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Thread: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Hello All,
    I'm not looking to start a flame war or anything. Just looking for opinions, not trying to ruffle feathers.
    I currently have a Clean and Clear CC100 installed. I have 2 filters that I swap out when they need to be cleaned. We've had several pool parties and they need to be cleaned/swapped out more often. The swap out is about 15 minutes. Then another 15 to clean the dirty filter.

    I have an empty (no sand) Haywood S244S (300 lbs sand, 3.1 Sq Ft) sand filter that came with the house not installed. I'm thinking about installing it and removing the cartridge filter.

    Looking at getting opinions.

    Currently the Cartridge runs at a clean PSI of 5 (50gpm) and clean it out when it gets to 10PSI (45gpm)

    Pump run time is approx 8 hours due to the SWCG needing the time to maintain chlorine level.

    What should I do?
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    I have that exact filter and have had no issues (except for my recent "hey look we're missing lots of sand after 9 seasons" issue)

    My parents had a sand filter, my FIL has a sand filter, most every pool Ive gone to has a sand filter. To me the only choice would be between sand and DE, I wouldnt put cartridges in the mix just because of the cleaning/swap out time.

    I say go sand and never look back. I run the same filter on my 22K gallon pool for 9 hours/day, and even thats probably too much. Im sure plumbing has something to do with it as well...I have 2 1.5" suction and 2 1.5" return lines feeding a 2" inlet into my .5HP northstar pump. I dont have a flow meter, but my clean psi is about 9...havent done the math to figure it out but my guess is around 50GPM or so.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Your filter is small for you pool per tfp recommendations. We would recommend a ~250 sq. ft. filter for you pool. With that said, if you don't get algae, then the only trouble is it means you must clean it more often.

    The sand filter you have is a better fit size wise for you pool. At 3.1 sq. ft. it is the minimum size sand filter that meets our recommendations for your pool.

    Do you have no water restrictions typically?

    Do you have decent fill water?

    Do you have a good place to put the backwash water?

    If yes to these three questions, then a sand filter should work for you...but then it comes down to preference and flames
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Since I have my flame suit on I say rip the cartridge out and put the sand filter in there.

    Now having said that, if my current filter ever bites the dust, I'm going to switch to a very large cartridge filter. It's not that I don't like my sand filter it's just that I love my sisters large cartridge filter.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Sand filters. Are the easiest to deal with, provided you do not have issues with backwashing and fill. They are also the least level of filtration on a micron scale, so if you have cloudy water issues, it may not be your best choice. Topping them off with a little DE seems to help though.

    Cartridges are great filtration, but much higher maintenance, especially if not sized properly for your pool.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    I've had a 27" sand filter for 16 seasons but switched to a cartridge filter (Hayward SwimClear 4030) this season. Won't ever go back to sand.

    Installed the new cartridge filter at the start of season -- same time that I replaced old pump with an Intelliflo and upgraded my pad plumbing to 2".

    The pool was a green, slimey, swampy mess to start season (opened it late due to new equipment installation time). The SwimClear has cleaned up my water in record time -- only 3 days from swamp to crystal clear. My pressure has not increased from 4PSI since opening the pool. I haven't had to clean the filter even once yet.

    With my old sand filter, opening usually took 7-10 days with back-washing and back-washing and back-washing. Wasting water, wasting water, then more back-washing. Even after all cleaned-up, back-washing was needed at least every 2 weeks. More wasted water and need to re-balance after replacement water was added.

    Also, flow rate through the sand filter was probably about half of the flow rate with the SwimClear. What does that translate to? Being able to run the Intelliflo pump at a lower speed thereby saving on electricity cost. Plus, filters work better at lower speeds (smallest particles don't get forced through the media).

    My filter is technically 'over-sized' for my pool (20x40 IG @33,000 gallons), but that translates to longer time between cleanings which certainly seems to be the case.

    So, for me, contrasting cartridge filter to sand filter, I'm getting better water clarity, better flow rates, lower electricity consumption, lower water consumption, and more stable water chemistry.
    Nope -- never going back to the sand pile. YMMV of course.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK
    My filter is technically 'over-sized' for my pool (20x40 IG @33,000 gallons), but that translates to longer time between cleanings which certainly seems to be the case.
    TFP recommendations for your pool would be 490 sq. ft minimum...so we would still say your are slightly undersized at 425.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK
    I've had a 27" sand filter for 16 seasons
    Your filter was too small for you pool at 4 sq.ft. Our recommendation for your pool size would be 6.1 sq. ft. minimum.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK
    Even after all cleaned-up, back-washing was needed at least every 2 weeks.
    That is really frequent backwashing...probably due to the small filter, or you had some other problem going on.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK
    The SwimClear has cleaned up my water in record time -- only 3 days from swamp to crystal clear.
    Im actually able to do this with my sand filter which by TF suggestions is actually UNDERsized for my pool. So, in my case anyway, I wouldnt be seeing a huge improvement with different filter media. I even debated going DE, but again the pool clears up quick enough for me so I see no reason to run out and buy an expensive new filter.

    Im sure, though, if my sand filter ever died (but how do they, really) I would at least look a little at cart or DE but most likely come back to sand again.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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