Pool filters are designed to remove a variety of different substances from your pool water, ranging in size from large pieces of debris like leaves and sticks to invisible substances including bacteria, algae, and microbes which could harmful to your health. There are a plethora of pool filters on the market, all of which use different techniques and substances to filter your pool water. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks associated with each type of pool filter can help make it easier for you to make an informed decision about which filter is best for your pool.
Sand Pool Filters
Sand pool filters are one of the most common types of pool filters, largely because of their affordable price and relatively easy maintenance schedule. Sand filters work by passing your pool water through a pile of fine sand, which will trap pieces of debris from entering your pool. In order to clean your filter, all you have to do is set your filter to backwash and hook up a common garden hose to the outlet on the side. Water will flow in the reverse direction as usual, and the debris that has become stuck will be removed from the filter. The sand in the actual filter will last several years, depending on the amount of usage that your pool experiences. The major downsides associated with sand pool filters are that it struggles to trap microbes and bacteria, and that they tend to work fairly slowly depending on their size.
Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filters
Diatomaceous earth pool filters have several small poles inside of them, each of which is coated with diatomaceous earth, a crushed up mineral that provides much finer filtration than sand can achieve. This means that it will do a better job of catching algae and smaller particles. General maintenance is similar as well: diatomaceous earth filters can be backwashed just like sand filters, except they will require more earth to be added to the filter after being cleaned. The major downside associated with diatomaceous earth pool filters is that they require the installation of a separation tank, which will keep the diatomaceous earth out of your water supply until it is properly disposed of, which can drive up initial costs.
Cartridge Pool Filters
Cartridge pool filters have several cartridges installed in the filter itself, made out of a fabric with extremely small holes sewn in it – much like air conditioner or furnace filters. There are several folds of fabric, increasing the effective filtration of the filter compared to sand filters, as well as allowing for a speedier flow rate through the filter itself. However, cartridge filters do require constant cleaning, since they remove a greater amount of the debris in your pool water, which will include rinsing and degreasing. However, this maintenance should be weighed against the benefit of having cleaner pool water.
Contact a local pool maintenance service for more information about keeping your pool filters in good condition.