Today we will explore the different above ground pool filtration systems.
There are three basic types of filter systems.
• Sand Filtration
• Cartridge Filtration
• DE Filtration ( DE stands for DIATOMACEOUS EARTH)
First let’s start with Sand filters:
Sand filters are what you will find in most standard pool packages because they are very effective and have stood the test of time. Also they are lowest in costs compared to other systems. Inside, the sand tank contains “silica sand”, a special type of sand made to catch certain micro diameter particles from the pool water. It doesn’t catch super microscopic particles like a cartridge or DE filter, but it does an effective job keeping your water clean.
Pool owners like the ease of using the sand filters. The top of the filter has a lever that is depressed and turns to specific operations of backwash to filter of the filtration system. A sand filter needs to be backwashed about once a week and requires a collapsible backwash hose to do this.
The sand needs to be replaced every 1-3 years, depending on usage. They are durable, long-lasting, and they are the most affordable option. If you ask pool professionals they will rave about how great sand filtration systems are.
Next, let’s learn about Cartridge series filters:
The cost of these filtration systems is between the Sand and DE, so is its performance level. It can filter out smaller microscopic debris than a sand filter. It is not able to filter out as small of the microscopic debris as a DE filtration system. These filters are made like a type of air filter but with materials used to catch microscopic debris as the pool water passes through the cartridge.
Cleaning a cartridge can be as easy as removing the tank and then spraying the cartridge off with a garden hose. When a deeper cleaning is necessary a special chemical is used to deep clean the cartridge. Cartridges tend to last about 1-2 years depending on usage. When ready to replace, one simply removes the top of the filtration system and replaces the cartridge filter.
One drawback to owning a cartridge filtration system is when the water gets dirtier than normal the cartridge gets clogged quickly. When this happens you can expect to remove and clean the filter with a garden hose multiple times before water is cleared of debris. This could be a pain as the cartridge tends to fill with debris in minutes causing constant cleaning until water is clear.
Finally, here are DE Filtration systems:
DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth. This filtration system does the best job because it removes the smallest microscopic elements compared to sand and cartridge filters. These filters are able to catch microscopic particles not visible to the naked eye. The substance is a porous powder with very tiny openings that work like sponges within.
This system requires little maintenance during the pool season but will require a good cleaning and proper closing procedure.
With all these systems winterizing is important. The following will need to be done for each system when closing your pool for the winter.
A sand system will need all the water drained out of the tank and drain plugs removed. Once completely dry, the hoses are taken off, along with the pump and stored inside. The tank part of the unit can be wrapped in plastic and left out during winter. If all the water is not removed the tank will burst during the colder weather. So be sure to remove all water before wrapping.
The cartridge system is similar as you drain water from the system and then the whole unit is brought inside for winter time. Pay special attention to the cartridge as it is important to note its condition and replace if necessary.
The DE filtration system is taken apart, water drained and the whole unit is thoroughly cleaned and brought inside for winter. You also want to pay attention to the cartridge linings condition and replace if necessary. Make sure all DE powder is removed.
There you have it the three types of filtration systems for above ground swimming pools.