A Beginner’s Guide to Pool Filters

How to choose the best pool filter when you are buying one for the first time. Our begginer's guide to pool filters will let you choose the one that works best with the size and type of your pool.

Nothing makes a house more attractive than a clean, shimmering swimming pool that draws everyone to it. It can turn a basic, boring backyard into a dream staycation spot! 

A swimming pool is a great way to get people to come together and bond when they are at your house. From simple swimming parties, to poolside BBQs, or just simply lounging by the pool and relaxing, it is something that can benefit a lot of people even when it is not summertime any more.

However, beyond the fun and enjoyment that a pool brings, there is actually a lot of hard work that goes into making it look as good as it does. The media portray it as something as simple as just using a net to scoop out leaves from the pool, but there is more than meets the eye. 

Of course, there is manual pool cleaning that is usually the low-tech, high-effort option of keeping your pool sanitised. If you are someone that enjoys a lot of free time, and gets a kick out of cleaning, then this may be the perfect option for you. However, manual pool cleaning does involve a lot of time and effort on your part, which can get tedious over time.

If you want to make full use of all technology and innovation has to offer, automatic pool cleaning systems are readily available on the market. These cleaners that depend on electricity even make things easier for you in more ways than one.

For those that have tried manual cleaning and have been turned off by the sheer amount of effort it takes, making the switch to automatic pool cleaning systems is the right choice. It makes a lot of sense in all aspects to invest in an automatic pool cleaner if the one you have is too big or you simply have no time to spare for the task.

While it may be a bigger investment to get an automatic pool cleaner, it is something that will definitely pay off over time. It won’t just save you from having to hire a professional; it will save your energy and time as well!

There are actually three types of these systems that you can choose from, depending on what you need out of it. There is the suction side cleaner, unarguably the most affordable out of the three. It is the one that hooks up to your skimmer, the part of your pool filtration system that pulls water to be filtered.

There is also the pressure side cleaner that hooks up to the other side of your pool filtration system. These tend to be on the pricier side, all because they have more heavy-duty features. It is great if you have an outdoor pool that tends to collect debris at the bottom of it. 

Last of the automatic pool cleaners is the robotic pool cleaner. As the name suggests, it is the most technologically-advanced and feature-packed out of the three. They are standalone, and do not need to be hooked up to your pool’s filtration system. This one is also the most expensive out of the three, but it is a worthwhile investment. Robotic pool cleaners feature their own vacuum and brushes, so you don’t need to worry about it because it can definitely scrub every inch and surface of your swimming pool! 

Now that we have covered the different pool cleaning methods, the one thing we find they all have in common are pool filters. These systems are pretty much the backbones of your pool cleaning system.

What is a pool filter?

Owning a swimming pool without a filter can turn really ugly real quick. That is why one of the essentials of owning a pool is having a reliable and durable pool filter installed. 

This is actually mandated in most countries, with some even indicating a time as to how quickly the water in the pool must pass through the filtration system. From this information alone, the importance of a filtration system is conveyed, since all these guidelines are there to ensure that the water that circulates in your pool is safe and clean at all times.

Pool filters are the ones that are attached into a pool’s plumbing system. Essentially, they are water filters that suck out debris and impurities from your pool by acting as a physical barrier. They do not just catch the larger pieces of dirt in your pool; certain types are equipped to catch both small and big debris! 

The way pool filters work is that they function alongside the pool’s motor and pumps. While the filter does the cleaning, the pump does the heavy lifting by, pulling water from the pool, so that it may pass through the filter. Once it has passed through the filter, it is circulated back out by the pump.

What are the different types of pool filters?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no single cookie-cutter filter that will be the perfect fit for all pools. It is important for this very reason that you do diligent research and find out which one your pool needs for it to be a good investment.

There are three types of pool filters, as described above already. Read on to find out which one is best for you:

DE Filters

The DE in DE Filters stands for diatomaceous earth. DE is actually a sedimentary rock that is made up of fossilized/skeletal, chemically inert remains of millions upon millions of algae-like, microscopic organisms that are aptly named diatoms.

DE filters are often referred to as the most efficient and effective of all pool filter types, since they are able to catch something as small as 3 to 5 microns. To give you some perspective as to how incredible that is: the naked eye can only see something that is 35 microns and above. This is why DE filters can unarguably offer the cleanest water possible. 

This type of filter is perfect for residential pools, since it requires way less water to clean than its alternatives. It is also very compact and portable, and relatively easy to install. 

Sand Filters

As long as pools have been around, sand filters seem to have been too. It is one of the oldest filters available out there, and they are pretty much the one upon which newer types of pool filters are based. It is undeniable that they are more convenient compared to others and are cheaper in a way.

Sand filters can also filter something as small as 20 microns. It is also a long-lasting investment since it can last you forever.

However, this type of pool filter requires around 50% more water than usual, since they need to be cleaned frequently. The thought of sand inside a filter can be a concern for some people who are very particular about what goes into their pool.

Cartridge Filters

A cartridge filter is also one of the most popular options when it comes to pool cleaning for those that don’t really want unfamiliar substances coming in contact with their pool water. It is also well-acclaimed because this type of filter is able to be sanitised without the repercussion of backwash. Due to this, it is also an investment that will pay off since it will save you time, water, and energy.

These can also filter your water well, since they can filter something as small as 10 microns. They are made out of a type of paper, which eventually wears out and has to be replaced every coeple of years. 

Cartridge filters are the best fit for smaller sizes of pools. Due to the fact that it wears out faster than its counterparts, it may not be the best choice for bigger sizes of pools.

Which size is best for your pool?

When shopping around for pool filters, it is important to factor in the size you will need. Even if you already have an ideal type in mind, the size will still matter since different pools require different amounts of effort from the filters.

The first thing that you should know is the surface area of your pool. This can be found in the paperwork if you have just had your pool filter installed. If not, you can measure this manually as well.

The next thing you should find out is the volume of your pool, as a lot of filters are being marketed based on the total volume of your swimming pool. Then, factor in whether you have an in-ground, pop-up, or above-ground pool. Pop-up pools are a bit more delicate in this matter, since some filters might have higher electrical currents that pop-up pools may not be able to handle.

The turnover rate of your pool is an essential element as well, since this determines how much time your pool takes in order to cycle water through the filter you have. 

The rule of thumb here, however, is that bigger is always better. This doesn’t mean that you should just get the biggest one available; we just mean that you should opt for the best one that can accommodate your pool for a longer time.

When do you need to change your pool filters?

Getting your pool filters changed depends on which type you use. As we’ve mentioned, cartridge filters tend to wear out the fastest, while sand filters can last you a lifetime. Once you make your purchase of choice, be sure to ask your supplier how you will be able to find out when it is time to get them changed or serviced.

Filter systems are something you should never just put aside when it comes to your swimming pool. Whether you opt for something upscale like a sand filter, or a traditional cartridge filter, the important thing is that you find one that will keep your pool in tip-top shape. 

Want to keep your pool in pristine condition through all seasons? Aquaneo has an extensive array of everything you’ll need to make sure you can enjoy your pool all year round!

Comments (1)

Charlotte Fleet

31 March 2021
Thank you so much for your guide on how to choose a pool filter. My dad needs to buy a new filter for our pool. I will be sure to pass along all of your tips so that he can find the best one for our pool. https://www.aemgroup.net.au/grey-water-pumps

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