A filter system keeps your swimming pool clean by catching dirt, debris and other unwanted particles or substances. There are three general classifications of pool filters and all three types can clean your swimming pool. Choosing among the three filter systems depend on certain considerations such as cost, ease of maintenance, location and other personal preferences. The average homeowner would usually opt for a pool filter cartridge. Compared to sand filter and the more expensive diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, a pool filter cartridge is economical and considered low-maintenance.
As water passes through a pool filter cartridge, particles are trapped by a fine sieving surface. This filter catches particles and unwanted substances in your swimming pool. These are held in the filter system accumulating until it needs maintenance cleaning or cartridge replacement.
A cartridge filter can cover more area than a sand type filter can. This means that it takes a longer time to clog and maintenance is far less frequent. Unlike sand filter that requires high pressure to allow water to pass through, a filter cartridge can do the job with lower water pressure. It results to longer life cycle on your pool pump and there is better water flow in the entire pool system. In terms of particle size that can be filtered, a pool filter cartridge can catch particles between 5 and 10 microns. This is just about half the size that a sand filter can catch and hold. A diatomaceous earth filter can catch the finest particle size but this can be done by a pool filter cartridge by adding flocculants or flocking agents. These are substances that can join small particles to form a bigger particle.
Being low-cost and low-maintenance, a pool filter cartridge has become the popular choice for homeowners. Cleaning or maintenance work is performed at least twice in a season or three times at the most. For sand filters, you have to backwash every few weeks when water flow significantly decreases. Backwashing can be a labor intensive task that pool owners find quite inconvenient.
A pool filter cartridge can be cleaned in three simple steps. The first step is to rinse the cartridge to remove loose dirt and debris with a regular garden hose. After rinsing, the cartridge is soaked in a filter cleaning solution. Lastly, rinse the cartridge to remove the cleaning solution and other debris that remains in the filter. It is important not to apply too much water pressure on the cartridge as it will only press dirt and debris deeper into the filter material.
Changing out a pool filter cartridge is needed when water in the pool takes a longer time to clean. Water is hardly filtered at this point and it could mean that the filter housing is already clogged. Using a water pressure gauge will also help you determine if it is time to replace disposable components of your pool filter cartridge. Significant loss of pressure at the pool pump outlet means that the water could hardly flow through the filter housing.
For an inexpensive and low maintenance filter system, a cartridge is probably your logical option.