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Know the Type of Filter that is Best for Your Swimming Pool

Choosing the Right Pool Filter: A Key Step in Maintaining a Clean and Clear Swimming Pool

Maintaining a crystal-clear and hygienic swimming pool requires several crucial steps, and one of the most important is selecting the right type of pool filter. The pool filter plays a vital role in removing debris and dirt from the water, allowing sanitizers like bromine, chlorine, or other chemicals to focus on effectively destroying harmful bacteria. To ensure optimal performance, it is essential to carefully consider the sizing recommendations when choosing a pool filter.

While evaluating potential pool filters for purchase, it is advisable to prioritize the recommended size. In fact, it might be even better to opt for a larger filter if it fits within your budget. Smaller filters may not always be as effective, especially when it comes to thoroughly cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as the edges between different pool sizes. Selecting the appropriate size for your pool filter is crucial to maintain a consistently clean pool environment. Additionally, it is worth exploring various cleaning services available to help you keep your pool in top condition.

A pool filter works in conjunction with swimming pool chemicals to create a healthy and enjoyable swimming experience. There are three main types of pool filters available on the market: cartridge filters, diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, and sand filters. Each of these filter types has its own advantages and can effectively perform the task of keeping your pool water pristine.

It is important to note that there is no definitive “best” filter that will suit every application. The choice of the most suitable filter ultimately depends on the preferences and requirements of the pool owner. By understanding the different filter types and their respective benefits, you can make an informed decision about the best filter type for your specific pool, ensuring a clean and inviting swimming environment for everyone to enjoy.


The first important step in maintaining a clear and clean swimming pool is getting a properly sized pool filter and using a TCCA tablet.


Know the Type of Filter that is Best for Your Swimming Pool

Let’s have a look into each and every type of pool filter we have named.

Sand Pool Filters

Sand pool filters are not only the most common but also the oldest type of pool filters available in the market. They rely on a filter tank that is filled with a specific grade of sand known as #20 silica sand, which can be conveniently found at local stores or gravel and sand yards. The filtering process begins when water enters the tank and is pushed down, passing through the sand bed that effectively traps debris and dirt particles suspended in the water.

As the water moves through the sand, it continues its journey to the bottom of the tank, where it enters the laterals. These laterals, which can be seen in a cutaway image of the filter, serve as slotted pipes that filter the pool water before it is directed back into the swimming pool. The central tube within the filter also plays a crucial role in facilitating the return of clean, filtered water to the pool.

It’s important to note that sand filters are best suited for filtering particles within the range of 20-40 microns. While they may not be as effective as other types of pool filters in removing very fine particles, they still provide adequate filtration for most common debris found in swimming pools.

One advantage of sand filters is their ease of maintenance. They typically require periodic backwashing or cleaning to remove accumulated dirt from the filter. Backwashing involves reversing the water flow through the filter to flush out trapped debris. The pressure gauge on the filter should be monitored, and backwashing is recommended when the pressure reaches 8-10 psi, as indicated by the startup meter reading.

However, there comes a point when backwashing alone is no longer sufficient to maintain optimal filter performance (The Spruce). Over time, the sand particles within the filter become smooth and lose their ability to effectively trap debris. At this stage, the sand needs to be replaced to ensure the filter can continue its function properly. On average, sand replacement is required every five to seven years. However, undersized sand filters may need more frequent sand changes, as suggested by Hayward-Pool.

By understanding the functionality and maintenance requirements of sand pool filters, you can make informed decisions regarding their suitability for your swimming pool, ensuring efficient filtration and clean, inviting water for your enjoyment.


The pool filters are responsible for removing debris and dirt

Cartridge Pool Filters

Cartridge pool filters derive their name from the fact that they contain a spun pleated polyester cartridge that bears a resemblance to the air filters commonly found in cars. These filters operate by forcing water through the folds of the cartridge, effectively trapping debris particles as small as 5-25 microns. Compared to sand filters, cartridge filters offer an improvement in terms of filtration efficiency.

One of the reasons why cartridge pool filters are popular is their low maintenance requirements. Larger filters of this type typically need cleaning only when the pressure exceeds the standard readings by 8 to 10 psi or at intervals of around 6 months. It’s important to note that each time the pool cartridge is cleaned, a certain degree of its filtering ability is lost. Over time, this can result in the accumulation of debris and oils that cannot be effectively removed, necessitating cartridge replacement.

On average, cartridge replacement is recommended every 3-5 years. The cost of replacement cartridges can vary, but you can expect to spend up to $100 for each cartridge. It’s worth mentioning that some filters may have multiple cartridges, and in such cases, seeking professional guidance can be beneficial in determining the appropriate replacement procedure. Replacement of this filter cartridge (watch on YouTube),

When searching for replacement cartridges, it’s important to consider the specifications and compatibility of the filters. Different filters may require specific types or sizes of cartridges, and a professional can assist you in selecting the right ones for your particular pool filter.

By understanding the structure, maintenance, and replacement requirements of cartridge pool filters, you can make informed decisions when it comes to choosing and maintaining these filters. This ensures efficient filtration and helps keep your pool water clean, clear, and ready for enjoyable swimming experiences.


You need to know that some of the filtering ability of this filter is usually lost each time the swimming pool cartilage is cleaned.

Diatomaceous Pool Filters

Diatomaceous pool filters, often abbreviated as D.E filters, are specifically designed to effectively remove particles as small as 1 to 3 microns in size. These filters are renowned for their exceptional filtration capability, making them the most efficient type available in the market.

D.E filters consist of grids or fingers that are coated with a fine powder made of diatomaceous earth. This powdered substance is responsible for carrying out the crucial filtering function of the filter. Unlike other filters where the filter media is included with the filter itself, the diatomaceous earth powder is typically sold separately. It is added to the filter by pouring it directly through a skimmer.

Similar to sand filters, diatomaceous pool filters require periodic backwashing. This process is performed when the pressure gauge on the filter reads 8-10 psi above the standard reading. Backwashing flushes out most of the diatomaceous earth powder, and it is important to note that this flushed material should not be directed into sanitary sewer systems or streams. Appropriate disposal procedures should be followed.

After backwashing, a fresh application of diatomaceous earth powder needs to be added to the filter through the skimmer to maintain optimal filtration efficiency. While diatomaceous filters are highly effective, it’s important to be aware that they are generally more expensive than other types of filters.

When purchasing pool filters, there are several factors to consider in order to make the right choice. Firstly, the size of the filter is crucial. Consider the turnover rate in terms of gallons per minute and select the one that best suits your needs. Opting for a larger filter may be a worthwhile consideration if it is within your budget.

Next, determine the level of cleanliness you desire for your pool water. For personal use, frequent cleanups may not be necessary, but it’s still advisable to perform maintenance as often as possible to ensure optimal water quality.

Lastly, consider the maintenance costs and time investment required for the filter. Different filters have varying maintenance requirements, so it’s essential to assess the resources you are willing to allocate for filter upkeep.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a diatomaceous pool filter, ensuring efficient filtration and enjoying clean and inviting pool water.

For personal use ones, you usually not need frequent cleanup, but then it is good you do it as much as you can.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, selecting the right pool filter is crucial for maintaining a clear and clean swimming pool. Each type of filter, whether it’s a sand filter, cartridge filter, or diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filter, offers its own unique benefits and considerations.

Sand filters, being the most common and oldest type, rely on a bed of sand to trap debris and dirt particles. While they may not be as effective in filtering small particles, they are relatively low-maintenance and easy to operate.

Cartridge filters utilize pleated polyester cartridges to capture debris as small as 5-25 microns. They offer improved filtration compared to sand filters and are known for their low maintenance requirements. Regular cleaning and occasional cartridge replacement are necessary to ensure optimal performance.

Diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters are the most efficient in terms of filtration, capable of removing particles as small as 1-3 microns. These filters use a fine powder made of diatomaceous earth to capture debris. D.E. filters require backwashing and replenishing the powder periodically to maintain their effectiveness. While they provide excellent filtration, they come with a higher price tag.

When choosing a pool filter, factors such as filter size, desired water cleanliness, and maintenance costs and time should be considered. Additionally, seeking professional guidance and following proper procedures for backwashing and filter media disposal are essential for optimal performance and environmental responsibility.

By understanding the characteristics and maintenance requirements of different pool filters, you can make an informed decision to ensure clean and inviting pool water for everyone to enjoy. Regular maintenance and adherence to recommended procedures will contribute to the longevity and efficiency of your chosen pool filter, providing a healthy and refreshing swimming experience.

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