How to Clean a UV Sleeve

Woman washing hands with UV filtered water

What is the Purpose of a UV Sleeve?

The clear tube that protects a UV lamp is called a "UV sleeve" and is generally made of quartz. The UV quartz sleeve is an essential part of any UV water filtration system. The protection sleeve can gradually become coated with mineral deposits and other contaminants, but its job is to be a barrier between the UV lamp and the water flowing past.

A UV sleeve must be cleaned regularly for a UV lamp to work effectively

How to Clean Your UV Sleeve

  1. Begore getting started, shut off the water supply valve going to the UV system. Then turn on a faucet in the house to depressurize the system.

  2. Unplug the power. There may be an alarm that goes off as a warning.

  3. Check to make sure the UV system is not too warm. You may want to allow the system to cool down for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Carefully remove the protective cover or safety cap (at the top of the UV system) by squeezing the tabs.

  5. Remove the lamp plug, but make sure the strain relief wires remain connected.Diagram of UV Lamp and Sleeve

  6. Put on new, clean gloves before removing the lamp/sleeve as oils on the skin can damage the UV lamp or sleeve.

  7. Remove the lamp/sleeve assembly along with the sleeve bolt from the chamber.

  8. Unscrew the UV lamp by holding the sleeve bolt.

  9. Unscrew the sleeve bolt and remove o-rings from the quartz sleeve.

  10. Clean the quartz UV tube with a cloth soaked in CLR, vinegar or some other mild acid. Rinse with water. Make sure not to use a towel or cloth that is abrasive or that could scratch the sleeve.

Expert Tips

How Often Should a UV Sleeve be Cleaned?

Regularly cleaning the UV quartz sleeve of your UV water purifier is important because contaminant buildup on the sleeve can hinder UV transmission and reduce overall UV light effectiveness.

Thorough cleaning and maintenance of the quartz sleeve is recommended every 12 months. You may want to clean the UV sleeve at the same time you're replacing the UV lamp each year. The quality of your household water may necessitate cleaning the sleeve more often. In fact, some customers pull out their quartz sleeve and clean it every few months.

NOTE: Some UV lamps have a lifespan longer than 12 months, but generally UV lamps should be changed out every 12-24 months.

When Should a UV Sleeve be Replaced?

It is recommended that all quartz sleeves be replaced every 2-3 years. Completely replacing the sleeve every 24-36 months will ensure the UV system continues to operate properly.

UV Lamps and Sleeves

UV quartz sleeves protect the ultraviolet lamp in a UV water sterilizer system. UV sleeves are an essential part of any UV water filtration system.

VIDEO: Step-by-Step Instructions for Replacing a UV Lamp

How to Clean a UV Lamp?

A UV sterilizer bulb for water disinfection should not be cleaned. Only the UV sleeve should be cleaned.

Instead, a UV lamp should be replaced every 12 months or 9,000 hours of service. NOTE: Some lamps are made to last for 24 months.

Many UV systems have a controller that indicates when it's time for a lamp replacement. The UV system indicator may be a visual cue like a green light, an audible alarm or an LED display countdown from 365 until the replacement due date. Learn more about how to replace a UV lamp.

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