Residential UV System Maintenance

UV system maintenance is a relatively simple affair. There are only a few small items that require yearly attention. The following are the basics of maintaining a UV system, and what you can do to ensure optimal performance.

Two Components: Lamp and Quartz Sleeve


There are only two components in the system that require replacement or cleaning on a regular basis – the lamp and the quartz sleeve. Depending on how often you are using the system (for example, if you turn the system off because it’s in a seasonal home, and it isn’t in continual use throughout the year), you may be able to do this maintenance less frequently.

The UV Lamp

If the UV system is in continuous use, the UV lamp should be changed every year. Due to the nature of UV lamps, over time, the production of germicidal UV-C drops off and it becomes less effective at deactivating organisms in the water. While the lamp may appear to be working, performance will be compromised. Changing the UV lamp yearly prevents this issue. Be sure to use lamps that are from the same manufacturer as your system.

It may seem cheaper to use a non-manufacturer lamp, but it could end up causing issues, preventing proper performance, not to mention, it will likely void your system warranty.

The Quartz Sleeve

The second element that requires maintenance is the quartz sleeve. The quartz sleeve is the part of the UV system that protects the lamp from touching the water directly and transmits the UV light into the water. Over time, this sleeve can become fouled or cloudy from mineral deposits in the water.

When the sleeve is cloudy or fouled, it’s not transmitting the full UV dose into the water, and your system will not function effectively. Cleaning the sleeve is simple and requires the use of a mineral removal product such as CLR. Once the sleeve is thoroughly cleaned, it can be placed back into the system and is ready to do its job.

If your sleeve is extremely fouled or difficult to clean, consider replacing it. Sleeves can last a long time but must be transparent in order to properly transmit UV-C light from the lamp to the water. Replacing your sleeve may be required, however, it’s not difficult to do.  Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that lamps and sleeves are replaced properly.

UV system maintenance is something that can easily be done by a homeowner without the assistance of a professional. However, if you have issues or are unable to do it, don’t hesitate to call your water treatment professional to assist you.

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