Review of Pool Filter Systems
There are many different types of pool filter systems, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The three main types of pool filters are: cartridge pool filters, D.E. pool filters, and sand pool filters.
Cartridge Pool Filter
Cartridge pool filters have proven to be an excellent option for pool owners who are looking for a low-maintenance and economical filter system. This system works by pushing water through a fabric filter, which then traps particles and small debris. Cleaning your cartridge pool filter is done by simply removing the filter cartridge and rinsing it off with water.
D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) Filter
D.E. pool filters provide outstanding filtration, but due to their high cost and unique maintenance needs, these systems are typically used for athletic pools and other large swimming facilities. D.E. systems utilize a grid filter that is coated with a porous powder comprised of tiny fossilized plankton skeletons. This powder has the ability to trap tiny particles, leaving your pool with sparkling clarity. When the grids accumulate too much dirt and grime, the filter will need to be backwashed, which involves reversing the water flow.
Sand Pool Filters
Sand pool filters have become a time-tested favorite for their affordability and effectiveness. These filters pump your pool water into a sand bed, where dirt and particles are trapped within the sand’s tiny, jagged edges. As the sand bed accumulates more dirt, the filter becomes more efficient because there are more elements to trap incoming particles. Once the sand bed becomes too soiled, you’ll need to clean the system via backwashing.
Pros and Cons
Cartridge pool filters provide great filtration and can trap particles down to 5-10 microns. They can be easily cleaned with a garden hose and involve easy maintenance; however, they typically require a full replacement of the cartridge more often than sand or D.E. filters. D.E. pool filters produce the best filtration results, trapping particles as small as 3 microns, but the initial costs are higher than other methods and they require a bit more maintenance. Sand pool filters are the least expensive system to operate, and require a full sand change approximately every seven years. As with D.E. systems, sand filters require backwashing, which some consumers consider to be wasteful. Although they are not costly to operate, sand filters can only trap particles around 20-25 microns.