What Are the Differences Between Sand Filters and Cartridge Filters?

by Pool Builders on 01-04-2011 in Articles

In swimming pools the two most popular types of filters are sand and cartridge. Sand is the oldest filter of the two and it is typically the most widely used filter system on swimming pools. Sand filters are round tanks approximately 18" round to a few feet round on some commercial pools. They work by pumping water through the sand inside the tanks. When the water is rushing through the filter the sand is trapping the debris that cannot fit between the sand particles. This system works much like how rainwater filters down through layers of rock to your home's well to become clean water again.

The biggest advantage of sand filters is the ease of maintenance. To clean them you only have to turn the handle on the top of the filter to backwash and they clean themselves. Saving you time from having to get out the tools to disassemble the the system every time it needs cleaned.

Cartridge filters are the second most common filter systems. They are large tanks much like sand filters with one or more cartridge filters inside. A cartridge filter looks just like an air cleaner on a car only bigger. They work by pumping water through these large filters to trap debris much like an air cleaner or oil filter on a car. The biggest benefit to these types of filters are they can filter all the way down to 30 microns. Also in areas where backwash water is not allowed to be discharged in your yard is another benefit. They periodically have to be opened to clean the cartridges. Cleaning the cartridges requires dismantling the tanks to remove the cartridges, then use your garden hose with a spray nozzle to spray off all of the built up debris from the filters.

Both systems have been around for years and work very well. To find out which will work best on your swimming pool consult your local swimming pool installer before they begin construction.

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