Why Choose a Sand Filter?


When it comes to swimming pool filters, you have several options to choose from. There are diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, cartridge filters, and sand filters.  Each of these types have many good qualities that set them apart from one another. But how do you know which one to choose? They’ll all keep your swimming pool clean and free of dirt and debris, so what’s the difference between them and how should you decide which is right for your pool? When choosing a filter, you’ll probably have to set some priorities to help you decide. Do you want the finest filtration possible? Is ease of use most important? What about space? Affordability? Or resiliency? It’s also important to keep in mind the climate in which you live–this should be a major consideration for almost every choice you make when it comes to your pool.

The most effective filter media is DE. It can filter down to about 3-5 microns, leaving very few particles in your swimming pool water. However, DE filters require a little more maintenance and care. There are a couple of options for cleaning your DE filter, each with pros and cons in terms of convenience and wear on the filter itself. Cartridge filters are very effective as well, filtering to about 10 microns. They’re not a great option for larger pools, as you’ll need more cartridges–which means more space taken up and much more time spent cleaning. Cleaning the cartridges in a cartridge filter typically takes about a half hour, and you’ll probably want to wear your bathing suit, because you’ll be using the hose.

Although sand filters don’t filter quite as finely as DE and cartridge, they still filter down to about 30 microns; that’s more than enough to enjoy clean, clear water. The only time you may notice particles is if you do a lot of night swimming with your pool light, as the particles will catch the light–much like when you see the dust in the air near a sunny window. Ask the Pool Guy recommends sand filters to all of our Michigan customers, and each of our construction projects features a sand filter. Sand filters are incredibly easy to clean; the backwashing process takes about ten minutes and you definitely won’t need your swimsuit to do it. When the pressure on your filter reaches a certain level, or once a week or so, you’ll want to backwash your filter to remove the dirt and debris, leaving you with clean sand. Sand is the most resilient of the three options, as well–it only needs to be replaced every 3 to 5 years.

Sand filters are a great option for Michigan swimming pool owners, as well as homeowners living in a similar freeze-thaw climate. The sand is very resilient and flexible when faced with harsh winters and spring thaws. It’s also the most compact way to filter your pool, so it’s a great option if you’re tight on space on your equipment pad.

Choosing a filter, like most other things, comes down to deciding which features are most important to you. All of the reasons listed above are the reasons we always recommend them to our customers, and the reasons our customers love them, too.

One thought on “Why Choose a Sand Filter?”

  1. Great article on the 3 types of pool filters available and use varies greatly depending on the region.

    One other factor that could be important depending on the market is water waste. With de and sand filters water is backwashed to waste while cleaning you are cleaning the filter. In markets where water is scare or expensive a cartridge might would ge a better choice.

    One other thing to consider for pools with heavy use and frequent filter cleanings is not only the cost of adding the fresh water but the additional costs for balancing the chemicals as you dilute them by adding fresh water.


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