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what type of pool filter do i have


Poolking | Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers

What Type of Pool Filter Do I Have?

If you own a pool or are thinking about purchasing one, understanding the type of pool filter you have is important for maintaining the cleanliness and safety of your pool. There are three main types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE). In this article, we will cover the basics of each type of filter and how to identify which one you have.

Sand Filters:

A sand filter is the most common type of pool filter on the market. As the name suggests, sand is used as the filter medium in the tank. Water passes through the sand, which traps dirt and debris, and then flows back into the pool. Sand filters are relatively low maintenance and only require occasional backwashing to remove debris from the sand. Here are a few key features of sand filters:

- Easy to identify: Sand filters are typically large tanks filled with sand. They are often located near the pool pump and filter housing.

- Affordable: Compared to other types of filters, sand filters are generally the most affordable option.

- Longevity: With proper maintenance, a sand filter can last up to 10 years before needing to be replaced.

- Lower filtration level: Sand filters are not as effective at filtering small particles as other types of filters. They work best at removing larger debris like leaves and twigs.

Cartridge Filters:

A cartridge filter utilizes a pleated fabric cartridge to filter out dirt and debris from the pool water. The cartridge is located inside a tank, and water passes through the fabric, trapping debris. Cartridge filters are generally more efficient at filtering small particles than sand filters. Here are a few things to keep in mind when identifying a cartridge filter:

- Smaller housing: Cartridge filter housings are typically smaller than sand filter housings, and they may be cylindrical or rectangular in shape.

- Easy to clean: Cartridges can be easily removed from the housing for cleaning. They should be washed down with a hose periodically to remove debris.

- Higher maintenance: While cartridge filters are more efficient at filtering small particles, they do require more maintenance than sand filters. Cartridges need to be replaced periodically, and they can be expensive.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters:

A DE filter uses diatomaceous earth to filter out impurities from the pool water. DE is a white powder that is added to the filter tank, where it coats a grid that traps debris as water passes through. DE filtration is the most effective of the three types of filters. Here are some things to look for if you suspect you have a DE filter:

- Large tank: DE filters require a larger tank than sand or cartridge filters. They are often the largest and most complex of the three types.

- Filter grids: A DE filter tank contains a series of filter grids coated in DE. These grids can be removed for cleaning.

- Efficient filtration: DE filters are highly efficient at removing small particles from the pool water. However, they can be difficult to maintain and can require a bit more effort than sand or cartridge filters.

Other Factors to Consider:

Not all pool filters are created equal, and there are other factors to keep in mind when trying to identify what type you have. Here are a few additional things to consider:

- Size: The size of your filter will depend on the size of your pool. Make sure you have a filter that can handle the volume of water your pool contains.

- Brand: Different brands of filters may have slightly different designs and maintenance requirements. Check your manual or consult with a professional if you have questions about your specific brand.

- Age: The age of your pool and filter system can impact its efficiency and longevity. If your system is more than ten years old, it may be time to consider an upgrade.


Identifying your pool filter is an important step in maintaining your pool’s cleanliness and safety. Each type of filter has its pros and cons, so it’s important to choose one that suits your needs and budget. Keep in mind that filters require regular maintenance to operate at their best, so be sure to keep up with cleaning and replacement schedules. With the right filter in place, you’ll enjoy a clean and clear pool all summer long.


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