James I have a 21 bag filter system vacuum and I also had thought of
washing the filters but I knew the steel bars would rust. Well after I
ruined two shop vac's trying to clean them I just replaced the bags
filters. ( after 10 years of use ) I sent the filters to Hoover &
Strong and recovered my expense for the new filters.
I bought the filters from Rio Grande four years ago and they are
still working well , I think at the time I paid 275.- 300. The
increase in CFM was incredible . But my thought is that your system
is fairly new and your filters should be in good shape , my
suggestion is to make sure that the filters fit tightly together and
there is no gaps at the top when you reinstall them. Also check the
for excessive rouge accumulation in the silencer, if it looks clean
then your in good shape.
Hope this helps