Sand Filters Versus Cartridge Filters

Proper sanitation is needed in your above ground pool to both maintain the visual clarity of your pool, and to prevent the transmission of infectious disease. To sanitize your pool, it is very important to regularly test your pool chlorine and pH levels, but also to use filtration systems that remove pollutants from the water.

The filtration system in an above ground pool is close to the pool itself hence creating a shorter distance for the water to pass through the filter and back into your above ground pool.

For a standard above the ground swimming pool, a 1 horsepower pump is sufficient to sanitize the water and fun the cleaners. But before deciding what horsepower you need for your pump, various factors need to be taken into account.

One of the factors that need to be taken into account is the type of filter to use in your above ground pool. The following filter systems can be used for both in-ground and above ground pools. They work the same for both.

There are three types of filters available for your above ground pool:

  • Sand filter
  • DE filter
  • Cartridge filter

Sand pool filter:

Sand filters are EASY TO USE and LOW MAINTENANCE. These are sometimes referred to as ‘lazy man’s filter’ since it is fit for a lazy above ground pool owner. Sand filters work by pushing the pool water through a layer of thick sand, which filters the water by removing fine particles and small debris.

Once the water pushes through the sand, it can be returned to the above ground pool, clean. The only upholding these types of filters require is backwashing. Backwashing means running the water the opposite way and out the backwash port. The sand that filters the water needs to be changed every 3 – 5 years making a sand pool filter very cheap to use.

DE pool filter:

DE filters are POWERFUL but HIGH MAINTENANCE. DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth which in lamens terms is a finely ground white powder. Inside the DE filter is mesh grid to which the powder sticks. Water is passed through the powder and the mesh grid to clear it of particles polluting the above ground pool.

Once the water pushes through the mesh grid, it can be returned to the above ground pool, clean. Because it filters so well, it gets dirty fairly quickly. When you backwash it, most if not all of the powder is washed away. When you put your filter back in, you will need to add more DE powder to the mesh grids. Even though this filter requires a lot of work, it cleans your above ground pool extremely well.


Pool cartridge filter:

Cartridge filters give the best of the afore mentioned two filters. It offers the ease of the sand filter and combines it with the cleaning power of the DE filter. One could say it offer THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (FILTERS)! Cartridge filters have a giant paper like round filter which is very easy to clean.

You just need to take the cartridge out and hose it off. The cartridge, depending on the amount of usage will need to be changed every couple of years. Based on your needs and wants, you can decide between the three types of pool filters.

  • Updated July 2, 2020
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Flora Smith

Home and Garden Enthusiast. I have been a blogger for the last 10 years from different brands and media as well. I have loved pool technology my whole life and decided to start OpenRoom to share my life experiences on pool and it's different aspects.

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