Choosing a pool filter for your swimming pool can be confusing. How do you know you’re getting the best filter for your needs? This list has been created to make it simple to decide. The pool filters featured in this article are ranked from best to worst and have an average 2015 price for an installed pool filter.
Glass Filter for Swimming Pools: $1250.00 Installed
A swimming pool glass filter is actually a hybrid pool filter. It is a sand filter body with certified glass media inside the filter instead of high rate sand. NS-61 certified glass filtration will filter your pool water down to 2 microns which is the best filtration rate available on earth today. An added benefit to using a glass filter is that you still get the ease of use which is inherent with the standard operation of a pool filter. It takes a couple of minutes to backwash and rinse the filter under normal useage. Unlike other pool filters in this list the glass filter only needs to be cleaned about once every 30 days instead of once per week which saves water and the glass media can last up to 10 years while still remaining effective at filtering water. No other filter on this list even comes close to the benefits achieved by glass filtration. However, some customers may choose to save a few hundred dollars by choosing a sand filter if performance and longevity are not part of their decision matrix. For example, sand filters are great for real estate investors who flip houses for quick profit.
DE Filter for Swimming Pools: $1490.00 Installed
DE stands for Diatamaceous Earth. DE is a white powder which is generally believed to have been formed over millions of years though the degradation of fossil bones in the earth’s crust. A DE filter uses a complex system of “grids” inside the body of the filter. Each if these plastic grids is covered with a fine mesh like material. The DE powder is added to the pool skimmer while the pump is running which causes the fabric over the grids to become coated with DE. It is this coating of DE on the grids that allows pool water to be filtered down to 4 or 5 mocrons. Not quite as effective at filtration as a certified glass filter but still pretty good! DE filters filter water really well but they do have some pretty major drawbacks. First, they are expensive and on average even cost more than a glass filter. Second, they are difficult to repair and are prone to damage because of the complex nature of its internal grid system. For this reason repair work can be expensive on these filters and in many cases pool professionals will suggest replacing the whole filter instead of repairing it. DE filters are still more popular than glass filters because glass filters entered the pool market much later than the DE filter.
Cartridge Filter for Swimming Pools: $950.00 Installed
Cartridge filters have a very similar tubular shape like a DE filter but instead of having a complex grid system inside it has a cartidge that looks very simlar to the air filter in your car. This is a good old fashioned way to filter water. Not a lot of moving parts that can get damaged. The downside is that most cartridge filters are only going to be able to filter down to about 10 microns and they are a major hassle to clean. In order to clean a cartidge filter you have to take the filter apart, remove the cartridge (which may be very heavy), acid wash the cartridge, replace the filter into the cartridge, and then re-assemble the cartridge. The filter does offer some cost savings over DE and glass filters.
Sand Filters for Swimming Pools: $790.00 Installed
Sand filters are by far the most common filter in use on swimming pools. This is because they are inexpensive and generally filter good enough for a lot of people. If cost is your major concern this is the filter to choose. Sand filters will only filter down to about 15 microns (even with high rate sand) but they are very easy to use. When you have the filter installed make sure you ask your installation professional to teach you how to use the filter. A 5 minute class will give you much more understanding of the filter and prevent potential damage. For example, it is important to turn off the pump before turning the multiport valve on the pool filter because the water pressure from the pump can blowout the gasket on the lid of the multiport valve.
I hope this short article helped you make a better purchasing decision. If you are a pool owner and would like to join other pool owners for education and leveraging strength in numbers please submit your email to our quarterly mailing list. We promise to add value to your life as a pool owner with only 4 emails per year.