What Are The Differences Between Pool Filter Types?

There are three different types of pool filters you will come across when dealing with a swimming pool. The filter is used together with your pool pump, which allows water to pass through before re-entering the pool. The filters you will run into, at one point or another, will be cartridge, diatomaceous earth (D.E.) and sand filters. It is suggested to get a proper sized filter because sizing the filter correctly to the application of your pool will provide with the ultimate filtering power possible. Depending on your location of residence, certain filter types should be used in favor over others. Make sure to speak to a local pool professional near you or give us a call at All-Tex Pools to ensure the proper filter type and size is being used for your backyard swimming pool. As with everything else in life, each type of filter has its pros and cons. However, when used properly, each filter type can do a remarkable job at keeping your pool nice and clean.

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters

A D.E. filter is made up of a manifold that holds 8 grids made of fabric wrapped around a plastic frame, together in the tank. It uses a filtering media called diatomaceous earth which is a fossilized material called and can filter particles all the way down to 3-5 microns. This is pretty impressive because the width of a human hair typically ranges from 40-50 microns, so this filter will not have any issues cleaning out the smaller particles in your pool that are unseen to the human eye. For those who want the top of the line pool filtration and absolute cleanest of water this is the choice for you. Because this filter type can clean up even the smallest of particles, you will be more likely to see truly clear, crisp water being reflected in your pool. The D.E. filter uses a pressure gauge to indicate when it is time to backwash your filtering media out of your filter, typically when it reaches anything between 8-10 psi over its clean reading, you’ll know it’s time for a backwash/cleaning. This filter should be backwashed monthly or as needed and broken down and cleaned every 6 months. While cleaning this filter, it is always a good idea to inspect for tears as any defect as such will call for a grid repair or replacement.

Sand Filters

A sand filter can capture particles in the 20-40 micron range and it becomes increasingly more efficient as it continues to filter on a regular basis. As with the D.E. filter, your sand filter will have to be backwashed when the gauge shows 8-10 psi over the starting value. Sand filters have the reputation of being the lowest maintenance of all the different pool filter types as it takes roughly 5 years before your first time replacing the sand, but also has the lowest filtering power (size of micron) of the three most common filters.

Cartridge Filters

Unlike sand and D.E. filters, a cartridge filter does not require backwashing, because it does not require any filtering media. Since backwashing is no longer required, your filter tends to need to be broke down and cleaned more often. This type of filter can capture particles as low as 10-20 microns, an improvement versus sand but not quite as fine as D.E. The cartridge element is removed from the filter tank and hosed thoroughly with a high-pressure hose to remove dirt when the tank gauge rises between 8 – 10 psi over its starting reading of the tank gauge. A benefit to a cartridge filter is that it saves on the amount of water typically used to backwash the other filters but this is not substantial savings.

Cartridge & D.E filters have become the most common type of filters used in residential installation, as sand filters are more common in commercial use. The cartridge filter is more costly upfront as complete filter and replacement cartridges every 3-5 years depending on the pool and foliage present. A D.E filter is a bit cheaper up front and the grids are a fraction of the cost, but you tend to replace D.E grids more often as needed (tears or crushed) more frequently. There are 8 grids in a D.E but you may only need 1 grid at times if any. All 8 D.E grids are about half the cost of replacing cartridge grids, plus you will need a backwash line if required by your city code. To wrap up this overview of the three major types of filters, they all have their correct applications. To see which filter best fits you and your pool contact us at All-Tex Pools.