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The Ultimate Homeowner’s Guide to Buying Pool Filters

Are you one of the more than 8.5 million owners of swimming pools in the United States? If so, then you most likely spent somewhere around $11,177 – $35,464 in the water facility’s construction and installation.

That’s a lot of money, so it goes without saying that you want to ensure you get the most out of it. In addition to making certain you keep enjoying it, you also want to make sure it remains as healthy and safe for use for everyone in your household.

This said, you need to keep a close look at your pool filters. For the simple reason that the filtration system is the biggest cleaning agent in your pool. Simply put, it’s what allows you to soak not just in sparkling clear, but safe and healthy waters too.

Feel free to use this guide to help you make the right choice when buying filters.

First Things First: Filtration Systems are Mandatory

When you first had your pool constructed, your builder most likely asked you for your thoughts on which filtration system to use. It wasn’t an option – it was a requirement. After all, this part of the structure takes responsibility in capturing unwanted dirt and debris floating in the pool water.

In fact, most places in the country implement laws surrounding pool safety, including those that filtrations have an impact on. Take the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), for instance. This covers guidelines that help prevent problems from the use of pools, particularly health and safety risks.

There are even regulations enforced on the speed required for pool water to pass through the filtering system. Of course, this depends on your location and how big your pool is. But the laws all have the same goal: To help make certain that the pool water remains clean and safe at all times.

It’s vital you don’t skimp when purchasing pool filters. Again, it’s your health and safety – and that of your loved ones – on the line.

Besides, you want to remain on the good side of the law. And there’s also the fact you want to keep enjoying the relaxing, therapeutic, and health benefits of being near and in the water.

Know Your Pool’s Filtration System

Before you can buy the right swimming pool filter, you need to know what goes into the filtration system first. Just like how you’d want to make sure you invest in the right smart home products to keep it healthier and safer for everyone.

First, let’s talk about the heavy stuff. At the bottom of most pools, you’ll find two drains (sometimes more, depending on the pool size). There are also skimmer drains built around the pool’s sides.

Their primary function is to capture debris and get them out of the water before they can make their way into the pump. The bottom drains catch the heavy, unwanted stuff (think pebbles, or even jewelry). The side drains trap the lighter debris, which you can then remove using strainer baskets as they float to the surface.

And just before the water passes through the pump, you’ll find another filtration system component. This strainer basket acts as an added layer of protection for large debris. Once the water gets through this, it then enters the filter box.

Pool Filters and The Types Available

The exact type of pool filter you have depends on the system you first had installed. There are three main types, including the standard cartridge filter, the sand filter, and the diatomaceous earth pool filter.

The Cartridge Type

Cartridge filters, often constructed from standard polyester cloth/corrugated paper, are the most common pool filters used throughout the country. The materials undergo compression and formation into cylinder cartridges, hence the name. As pool water flows into these cylinders, the filtering media strain out the dirt and debris, leaving the water cleaner and safer for you to soak in.

Aside from being low-cost, cartridge filters are also easy to clean and maintain. You can give these a good, solid washing, and then place them back for reuse.

You do, however, need to clean them after every three months or so. Of course, you have to wash them more often depending on how much you use the pool. There’s also the number of swimmers who use the pool on a regular basis.

The Sand Type

If your pool makes use of a sand filter pump, then the filter itself consists of a special type of sand as its filtration medium. These very fine sand particles catch and trap even the tiniest debris.

To clean this type of filter, you need to give it a backwash or clean it through reversing the flow of water. Make sure the water you used to wash them up goes straight to the sewers.

The Diatomaceous Earth Type

Sounds fancy, right? Because it is! These filters use diatomaceous earth (DE), a type of powder extracted from the fossilized diatoms of sea organisms.

Like the sand type, the diatomaceous earth pool filter can also trap the smallest of dirt and debris.

Which Filter Should You Get?

It’s completely understandable if your primary goal is to get the best bang for your buck. The thing is, which exactly of these pool filters you should get entirely depends on you. Consider your particular swimming pool requirements and personal preference.

All the above-mentioned filters come with their own pros and cons, and knowing these can help steer you towards the right direction. Know, however, that all of them work great, so long as you clean and maintain them properly and regularly.

To give you an idea though, let’s take a look at their most attractive features:

The Lowest-Maintenance of All

If you want a filter with the least maintenance requirements, you may want to opt for the cartridge type. They’re easy to wash, not to mention low-cost in terms of replacement.

The Filter that Lasts the Longest

If you take multiple, daily laps, or if you often have a lot of people use the pool, it makes sense to invest in a filter that has the greatest longevity. In this case, a sand filter may provide you with the best option. It’s because of their longer-lasting service life that many public pools use them.

The Greatest Cleaner of Them All

The diatomaceous earth filter is your best choice when you want your filter to have the greatest cleaning power. The DE powder is much finer than the materials used in sand filters. This then allows them to trap greater amounts of tiny contaminants and pollutants.

Proper Filter Maintenance to Make the Most of Your Investment

Filters, even the most affordable ones, still require you to spend money. But for a good cause. Nonetheless, since they’re things you spend cash on, you want to keep them working optimally for as long as possible.

This is why you need to know – and carry out – proper filter maintenance. Whether it’s during the pool season, or during the peak season.

A key component to this maintenance is determining the pressure in the filter at the time it’s clean. This gives you an idea of when you already need to wash or replace it.

For instance, check if the filter pressure has already gone up by 8 to 10 psi beyond the above-mentioned pressure. If so, then you already have to give it a good, thorough cleaning. Or, better yet, replace it — especially if you’ve had the filter for quite some time now, perhaps a year.

Don’t Forget to Fine-Tune Your Pool Water Maintenance

Dirty pool water is similar to how polluted air contains contaminants that can harm your health. Your swimming pool’s filtration system, for the most part, takes care of the heavy cleaning. However, to ensure that the water is indeed clean, healthy, and safe, you need to include chemistry in the formula.

Keeping the right chemical balance in your pool is crucial. First off, because certain pathogens live happily in water. Bacteria, like E. coli, salmonella, and shigella, can cause serious health problems.

Failure to treat pool water can quickly turn your swimming pool into a danger zone. Furthermore, disease-carrying microorganisms can move freely from one swimmer to another.

Other reasons you need to fine-tune your pool water with the right chemical balance include the following:

  • To prevent skin and eye irritation
  • Incorrect chemical balance can cause serious physical damage to certain components of your pool
  • Untreated water gets extremely cloudy

As you can see, proper swimming pool maintenance doesn’t just rely on taking good care ofitss filtration system. You should also be careful when it comes to mixing chemicals to your pool water.

Get Your Pool Back to Its Glorious Condition with New Filters

Now that you know more about pool filters and when to have them replaced, the next step is to compare as many products as possible. This way, you’ll have options to select from, giving you the greatest chances of finding the most suitable for your swimming needs and preferences.

And this is where we come in to help. We have a large selection of low-cost but high quality swimming pool filters. Feel free to browse our selection and connect with us for any inquiries!

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