When it’s time to swim, everyone wants crystal-clear water and bright sunny skies. While you may not be able to control the weather, you can make sure your swimming pool is clean, clear, and free of debris.
Pool Filters Play an Important Role
Chlorine gets all of the credit when it comes to pool cleaning. But your pool’s filter actually plays an equally important role. Chlorine disinfects your pool and makes the water safe to swim. But your filter is a lot like a household vacuum. It picks up dirt and debris and holds everything inside. Eventually, it can’t suck anything else in – until you switch out the bag.
Before we dive into the different types of filters, it is helpful to understand how your pool’s circulatory system works. All of the different components of the circulatory system work together to remove dirt, leaves and debris for clear, blue water.
Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Your pump pulls pool water from the skimmer(s) and the main drain
- Step 2: The water flows through the pump filter removing dirt, debris and even bacteria
- Step 3: Filtered water travels through plumbing to a heater and/or a salt-chlorine generator
- Step 4: Clean water goes back to the pool via return jets on the pool walls
Sand vs. Cartridge Filters
Sand and cartridge filters do the same thing – remove dirt and debris. But, they use different mediums to clean the water.
Sand filters use 250 pounds of special filter sand to catch debris and small particulates.
Sand filters are less expensive initially compared to cartridge filters and are easy to maintain.
You can expect to change out the filter sand every 5-7 years on average.
Sand filters can filter large quantities of water, making them ideal for backyard pools as well as large commercial pools.
Cleaning Your Sand Filter
Cleaning your sand filter is relatively straightforward. Sand filters have a pressure gauge.
When the internal pressure of the filter rises 10 psi from when it was last cleaned, it’s time to clean the filter.
The process is known as “backwashing” because you essentially reverse the direction of the water flow and run water backward through the filter and out the waste or drain port.
Ideally, you would backwash your pool once a week.
Advantages of of Sand Filters
- Easy to use
- Filter sand only needs to be replaced every 5-7 Years
- Removes dirt and debris particles 20-40 microns in size
- Less expensive initially
A cartridge filter uses cloth-type material as the filtering agent. Cartridges typically need to be replaced every 3-4 years. Additionally, you’ll need to clean your cartridge filter at least twice a year – more if your pool is prone to leaves and other debris.
Cleaning Your Cartridge Filter
Cleaning your cartridge filter is easy. You simply turn off the system, open the filter, remove the cartridge and set it aside. Then, you can clean the cartridge with a sprayer attachment and your garden hose.
Cartridge filter systems are more expensive than sand filters, but they are capable of filtering out smaller particles.
Advantages of Cartridge Filters
- Removes smaller particles than sand filters (10-15 microns)
- Requires less pressure, which creates lower energy costs
- Simple maintenance without backwashing
- Requires cleaning less frequently than sand filters
- Does not generate waste water during filter cleaning process
As you can see, there are advantages to each type of filter. If you are still in the planning stages of your pool build, your professional design team will take in account your budget, maintenance plans as well as what features and pool accessories you’d like to incorporate into your design. Then, you can work together to determine which option will serve you best.
Pool Service from Texoma Country Pools and Spas
You can choose ongoing weekly, biweekly or monthly service – whatever suits your maintenance needs and budget. Do you need help getting your pool up and running for the season? Our “Green-to-Clean” service may be right for you. We uncover, clean, and treat the water so you can open your pool for the season.
Texoma Country Pools and Spas
When you trust the pros at Texoma Country pools and spas, you can spend more time entertaining, swimming and enjoying pristine water.
Request a quote to get started today!