A sand filter rates at approximately 20-40 microns while cartridge filters are rated at approximately 10-20 microns. D.E. filters are rated at approximately 1-3 microns. So, you will get better filtration with the D.E. filter. YES, it’s really that simple. Better filtration equals better water. When the filter pulls out nearly 90% of the impurities, the water requires less chemical, thus providing a better environment for swimming.
So, when customers question why they can’t keep their pool clear…my response, 99% of the time – “Let’s talk about your filter first”. Retail chemical-selling pool stores respond with “You need more chemical” and rarely mention the water filtration process at all.
Three Pool Filter Types – Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.
If you have a sand filter, my suggestion is to change the sand each year, or change over to a good quality filter instead. The diatomaceous earth filter is preferred in case you missed it earlier.
My suggestion for a cartridge filter, is to clean out the cartridges at least twice a year, more if you have heavy cottonwoods in your area. Then replace your cartridges with new ones every few years… for a safe, clean swimming environment.
With a D.E. filter, you already know you have the best, but you still have to take care of it. Check the grids inside, and clean those carefully as needed, typically at the beginning and end of each swim season. During the season, flush, or backwash the filter and completely when the pressure (psi) – indicates to do so. Eliminate all of the D.E. powder by going through several backwashing cycles (turn multiport handle from backwash to rinse, and then back to backwash and then rinse again). Reload the filter with fresh D.E. and the repeat this when filter pressure is high.
The old saying “You get what you pay for” really fits in the filtering business.
Sand filters are cheap initially, but you pay for it down the road in sand changes, and extra chemicals. Plus, it doesn’t sparkle as a perfect pool should. Cartridge filters are economical and easier to care for, with no backwashing function, you are not really filtering OUT any of the yuck brought in by swimmers and the weather along the way, but it is holding the yuck in the filter until you are ready to empty it manually.
D.E. filters cost a bit more upfront, but you get all of that back ten-fold in great water clarity, and a safe swimming environment, plus you will pay less overall for chemicals due to the excellent filtering capabilities.
Bottom line, the D.E. filter wins the BLUE ribbon in the pool industry. Seeing testimonials and praises from customers each year wondering why they didn’t switch sooner tells me to continue to let the sparkle speak for itself.