There are three types of swimming pool filters, sand, cartridge and DE (diatomaceous earth). In this article we are focusing on cartridge filters but for the sake of clarification I will give a brief overview of all three types.
Sand filters remove impurities by using sand to collect and attract the debris. Sand filters have to be backwashed (running the filter in reverse) to remove the water waste. This is a very manual process that must be done every few weeks.
Diatomaceous earth is a mined substance used to coat “grids” in the filter. These coated grids capture the impurities. As more impurities are captured the pressure begins to rise. When the pressure has risen to the maximum level, you manually backwash the filter just like sand filters and then “recharge” it with more DE powder.
Swimming pool filter cartridges work by allowing water to pass through a very fine filter surface. This filter surface captures any impurities that attempt to pass through and hold them until you clean the filter cartridge or replace it.
Cartridge filters have more surface area than sand filters. This allows for fewer clogs and much easier maintenance. Cartridge filters also operate at a much lower pressure than sand. This causes less backpressure on the pump so you have a greater flow of water through the system.
The swimming pool filter cartridges can filter out anything down to 5 to 10 microns in size. To put this in perspective, a single grain of table salt is about 90 microns in size. Anything below 35 microns is invisible to the naked eye.
Swimming pool filter cartridges are extremely popular because they are very easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive. Basic cartridge maintenance can be performed by simply rinsing off your cartridge with a garden hose or soaking them in detergent. However, the best way to ensure a clean and sparkling pool is to just simply replace them.
Replacing your cartridges is very easy and you don’t even need the help of a professional. You simply remove and discard the old filter and replace it.
Be sure to get your new filter before you dispose of the old one. To replace your swimming pool filter cartridge you should write down the brand, the size and the part number (if it has one). Always double check the cartridge dimensions against the one that you are try to replace. Cartridges are the preferred method of many pool owners because they are simple to replace and they are a very cost effective way to keep your pool crystal clear.