Pool Filters 101: Everything You Need to Know to Keep your Pool Clean
Learn about the three types of pool filters and which one is right for your budget and needs.
Pool filters are an essential for the backyard swimming pool. These gadgets keep pool water safe and clean throughout the swimming season. No matter how much time you spend skimming the water and brushing down the walls, you will never be able to remove all the dirt and debris that sneaks into your pool. That's where a pool filter comes in to save the day. This handy piece of equipment traps residual particles and removes them from your swimming pool, leaving your water clear and clean for your family to enjoy. This article will give you the basics of a pool filtration system including how to choose the right one for your pool and maintain it for the most efficient performance.
Types of Pool Filters
There are three different types of filters used in swimming pools, and they differ in both the way they filter the water and their price:
- Sand - This type of filter uses a large amount of sand to trap particles from the water. The water is pumped through the sand, leaving debris behind. The advantage to a sand filter is that it is usually the least expensive type of filtration system available. The main drawback is that these filters tend to get plugged up easily, so they need to be backwashed regularly, usually every two weeks, to keep them functioning properly.
- Cartridge - A cartridge filter uses a paper screen to trap particles, allowing it to nab smaller pieces than a sand filter might. These filters tend to be the most popular because they are the easiest to use. These cartridge filters are much easier to maintain because they can be removed and washed out without having to go through the entire backwash process.
- DE - The DE in these filters stands for diatomaceous earth, which are also referred to as HEPA filters by some pool owners. DE filters use a specially treated earth to filter out water particles, making them the most effective swimming pool filter by far. However, like the sand filter, DE filters have to be backwashed regularly to maintain their efficiency.
The Importance of Maintenance
While any of these pool filters can be sufficient for keeping your pool water safe and clean, they are only as good as the maintenance that goes into them. Cleaning your filter should be a part of your scheduled pool maintenance. It is as simple as following manufacturer instructions as to the timing and method for filter cleaning.
If you wait until your pool water gets cloudy to address the needs of your pool filter, you are waiting to long and could be compromising the health of your family in the process. Pool problems that are very preventable with a pool filter, such as algae and fungus, are much more difficult to treat once they have begun. A clean pool filter stops problems in their tracks so you don't have to worry about treatment options.
Finding the right pool filter really comes down to a matter of personal preference and budget. As long as they are properly maintained, any of these filters will provide ample filtration services for a good long time.