Types of Swimming Pool Filters

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Everybody would want to swim in a clean pool. Maintaining a clean pool is necessary to owners. You will need pool filters to clean the refuse in swimming pool. The filter is a system that cleans the water in a pool. Pool owners run the filters differently depending on the filter type and how the pool is used. Sand filter, diatomaceous earth filter, and cartridge filter are three main types of swimming pool filters that we’ll run through below.

Every swimming pool needs a filter, which means that you need to choose one and then maintain it as long as you have the pool. There are different types of filters and they each have pros and cons, so it is worth careful consideration. Your pool filter will be your main ally in keeping your water clean and swimmer-friendly.

How do pool filters work?

Essentially, all pool filters provide a surface or substance that water is forced through by a pump, removing both large and small debris. There are several types of pool filters:

  • Sand filters
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters
  • Cartridge filters

How do I clean my swimming pool filter?

That depends on the type of filter that you have. DE and sand filters are both cleaned by backwashing, which is a process where you run the filter pump in reverse to clean out the material that has been trapped inside. The water comes out of a special waste line and has to be discarded.

Cartridge filters are cleaned by removing and hosing off the media. In some cases, special tools are needed to really get the cartridge clean. If the cartidge is really dirty, you may have to leave it soaking overnight in a bucket of cleaner.

How big should my pool filter be?

This is a critical question, because a filter that is too small may not adequately clean your water, and a filter that is too big may cost you money. Most filters are sold by the square foot. However, roughly how many square feet you need to clean your pool depends on which type of filter you are looking at:

  • Sand filter: 3.0 square feet per 10,000 to 15,000 gallons in a small pool; 1.75-2.0 square feet per 10,000 gallons in a larger pool
  • Diatomaceous earth filter: 36 square feet per 10,000 to 15,000 gallons in a small pool; 18-24 square feet per 10,000 gallons in a larger pool
  • Cartridge filter: 100-200 square feet per 10,000 to 15,000 gallons in a small pool; 125-200 square feet per 10,000 gallons in a larger pool

These numbers will vary depending on the size of your pump, how large your intake lines are, and how big the pool is. Erring on the largest is typically recommended, if you are not sure which size filter to buy.

When considering the size of your filter, the size of your pump is also important. Pumps that are too large can cause excessive pressure within the filter, which can lead to inefficient filtration and even cracking or crushing of the filter media. Pumps that are too small may result in insufficient water turnover.

Sand filters

Sand filters are the oldest systems of filtering water. Sand filters are large tanks filled with sieving sand. Inside the reservoir lies a sand bed that filters any dirt elements from your pool. The water that returns to the swimming pool is clean for swimming. Soil elements build up inside the tank preventing the water from flowing into the pool. The pressure rises in the chamber and is indicated on the multiport valve attached. Due to the pressure, backwashing is needed. The waste collected by sand filters is twenty to forty microns. The sand filters can last for ten years before being replaced.

What could be the advantages and disadvantages of using sand filters? The sand filters are affordable, easy to run and maintain. Another advantage is that these filters are not expensive to replace. Need for backwashing is a disadvantage. The sand filters waste a lot of water through backwashing and rinsing as well as energy.

Cartridge filters

Cartridge filters have fewer parts and are easy to use. The cartridge filters are tall hence saving space. Pool water is brought to the filter tank from your pump and is flows into the filter tissue. The waste particles are then trapped and clean water returns to the pool. There is a gauge at the top of the tank that shows you when it’s time to clean the water. You may know when it’s time to remove the cartridge and hose it down when the pressure goes up.

The good thing with cartridge filters is that they help conserve water and backwashing are not needed. The filters perform at a lower speed hence are perfect for energy saving. The cartridge filters particles that are as small as ten microns. The disadvantage of cartridge filters is that there is need to replace the cartridges one or two times a year.

DE filters

Diatomaceous Earth is also called a DE. A white fossil powder (Diatomaceous Earth) coated on the grids of the filter is used to trap any contaminated particles in the water pool. Water is added to Diatomaceous Earth to dissolve before putting it in the filter; this helps prevent clotting on the grids. Clotting would prevent proper filtering of the dirt. The DE filters waste particles that are as small as three microns hence, an efficient filter type.

Which pool filter is best for me?

It depends on what is most important to you. Sand filters tend to be the cheapest option, but they require backwashing, which wastes pool water, and they do not remove particles as small as DE filters do. DE filters remove the smallest particles of all filter types, which is attractive to people who want the absolute clearest possible water. Cartridge filters are more expensive than sand filters, but there is no water wasted on backwashing and they are extremely simple to use.

  • Cheapest: Sand filter
  • Removes smallest particles: DE filter
  • Easiest to set up: Cartridge filter
  • Lowest maintenance: Sand filter
  • Does not require backwashing: Cartridge filter

Choose the filter that sounds the most appealing to you and your wallet. The most important thing is to make sure it is the right size.