Sand Filters vs. Cartridge Filters: What to Know

Sand Filters vs. Cartridge Filters: What to Know

October 8, 2020

If you own a pool, you have a couple different options for your filters, with sand and cartridge pool filters being the two main varieties available in New Haven County, CT. But which one is the better choice?

Both filters are used to accomplish the same purpose: to catch debris and limit the number of particles that will be found floating in the pool water. Sand and cartridge filters each have their own unique pros and cons, so your choice will hinge primarily on personal preference, but also on some of the factors we’ll discuss below.

Here’s a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of pool filter.

Sand filters

Sand filters are favored by many pool owners because they are quite easy to use and install, and because they don’t require much in the way of maintenance. Most pool owners don’t want to have to expend much energy on their filters and keeping them clear, so having a low-maintenance, easy-to-use option can be quite attractive.

Most sand filters are fairly inexpensive, so when replacement time comes, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. However, the sand does need to be changed every five to eight years. Again, this isn’t a significant maintenance burden, but it’s at least something to keep in mind.

Sand pool filters in New Haven County, CT are capable of removing small particles of 20 to 40 microns. This makes them very effective, but not quite capable of catching particles that are as small as those that can be trapped in a cartridge filter.

Backwashing is easy and does not require you to call out professionals for an expensive maintenance visit. However, it is a task you’ll need to do yourself, and not every pool owner wants to bother with taking on those kinds of tasks. In addition, the backwashing process can lower the pool water, and regular backwashing can throw off the chemical balance in your pool, so you’ll need to be a little more proactive about keeping track of your water and chemical levels.

Cartridge filters

Cartridge filters are capable of removing smaller particles than sand filters (down to 10 to 15 microns), so you’re able to get even cleaner water. They’re quite energy efficient, and capable of cutting your energy costs by using lower pressure.

There isn’t much of an impact on water chemistry with a cartridge filter, and the larger surface area of this filter results in screening more particles. There is a relatively simple maintenance schedule with no backwashing needed, and that puts less wear and tear on equipment in your pools.

That being said, there are some drawbacks to cartridge filters. Initial costs and maintenance will both be more expensive, and you’ll need to replace the cartridges every two to four years, which is more often than you need to replace the sand in sand filters. You need to completely open up the filter and wash the cartridges from time to time to keep them effective.

Looking for more tips about whether to go with a sand or cartridge pool filter? Contact A-1 Pools & Spas for more information about pool filters and maintenance in New Haven County, CT.

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