Ah, the pool filter. This unit is the key to clean, clear water. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs from different manufacturers. Properly maintained and serviced they assist in removing small debris and particles from your pool and spa. Poorly maintained and serviced they contribute to cloudy water and algae growth.
There are three main types of filter on the market today. Each filter has strengths and weaknesses and in general bigger is better!
Cartridge Filter: Water flows into a tank containing one or more cylindrical cartridges of fine mesh, pleated fabric. This mesh strains impurities out of the water. Cartridge filters are classified by square footage of filter surface as are DE and Sand Filters. Typically, cartridge filters are used on spas and are not recommended for pool use.
DE Filter: In this type of filter, water passes into a metal or plastic tank through a series of grids (also called elements) covered with fabric and then back out of the unit. These grids are coated with a filter media called DE or diatomaceous earth. This DE actually does the filtering. DE filters work very well and are strongly recommended for pool use. Regular cleaning of the filter is performed by backwashing, an easy process by which water is redirected through the filter in the opposite direction from normal filtration using a backwash or multi-port valve. After backwashing of the filter DE is added through the skimmer so coating the elements with new DE. It is recommended that these filters be broken down and cleaned at least once a year and the elements checked for damage to ensure optimum performance.
Sand Filter: In this type of filter sand and not DE is the filter media. Water is passed though a layer of sand inside the tank which strains impurities from the water. Sand filters are cleaned using the same principle as DE filters using a backwash valve. Unlike DE filters, no new filter media needs to be added after backwashing. It is recommended that sand filters be broken down, cleaned, evaluated and the sand replaced every four years to ensure optimum performance. A cleaning agent should be added annually. Although these filters are recommended they do not screen small impurities as well as DE filters.
Buckhead Pool Service sells, installs, maintains and services all three types of filter unit. Our Technical Repair Division has over 22 years combined experience with filters and would welcome the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss the different types available or assist in making any necessary repairs to your existing unit.