Pool filters are just as important as any other type of water filtration in and around your home. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you need to have a filter in place in order to keep the water safe and clean the pool functioning properly. Operating your swimming pool without a filter can be very dangerous and can lead to a quick buildup of bacteria, parasites, and other troubling substances. Even if you use regular water treatment chemicals, you still need to have a filter in your swimming pool.
Choosing between a type of filter is as easy as deciding what your pool needs are. The size of your pool, the number of months out of the year you use it, and the quality of your water all can help you choose the right filter for your situation. Of course, your budget plays into this decision as well.
There are three main types of swimming pool filters you’re likely to encounter. The type of pool you have might dictate the kind of filter you need to use, but many newer models of swimming pools are able to be used with any of these filters universally. The choice you make, then, depends largely on the type of filtration you want and the amount of money you have to spend. Here is a quick run-down of the filter options available to you.
Sand filters – While sand filters aren’t very commonly used for hot tubs, they’re actually the most popular type of swimming pool filter. They have been used in swimming pools for a long time, and older models are much more likely to use them. Large round plastic containers are filled ¾ of the way with pool sand, and water is pumped into these containers like a normal filtration system. As the water moves through the sand, it is stripped of any unwanted particles before it ever finds its way into the swimming pool. Pool sand will need to be replaced regularly in order to keep it filtering properly.
Diatomaceous earth filters – In swimming pools, these are very similar to sand filters. However, instead of being able to be used regularly for a long period of time, they need to be recharged with more diatomaceous earth very frequently. These are also potentially troublesome filters because the diatomaceous earth can cause lung irritation if it’s breathed in and skin irritation if it comes into regular contact with skin. There’s also some reason to believe it could be carcinogenic, but this isn’t backed up scientifically as of yet. In any case, be sure to use caution when choosing diatomaceous earth filters.
Cartridge filters – Cartridge filters for swimming pools are the same as those for hot tubs, and sometimes can be used interchangeably. They are made from fabric, paper, and sometimes plastic that is pleated and placed into a hard plastic casing. Water passes through this pleating and is filtered through media in the center of the cartridge. These filters must be replaced yearly and cleaned much more often than this.