This is the next article in our series our articles designed to educate consumers that are interested in buying a swimming pool or renovating an existing swimming pool. We hope that these articles can help take the confusion out of the pool buying process.
When it comes to deciding on the type of pool filter you want for your Atlanta swimming pool, it can be very confusing. There are three main types of pool filters; sand filter, cartridge filter and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters. We will discuss all three here:
Sand Filter: Sand pool filters are filled with sand and they clean the pools water through depth filtration. As the water flows through the filter system and sand, the dirt and debris becomes trapped in the tiny particles of sand. Back washing (reversing the flow of water back through the filter in the opposite direction and sending the water out as waste) is required frequently in order to keep these systems running at optimal efficiency. If a system is not back washed frequently enough, it will result in a build up on the surface of the sand bed; resulting in inefficient filtration. On the other hand, if the system is back washed too often, some of the dirt particles will pass through the sand bed and return to the pool. The sand eventually will need to be changed in a sand filter. You can monitor this by sight; the pool water is cloudy even when the chemicals are balanced. The other more efficient way to monitor when the sand needs to be changed is to read the pressure gauges based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular model.
The benefit of a sand filter seems to be the maintenance. It is easier to backwash your pool and change the sand than it is to clean cartridge filters. This leads us to our next type of filter.
Cartridge Filter: With a cartridge filter, a cartridge is inside the filter. the dirt and debris passes through the filter media and the filter captures the debris. High end cartridge filters have media that lasts about five years or more if properly maintained. These type of filters run at a lower pressure than sand filters, causing more flow and turnover when equipped with the same pump size as a sand filter. This results in better cleaning power. These filters need to be removed from the filter housing and cleaned, typically by hosing them off with a high pressure hose nozzle, at least twice a swim season.
Diatomaceous Earth or DE Filters: Diatomaceous Earth is a mineral that is mined. It is made from tiny fossilized skeletons of diatoms, an ancient aquatic creature. Pool grade DE is used as a media to filter pool water. DE is put into the swimming pool skimmer while the pump is running. The DE is sent to the filter where it coats a filter grid that is housed in the filter. The DE acts like a sponge, collecting the tiny particles that pass through the filter system. DE filters run at higher pressures than cartridge filter, which can lead to some loss of flow. The DE filter system also needs to be back washed like a sand filter. In addition to back washing, the DE filter needs to be taken apart and cleaned at least once a year to prevent it from gumming up.The benefit of the DE filter is the fact that it can remove smaller particles of dirt and debris than a sand or cartridge filter can.
We hope that you found this article informative. It can very confusing making a decision on which pool filter to go with. We typically use cartridge filters in the swimming pools that we build, but each builder has there own preference. Typically builders in different areas of the country have differing opinions.