Pool Filters; Sand, DE, Cartridge
Sand filters use a specially graded sand as the filter media. The water enters the tank through the diffuser. As the water goes down through the bed of sand, the dirt and debris is trapped between the grains of sand. When the water reaches the bottom of the filter, it enters the laterals and is returned to the pool. NOTE: The new Z-Media filter sand replacement now allows for filtering down to 4-6 microns, and needs to be replaced every 5-8 years.
Cartridge filters use a paper-type cartridge as the filter media. They do not filter as finely as DE, and in our experience produce about the same water quality as sand filtration. Cartridge filters used to have a bad reputation as a nuisance to maintain, but manufacturers have come up with newer filters with enough surface area (300-500 square feet) to need cleaning only once or twice each year. This makes the maintenance issue a plus with these filters.
DE filters use diatomaceous earth as a filter media. The DE filter has plastic grids covered with a plastic type of fabric. A layer of filter powder called Diatomaceous Earth covers the grids and does the filtering. As the water passes through the filter powder, any debris down to 5-8 microns is filtered out. Because the DE is much finer than sand, it is able to filter much more finely than a sand filter.
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