A mixed bag
Poor design/manufacture. Must completely remove lid to agitate filter contents for backflush
I have a 3,500 gal koi pond and had been using a Pondmaster 4000 UV pressurized filter until it completely gave out several months ago after replacing several parts over the years. Great idea, poor design and construction. After researching several pressurized filters with UV, I decided to give the Pondmaster ClearGuard 5500 UV a try. The first one I received had a severely cracked tub, and Pet Solutions immediately replaced it. The ClearGuard 5500 was very easy to set up and works okay but requires much more work than the old 4000 which didn't require turning the pump off to backflush and was designed with an agitator handle to agitate the water while backflushing. To backflush the 5500, the pump must first be shut off, the function handle switched to Backflush, then the pump turned back on. To use the Rinse function after backflushing, the pump must once again be shut off, the function handle switched to Rinse, and the pump turned back on. Once finished rinsing, the pump must again be turned off, the function handle switched back to the Filter position and the pump turned back on. So, just to backflush and rinse, the pump must be turned off and on three times. Also, if you use the foam pad in the top of the filter (which I don't), you have to undo the securing band holding the lid on, remove the lid, remove the foam pad, replace the lid, secure it back down, then go through the above backflush process, THEN.... remove the lid again, replace the foam pad, and replace the lid, securing it in place. This is insane.
I purchased the second UV kit to get a total of 36w of UV, and the other issue I've experienced is both leak water into the UV sleeve. When I checked each after about a week and pulled them out, there was about 1/4" water in the bottom of each UV sleeve, and I made sure all o-rings were in place, and the securing rings were tight. Also, there is a screw in the UV power connector (connector the lamp plugs into), and that screw in each connector is already rusting. I have to check each UV on a weekly basis to empty the sleeves of water. Very poor design. I've figured out why the sleeves are leaking due to a design/manufacture flaw and just waiting for the weather to cool down enough to pull both UVs for the winter and fix them, along with replacing the rusting screws with stainless. Why Pondmaster didn't think of this, I have no clue.
Basically, in the few months I've had this filter, it does the job of keeping my pond free of algae and works fine with my pump and waterfall, but not a good design at all, and not well executed. This will be my last Pondmaster filter.
The best experience in purchasing this filter has been dealing with Pet Solutions. I don't recommend the filter, but highly recommend Pet Solutions.
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