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Which Is Better Sand Filter Or Cartridge Filter For Pools

Pentair 160340 Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter

Pool Sand Filters VS Cartridge Filters

Built with the largest filter surface area to clean your water quickly and efficiently than other filters, the Pentair Clean & Clear Plus includes an effective filter area of 320 square feet. Internal and manual air relief makes managing good water pressure easy. It filters 120 GPM inside a heavy, injection-molded tank.

Which Pool Filter Is Best

Every swimming pool needs a pool filter. Without a functioning pool pump and filter, your water will inevitably turn green. However, which pool filter is best: sand, cartridge, or D.E. filter? We often encounter pool owners who are struggling to decide whether to keep their cartridge filter or to switch to sand or D.E.

Each filter has its own pros and cons and each pool owner has his/her own list of priorities, as well. Its important to keep your personal pool priorities in mind when choosing your filter.

The best pool filter for you is one that aligns best with your pool needs.

Best Pool Filter Reviews

So you can find the right pool filter, Ive gotten the details of a few of the best pool filter models on the market right now. These are filters that I consider to be a good value for the money and potentially a great choice for your pool. Ive separated the categories into above ground pools and in-ground pools so you can quickly find the relevant filters to meet your needs.

These are some of my favorite choices for the best pool filter system available:

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How To Buy The Best Above Ground Pool Filter

1. Filter Type

Above ground pool filters come in different types, and so you should always start by deciding on which one to get. The types differ in the material they use to filter the water and also in how they work. Here are the 3 most common types.

Sand Filter

Sand filters are simple and easy to use, which is why they are among the most popular types for above ground pools. These filters use natural sand, and they will trap articles up to 20 microns as the water flow through the sand.

Additionally, sand filters like Hayward ProSeries Sand Filter offer low maintenance as there is hardly anything you have to do besides occasional backwashing.

Cartridge Filter

Cartridge filters are more efficient at filtration than sand filters as they can capture contaminants as small as 10 microns. These filters will have the filtration element inside a cartridge which you need to replace every few weeks. But most like the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump are designed to make installation a breeze.

D.E. Filter

D.E. filters are the most effective and efficient type as they can trap contaminants as small as 2 microns.

As their name suggests, D.E. filters such as Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle use diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring compound, to filter out the pool water. However, these are the most expensive filter types.

2. Pump Compatibility

3. Filtration Capacity

4. Ease of Installation

5. Cost

Pool Filter Ease Of Maintenance

Hayward Star

This is another factor that contributes to the answer of which pool filter is better. For pool sand filters, maintenance is a breeze. Backwashing only takes a few minutes and a few turns of a lever to clean out the filter completely. With cartridge filters, you have to take our the cartridges and give them a good and thorough clean with a garden hose where you have to make sure that every area in-between pleats is cleaned thoroughly.

To make this process simpler, people will usually get a cleaning wand like the Water TechniX Waterwand Cleaning Wand to rinse out 8 pleats per pass, essentially cutting down filter cleaning time by over half. Every few months filter cartridges need to be soaked in a filter cleaning solution to melt away tough particles that may have lodged themselves in your filter media. Which is better? Hands down pool sand filters.

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The Best Filter Is The One Thats Best For You

You can spend less money for less maintenance and less filtering. Or invest a little more up front for better filtering for the cost of more time and work. Its really up to you whats best for your schedule and your budget.

No matter what pool filter you choose, remember that keeping your water chemistry balanced gets you more than halfway to a clean pool. Stay on top of cleaning and maintenance, and your filter can last you for many years to come.

Happy Swimming!

What Do Pool Filters Do

The process of filtering a pool is pretty simple. First, some pool water is pumped out of your pool and into your filter. In the filter, it sifts through a filtering medium which catches and holds impurities and debris. What passes through the other side is the fresh clean water that invites us to dive in for a swim. Sand, cartridge, and D.E. filters all basically operate in this same way. The difference lies in what medium the filter uses to catch debris.

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How To Clean A Cartridge Filter

But how do you know that your cartridge is dirty or a replacement is required?The first suspect will be a surge in pressure. Always monitor your gauges and check out for spikes which are often indicators of dirty cartridges. Remove the cartridge, and clean it. If the cartridge was dirty, the problem of spiking pressure shouldnt occur, at least in a while. But when it occurs again, maybe its time to replace your cartridge. But just before that, youd want to try a deeper cleaning by soaking the filter in a cleaning agent like Leisure Time O Filter Clean Cartridge Cleaner. If that fails then you have a go ahead of buying a new cartridge.

Apart from pressure, you can also choose to manually inspect the cartridge. There are a few indicators that will tell you it is time to change your filter. The first thing will be the end caps. With your bare eyes, you may decide whether you need to replace it or not. Look for cracks and any signs of brittleness and if you are not sure whether its worn out or not, move to the inner parts, actually, the cartridge itself. Check the condition of the pleats the Remar material should be firm and every piece intact. Any tatters, frays, and rips is a clear indication that you need to get a new cartridge.

No Cartridges To Clean Or Replace

Sand vs Cartridge Pool Filter – Which Is Better?

With a cartridge filter, you have to worry about cleaning the cartridges constantly and replacing them every few years.

If you have a pool with a lot of algae buildup, then you will need to clean the cartridges more often. Algae can quickly build up on the cartridges.

With sand filters, there is no need to physically remove any filters and go through the process of cleaning them.

Also, you need to replace cartridge filters on average every 1-3 years.

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Which Is Really The Best Pool Filter Type

Depending on what you need for your pool, any type of filter system can be the best. Most professionals will recommend cartridge filters to pool owners, as they are great filters for small particles and large debris, and they dont require backwashing of your system like the sand filters do.

However, if you simply want a cheap system and youre not concerned with filtering out the smallest particles, a sand filter is probably a fine option for you. If you want the clearest water of all, a DE system is your best choice.

Additionally, you have to consider what the right pool filter is for above ground pools versus in-ground pools because it makes a big difference what kind of system you get for your pool then.

Cleaning A Cartridge Filter

You need to follow a few steps to clean this type of filter:

  • Ensure the pump is turned to the off position
  • If the filter is below your pools water level, ensure the valves are closed otherwise the pool water will drain out
  • Open the air bleed valve and the drain port in order to drain water.
  • Open the filter and remove the cart or carts
  • Rinse the filter tank
  • Wash the carts with a hosepipe
  • Reassemble the filter
  • When water starts running out of the air bleed valve, close it

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Choosing The Right Filter For Your Pool

If you are going to build a new swimming pool its important to choose the filtration type that works best for your needs. There are several types of filtration options that you could choose which can suit the type of pool you may have and your overall budget. Different types of filters will have different maintenance requirements and configurations. Here are some of the main differences between a cartridge filter vs sand filter:

Sand Filter W/ 1hp Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

Differences Between DE, Sand, And Cartridge Pool Filters

For small to medium above ground pools, this sand filter is easy to connect and effective for up to 18,000 gallons of water. It is only good for above ground pools and isnt meant for in-ground pools even if they are spas or smaller pools.

6 different speed settings can be activated to make the filter work for you. It works with as low of pressure as possible to be more efficient and use less electricity. This is also a top-mounted system that requires you to remove pipes and plumbing to reach the sand storage area of the filter system. You can expect years of great service from this filter, as its made of strong materials that are weather-proof and heat resistant.

The high capacity sand bed is larger than many of the other in-ground pool filters. Because of this, it can extend the lifecycle of the sand and keep you from having to backwash the filter every day. You will also catch more debris at a time, which is great for pools that get very dirty from the environment.

Best features:

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Where Do You Live

For areas that tend to be debris-heavy, sand filters are your best bet.

For example, I live in an established neighborhood with very little dirt and debris floating around in the air. Therefore, I enjoyed the cartridge system and only cleaned the filters once a season, when I closed the pool for the winter. The filters lasted about four years, but were expensive to replace. However, my daughter lives in the country, and her pool is surrounded by corn, and soybean fields. The dust and pollen factors are very high, especially when the fields are freshly plowed or harvested. She had a devil of a time with her cartridge system because she needed to clean it out so often. Its time-consuming to take a filter apart, soak it and put it back together. And the more often you clean it, the more often it will need to be replaced. We changed her to a sand filter, and it was smooth sailing from there! And obviously, if youre planning an indoor pool, cartridge filters are absolutely your best bet.

Hayward Ec40ac Perflex Extended

If you want low maintenance and serious cleaning, Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle is the perfect option.

With a cooling bump mechanism which allows the D.E. Flex-Tubes to clean themselves, this modal means minimal cleaning time.

It is designed to minimize resistance, so it can maximize efficiency at a lower horsepower.

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Jandy Cs250 Single Element Cartridge Filter

A compact and easy-to-use system, the Jandy Pro CS 250 provides great water filtration by means of a single element cartridge. Its compactness makes it ideal for smaller areas. It also features an ergonomic, easy-grip handle that allows for easy lid removal. Easy to clean, this filter covers pools that are up to 250 square feet and has a maximum flow rate of 125 gpm. Additionally, a pressure gauge with a clean and dirty indicator is included, as well as a 2-inch drain port and high-impact thermoplastic tank body.

Best features:

Which Is Better Sand Filter Or Cartridge Filter For Pools

Pool Sand Filters VS Cartridge Filters

Cartridge FiltersSand Filterfiltrationcartridgepoolpool

The Best Pool Filter

  • Best overall: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.
  • Best cartridge pool filter: Intex 28635EG Krystal.
  • Best pool sand filter: SUNCOO Pro 2450GPH Sand Filter Pump.
  • Best D.E pool filter: Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Filter.
  • Best inground pool filter system: Hayward S270T Pro Series 27

Likewise, how often do I need to change my pool cartridge filter? General Filter LifePoolfilter cartridges can run for about 2,000 hours in a filter pump. Usually, filter cartridges have to be replaced once every one to two years. The filter, however, will not last as long if you enter the pool with suntan lotion, deodorants, hair-care products, and other chemicals.

Also, what size pool sand filter do I need?

Below are some guidelines for sizing sand pool filters properly. Another rule of thumb is to buy 1.5 sq ft of filter area per 10,000 gallons of pool water. The 3.1 sq ft sand filter is the standard size for most inground pools. Larger pools, , should use a 4.9 sq ft.

How do I know what size pool filter I need?

The equation used in calculating filter sizes is:

  • Pool capacity in gallons divided by the desired turnover rate in hours.
  • This will give you the minimum flow needed in gal/m .
  • Divide this number by 60 to get the gal/m.
  • Find a pump that meets the gal/m you just calculated.
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    Comparing Swimming Pool Filters

      Does the type of swimming pool filter really matter? Are the differences between pool filters even noticable? How do they impact water quality? Does filter type have any affect on indoor air quality? At the end of the day, filters are filters that filter…right? Let’s discuss.

      Obviously, filtration impacts water quality, and perhaps that translates to air quality too. One thing we do know is more contaminants trapped in the filter means less contaminants circulating.

      Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Sand Filter

      Advantages

      • These are becoming less popular in the residential market. A sand filter is ok for a pool that gets little use and is chemically maintained at all times. Very easy to backwash.
      • Unlike a DE filter, nothing more is required than simply turning the valve to “backwash” and that’s it. The flow is reversed and all of the debris is blown out.

      Disadvantages

      • A sand filter can only filter debris 20 – 40 microns. If you ever have a green pool problem and have a sand filter, forget it. It will take weeks to filter the cloudy water.
      • They are very bulky. Not my favorite.

      DE Filter

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      How To Add New De To The Filter

      After youve cleaned your filter, rather than adding D.E. powder directly to the grids, youll get much better coverage if you add it through the pools skimmer.

      • Mix the D.E with enough water to make a slurry, which will look like a thin, creamy solution.
      • Make sure the pool pump is running.
      • Slowly pour the solution directly into the skimmer.

      As the D.E. passes through the filter, it will evenly distribute over the grids. Youll need to wait a while before swimming to give the mixture time to fully integrate with the filter, so you may want to do this in the evening, and then run your pump overnight.

      Which Pool Filter Is Right For You

      How to Select the Best Pool Filter

      There are multiple types of pool filters to choose from for your pool. The two most commonly used are cartridge and media filters. Cartridge filters use a surface filtering method, while media filters use a depth filtering process. Although different filtration systems, both can adequately filter microscopic contaminants from your pool to keep it clean.

      Regardless of the type of filter you have, it’s vital to maintain it to ensure it works consistently to its fullest potential and to extend the life of the product.

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      Choosing The Best Filter For Your Concrete Pool

      So, you have approached a concrete pool builder, and you cant decide what filter to choose? Here at Byron Bay Pools & Landscapes we make the process as easy as possible to help you make an informed decision.

      When swimming in a pool, our bodies absorb large amounts of water through our skin. This is why filters are extremely important as they remove debris, impurities and other harmful substances from our pool water. While the pump and filter are the main components of a pool circulation system, there are many different parts involved in keeping your water clean and healthy. Its also important to know that the cleaner your water is, the less chemicals are required.

      When it comes to deciding on which filter to use for your pool, you have two main options to choose from Cartridge Filters and Sand Filters. Lets explore each option to help determine which is most suitable for you.

      Hayward W3c4030 Swimclear Best For Large Pools

      View on Amazon

      The W3C4030 is built for large in-ground pools, and most commercial pools have it. It boasts a large 425 ft2 filtration area and would turn over a 20,000 gallons pool in no time. It processes 150 gallons in a minute.

      The model offers extra-long filter cycles for more thorough filtration. But on the other hand, you may have to wait longer for the end. Nothing sucks like the sun going down when you are waiting for the filter to finish the cycle.

      With a high-performance pump, you are guaranteed the best filtration with all the debris, large and small, filtered out. I like the head design. The SwimClear comes with quick access to internal components, which is very easy to open when cleaning or changing the cartridge.

      The material quality is also awesome and will withstand the scorching sun all year round. But if you can design a makeshift shade for it, or rather a cover, it would be best.

      But on the downside, be ready for a high price.

      I also wish the integral drain was much bigger, at least 2 inches. The 1.5- inch may be okay for a medium-size filter like the C900s, but for a heavy-duty filter like this one, a 2-inch would make it faster. Otherwise, everything else is excellent.

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