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What are Swimming Pool Filters and What Do They Do?

Swimming pool filters are essential components of any pool system and are responsible for maintaining clean and safe pool water. The primary function of pool filters is to remove contaminants and impurities from the water. Swimming pools can quickly become contaminated if not properly maintained. Without effective pool filtration, harmful microorganisms can thrive, leading to waterborne illnesses and health concerns for swimmers.


These contaminants can include dirt, debris, organic matter, bacteria, algae and other particles that can make the water cloudy or unsafe for swimming. As water circulates through the swimming pool filter, these unwanted substances are trapped within the filter media, allowing only clean and clear water to return to the pool.


Types of Swimming Pool Filters

Pool Sand Filter

Sand has been used for water filtration since at least 2000 BC! This technology for swimming pools has grown in popularity over the last few decades because it works effectively and is less expensive than other pool filters.

The technology uses graded pool filter sand for filtration. Water flows through a sand-filled chamber, trapping particles, debris and other contaminants. The purified water exits the sand filter and returns to the pool. This method reverses the flow of water to remove accumulated dirt. They typically capture particles ranging in size from 20 to 40 microns. Anything smaller than 20 microns will frequently pass through the sand filter and be returned to the pool.

Note: Sand filters must be backwashed regularly to flush out trapped debris.

Pros of Pool Sand Filter

§ They are relatively low maintenance compared to other types.

§ Pool sand filters are cost-effective to install and operate.

§ They have a long lifespan.

Cons of Pool Sand Filter

§ Pool sand filters may not provide the same level of filtration as anything smaller than 20 microns will pass.

§ Backwashing uses a significant amount of water, which may not be eco-friendly.

If you are looking for a sand filter for your large-sized pool, Pool King presents the ultimate solution in the form of a Horizontal Sand Filter. This pool sand filter is tailored to meet the demands of large pools that have limited equipment space. Its spherical ends ensure uniform water flow, optimizing filtration and minimizing friction head loss. Moreover, its innovative lateral system guarantees efficient filtration, even in pools with heavy debris loads.

PoolKing Pool Sand Filter

Cartridge Filters

The cartridge filter is another widely used filtering system. It is called a cartridge because it is encased within a housing or casing and removes unwanted particles, pollutants and chemicals from liquids. The cartridge filters can remove particles as small as 10 to 15 microns. These filters do not need to be backwashed, which helps you save water and run a more energy-efficient pool.

Furthermore, a cartridge pool filter can trap small or large impurities without needing to be filled with sand of various grain sizes. To clean them, you can simply take them out and hose them down or replace them.

Pros of Cartridge Filters

§ Cartridge filters provide excellent filtration, capturing even small particles up to 10 microns.

§ They don't require backwashing, hence saving more water than sand filters.

§ They usually require less energy to operate.

Cons of Cartridge Filters

§ Cartridge filters need periodic replacement, which can be an ongoing expense.

§ They tend to be more expensive to purchase upfront.

DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters

Diatoms or diatomaceous earth, which are the skeletal remains of tiny, single-celled organisms, are used as the filter media in the process known as diatomaceous earth (DE) filtration. Often referred to as pre-coat filtration, the DE pool filter technology relies on a layer of diatomaceous earth placed on a filter element or septum. Inside, the DE filter powder coats a grid. Impurities are trapped in the powder as water passes through.

What's the best thing about them? DE pool filters can capture particles as small as 2-5 microns, making them far more efficient than the other two swimming pool filters.

Pros of DE Filters

§ A DE filter provides the best filtration quality, ensuring the cleanest pool water by filtering 1-5 microns.

§ They require less frequent cleaning compared to pool sand filters.

§ DE filters also use less water for backwashing than sand filters.

Cons of DE Filters

§ DE pool filters can be more complex to maintain and require periodic recharging with D.E. powder.

§ They are generally more expensive to purchase and install.

For a reliable DE filter, consider Pool King's Fiberglass Cartridge/Diatomaceous Filter. This exceptional filter offers a range of features that elevate your pool maintenance experience to new heights. Its UV-inhibited filament wound structural fiberglass tanks are designed to withstand the elements and harsh pool environments. 

DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters

Moreover, the DE pool filter offers hassle-free maintenance so you can easily replace cartridge or D.E. element with a new one.

Which Swimming Pool Filter Is Better?

Overall, each type of pool filter has been tried and true and will do the job, but for most people, we recommend a sand or cartridge filter. The "better" filter depends on your budget, maintenance preferences and the level of water clarity you desire. If you prioritize cost-effectiveness and low maintenance, a sand filter may be suitable for you. However, if you want finer filtration, lower water consumption and are willing to invest more upfront, a cartridge pool filter may be the better choice.

Bottom Line

When choosing a swimming pool filter, consider the size of your pool, maintenance preferences and filtration requirements. Poolking is a brand that is known for its reliable and efficient pool filters. Our filters offer a combination of quality, durability and efficiency, making sure your swimming pool remains a sparkling oasis for years to come. Whether you opt for our cartridge, DE pool filter or sand filter, you can trust Poolking to provide top-notch filtration solutions for your pool.

Related articles

How to Pick the Right Sand Filter for Your Pool?

How Does a Swimming Sand Filter Work? A Complete Guide.

Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Pool Sand Filter

Top Benefits of Pool Sand Filters

8 Ways To Improve Your Swimming Pool Filtration

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