How to Buy Swimming Pool Filters for Water Clarity & Disinfection?

Filters and pumps are two pieces of equipment that are necessary to have in your swimming pool in order to maintain a healthy environment for swimming. In most cases, they work in tandem to get rid the water impurities such as suntan lotion, body oils, dust, dirt, and debris. They work together to ensure that the water is kept at the right level of clarity while also disinfecting it with the appropriate chemicals.

Types of Swimming Pool Filters

In their most basic forms, there are three categories of filters. Your budget, the size of your pool, the level of water purity you require, and the amount of labor required to maintain it are all factors that should be considered when making your decision.

Types: Let’s have a look at the three different kinds of filters that are available:

  • Sand Filters:

Sand filters are the most traditional type of filter, in addition to being the least expensive. It has a straightforward method of operation. In this particular kind of filter, water moves through about 200 pounds of sand, which catches the dirt particles as they pass through. The filter can be cleaned by reversing the water flow, often known as a “back flush,” which is accomplished by operating the valve in the opposite direction. This form of cleaning needs to be done once a week, which results in a big loss of water and typically results in a loss of 500 gallons of water. Additionally, this type of cleaning needs to be done, which results in a significant loss of water. These filters have the greatest dimensions out of the three different types of filters. Even if it’s inexpensive, the sand only has a filtering capacity of up to 25 or 30 microns. Additionally, it has the slowest rate of water flow, which results in a longer period of time required for filtration. Keep in mind that you need to change the sand once every season as well.

  • DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters:

The fossilized plankton is ground into a very fine powder and used in DE filters. DE powder is a very porous powder that is very successful at capturing a wide variety of particulate matter, including dirt, hair, and even oil particles. In point of fact, it is the most efficient and fine filter that can be purchased, capable of filtration down to a range of 2 to 5 microns. Although it requires a lot of maintenance, DE powder may be replaced for a reasonable price. The best feature of a DE filter is that it does not require a “backwash” to be cleaned, meaning that it does not waste any water in the process. However, in order to ensure a complete cleaning, they will need to be opened, cleaned, and then have fresh DE powder added. In addition, the water flow for the filtration process is the greatest possible, coming in at 2400 gallons per hour. Interestingly, getting rid of spent DE powder is a significant challenge due to the fact that it is a hazardous material that needs to be disposed of in accordance with rules.

  • Cartridge Filters:

Additionally, cartridge filters are easy to use and require little effort to maintain. Inside is a pleated fiber filter, which filters the water by forcing it to circulate through the filter as it moves through the interior of the device. In order to achieve a higher level of filtration throughput, this cartridge could feature three or four filters. The flow rates of water are quite good, and the water is cleaned to a particle size of up to 15 microns. It is necessary to replace the filter element every season in addition to cleaning it once a week with a hose or running it through the dishwasher. The price of a filter element ranges from fifty to one hundred dollars. In general, however, the price of a cartridge filter falls between that of a DE filter and a sand filter, and it is an excellent choice for domestic swimming pools.


In general, the process of maintaining swimming pools is one that requires a lot of time. When determining the sort of water filter that is best suited for a given situation, it is necessary to take into account how easy it is to maintain. The cartridge filter is the one that requires the least amount of maintenance and may be cleaned with a hose once every week. In the event that it is required, one might rinse it after dipping it in a gentle detergent. If the swimming pool is used frequently throughout the season, then it is advised that the filters be changed out twice.

On the other hand, DE filters are difficult to maintain and require a lot of manual labor. The filter needs to be “bumped” multiple times before the dirt can be removed from it. After that, it needs to be opened up, and cleaned, and then some fresh DE powder should be applied. When the growing season is through, it must be preserved by soaking in muriatic acid before being put away.

Cartridge filters are the ones that require the least amount of maintenance. Because there is no involvement from the media, the process is uncomplicated.

Make it a daily habit to give the water a “turn over” at least once. Every single water filter, as a general rule, needs to be used for a minimum of four to five hours every single day.

Buying Tips

DE filters are the superior option for swimming pools with a depth of 18 feet or deeper. It achieves the highest possible production while keeping the water at the required clarity. It is recommended to use a cartridge filter for pools that are 18 feet or less in size.

In the event that you already own sand filters and they have not been the source of any issues up to this point, you should keep using them.

You can expect to spend more money on a DE filter than on a cartridge filter. Think about the filter option in light of your available funds as well.

The amount of water flow that is needed and the dimensions of the pool both impact how frequently the filter should be run. The DE or cartridge filter is the best option to use when the flow rate needs to be increased.

It is important to purchase the pump and the filter from the same manufacturer rather than purchasing them separately. This results in financial savings, as well as an increased likelihood that they will be a good fit. In most cases, the pump will be of lower quality but will be imported from another country at a lower cost. This is problematic for the functioning of the pool because the pump and the filter have to be calibrated to one another.

Your investment would have an effect in the long run because a quality filtration system can last for as long as six years without needing replacement. You will be better equipped to get the filter and pump that is most appropriate for your pool if you make an informed decision. By providing you with this Buying Guide, it is our goal to make it easier for you to make decisions.


Steve is an expert in swimming pools. He has been working in the swimming pool industry for over 10 years. An expert in the pool and spa industry from decades of experience combined with a thirst to learn anything.

Recent Posts