Sand vs Cartridge vs DE Pool Filter: Which is Best?

Sand vs Cartridge vs DE Pool Filter: Which is Best?

Let us examine pool filters for both over ground pools and inground pools to see which is the greatest. If it is time to substitute your pool filter or you’re new to preserving a pool, you could have several concerns about which sort you need to use. We’ll consider an in-depth appear at every single variety and record all the execs and downsides so that you could get a better concept of how they operate, what the differences are among them, and which one is the greatest for you.

Join us even though we go over the preliminary cost of installation, maintenance, microns, and several other characteristics of pool filters to help you make an educated determination about your pool filter method.

Gauging Effectiveness of Pool Filters

To check the effectiveness of a pool filter, we examine to see what the smallest size particle it can get rid of from the drinking water is. We evaluate this very small particle measurement in microns. The more microns, the more substantial the item. A pool filter that can get rid of particles down to ten microns is greater than a filter that can only take away particles greater than fifty microns.

Here’s a tiny chart displaying you the measurement of a handful of products in microns.

Coffee ground  355 microns
Table salt  125 microns
Pollen  90 microns
Human Hair  75 microns
White blood cells  25 microns
Red blood cell  6 microns
Bacteria  2 microns

Our eyes can see particles down to about 45 microns, based on your vision. It is important to preserve in head that the filter is not the only item accountable for keeping the pool cleanse and obvious of micro organism, the chlorine destroys bacteria and other natural content which is only a few microns in dimension.

Filter Types

The 3 major types of pool filters are sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth, which is also called DE.

Sand Filters

Hayward W3S220T ProSeries Sand Filter, 22-Inch, Top-Mount

  • BALANCED FLOW & BACKWASHING: The Hayward ProSeries 22-Inch Top-Mount Filter features efficient, multilateral underdrain assembly with…
  • MAXIMUM FILTRATION: Integral top diffuser ensures even distribution of water over the entire sand bed for optimal use of filtration…
  • ALL-WEATHER PERFORMANCE: Unitized, corrosion-proof filter tank is molded from rugged polymeric material, delivering dependable…

Sand filters are by considerably the most widespread sort of pool filter for swimming swimming pools. These filters use a large canister crammed with fine sand. The pool pump forces drinking water through the sand, which traps contaminants. Sand filters are well-known due to the fact they are straightforward to preserve and only demand occasional backwashing. The sand is relatively low-cost, and it will very last for many several years. Sand filters can filter the water for previously mentioned floor and in-ground pools. The sand will final from five to seven years, depending on how considerably action the pool sees for the duration of that time.

The draw back to sand filters is that they demand several lbs . of sand, and several pumps will require far more than a hundred kilos. The sand is incredibly weighty when it’s full of drinking water, and moving the filter or carrying out any upkeep will be a struggle. An additional downside to the sand filter is that it only filters down to about 20 microns. Filtration will boost the second and third year as far more tiny particles get trapped in the sand. You can see some sand filters eliminating particles down to 10 microns or considerably less in their third calendar year.

1 closing draw back to sand filters is that they call for occasional backwashing to clean them out if the h2o force gets way too large at the pump. Backwashing is primarily reversing the flow of drinking water, and pushing it out into the avenue to eliminate debris that has turn out to be trapped in the sand. Backwashing your pool will waste quite a bit of water, and you will also want a spot for that h2o to go. You may also need to substitute the water if you discovered the water stage has dropped too minimal after backwashing, and you could also need to rebalance your substances and pH.

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to maintain
  • Filtering improves with age
  • Wastes water
  • Doesn’t filter smaller than 10 microns
  • Backwashing can throw off the chemical balance
  • Heavy

Cartridge Filters

Hayward W3C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter, 525 Sq. Ft.

  • ECONOMICAL PERFORMANCE: The Hayward SwimClear 525 sq. ft. pool filter provides excellent filtration and hydraulic performance for…
  • NO BACKWASHING REQUIRED: Cleanable cartridge elements eliminate the need for backwashing
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Filter tanks are made from the most durable materials to meet the demands of the toughest applications and…

Cartridges can search like a sand filter, or they can just take numerous kinds. Cartridge filters get rid of particles from the water making use of cartridges that are extremely related to a HEPA filter you may possibly uncover in an air purifier. Cartridge filters do not demand backwashing. You can hose off cartridge when you discover a strain improve at the pump. Cartridges generally very last about three several years, and even though they’re a minor bit much more pricey than sand, they are not way too high-priced. Cartridge filters can filter down to five microns out of the box, so that is a important improvement above a sand filter. There’s no wasted drinking water or hefty bulk to press about. You can locate cartridge filters for inground pools, very hot tubs, spas, and The occasional above ground pool.

The draw back to cartridge filters is that they are a tiny bit a lot more costly than sand filters to start using. They’re usually clogging, so you need to hose them down every single couple of weeks. You will also require to replace your cartridges twice as frequently as you would need to replace sand. The value for every cartridge generally far more than sand, and you may require many in your filter technique.

  • Filters down to 5 microns
  • Easy to maintain
  • No wasted water
  • No heavy sand
  • Requires frequent cleaning
  • More expensive than sand
  • Cartridges only last a few years

Diatomaceous Earth

Hayward W3EC65A Perflex Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter

  • REDUCED MAINTENANCE: The Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter features a patented Flex-Tube design for longer…
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Heavy-duty filter tank injection molded from high-strength thermoplastics provides dependable, corrosion-free…
  • INSTANT CLEAN: Exclusive bump handle automatically removes dirt and debris from Flex-Tubes

The last type of pool filter we’re going to look at is the diatomaceous earth filter, far more usually known as a DE filter. DE filters are the most powerful, and taking away small particles from the drinking water these filters can eliminate particles down to two microns in size, generating this the only pool filter obtainable that can remove bacteria from the pool. With much less tiny particles in your water, you may possibly be able to run the pump considerably less and use much less chemicals. Diatomaceous earth filters are usually only found on large-finish pools or pools exactly where the occupants have a good deal of delicate allergy symptoms. There are models for previously mentioned and below ground pools.

The downside to the DE filter is that it is far more expensive than the other two. It is also a headache to fill and sustain owing to it currently being a sedimentary rock similar to limestone. You require to incorporate the diatomaceous earth into the filter by means of the skimmer. You will also need to have to backwash this variety of filter, and when you do, you will drop a lot of the diatomaceous earth and need to have to refill it. Diatomaceous earth can wind up as sedimentary stone in storm drains or along the avenue, and in numerous cases, you require a city’s permission to use this variety of filter. We recommend examining up on neighborhood legal guidelines prior to putting in a diatomaceous earth filter.

  • Filters down to 2 microns
  • May decrease the amount of chlorine required
  • Very expensive
  • Wastes water
  • May need city or town approval
  • Causes a hard stone build-up


In almost every case, we advocate likely with the normal sand filter. Chlorine gets rid of the fret that it doesn’t filter down to as modest a particle as the other two. The filtering also will get far better as time goes on, and in some instances, can rival that of the cartridge filter. The sand will also very last numerous a long time and demands minimum year to yr routine maintenance. Which is not to say there is everything improper with the other two. Cartridge filters can be great, particularly if you’re out in the backyard garden often and really don't brain hosing off the filters. For numerous folks, the removing of modest particles is value changing the filters each number of several years.

If you have an intense sensitivity to chlorine, the DE filter may possibly assist you minimize the sum you require to maintain a cleanse pool. Nevertheless, you should consult your neighborhood lawmakers about in which you dispose of the again washed DE sediment.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading through and discovered what kind of filter is greatest for your pool. If we have helped you, remember to share this manual to the diverse varieties of pool filters on Facebook and Twitter.

Highlighted graphic credit history: Drinking water pump pool filter by jbeaty, Pixabay