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Thread: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.??

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    Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.??

    I never knew how many choices and how difficult it would be to decide on what to go with for my new pool!! LOL!!

    I am pretty certain I am going with salt if any of that matters for this post. I know need to decide what kind of pool filter to go with....It seems D.E. is the best and that is what my builder is going to put in.....a Jandy 2HP model for a 400 s.f. pool (up from 1 1/2HP because of 2 decents will run off the pump). What do you recommend...sand, cartridge or D.E.??

    Thanks!
    Doug
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Personal preference. There is an article in Pool School that discusses the different types of filters. They all have pluses and minuses.

    You should seriously look into a 2 speed pump or you will be wasting a lot of electricity running that big pump even when the shears are off.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Some places have restrictions on dumping DE into the sewer or out onto the ground so you have to have a recovery system. Places with water restrictions sometimes do better with a cartridge because you don't backwash. Cartridge filters can be tall so can be difficult to clean under decks. Sand filters are slower in clearing dirty water. Like Jblizzle says mostly personal preference.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    I prefer a large cartridge filter. low maintenance. I only clean mine out once a year.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    With an SWG I would lean more toward a cartridge because backwashing removes salt and CYA which will then need to be replaced each time you backwash. You don't have a location in your profile so do you close your pool in the winter?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    I like my DE filter and have converted to using cellulose fiber media in it. You can't get better and clearer filtration. But it does require a bit more maintenance. I back flush (I do have a separation tank) and refill with fiber media a couple times during the season and do a full breakdown cleaning once.

    Sand filter has the least, maintenance, but also doesn't filter near as fine. That can be overcome somewhat by adding cellulose each time you back flush. It also wastes the most water do to frequent back flushing.

    Cartridge, predictably, has filtration not near as fine as DE, but better than sand. No back flushing,so less wasted water. But that means you have to do a break down to clean it. If you ever get an algae bloom, that can be a real PITA.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each type.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    mas985,

    I updated my profile....I'm located in Southeastern, Pa. I am not sure I am worried about replacing salt as it is cheap....don't even know what CYA is at this point! How often would I backflush with D.E.?

    Thanks,
    Doug
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    That depends on what size filter you get and the size of your pool. I personally have a cartridge filter and wouldn't replace it with anything. My fill water is full of iron and very acidic, so minimizing water loss is my goal.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    CYA=stabilizer.
    How often you need to back flush depends on a number of factors. How much dirt and debris gets into the pool, how picky you become about water quality, pump run time, etc. but you should expect at least a couple times a season.

    If you spend some time on this site, reading all the info in Pool School you will find that almost all of your questions are answered.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Quote Originally Posted by dubele
    I updated my profile....I'm located in Southeastern, Pa. I am not sure I am worried about replacing salt as it is cheap....don't even know what CYA is at this point! How often would I backflush with D.E.?
    Since you live where you would close the pool and probably only keep it open for 3-4 months, you might get away with one cleaning per season if you get one large enough (~48 sq-ft). But for a winterized pool, clean up is easiest with a sand filter, DE next, and cartridge is probably the hardest.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Like others have said each has advantages and disadvantages, but without knowing a lot more about your particular location it is hard to even make a suggestion, for example do you have a good location for running a backwash line , can you dump DE in the sewer system where you live? (this can be restricted for environmental discharge reasons , or it may clog the sewer processing plant filters.)
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Quote Originally Posted by brg88tx
    I prefer a large cartridge filter. low maintenance. I only clean mine out once a year.
    Holy cow that's amazing. I am cleaning mine every two weeks.
    pool owner since 2012
    13-15k gallons, kidney shaped,in-ground plaster
    1970s construction, currently undergoing complete renovation
    3 jets, 1 skimmer, 1 dedicated vacuum line, kreepy krauly great white, main drain

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    Seanhan's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    D.E is the only way to go !!!
    Sean Hannon
    30,000 Gallons gunite pool Coated by Fibertech
    Hayward Pro Grid 72 / Hayward multiport
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    We've got a sand filter and LOVE IT! our pool is crystal clear, backwash once a month only because I feel better about it not because pressure has built up. Each spring I use the garden hose to float out any particles that aren't back washed out. We're on year 2 using the same sand. Until we start seeing a problem I have no plans on replacing the sand for the next couple of years.

    Caveat.. I have no idea how a sand filter would do with a SWG system.
    21' AG (~11,000 gallons)
    Hayward S180T sand filter (35 gpm)
    Hayward Power-Flow SP1510 pump

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman00
    We've got a sand filter and LOVE IT!
    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman00
    We're on year 2 using the same sand. Until we start seeing a problem I have no plans on replacing the sand for the next couple of years.
    With very rare exceptions, the sand should last the life of the filter without ever needing to be replaced. The sand in my filter is going through its 7th season and the water is still crystal clear.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    Quote Originally Posted by fireman00
    We've got a sand filter and LOVE IT!
    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman00
    We're on year 2 using the same sand. Until we start seeing a problem I have no plans on replacing the sand for the next couple of years.
    With very rare exceptions, the sand should last the life of the filter without ever needing to be replaced. The sand in my filter is going through its 7th season and the water is still crystal clear.
    That's what I heard and why I went with sand...thanks!

    21' AG (~11,000 gallons)
    Hayward S180T sand filter (35 gpm)
    Hayward Power-Flow SP1510 pump

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    This may be one of those things where if I had three identical pools in my backyard and one had a sand, one had a cartrdge, and one had D.E. I would bet you couldn't tell the difference??

    I am going to have the filter on the side of my house. I will be backwashing to the street and let it go down the street drain. This will go into a stream....but it is a long way to the stream....so, it is not going down my house drain and to the sewer processing plant. Who do I ask if there is a restriction for dumping this water in the street???.....and does it really matter? Is this stuff toxic? If it is not safe enough to dump water into the environment, do I really want to be swimming in it??

    Thanks,
    Doug
    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    This may be one of those things where if I had three identical pools in my backyard and one had a sand, one had a cartrdge, and one had D.E. I would bet you couldn't tell the difference??
    I completely agree. Filtration by each type is perfectly adequate as long as you have a large enough filter and you manage your pool water correctly.

    If you swim in your pool, obviously you have nothing to be concerned about toxicity when you clean/backwash.

    That said, local governing authorities may have some restrictions as to what goes in their sewer system.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Quote Originally Posted by dubele
    This may be one of those things where if I had three identical pools in my backyard and one had a sand, one had a cartrdge, and one had D.E. I would bet you couldn't tell the difference??

    I am going to have the filter on the side of my house. I will be backwashing to the street and let it go down the street drain. This will go into a stream....but it is a long way to the stream....so, it is not going down my house drain and to the sewer processing plant. Who do I ask if there is a restriction for dumping this water in the street???.....and does it really matter? Is this stuff toxic? If it is not safe enough to dump water into the environment, do I really want to be swimming in it??

    Thanks,
    Doug
    If this is the case, I would not go with DE as it will get everything coated white with DE and I would not put that stuff into a stream. Personally I would chose a large cartridge filter in this situation.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Which filter should I go with, Sand, Cartridge, or D.E.?

    Remember that the OP closes the pool for the winter so a cartridge will be a PITA during opening.

    If you do decide on a cartridge, just make sure they plumb in a filter bypass and a filter to waste function that is normally not part of a cartridge installation (i.e. cartridge filters don't have a multiport valve). That will be the only way to make a cartridge workable during an opening.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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