Here is my situation. I have an 8 year old Sta-rite SMD S7MD60 DE filter, and recently DE and dirt began being blown into the pool returns on occasion. Upon inspection of the DE grid cartridge, I noticed several tears that will require a new grid cartridge. Unfortunately this old Sta-rite model did not have individual grids, but rather had one large cartridge that included all 60 sq. feet in one cartridge. I have found the cartridge online with a best price of ~$260. I have also priced new filter systems at around $600. I am torn between which option makes the most sense. My two questions below are:
1. If I replace the DE grids on my current filter for $260, how many more years of reasonable life can I expect out of my existing filter housing and backwash valve? I have the unit shaded from the sun, but at the same time it is 8 years old. Any replacement parts going forward will be very expensive.
2. What kind of life expectancy can I expect on a new filter? I am actually looking at getting a Hayward sand filter as dealing with this DE has been kind of a nightmare.
3. Given my scenario of $260 for a replacement cartridge now vs. $600 for a new filter, which option would you recommend?
Thanks all for the help!