today's problem: pool filter leaking

OK, so the pool is now full of what may or may nor be softened water. (New to us house, first time pool owners, pool more than 3 and less than 10 yrs old.) When the water level got high enough to start entering the skimmer, the cartridge filter started leaking from where the top and bottom meet. When the water was high enough to turn on the pump, I did so just to see what would happen and water gushed out from the filter in every direction possible. So I turned it all off.
I put a call in to the pool company that opened the pool for me, but I haven't heard back from them yet. I paid them a lot of money to open the pool, which isn't really as ready to go as I expected it to be, and they haven't returned a call from yesterday afternoon, so I'm getting a little frustrated with them. I've got a call in also to a local guy from the Pennysaver who seems to deal in dismantling and reselling pools and equipment. His phone number is very local to mine, so I'm hoping he'll stop by to assess the filter for me and maybe either be able to service it or switch it out for me for something he's got on hand.
We really don't want to put a lot of money into this pool, my husband would be more inclined to just let the local guy dismantle the damn thing and haul it out of here! But the kids will be heartbroken, and I've already paid a crapload of non-refundable money for swimming lessons for the kids in anticipation of keeping them from drowning in this alleged backyard pool.
So my question is, can anyone give me an idea of what might be wrong with the filter, so that I have some hope of not being totally snowed by someone into purchasing completely new equipment if avoidable.
Thanks for all the help and advice.
Karen
PS The ac install seems to have gone well, but the weather has cooled a bit and the humidity has gone down considerable after a series of thunderstorms, so we haven't had much cause to use it beyond having it on to check it out. It did seem to cool the house very evenly, and i noticed the lower humidity level. They moved the thermostat's location away from next to the wood burning stove and installed a very nice programmable thermostat in a more sensible locaiton, so I need to find some time to get that programmed. So far, so good.
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Tighten the screw(s) that holds the 2 parts together. If you don't know how, post brand/model.
If that doesn't work, disassemble, check for misplaced or worn gasket and fix or replace.
If you're going to call a service company every time something goes wrong with the pool, get used to waiting.
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Someone might be able to help if you gave the pertinent info. Like, for instance, what filter it is.
Without that, I'd suggest tightening the offending parts, and/or replacing o-rings or gaskets, with proper lubrication.
Bob
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Bob F wrote:

Duh, sorry. This is the pump and filter system we have: http://www.pool-filters.com/pool-filter-cartridge-elimintator-ag.htm Swimming Pool Filters :: Eliminator Cartridge Filter
The pool company called and I have an appointment with them for Monday. They'll roll the labor into what I paid for the opening services, and just charge for any parts.
In the meantime, I'll see if the local guy has a filter to replace this one with in case it's beyond repair.
We're really not very handy, but as we work through these problems and learn the lingo and parts we'll hopefully be able to assess and manage some of these problems without being at the mercy of the pool company.
Thanks for help and advice.
Karen
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