If your pool pump is the heart that pumps water throughout your pool system, then your pool filter is the kidneys – filtering and removing bacteria and debris from your pool.
When it comes to pool filtration systems, you have two options. Knowing your pool, what it needs, and what each system entails will help you decide which filtration system is the best investment.
1. Sand filters
A sand filter works by using a special type of sand – not just any kind of sand – that can trap tiny particles that are between 20 and 100 microns. This sand is carefully placed into the filter where the water will flow in and out of.
Each grain of sand has a rough texture which helps trap debris and bacteria as the water passes through the filter. As time goes by, the sand’s rough texture wears away and becomes less effective; this usually happens after 18 to 24 months.
When it’s time to replace your sand, you have two options to choose from:
• Silica sand traps any particles that are 20 microns or larger – which is most of the dirt and debris that finds its way into your pool. However, it’s not going to catch microscopic, 2-micron bacteria – but that’s what your chlorine and pool sanitisers are for.
• ZeoSand (Clinobrite) is made from a mineral called zeolite and looks like tiny crystals. The great thing about this type of sand is that it’s able to trap smaller particles than silica sand and doesn’t require backwashing as often.
Sand filters are often the more budget-friendly filter option; they’re also great for larger pools as they don’t clog easily.
2. Cartridge filters
A cartridge filter is placed inside the filter and is smaller than its sand-filter counterpart. It’s made up of a plastic cylinder which is surrounded by mesh-like material that’s pleated and capped on both ends. When the water flows into the filter, it flows through the pleats and the debris gets trapped in the filter. The clean, filtered water then goes back into the pool.
As the filter collects dirt and debris, it will need to be cleaned. However, where you’ll need to run a backwash on a sand filter, you’ll simply remove the cartridge from the tank, spray it down with filter cleaner and a hose, and then place it back in the tank.
Although cartridge filters are generally low maintenance, they are the more expensive option. However, they waste less water, are more energy-efficient, and only need to be replaced after 5 to 10 years, depending on the size of the pool.
One other thing that you need to consider is that your pump and filter go hand-in-hand. A pool filter must always be matched to the correct size pool pump, and, neither will work properly if your pump isn’t the correct size for your pool – always remember to start at the “heart” of the matter.
Need more advice on which filter system is best suited to you and your pool? Contact The Pool Team and a friendly expert will be happy to help you.