Petmate Fresh Flow Filter Replacement
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How to replace the Petmate Fresh Flow filter with a better, homemade filter.

The Fresh Flow filters use a pelletized form of carbon. While it is very clean and easy to handle, it is definitely not the most effective for removing impurities from the water. It is probably used to minimize the rinsing required when using a new filter. However it lacks the abundance of pores which the more common aquarium carbon has. Plus, there really is very little carbon in the purchased filters. Certainly not enough to justify the price!

At the top of the filter the pouch is stitched closed. By removing these stitches, you may refill the filter with a larger amount of better quality carbon. Once you have removed the stitches, pull out the black plastic frame, turn the filter bag inside out and discard the carbon pellets. Rinse the filter bag very well, rubbing/rolling gently between your palms, then turn right side out and rinse some more.

My 3 water-drinking cats liked the fountain when I first got it but in only a couple of days showed less enthusiasm. It was only the first day or so after it was refilled that they really drank a lot. Since switching to refilling the bags with lots of traditional aquarium carbon they show no loss of interest over the course of a week, even if I refill without cleaning.

The carbon is available at any pet store for only a few dollars. If you have any doubt about what to buy just ask a clerk for Activated Carbon for Fresh Water Aquarium filters. If your town water supply uses Chloramine (sp?) you may wish to use a product called AmmoCarb which has ammonia removing resins in addiction to the carbon.

Because the carbon is so inexpensive, I replace it every 2 or 3 weeks but I suspect you could wait much longer, especially if only one cat used the fountain.

Take a couple of tablespoons of activated carbon and place in a clean glass.
Fill the glass with fresh clean water. The water WILL turn black, this is normal. Much of the carbon will float. The purpose of this step is to let the water soak into the carbon which will reduce the amount of rinsing which will be required later. How long to soak? I put the carbon in the water before I start cleaning the fountain. By the time the plastic housing and the pump motor are clean and everything else is set back up I figure that is long enough. (I tried skipping this step and found it took much longer to rinse the dust from the carbon once I put it in the filter bag.)
Note the slight taper of the filter frame. That narrow end must go into the filter bag first and will end up at the bottom when placed in the fountain. With the frame in the bag, spoon the carbon from the glass into the bag. It can be filled quite plumply, but stop filling when you get to within 1/4" of the top of the frame, 1/2" of the top of the bag. Rinse, rinse, rinse! Both from the top an the side. You can put a few basting stitches in the top of the filter bag but it is not necessary.
When the filter is replaced in the housing it should look something like this. The water level doesn't/can't go high enough to wash the carbon out of the filter bag. If when turning on the filter the first water coming down the ramp appears dark it simply means the carbon was not rinsed well enough. It will do no harm if left, the carbon is non toxic. Or you may dump out the water, rinse, rinse, rinse, and refill.
Copyright 2004 CNR

Other Pages Related to Electric Cat Water Fountains:

Cat Electric Water Fountain Reviews
There are many different fountains on the market. Our performance reviews help you select the best fountain for your cat.

Cleaning the Petmate Fresh Flow Fountain
Improve performance with our detailed photos, troubleshooting and cleaning instructions.

Replace the Petmate Fresh Flow Fountain's Filter
Make your own replacement filter for longer life and save money.


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