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Thread: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

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    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Annapolis, Maryland

    DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    We are building a pool with Anthony & Sylvan. I thought we were getting a cartridge filter but found out yesterday at the pre-construction meeting that we're actually getting a DE filter. The installer said that cartridge filters are a pain, and DE filters only need to be backwashed once a month.

    Not sure of the gallon size of our pool, but it is freeform, 44 feet long and 24 feet wide, 3-8 feet deep.

    So can anyone suggest what questions I should be asking to be sure I'm getting the right kind of system?

    We will be getting a salt water generator (they suggested a mineral system but I don't like the idea of metallic tasting water and I have blonde kids, don't want green hair!)

    Any suggestions? Thank you!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    There is an article on pool filters in Pool School. All of them work, the differences are subtle
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    Good choice on the mineral system. Not so much for taste but they can lead to staining, and Chlorine properly maintained is better.

    Sand filter is the easiest in terms of simplicity and low maintenance. All work well, but DE filters the best. However it does take effort over the long haul to maintain.
    TFP Moderator
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    If your having to backwash the DE filter every month, this may be a sign of an undersized filter. Pool builders seem to love to install as small of filter as they can get away with, you may want to look into upgrading a size, or at least posting details here on your pool size and the model of filter.

    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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  5. Back To Top    #5
    Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    I think it's funny how pool builders throw undersized cartridges on pools then tell people they are high maintenance. First season we didn't have to clean the cartridges mid-season, and last year we only had to do it once.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    +1 to what Isaac posted. I have a DE filter, and even after newsworthy windstorms that loaded the pool with dirt, I've never needed to backwash more than twice a year. Are you surrounded by farms or anything where you'll get an immense amount of dust? Go look at your windowsills and patio furniture. How heavy a dust buildup is there? Enough to write in with your fingertip?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    I went with an over-sized cartridge and I clean it only once per year (12 month operation) even though I don't technically need to (< 1 PSI rise).

    Both DE and cartridge filters can be sized for minimal cleaning but given that it is recommended to tear apart a DE filter to clean the grids at least once per year, that part of the cleaning cycle doesn't seem to be much different between the two filters. So in terms of maintenance, I don't see a lot of difference between the two types of filters when sized properly.
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Winston Salem NC

    Re: DE filter vs. cartridge filter

    I'm starting my 3rd season with my pool, and have only cleaned the cartridges once. That was after the first year in which the red dirt took the place of the broom finished concrete for most of the season.

    I had friends tell me that cartridges were a pain.... Glad I didn't listen!!
    18x36 IG Vinyl. ~29k Gallons.
    Pentair CCP420 Cartridge Filter
    Pentair Inteli-flow VS Pump
    Hayward Goldline SWG
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