3 Kinds of Pool Filters

Pool Filters

Image by Travis S. via Flickr

Maintain Your Backyard Oasis With Pool Filters

As a pool owner, you must know that you can use any of the filter systems offered in the market to properly maintain your backyard oasis. This post briefly discusses Cartridge, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and Sand pool filters to help you decide which type to use.

Types of Pool Filters

Cartridge. If economy and ease of maintenance is what you are looking for, then you can opt for a cartridge pool filter. Somewhat similar to the water filters used under the sink, this type of filter works simply by capturing the debris as water passes through the material. Most cartridges can filter between 100 sqft to over 300 sqft allowing them to filter a bigger available area than sand filters. This means that they clog less quickly, hence, making it hassle-free to maintain, requiring cleaning only once or twice a season. You can just hose them off and there’s no need to deal with them more frequently.

Cartridges can be classified into two general categories: those with cheap filter elements but need to be replaced more often; and those with filter elements that cost dearly but can last over five years. So here, you will be choosing between price and convenience. Both types are devised to work at lower pressures. As a result, back-pressure on the pump is exerted, enabling more flow and turnover for an equivalent pump size. Cartridges can filter out particle sizes that are between those filtered by sand and DE filters.

Sand. The mechanism of sand filters is likened to that of an espresso machine. When water is propelled through a patch of filter sand, it goes through a set of lateral tubes. Soiled water rises up while clean water leaves through the bottom. As more rubbish clogs the filter sand, the pressure on the filter intensifies, abating the water flow. The sand filter can filter an area equal to its area. To illustrate, the filter area of a 24-inch filter will be 3.14 sqft, but just the one inch top sand is really utilized to filter water.

Cleaning the filter involves the process called backwashing. Simply let it work the other way around and unload the dirty water. After doing this, proceed with the rinse mode to repack the sand and back to the filter. Manually do this every few weeks. Replace the sand if it becomes very dirty, anyway it is easy and inexpensive to do this. A backwash valve in a swimming pool system is considered in hydraulics way of thinking, as usually very inefficient. Sand is also the least beneficial in filtering in terms of particle size as it can allow smaller particles to return to the pool.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE). This material, made of fossilized exoskeletons of small diatoms, is mined. This powder is used to cover “grids” in the filter housing and serve as small sieves to extract debris. Their tiny size allow them to filter out even particles that are five microns. DE can usually filter about 60 to 70 sqft, filter are that is between those that can be filtered by sand and cartridge. Similar to the sand filter, DE filter is backwashed as the pressure to the filter increases, and then is “recharged” with more DE powder. It is often added into a semiliquid mixture and then is applied to coat the filter grids. A DE filter can be less efficient than cartridge and can bring about loss of water flow because it works with pressures higher than that required by a cartridge filter.

Weigh the pros and cons of the different types of pool filters and choose the one which you think suits your swimming pool best as well as your priorties, whether efficacy, affordability, convenience, or durability. Or better yet, ask a pool expert for more advice and tips.

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