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Which Pool Filter is Right for Me?

Your pool’s filters are incredibly important for keeping it safe and free from bacteria and contaminants. While chlorine, bromine, and ozone systems work to kill bacteria, the filter is the piece that actually removes these contaminants from your water. Without a proper filter in your pool, your pool would be cloudy, filled with debris, and dangerous. There are many different types of filters, depending on your pool size and system. At Tribal Waters, we have years of experience helping customers throughout Phoenix find the right filters for their pools. We will discuss filter types, how they work, what’s right for you, and more. For more information, contact or visit us today! We’re happy to help you keep your pool clean and safe!

Types of Filters

The first step in selecting the right filter for your pool is knowing the pros and cons of each type. There are three distinct types of filters available, each with their own benefits. They vary in type, replacement frequency, filtration rate, maintenance, and cost. Pool filters are rated on how effective they are at removing contaminants in microns (short for micrometer – one-millionth of a meter). To give you a better idea of how small a micron is, a single human hair is about 50 microns in diameter. Bacteria are generally around two microns in diameter. Regardless of if your chemical treatment kills the bacteria, it still needs to be filtered out of the water to keep your pool clean. The filter media is the aspect that actually removes the contaminants.

Sand Filters

Sand filters are the most affordable filters. They require you to spend minimal time on maintenance and are best for pool owners on a budget. They are also the best option for large pools as they do not clog and require frequent maintenance due to the sheer volume of water going into the filter. Sand filters work by your pool pump, taking in water from the skimmers, pushing it through the filtration tank that is full of sand. The sand in the tank filters and grabs particles that measure 20 microns and larger. Over time, the sand continues to build up particles collected. A pressure gauge on the side of your sand filter alerts you of the time to backwash your filter, flush debris, and clean your sand filter. A sand filter requires you to be more watchful of your water chemistry due to the fact that it only captures particles 20 microns or larger. You need to use proper sanitizer to kill the two-micron-sized bacteria to prevent them from existing in your pool. There are different types of sand you can use as well, including:

  • #20 Silica Sand
  • ZeoSand
  • Filter Glass

Positives of Sand filters include:

  • Affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Your sand lasts five to seven years before you need to change it
  • You can always boost your filtration efficiency by using additives or changing the sand type

Negatives of Sand filters include:

  • Least effective micron filtration method
  • Backwashing and rinsing filter require water usage
  • Over time, building pressure in your filter decreases the sand filter’s efficiency

Cartridge Filters

While more expensive than sand filters, cartridge filters are easy to maintain and more effective than more affordable methods. They work by including a pleated polyester filter that grabs debris as water filters through them. Cartridge filters can catch debris as small as 10 microns. After flowing through the filter, the water is flushed back into the pool. One of the biggest reasons cartridge filters are so popular is due to their excellent energy efficiency and investment cost. Filters are affordable and easy to clean. When your filter starts to accumulate too many contaminants, you only have to remove it and spray it with a hose to remove the debris. You may also use filter cleaners to achieve a deeper clean.

Positives of Cartridge Filters

  • No backwashing required – easy hose off to clean
  • Filters contaminants as small as 10 microns
  • Works well with variable speed pumps
  • Affordable
  • Easy maintenance

Negatives of Cartridge Filters

  • More work than sand filters – more frequent cleaning
  • Only lasts two to three years
  • Requires a deep cleaning once or twice a year

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters

While diatomaceous earth filters are the most expensive filters and require the most maintenance, they also are the most effective at filtering debris and bacteria from your pool. They can filter particles as small as five microns. D.E. filters contain “fingers” that are covered in diatomaceous earth. D.E. are crushed, fossilized remains of aquatic organisms – diatoms. These are also composed of silica. You can find this substance for pest control, cosmetics, and more. It’s an incredibly efficient method of filtering contaminants and debris, but it requires correct application. They also require proper maintenance to remain effective, and you need to understand how to properly dispose of D.E. to avoid clogging storm drains and damaging the environment.

Positives of D.E. Filters

  • Highest-quality filter, removing particles as small as five microns
  • Powder can be added through the skimmer
  • No chemicals are required for cleaning that can harm skin and hair

Negatives of D.E. Filters

  • Higher cost
  • More hands-on maintenance required
  • Filter grid needs to be replaced every two to three years
  • Backwashing restricted by local laws

Contact Us Today!

Let’s get started! Whether you’re installing a new pool or looking to upgrade or change your filter type, we’re here for you. With years of experience and training, our team can help you find the right filter that fits your needs, pool type, and budget. Contact us or visit our Phoenix pool supply center today!