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Thread: Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

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    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Central MD

    Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

    Can anyone give me some more information when comparing sand vs DE filters. I will be rebuilding my pool this fall with new liner and relocated skimmer and return as well as new fittings. Pump and filter are getting old and tired.

    I currently have DE (doughboy) and have been happy with it and the water clarity it provides. Water really "shimmers" when the pool is clean.

    Pool folks recommend sand because you can "only tell a difference in water clarity under a microscope". If that's true, why do I read about so many people adding DE to their sand filters to improve filtration? They sell both types and will gladly take my money for either, but they recommend the sand.

    My BIL has a pool and his water is always cloudy. He uses sand filter. I suspect his cloudy water may be due to poor management of chemistry rather than his sand filter, but not sure.

    I don't mind the additional maintenance that the DE filter entails. But a replacement DE is more expensive and more maintenance. If I can get the same results from a sand filter, I don't mind changing. I guess I need convincing that a sand filter will give the same cleaning results as the DE I am used to. Can anyone provide some guidance?
    24' Round Doughboy AG.
    Usually filled with 3 kids, the wife, and occasionally the dog.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

    Assuming a properly maintained pool, I disagree that you need a microscope to tell the difference. I had sand for several years until a few years ago when I went with DE, and there is a very noticeable difference in clarity. DE filters down to 2-3 microns, I believe sand goes down to 30 microns. Big difference that adds up in the pool.

    Now adding DE to sand, I'm not sure, but if it could match the filtering ability of straight DE, it would sure be more convenient.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

    You can't get the same results from sand, even with DE added, but you can get close. Not everyone can tell the difference in how the water looks, and many of the people who can tell the difference don't care. Still, for those who care, sand just doesn't make the water look quite as good as DE does. DE will also clean up dirty water more quickly.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4
    KurtV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    SE Louisiana

    Re: Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

    Here's a thread comparing filter types: filter-choices-t130.html.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Round Rock, TX

    Re: Concise comparison Sand vs DE??

    I could tell the difference going from sand to Zeo, so I would imagine you could tell the difference between sand and DE.

    That being said, I've noticed that pool clarity issues are more often lack of proper water chemistry, and not the filter media. However as your on this board, hopefully that won't be an issue
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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