Universal Air Filter Element Service Instructions

Universal provides three types of filter elements for their cartridge filters and filter-silencers.  Pleated paper elements provide the highest efficiency and are considered standard. Pleated felt and wire mesh elements offer a longer lifespan but lower efficiencies. The three types are interchangeable and will fit the CCS, CS, CF and CCF filter housings.

Paper and felt elements are typically cleaned or replaced when the air flow resistance has increased by 4 inches of water over the initial clean resistance. The maximum restriction recommended across the filter elements is 20 inches of water, but this value may be greater than the equipment can tolerate for best efficiency. The wire mesh elements should be cleaned when they are visibly dirty and re-treated with Universal Oil-Free Adhesive or motor oil. Resistance is typically not a good indicator for cleaning wire mesh elements; a periodic cleaning schedule is recommended.  For paper and felt elements a simple differential pressure gauge can be screwed into the top of the housing; it will visually indicate when the filter is in need of changing or replacement.

Excessive pressure drop in your system costs you horsepower ($$$) and can also lead to equipment failure through excessive temperature rise on the blower, excessive horsepower absorbed by your drive (such as v-belts) leading to premature failure, and excessive horsepower on your motor causing overload and premature failure.

Pleated Paper Air Filter Element

Pleated Paper Filters 81-1063


  • High Quality industrial grade filter paper-pleated oven cured during production
  • Oven cured plastisol end caps with molded sealing beads (larger sized have metal end caps and closed cell rubber gaskets
  • Media efficiency: 99.5% on 2 microns; 97% on 1 micron

Paper Air Filter Element Service Instructions:
Because of the relatively low cost of the paper element, it is generally treated as disposable and replaced when dirty. However, the paper element can be cleaned and reused a number of times.

Water Cleaning: Rap gently to dislodge accumulated dirt, soak thoroughly approximately 15 minutes in warm water and mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly under low pressure water. Air dry – do not dry with compressed air.

Compressed Air cleaning: Carefully direct compressed air (100 psi maximum) through dry air filter element, opposite normal direction of flow. After cleaning, inspect carefully for holes or cracks. If damaged, replace element.

Pleated Felt Air Filter Element

Pleated Felt Air Filter Element


  • Durable polyester felt media – pleated
  • Oven cured plastisol end caps with molded sealing beads (larger sized have metal end caps and closed cell rubber gaskets
  • Media efficiency: 99% on 10 microns

Felt Service Instructions:
Pleated felt elements may be cleaned and reused a number of times. Follow the cleaning instructions for paper elements.



Wire Mesh Air Filter Elements

Wire Mesh Air Filter Elements

  • Galvanized wire-mesh media – corrugated construction
  • Larger sizes have metal end caps
  • For best efficiency, wire mesh elements must be treated with oil or oil-free adhesive
  • May be cleaned and reused an indefinite number of times (limited by rusting and damage)
  • Wire mesh elements are considered “roughing” filters and are not recommended for applications which require efficient filtration of fine particles. Approximate efficiency: 93% on 10 microns (with oil or adhesive treatment)

Wire Mesh Service Instructions:
For best efficiency, wire air filter elements must be treated when new and after each cleaning. For oil-free adhesive, spray the element on both sides with Universal Oil Free Adhesive (P/N 81-0323), following the directions on the container. For oil treatment, dip the element in SAE 30-50 motor oil and drain thoroughly before using.

To clean wire mesh element, wash in solvent or warm water and detergent in a container large enough for complete immersion of element. Rinse completely, drain, and either air dry or use compressed air. After cleaning and drying, re-treat the element with oil free adhesive or oil as described above.
Time to change your filter element? A clean element should have a pressure drop of 1 to 3″ of water column (w.c.). Filter elements should be changed when the pressure drop exceeds 10-15″w.c. of pressure loss. You may want to clean or replace the filter depending on the power usage of your machine. Remember, excessive pressure drop will cost you horsepower ($$$!).

Some other potential problems include:

  • Excessive temperature rise on the blower causing blower failure
  • Excessive horsepower absorbed by your drive (for instance v-belts which may cause pre-mature failure)
  • Excessive horsepower on your motor causing overload and pre-mature failure)

Replacement Elements


Replacement Element part numbers

Related Documents