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Pool Filter Comparison

Filter Comparison Chart

The best type of filter depends on the usage of the pool as well as the preferences of the pool owner/operator and the local city codes.  The chart below will help you to determine the best filter for your situation.

  

Filter Type

Sand Filter

DE Filter

Cartridge  Filter

Filter 

Media

Sand

Diatomaceous Earth

Paper Filters

Filtration Efficiency

Good

40 microns

Best

5 microns

Good

10 microns

Cleaning 

Method

Internal Backwash

Internal Backwash

Disassemble and Clean with Hose

Backwash 

Line Required

Yes

Yes

No

Frequency

Of Cleaning

Every Week

Every 4-8 Weeks

Varies Widely, depending on unit

Recommended Application

Home Pools

Apartment Pools

Home Pools

NOT for Apt. Pools

Home Pools

NOT for Apt. Pools

Water Clarifier

Needed?

Sometimes

Never

Sometimes

How Often Media Replaced?

6 years (home use)

3 years (apt. use)

Each Backwash

2-4 years

Cost to Replace Filter Media

$50 - $100 for sand 

(excludes labor)

$2.00 - $4.00 for DE

$200 - $300 for a new set of grids 

(excludes labor)

Varies, but can be VERY expensive

Annual Maintenance

None Required

DE Filter Clean

$75.00

Cartridge Cleaning periodically.

Positive Points

Easy to backwash

Filter Media cheap

Infrequent Repairs

Best filtration

Simple to maintain

Easy to repair

Negatives

Poorest Filtration

"Wastes" water in  weekly backwash

Backwash a bit complicated

Repairs not cheap

Not allowed in every municipality.

Cartridges can be a bit costly, check cost before buying filter.

 

Filter cleaning not as easy as others

The choice of filter for a home pool is largely up to the consumer.  Any type of filter will work, but sand filters will not filter as finely and this can create water clarity problems from time to time.  

DE and Cartridge filters should NOT be used on semi-public pools (apartments, condos, hotels, etc).  The manufacturers may try to sell them for this application, but they are not the best choice. The problem is that with their finer rate of filtration, they fill up with dirt very quickly and become clogged and ineffective.  I have seen a lot of DE and Cartridge filters that have been pulled off of semi-public pools after only a few months or years..  In these cases, the owner had to foot the bill to have a new sand filter installed.  In some cases, where it is not possible to install a backwash line for the pool, a Cartridge filter may need to be installed, but it should be done with the expectation of higher maintenance labor and parts costs.

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