Pool Filter Buying Guide



We know that maintaining a sparkling clean pool can be a headache, but we also know it is worth it. There is nothing like having friends over and hearing them say, “Wow,your pool looks amazing”. Besides water chemistry, your Pool Filter plays a big part in that result. Why is it you always seem to get a different answer to the question of “Which Filter Option Is the Best?” Well,that depends on who you ask. Since there are varied views here, we thought we would simply give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

 

There are three different types of Pool Filters that are used on residential swimming pools at this time.

 

 

Sand Pool Filters

Cartridge Pool Filters

DE Pool Filters

Water Clarity

Good

Better

Best

Filtration

20-25 Microns

5-10 Microns

3-5 Microns

 

 

 

 

Media

Sand

Cartridge Filter

DE Grids & DE Powder

Cleaning Frequency

Weekly

Varies, normally 1-2 times per season

Every 4-8 Weeks

Media Replacement

Every 6 years

Every 2-4 Years

DE at every backwash

Annual Cleaning

None

None

Clean Grids

 

 

 

 

Require Backwashing

YES

NO

YES

Require Valve

YES

NO

YES

 

 

 

 

Pros

Lowest Priced Option

Easy to backwash

Limited Repairs

Filter Media is Cheap

Easy Filter Cleaning

High Capacity

Does not waste water

Lower Pressure

Easy to Repair

Best Filtration

Easy to add media (DE)

 

 

 

 

Cons

Weekly backwashing

 

Higher Replacement Costs

Not practical for larger pools as they would need 4 cartridges

Requires Annual Grid Cleaning

Requires DE to be added at each backwash

 

Now let’s go over each…

 

Sand Pool Filters are one of the most popular filter options currently on the market. They are great for large and small pools alike and tend to be the lowest price option when purchasing new. Sand Filters work by forcing your water through the sand media towards the bottom of the filter. The dirt, debris and other items, up to 20-25 microns in size, remain in the sand allowing only clean water to return to the pool. When your Sand Filter is ready to be cleaned, you would backwash the filter until the water runs clear. Sand Filters require a weekly backwash but do not require the sand to be added back in at each backwash. Sand Filters require a Pool Filter Valve, Silica Sand and a Backwash Hose. Many people prefer to use a sand alternative such as Zeobest, which requires 50% less media than silica sand, or Vitro which uses 20% less media than silica sand. Sand Filters do not filter as well as Cartridge Filters or DE Filters and will get significantly improved results with the use of Filter Enhancers, which will basically thicken the foreign contaminants allowing the Sand Filter to be more effective.

 

Cartridge Pool Filters are growing in popularity due to the ease of use and limited installation requirements.  Cartridge Filters work by forcing the water through a pleated filter element that is similar to an air filter. A cartridge element will filter the dirt and debris down to 5-10 microns and will normally only be cleaned 1-2 times per season. Cartridge Filters are offered for large and small pools however many pool owners with larger pools do not recommend this filter for the simple fact that many of the larger sized Cartridge Filters use 4 Filters which can add up when the time comes to replace them. Cartridge Filter Elements will normally last 2-4 years depending on use. With each cleaning the element looses a bit of its cleaning power. Cartridge Filters do not filter as well as DE Filters and will see slightly improved results with the use of Filter Enhancers, which will basically thicken the foreign contaminants allowing the Cartridge Filter to be more effective. Cartridge Filters do not require the use of a backwash hose, silica sand, DE powder, or a valve.

 

DE Pool Filters are the best of the filters, filtration wise at least. DE Filters, or Diatomaceous Earth Filters, operate with a combination of Sand/Cartridge Filter qualities. Each filter has a set of grids (similar to cartridge) that add to the filtering power of the DE Powder. When your DE Filter is ready to be cleaned, you would backwash the filter until the water runs clear. DE Filters require backwashing every 4-8 weeks and also require the DE Powder to be added back in at each backwash. You are able to add the DE Powder straight into your pool skimmer to recharge your filter . DE Filters require a Pool Filter Valve, DE Powder and a Backwash Hose. Many people prefer to use a DE Alternative such as ZeoFiber only which requires 3lbs for every 25 lbs of DE.

 

Things to remember during purchase:


Pipe Size – Filters are offered for 1.5” or 2”plumbing. Ensure you order correctly.

Sand and DE Filters both require filter valves to be able to backwash. Some filters include the valve, while others are sold separately. If it is sold separately, ensure you purchase a compatible valve.

Cartridge Filters require their elements to be changed every 2-5 years, so check the price of your Replacement Filter before ordering.

DE Filters require their grids to be changed every 9-15 years (average), check the price of your Replacement Grids before ordering.

Many of the filters can be improved using Filter Cleaners and Enhancers

 

Sizing your Pool Filter:


Each product has its own performance limits. Depending on your pool pump GPM and run time, you may need to adjust the filter selection. Filters are one thing that you can increase; in fact, it is recommended that you increase the size by one over what you think you should get. Remember that a 100 sq ft filter has different limits for each type of filter; many will also vary for each model. If you have any questions about sizing your filter, contact us for more information.



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