Swimming Pool Filters - Sand Or Cartridge Which Should You Choose

by Pool Builders on 06-10-2007 in Articles

About a year ago my sand filter cracked and I had to replace it. The pool center person told me that since my sand filter needed to be replaced anyway I would be much better-off going with a new cartridge filter. The benefits that he stated were the water savings that I would realize from not having to backwash the filter and that the cartridge filter filtered to a finer degree than the sand filter.

The cost of the cartridge filter was only slightly more that a new sand filter so I decided to go with the cartridge filter. In hindsight I wish I had chosen a new sand filter instead. What the pool technician didn't mention and I never considered is the fact that I do not have a covered pool. The way my property is configured the pool edge is too close to the neighbors border to put up a pool cover or even a screen cover so I have to leave it open.

Having an open pool surrounded by pine and oak trees is great to keep the sun from directly bearing down on the entire pool all day, but the debris from the trees is tough on the cartridge filter. The cartridge clogs very quickly with the seeds and husks that come from the trees in spring requiring it to be removed and washed twice a week. Not only is it more time consuming to do it uses just as much, or more water to rinse it out than the sand filter required. The sand filter was a whole lot simpler and faster to maintain and backwash. To backwash the sand filter, when it begins to show signs of getting clogged, you just turn and push a lever that diverts the water backwards through the filter that frees and washes away the debris out of the bypass hose. You run it for three minutes and you're finished as long as the water runs clear. Once you backwash a sand filter you should be good for a month before it needs it again.

A cartridge filter would probably be a great filter for a hot tub or a covered pool; it is just not the best choice for a pool that is open to the environment.

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