Your pool pump comes with a filtration system, a way to clean all the algae, debris, minerals, dust, and other things that end up in a swimming pool and don’t belong there. If you’re looking at pool equipment in Luzerne, Pennsylvania and you think you should get a new filter, it helps to know what makes the three main types of filter different.
Humans have been using sand to filter their water for thousands of years. Contaminants and unwelcome organisms get stuck between the grains so they stay out of your water, but eventually you’ll need to backwash the sand so it doesn’t completely clog up. Sand is cheap and it’s easy to maintain and replace, but other filters can get water cleaner and the pump needs a lot of pressure to push water through a foot of sand.
Cartridges use a cotton-like material to grab debris and contaminants as water passes through. The cartridge surface zigzags back and forth to give it the most surface area possible, and this means the pump doesn’t have to work as hard to move water through. You have to put some effort into washing off the filter and you need to replace it more often than sand, but replacements don’t cost much, the lack of backwashing saves water, the cartridge catches more particles, and the low pump pressure saves on energy.
Diatomaceous Earth Filters
Diatomaceous earth, or D.E., takes advantage of the fact that many layers of rock are secretly the shells of microscopic organisms. Natural chalk is made up of microscopic shells, although D.E. is a different material. The precise shapes and tiny size of these shells let D.E. filters catch more contaminants than either of the other two filters, but it needs backwashing like sand and you have to replace the pricy D.E. powder lost in each backwash. You also need to use a face mask and gloves since diatomaceous earth is dangerous to inhale.
Sand is imperfect and D.E. filters are expensive, and so most pool owners prefer to use cartridge filters. However, sand is cheap to use and D.E. powder gives you the cleanest pool, and so if you prioritize either of those you should consider adding one to your pool equipment in Luzerne or wherever your home happens to be.