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There are three basic choices when it comes to swimming pool filters: sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth. Each type of filter has its benefits and drawbacks, and each is effective. To choose the best swimming pool filter for your situation, it helps to understand how each works and their advantages and disadvantages.
Sand filters are very common, easy to understand and use and inexpensive. They are considered the least effective type of filter, but are still incredibly popular. The swimming pool filter is filled with sand. Pool water is pulled into the filter and pressed through the sand. The sand filters out particles from the water.
After the water has passed through the sand filter, it flows back into the pool. Swimming pool filters containing sand can be cleaned by backwashing the sand, or, if the sand becomes exceptionally dirty, by replacing the sand in the filter, which is relatively inexpensive. The main drawback of the sand filter is that it allows some particles through the sand, back into the water.
Cartridge filters are another type of filter. These swimming pool filters clean as the pool water filters through the filtering material. The filtering material captures particles and releases the cleaned water back into the pool. Cartridge filters are a popular choice for many pool owners.
There are two basic types of filters that are available to fit into cartridges. The first are very inexpensive and will need frequent replacement. The second type is more expensive, but lasts a great deal longer. The more expensive cartridge filters can last for many years without needing replacement.
If you choose a cartridge filter, whether an inexpensive or expensive one, it will require some maintenance. When the filter becomes full of debris, it becomes much less effective. You should plan to remove the filter and gently spray it clean with a water hose once or twice over the course of each swimming pool season.
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, swimming pool filters are the final type of pool filter. Diatomaceous earth is the exoskeletons of diatoms that have become fossilized. This material is mined from the earth. DE swimming pool filters are considered the highest quality filter.
DE water filters contain grids inside the filter housing. The diatomaceous earth is poured into the housing, where it coats the grids. The fossilized diatoms act as tiny sieves, filtering out microscopic particles. Diatomaceous earth can filter out debris as tiny as 5 microns, or 5/1,000 of a millimeter.
DE filters are more expensive than sand and cartridge filters. To gain the benefits of diatomaceous earth without the financial outlay, many people add a scoop of diatomaceous earth to their traditional sand or cartridge filter. While this will not give you the same effect as a true DE filter, it will increase the cleaning power of whichever filter you choose.
There are many swimming pool and spa filter systems are available in the market but choosing the best is always difficult. I use Pleatco filter cartridges as they are very advanced and of good quality.
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