The pool filter is what ensures the cleanliness of your pool and the success of your sanitation system. And although chlorine and other sanitizers work to kill bacteria and other contaminants, the filter is what actually removes them from the water. Without it, your pool water can become cloudy and filled with debris. Not exactly appealing, right?
When it comes to choosing a swimming pool filter, although the cost is certainly a factor, don’t go straight to buying the cheapest one. You want a filter that is effective at trapping contaminants, one that it’s easy to clean and maintain and lasts more than just a few seasons. Without further ado, here are some tips to help you spot the best swimming pool filters for your needs.
Know Your Options
The two main types of swimming pool filters are sand and cartridge filters.
- Sand filters are the cheapest, most common and easiest to replace, which makes them a rather popular option. With these filters, water is filtered through the sand, which catches debris and dirt, eventually increasing pressure and lowering the water flow. When this happens, the sand will need to be cleaned and backwashed. Blackwashing is the reversal of the water flow through the filter vessel to release any suspended debris particles and wash them away to drain. After this process, the filter will return to a fully cleaned state.
- Cartridge filters work by passing water through a large piece of paper or plastic based material to catch any debris. Although cartridge filters occasionally block up in the same way other filters do, their greater surface area occupies much less floor space. They don’t require backwashing either. Instead, they are removed and replaced with a new filter, or manually washed out by hand. The downside of this type of filter is that the cleaning process can be quite messy. The detritus cannot be washed down the drains, as it will block them very quickly, so it has to be disposed of to a regulated waste site.
When it comes to size, it is preferable to have a larger filter than your pump requires as this will put less strain on the pump. So, when in doubt, choose a filter that’s one size bigger than the size of the filter your pump manufacturer recommends.
Easy to Maintain
Many swimming pool owners prefer sand filters because they require less upkeep and maintenance. While cartridge filters may require additional cleaning, for some people it’s worth their efficiency.
At the end of the day, your filter choice should depend on your needs, the environment the pool is located in, and your preferred level of maintenance. Regardless of which filter type you choose, make sure it fits the size and characteristics of the pump you have or it can turn out to be more hassle than you’ve signed up for.