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how does a pool filter work diagram


Author: Poolking - Swimming Pool Equipment Manufacturer

Swimming pools are a fantastic feature in any backyard, but keeping them clean and healthy requires some effort. One of the essential components of any pool system is the filter. A pool filter helps to trap and remove dirt, debris, and other impurities floating in the water. In this article, we'll explore how pool filters work and the different types of filters available in the market.

How Does a Pool Filter Work?

Before we dive into the different types of pool filters, let's take a look at how they work. The basic function of a pool filter is to cycle water through it and catch contaminants in the filter media. The filter then releases clean water back into the pool. This process is known as filtration.

The filtration process involves three main parts - the pump, the filter media, and the distribution system. The pool pump draws water from the pool and pushes it through the filter media, trapping debris and contaminants. The clean water then flows back into the pool through the distribution system.

The filter media is the heart of the filtration system. It traps dirt, leaves, and other debris while allowing clean water to pass through. There are different types of filter media available, but the most common are sand, cartridge, and D.E. (diatomaceous earth).

Types of Pool Filters

There are three main types of pool filters - sand, cartridge, and D.E. Each of these filters uses a different type of filter media to trap and remove contaminants from the pool water.

1. Sand Filters

Sand filters are the most basic and popular type of pool filter. They use a bed of sand to filter pool water. Sand filters are easy to maintain and require minimal clean-up. They work by trapping contaminants in the sand bed, which can be easily backwashed to remove accumulated debris. Sand filters are an excellent choice for large pools and are relatively inexpensive.

2. Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters use a porous cartridge to filter pool water. The filter media is made from pleated polyester, which traps debris and contaminants. Cartridge filters are easy to maintain and don't require backwashing as often as sand filters. They are a great choice for small or medium-sized pools and are more efficient than sand filters.

3. D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters

D.E. filters use a filter grid coated with D.E. powder to filter pool water. D.E. powder is made from microscopic fossils that trap debris and contaminants. D.E. filters are the most efficient pool filters and can trap particles as small as five microns. They require regular cleaning and maintenance and are the most expensive type of filter.

How to Choose the Right Pool Filter

Choosing the right pool filter depends on several factors, including the size of your pool, the type of debris you need to filter, and your budget. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right choice:

1. Determine the size of your pool - the size of your pool will determine the flow rate and the size of the filter you need.

2. Consider the type of debris in your pool - if you have large leaves or insects in your pool, a sand or D.E. filter may be a better choice than a cartridge filter.

3. Think about your budget - while D.E. filters are the most efficient, they are also the most expensive. Consider your budget and choose a filter that is affordable and easy to maintain.

4. Consider maintenance requirements - different types of filters require different levels of maintenance. Sand filters are the easiest to maintain, while D.E. filters require regular cleaning and maintenance.


A pool filter is an essential component of any pool system. Its primary function is to trap and remove contaminants from pool water. There are three main types of pool filters - sand, cartridge, and D.E. Each type of filter media has its benefits and drawbacks. When choosing a pool filter, consider the size of your pool, the type of debris you need to filter, your budget, and the maintenance requirements of the filter. Regular maintenance of your pool filter is vital to keep your pool water clean and healthy.


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