Which filter is the best fit for my swimming pool needs?

Which filter is the best fit for my swimming pool needs?

A common question homeowners will have at some point is what type of swimming pool filter is the best? Which type of swimming pool filter should I install? That depends on what you are looking for in your filter. Each swimming pool filter is designed for a different application. Also, each swimming pool filter does something better than the other filters.

I like to rate filters on a scale of 1-3, with 1 being the best and 3 being the worst. The chart below will help us identify which filter will be best for you and the application that you need:

Type of Filter Best Filtration Easiest to Maintain Total
Sand 3 1 4
DE 1 3 4
Cartridge 2 2 4

Looking at the total column, we see that everything is equal. Does this mean that one swimming pool filter actually better than the other? Let’s break these filter types down individually.

Sand filters are the easiest to maintain. This means that on a weekly basis we will have to do the least amount of maintenance to the filter compared to the others. This filter simply needs to be backwashed periodically and the media inside the filter (sand) needs to be changed every three years. Sand filters do the worst job actually filtering the water. Meaning, the smaller particles of debris will simply pass through the swimming pool sand filter and go right back into the pool. Swimming pool sand filters will typically catch particles down to 30 microns in size.



Cartridge filters do a slightly better job of filtering the water. Cartridge filters will catch particles down to 15 microns in size. This is much better than the sand filter, but how does the maintenance compare? Maintenance on a cartridge filter is a little more involved than a sand filter. Cartridge filters contain cartridges that need to be removed every two to three months for cleaning depending on usage and condition of the swimming pool. This means that the filter has to be disassembled and then reassembled periodically.



Finally we have the DE (diatomaceous earth) filter. A DE filter is like a combination of a sand filter and cartridge filter all in one. A DE filter has to be backwashed typically once a month. Proper maintenance for a DE filter requires the filter to be backwashed three times to completely remove all of the filter media. Once backwashing is complete, new filter media (DE Powder) has to be added. This is added at a rate of 1lb of DE Powder per 10 sq. feet of filtering area and is usually added through the skimmer. The second part of maintenance requires the grids inside of a DE filter be removed and cleaned just like a cartridge filter. Typically every three months is a good rule of thumb. A DE filter may require the most maintenance, however it does the best job of filtering the swimming pool water. A DE filter will catch particles down to 3 microns in size.


So, which filter is the best? This depends on what you are looking for from your filter, as well as cost. If you’d like more information about these filters, as well as advice on which filter is the best fit for your swimming pool, visit our Locations page to contact your local ASP America’s Swimming Pool Company and ask them all of your filtration questions!