It's something I make a point of doing as a matter of habit every time I wash my socks. If by chance there is some residual soap, the rinse cycles will remove it but it's easy for me to clean the soap/fabric soften trays in my machine so I always do that first. Also be sure to use a 2nd rinse cycle and even a pre wash if you have that option. Then let them air dry before putting them back in. .
Rinsing and letting dry then rubbing/grinding the dry socks then rinsing and wringing one more time almost gets the color back to almost white but I can get the color to be solid white if I soak in bleach. I'm suspecting that it's dead bacteria that is really embedded well in the material. I have a front load machine with no agitator and a soap tray that cannot be removed. The soap tray opening has a plastic showing the maximum fill line and its hard to really make sure the entire thing is cleaned out. I'm really paranoid about using the washing machine because of soap residue. The inside of my machine smells like soap so it can't be 100% free of soap or perfume right?


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skp View Post
Rinsing and letting dry then rubbing/grinding the dry socks then rinsing and wringing one more time almost gets the color back to almost white but I can get the color to be solid white if I soak in bleach. I'm suspecting that it's dead bacteria that is really embedded well in the material. I have a front load machine with no agitator and a soap tray that cannot be removed. The soap tray opening has a plastic showing the maximum fill line and its hard to really make sure the entire thing is cleaned out. I'm really paranoid about using the washing machine because of soap residue. The inside of my machine smells like soap so it can't be 100% free of soap or perfume right?
My machine is also a front load without the agitator but even so, the machine wash does by far a better job washing the socks than we can by hand and the constant back and forth along with the spin agitates the socks enough to remove any waste that's embedded in them. Trust me on that one. In my machine, I have conventient soap tray drawer that I can pull out and rinse. Some people will run an empty wash before throwing their socks in. I would run a high temp wash cycle with noting first and then toss your socks in with a bit of unscented bleach. If they smell soap, then wash them again. That said, I have NEVER heard of anybody having any issues when washing their socks in the machine so I think you are worrying about nothing. Like I said, I've been doing it this way for 5 years and before I got these new front load machines a couple year back, I didn't have trays to rinse and I never had an issue.


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Old 01/08/2016, 03:54 PM   #10
d0ughb0y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skp View Post
How do you control the micron rating? I feed my sps and so I would like to stay around the 200 micron range. Also, do you ever worry about any polyester coming off and making it into a pump? I noticed with my filter socks, that the inside of the socks material has 'fluff' that can come off but the outside of the sock fabric is a smooth porous material with no breaks or 'fluff'.
I am on my second year using the diy socks now. no issues. you can try different fabric, but the fabric I use is tried and tested. You can take the picture to a jo-ann fabric and ask for it so you can see the fabric yourself. I'd say its probably 80-100 micron. you can try one and see if it works or not.


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Old 01/08/2016, 04:32 PM   #11
sixpackgarage
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I haven't used a filter sock in 4-5 months, but when I used to use them, it would require cleaning every several days.


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Old 01/08/2016, 06:26 PM   #12
JP Reef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slief View Post
My machine is also a front load without the agitator but even so, the machine wash does by far a better job washing the socks than we can by hand and the constant back and forth along with the spin agitates the socks enough to remove any waste that's embedded in them. Trust me on that one. In my machine, I have conventient soap tray drawer that I can pull out and rinse. Some people will run an empty wash before throwing their socks in. I would run a high temp wash cycle with noting first and then toss your socks in with a bit of unscented bleach. If they smell soap, then wash them again. That said, I have NEVER heard of anybody having any issues when washing their socks in the machine so I think you are worrying about nothing. Like I said, I've been doing it this way for 5 years and before I got these new front load machines a couple year back, I didn't have trays to rinse and I never had an issue.
I don't even rinse out my soap tray or run a cycle. I run a hot wash with a little bleach and an extra rinse. Never had a problem getting them clean or anything negative to the tank. The water that drains out during the spin shows exactly what is getting pulled out and it is a lot of gunk.


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Old 01/08/2016, 06:46 PM   #13
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I'm with JP, I just run them thru a short cycle in the clothes washer with some bleach. Air dry for a day , good to go! Worked well for years.


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Old 01/11/2016, 12:17 PM   #14
skp
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. If I went with the dyi route then I would have to sew some new felt onto the rings each time I replaced them (I have proprietary socks so the size is specific). I'll try the washing machine to see if extends the time until they clog.


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Old 01/11/2016, 01:00 PM   #15
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Once mines do not turn white after 2 cycles in the washing machine.


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