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Types of Pool Filters:
Cartridge Filter $$$ Money Saver $$$
Cartridge filters use a removable paper-type filter cartridge that fits into the pump to screen out contaminants before the clean water goes back into the pool. These systems require far less maintenance than sand filters (no backwashing), and they offer SUPERIOR filtration to sand filters. Cartridge filters often screen out particles down to 10 microns. Cartridges are also able to filter larger pools with a smaller filter than other types. Not recommended for painted concrete pools.
Sand filters are the most common types of swimming pool filtration systems at residential pools. They work by forcing the pool water through a tank filled with sand, which filters out the largest particles in the water before re-directing the water back into the swimming area. The advantage of a sand filter is their initial cost and the relative low price of replacement sand when needed. Sand filters are also easy to maintain. Unfortunately, they are also the least effective at removing contaminants from the water. Sand filters only filter out particles down to around 40 microns, which means the sand filter allows more contaminants back into the pool than any other type of filter system.
DE filters, also known as diatomaceous earth filters, work similar to sand filter systems only the water is pumped through DE as opposed to sand. DE is made up of the skeletal remains of microscopic ocean organisms. Diatomaceous earth is much finer than sand, meaning it can filter out many more contaminants than the sand version. In fact, the DE filter can eliminate particles down to 5 microns, making it the most effective filtration system available. DE filters are considered the best type available, but they are also require the most maintenance and are also the most expensive.