Having clean water in your swimming pool is top priority for pool owners. One of the things that can make or break your water cleanliness is having a quality pool filtration system. When it comes to pool filtration systems, there are a few misconceptions about the different kinds of filters on the market. There are essentially three main kinds of pool filters that are most commonly used to clean pool water: sand filters, cartridge filters, and DE (diatomaceous earth) filters. Here is an overview of each.
Sand filter systems use sand media to filter pool water. The sand is placed in the tank of the filter and when water enters, it comes in through a diffuser. As the water travels through the tank, the grains of sand trap debris. When the water passes through the sand, it enters laterals which then return it to the pool. Sand filters have the ability to remove debris that is 40 microns in size or larger. A process of backwashing a sand filter is necessary to clean the sand so that it continues to operate at a high level.
Cartridge filters contain a fabric media that traps particles and debris when water passes through it. Cartridge filters have more area to collect debris than sand filters, which may allow for better filtration and less maintenance. Cartridge filters can typically filter debris down to 20 microns in size. They only need to be removed and cleaned twice a year, depending on usage.
DE filters use diatomaceous earth which is made up of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. Grid filters go into the filter shell, DE is added to the skimmer that travels through the plumbing into the filter and coats the grid. This DE coating then catches debris as it passes through the filter. DE has the ability to filter down to 2-5 microns in size. The DE filter does need to be backwashed when pressure reaches 10 units above your “clean” reading. When backwashing, the flow of the water gets reversed and the used DE that is coated on the filter is then removed. After backwashing, new DE will need to be added again through the skimmer to the cycle can begin again.
Be sure you choose the filter system size and variety that will work best for your swimming pool. Select from trusted manufacturers like Custom Molded Products, Hayward, Pentair, Waterway, or Zodiac and rest easy knowing that your pool will always be clean and well-maintained.