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Thread: sand vs. cartridge

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    delfargo's Avatar
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    sand vs. cartridge

    i read the pool school article comparing the different filters. i've been thinking of switching from sand filter to cartridge, sounds like it would filter out finer stuff better than sand. any idea what kind of $$$ i'd be looking at? any other pros and cons? or is the cartidge filter a real hassle? for my size of pool (see signature) would it even work? just curious. thanx.
    30' round above ground - 21000 gal. (shade ONLY in the evening),
    pentair dynamo 1.5 hp pump,
    pentair sand dollar 150 lb.sand filter,
    bbb method.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I love my cart - after reading the various threads about sand/DE filters, I don't think I'd ever switch. My replacement cart cost around $140. The first cart lasted 5 seasons, I'm on my third with this one. Takes maybe 10-20 minutes to dissassemble, hose it off, and reinstall. I clean it once midseason, and then again at closing.

    Apparently I've been doing it wrong all these years - not soaking/cleaning the cart as recommended in the article by Waterbear. (We never noticed a problem just hosing it off.) When I closed last fall I did finally do the recommended cleaning-soak. Some recommend owning 2 carts, so that you can keep filtering while the extra cart is being cleaned.

    Our prior cart, the reason we replaced it is after winterizing in the Fall, DH left it in the filter in the shed and it never dried out (I was unaware of this) and upon opening in the spring we went out to the shed and the cart WAS STILL DAMP and completely mildewed/rotted . Needless to say we replaced it.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I've had both, and would never consider a cartridge again. Sand is much easier to deal with. Nothing to replace or clean. It can handle a huge mess in the pool with nothing more than backwashing. Cleaning cartridges is a pain, especially if you get any kind of pollen or debris in the pool.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Some recommend owning 2 carts, so that you can keep filtering while the extra cart is being cleaned.
    +1 to what FPM says here. I love the fact that when my pressure starts to rise indicating the need to clean the cartridges, I can just change the cartridges out with my clean and ready to go spare set, and set the dirty ones aside to soak and clean at my leisure.

    My water stays crystal clear with my cartridge filter setup and properly balanced water. I don't see that I would ever consider changing to another type of filter.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
    "It depends."- JohnT

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I am another diehard cart fan but I do recommend having an extra cart (or set of carts for the mulit cart monters).

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Sand for me. 5 years....0 problems.....0 expense......0 effort

    (BTW, for those of you who haven't been on the forum too long, this discussion is interminable.)

    The filter that everyone thinks is the best is the one that they have (that's not causing them any problems).

    The most common reason their filters are not causing them problems is because they practice good water management.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    (BTW, for those of you who haven't been on the forum too long, this discussion is interminable.)

    The filter that everyone thinks is the best is the one that they have (that's not causing them any problems).

    The most common reason their filters are not causing them problems is because they practice good water management.
    On this Dave and I agree 100%
    All filters are a series of compromises. You just have to decide which compromises are right for you and your pool!

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I love my sand filter

    okay, I have no experience w/cart or DE, but they sound like work and expense.

    Based on the threads I've read, if we needed a new filter we would stay with sand.

    Funny how folks seem to prefer the filter they have, like Dave said.
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Adding a bit of DE to a sand filter sounds like it works out really well. Lots cheaper than a whole new filter, too! And backwashing is a whole lot less trouble than scrubbing down a cart, from all I've read.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    You're all WRONG! A Cart is the only way to go.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I have to agree, I like my sand filter, and would never use anything else. I've cleaned cartridges before and will never do that again!

    dave
    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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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You're all WRONG! A Cart is the only way to go.
    I'm wit you, baybee!! CART! CART! CART! CART! CART! CART! Sand packs sand! CART!
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You're all WRONG! A Cart is the only way to go.
    This is just like the old Ford vs GM vs Chrysler debate!
    <And no, I'm not going to discuss the political 'bankrupcy' processes!>

    The sand seems to be the simple one, and for me that helps!
    Adding DE to a sand filter won't make it a DE filter, nor does it SEEM to have the hassles of the Cartridge filters (sorry wb and fpm).

    ...Now, if we wanted to talk about filters and using skimmer socks or 'skimmer knee-highs', that would be interesting: Useless, but interesting!
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Henry Porter's Avatar
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You're all WRONG! A Cart is the only way to go.
    I agree!! But I don't have clue what I'm talking about
    Inground concrete pool 14600 gallons,Pentair Whisperflo 3/4HP WFE-3, Hayward swimclear 420sq ft
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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    I would have to pick my sand filter over a cartridge filter. We have a cartridge filter on our stand alone hot tub (which is under repair and empty) and I HATE HATE HATE cleaning the cartridges. Backwashing the sand filter is tons easier and faster than cleaning the cartridges that take forever to wash out each fold and then soak.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Time for a few facts:
    Sand filters to about 60 microns (and zeolite won't significantly change that--sorry!) but are the easiest to maintain
    Carts filter to about 20 microns
    DE filters to about 6 microns.

    Sand is the easiest
    Carts fall right in the middle in terms of filtration and ease of maintenance.
    DE the most work when done properly (this means no backwashing, only filter breakdown. Bumping a filter is useless because dirty DE is still dirty DE!)

    (I have maintained all three types so I do speak from experience)

    Many localities have outlawed sand filters and DE filters or require a separation tank with a DE filter

    Which filter you get depends on what filts better into your lifestyle, budget, and local laws.
    Bottom line is all three do a good job
    I like the cart because it does not effect water balance because of dilution from backwashing and that is a plus with a SWG.

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Sorry not on topic but did i read right? Don't backwash DE? please why not and the implications. I have been backwashing my DE for years (4 to be exact) and still running strong, thank you.
    Azle Texas, 38,000 gal blue gunite Salt water pool with a spill over Spa & 30 foot waterfall.

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by azle
    Sorry not on topic but did i read right? Don't backwash DE? please why not and the implications. I have been backwashing my DE for years (4 to be exact) and still running strong, thank you.
    Problem with backwashing a DE filter is that you really don't know just how much DE is being removed so you really don't know just how much DE to add. Once you have broken down enough DE filters that have been only backwashed for a long period of time without being broken down and seen the hardened DE bridging the grids (most common) or seen the clogged grids from undercharging you will understand why.
    Often the DE has to be chiseled out!

    Also, think about it, you never want to run a DE filter undercharged because it can quickly clog the grids but every time you backwash you are forcing dirty water backwards through the grids. If you want a clean filter that is operating properly then break it down to clean it.

    When is the last time you broke down your filter and looked inside?

    As far as bump filters... the DE gets dirty so you bump it off the grids to allow the dirt and DE to mix together and recoat the grids?!?!?! You just coated your grids with dirty DE! You have NOT cleaned your filter!
    To clean the filter you need to break it down.

    You can use bumping or backwashing one or two times between filter breakdowns (useful when clearing an algae bloom) but to do so more is asking for trouble.

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Lots of good replies. Great!

    My username is not an accident. I really have zero experience with this stuff, but chose cartridge because I didn't want to "Just add a little DE..." and then I would have to store it, then buy it, then "pump" it, then clean it... etc...

    Sand filter was, for me, backwashing nightmare because of my small pool area. The less water spillage, the better. The less sand I see and touch, the better. and..... SAND.... It also didn't catch the smallest particles, so the middle one was cartridge.

    What swayed me was the fact I could oversize the cartridge and possibly, being lazy, not clean the filter for a few months, or I don't know.... twice a season (in NJ). Who knows, I haven't had it running yet. I hope to get a low flow og my 2-speed pump and a large cart, with an extra cart that I already purchased and take my time cleaning it, or of course have someone else clean it. HA!!! jk.

    I, too, have an swg and would rather keep the water in the pool.

    Sure, I could be wrong. I'm a total newbie and had 2 or 3 weeks to decide all my equipment purchases. I'm sure I'll be fine with an 8000 gallon pool 200sf cart/w spare cart and 2 inch hard plumb pvc, 2-speed pump, with swg.

    My carts cost $80 or so.
    18' x 54" Round AG 7500 gallon w/small prefab 2-piece fandeck
    Waterways 200sf Cartridge Filter, 1.5 hp 2-speed pump. 2" pvc piping
    Pool Pilot Total Control swg w/acid tank feeder
    Pool Rover Jr., BBB, TF 100 test kit

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    Re: sand vs. cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    0 expense......
    Well, you have to add water to replace what gets backwashed so it costs unless you have a well
    24' x 52" AGP = 13.5k gallons
    Dynamo 2.0 HP pump,Sand Dollar sand filter
    Polaris 65 vacuum (good when there are a ton of leaves on bottom), Pool Rover Jr. (LOVE it, but power box dead right now), AquaCritter (an excellent suction side cleaner)

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