When it comes to choosing a pool filter, the options can be overwhelming. The most popular types are cartridge and media filters, each with its unique filtration method. While cartridge filters use surface filtration, media filters go deep to remove those pesky microscopic particles from your pool water.
However, having a filter is just the beginning - maintaining it is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity. You can keep your pool water crystal clear all season long with proper care.
The cartridge filter is a cylindrical tank that houses a removable pleated filter element (aka pool filter cartridge) that removes impurities from your pool water. To decide whether a cartridge filter suits your needs, check out the pros and cons below.
- No backwashing - simply lift cartridges out and hose them down. This saves water.
- Performs well at lower speeds (perfect for energy-efficient variable speed pumps).
- Filters particles as small as 10 microns.
- Smaller footprint than media filters.
- Need to replace worn filter cartridges roughly every three years.
- Need to deep clean cartridges 1-2 times a year.
The media filter uses a range of filtering media to keep your pool water crystal clear. As water is pumped into the filter, tiny particles are trapped, while the clean water is returned to the pool. Remember to keep your filter performing at its best by regularly backwashing to release accumulated debris.
- Easy maintenance.
- Can filter a range of microns depending on the media used.
- Media can last a long time before it needs to be replaced.
- Backwashing wastes water.
- Larger footprint than cartridge filters.
- Requires more flow to filter and, therefore, less energy efficient.
When it comes to media filters for your pool, you'll also be faced with choosing a media type that suits your needs. Pool filter sand, glass media, diatomaceous earth, and zeolite are the four most common media types that you can choose from.
If you're looking for a pool filter that's cost-effective, easy to use and widely available, sand media filters might be your best bet. These filters are capable of removing particles as small as 25 microns, leaving your pool water sparkling clean.
When it comes to filtering your pool, glass media is the new kid on the block, with many benefits over traditional sand media. Not only is it kinder to the environment, but it's also more sanitary and clogs less frequently, giving you more time to relax and enjoy your pool. To get the best results, you'll need to use both coarse and fine grades of glass media.
These powerful filters use fossilized shells in a powdered form to capture particles as small as 5 microns - that's smaller than the width of a human hair! While DE filters come with a higher price tag and require more maintenance than their sand media counterparts, the sparkling, crystal-clear water they provide is well worth the investment.
Zeolites are minerals with a porous structure that can filter particles as small as 1 micro and remove ammonia and other nitrogenous compounds from the water. However, zeolite requires recharging every 5 years with salt to rejuvenate and prolong the life of the media.
So, which pool filter is right for you? It all depends on your needs and preferences. If you want to spend less time cleaning your pool and looking for a low-maintenance option, then a cartridge filter might be your best bet. A DE filter could be the way to go if you're more focused on energy efficiency. And if you're looking for a cost-effective solution that gets the job done, a sand filter might be the perfect fit.
Regardless of which type of filter you choose, regularly cleaning and maintaining it is the key to keeping your pool sparkling clean all season. A well-maintained pool filter will save you time and money but also helps ensure that your pool is always inviting for a refreshing dip.