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Hayward Filter O-Ring

My expierence with the Hayward cartridge filter (model CX-1250) head o-rings has been quite frustrating. The problem is that the large o-ring that seals the head to the lower body will stretch and fall out of the channel that it is intended to stay in while placing the head on the body. In addition the o-ring is hidden under the black threaded hold down ring so there is no way to hold the o-ring into place or guide it into position. I have replaced this o-ring a number of times at the cost of about $20 each. Most of them only last a few months before they are so stretched out that they will not stay in the channel. Adding to the frustration, finding the replacement o-ring has not been easy. Local pool supply shops do not carry my particular o-ring in stock and finding them on the internet is possible, but a bit confusing. A reliable source for me has been Specialty Pool Products

THE SOLUTION... After buying a number of these o-rings, I found a solution that will allow you to continue using the stretched out o-ring without too much additional effort. Here is picture of the unit we are talking about. I suspect that this problem is not limited to this make or model of filter units, so this may work for others as well.
Hayward CX-1250 above ground cartridge filter unit:

By removing the ring molded into the head that retains the black threaded ring, you can pull the black ring up and out of the way in order to hold and guide the o-ring into proper position to seal into the body. This was easily removed using a wood rasp/file. I was able to grind off the retainer in just a few minutes with the rasp, but first, the black ring was easily removed by using a large screw driver to pry the black ring up and over the retainer. (sorry, I don't have a before picture here.).

Now, with the retainer removed, the black ring can be pushed up and out of the way so you can guide the o-ring into position when placing the head onto the body. This may require a bit of effort to "squish" the stretched out o-ring into place. You need to work the extra length (as seen hanging to the left here) into the channel by working the o-ring in while placing some down pressure on the head.

Finally, once the o-ring is in place and the head pushed down into the body, pull the black threaded ring into position and turn it down to secure the head just as before.

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