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A Beginner’s Guide to Pool Filters

When you own a pool, keeping it clean is one of the most important priorities. Your pool filter is one of the key components in this regard, as it traps contaminants and helps to keep the water clean and clear. There are three different types of filters on the market, using sand, diatomaceous earth, or a cartridge to filter the pool water.

Sand Filters

Sand filters have a very basic operation: pool water is cycled and pumped into the filter, and the grains of sand trap the contaminants. When the sand is tightly compacted, water has to work its way between the grains. Dirt is too large to seep through, and gets trapped in the sand. The clean water is then returned to the pool. In order to clean a sand filter, you use a process called backwashing. However, because sand filters work best when they’re a little bit dirty, you should only backwash when the pressure is about ten pounds above normal. Sand filters are effective and can remove dirt as small as 25 microns.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters

DE is a sedimentary rock that can be crumbled into a fine white powder. Did you know that DE is actually the fossilized remains of hard-shelled algae? DE is finer than sand, and so it can sieve out smaller particles. DE pool filters work the same as sand filters, but they are more effective, filtering out dirt as small as 5 microns. After you backwash, however, you can pour more DE through the skimmer to recharge the filter. DE filter grids should be cleaned and inspected every season.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters come highly recommended because they are very effective (filter water down to 15 microns) and require only moderate maintenance. They filter double the amount of dirt and debris when compared against sand filters. Cartridge filters do not require backwashing, and they are extremely easy to clean. All you need to do is remove the cartridge and spray it down, or replace if necessary. They cut energy costs as well, though they are more expensive to buy initially.

So what type of filter is best? It depends on your budget, the size of your pool, and how much effort you want to invest in maintenance. If you have any further questions about filters and which one would work best for your needs, don’t hesitate to ask. Give us a call or come into the Purewater store, we’d be happy to help in any way we can.

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