Have you owned a pool for a while and need a new filter??  Are you in the market for a pool and not sure what options there are for pool filters and what the benefits are to each style?

Pool filters perform a major role in keeping your pool water looking crystal clear.  Therefore it’s important to do your research so that you are well informed of what each style of filters do, their each of maintenance and affordability.
The most popular pool filters are  sand filters and cartridge filters. Below are some features and benefits of each style.

Sand Filters

Sand filters are certainly the most affordable filters and are very popular for that entry level buyer.  These filters are very popular on above ground pools.  Essentially the way they operate is by using silica sand to ‘filter’ particulate out of the water as it flows through the filter.  When the valve is in “filter mode,” the water goes through the top of the filter and then flows through the sand, trapping debris and small particulate as it travels to the bottom of the filter and out through the laterals.
filter In this mode, the valve directs the water out the bottom laterals, reversing the flow through the tank. This causes the sand to separate and lift about 7 inches (18 cms) above its normal position while releasing the trapped debris into the water, allowing it to exit from the filter and go out the waste lineris into the wateTop of filterTo backwash you turn the valve to ‘backwash’ position.  You will know when to backwash by watching your pressure gauge.  In this position the water flows into the filter and out the bottom laterals, reversing the way the water flows.  The makes the sand rise and releases trapped particulate/debris into the water where it then flows out the waste line (backwash hose).


  • Removes dirt and debris
  • User friendly


  • Needs sand to be replaced every 5 years or so
  • Have to backwash frequently to keep water clear

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters can filter out very fine particulate and typically filters double the debris of a sand filter. The cartridge filters are fiber paper and in many cases you have multiple filters within the container. Maintenance is far easier.  All you need to do is rinse the cartridge filter with water and annually give them a good clean with a Filter cleanse product.


  • Much more simple to maintain
  • Removes dirt, debris and small particulate easily
  • Less wear and tear on pool pump
  • Lower energy costs to operate
  • Bigger surface area to capture dirt

This is not a one size fits all.  You need to find a filter that fits your budget as well as size it properly so that it can do the job for your quantity of water.  That being said, if you go with the cartridge filter you will find that they are much easier to maintain and your water will look amazing.

Cartridge Filter