What is the Best Type of Pool Filter?
Pool filters are an essential part of your pool’s plumbing system. They filter out dirt, sunscreen residue, body oils, algae and other types of debris to keep the water in your pool clear and clean. If you have an inground pool, there are three different types of filters to choose from: sand filters, cartridge filters or diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. The best pool filter is the one that fits your budget and requires the level of maintenance that works for you.
Types Of Pool Filters
Sand filters are the most popular type because they are inexpensive and low maintenance. The filter is made of a tank that’s filled with sand. As water passes through the sand, it is purified leaving all the dirt and debris behind in the tank.
Cleaning out a sand filter is simple. You don’t have to take apart the filter. Instead, after you lift the filter out of the pool’s plumbing system, you will move the valve to backwash mode and use a hose to clean out the debris that’s collected in the tank.
Every 3 – 5 years the sand will need to be replaced.
Cartridge filters come in second place in popularity. These filters are energy efficient, conserve the most water and require the least maintenance.
These filters come in three different sizes: small, medium and large. They are made up of pleated filters of spun polyester wrapped around a PVC or plastic core. When water passes through the material, the debris is caught in it. These filters are recommended for pools with variable speed pumps and/or laminar systems because they do not require a powerful pump to work effectively.
When it is time to clean the filters, you will need to dissemble them. They are easy to take apart and hose down. Since they do not need to be backwashed, you can conserve water (up to 90%). Along with rinsing them off with water, it is important to degrease them at least once a year.
Cartridge filters can last for 4 to 8 years depending on how well they are maintained.
Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters
D.E. filters produce the highest water clarity. They are also the most expensive and high maintenance. These filters are made of a tank like sand filters but with fine mesh grids inside that are coated with diatomaceous earth (a mixture of crushed sea shells and diatoms). The grids, or fingers, catch finer particles and smaller pieces of debris than sand or cartridge filters producing the clearest water.
These filters must be consistently backwashed. Additional DE must be added following each cleaning. You also have to dissemble them on an annual basis to clean and degrease the fine mesh, or fingers. Otherwise, suntan lotion residue, body oil, algae and other contaminants will build up.
While the high cost and maintenance are a deterrent for many homeowners, D.E. filters are very effective filters.
Whether you prefer sand, cartridge or D.E. filters, you can find what you need at Pool Works! We carry all essential pool supplies for Florida residents in Lakeland and the surround area. Stop in today to pick up your new pool filters!