Tryed finding the pe this morning for my light and all I could find was this... I have the 18 inch one.Yea it'll go forever without it. You could be seeing it not liking the flow without it or even if that's where your carbon is Chem warfare goo is building up.
But def clean it befor going back on line. Ammonia can build up in it or worse.
You might just be having a bit of the perfect storm. Three things or more not quite right at the same time.