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Thread: Keep sand filter or change to cartridge?

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    Keep sand filter or change to cartridge?

    Hello!

    There is some sand (or what we think is sand) on the bottom of my pool. When the repairman tried to backwash through the sand filter, he noticed sand coming back through the returns. He suggested that I may want to ditch the whole sand filter and go with cartridge since there could be internal parts broken.

    So my question is, do I think about ditching the equipment and putting in a cartridge filter? or should I just have the sand replaced, maybe with Zeobrite and have the laterals replaced if broken? or should I just go with a cartridge filter?

    Just some background info, I just recently brought this house. So far the leaks in the pool have been repaired and the pump replaced. The pool itself is about 20-30 years old. I'm still kind of new to pool ownership but I am learning
    14,000 Gal. IG Plaster
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter W/ 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward Pool Vav Ultra

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    jlhaz,

    Welcome to the forum. I love these posts about filters. KurtV once said that the type of filter that will be recommended to you will be the type that recommender owns......how true.

    Fixing your existing sand filter could be the cheapest of course. Problems are normally found with broken laterals, broken center pipes or possibly the multi-port valve..

    I'll let others chime in to tell you the advantages of other types of filters...just don't believe them...sand is clearly the best (reread first paragraph)
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    I've owned both and will never go with a cartridge filter again.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Thanks for the info so far!!

    now that I think about it, and the more I read i'm not sure there was actually a problem with the filter. When my water is clear and the pump runs I didn't see any sand. Today I just saw it as we were vaccuming to the filter. Maybe it wasn't rinsed enough during the backwash?

    So that got me thinking about buying a pool buster so I wouldn't even have to go through all that mess again, what do you think about that?
    14,000 Gal. IG Plaster
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter W/ 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward Pool Vav Ultra

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
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    I've owned sand, cartridge and de. I recommend sand, but go with a large enough sand filter. I also recommend Zeo.
    I also like DE - you really cannot beat them for fast water cleanup, but I did get tired of handling the powder and I never felt comfortable tearing one apart twice a year to clean it, so did not like arranging and paying for it to be done.

    BAckwashing and maintenance is easiest with a sand filter.

    I don't like cartridge at all.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Newbie alert!!!
    ......Funny you should mention the filter. I have been wondering what we would replace ours with when it fails, which eventually it will. Got our house last spring w/a green nasty pool. Found PoolForum.com, learned about BBB, and since we did, we still have our pool and not just a huge garden area (per hubby). Our first pool. Love it. We think everything is about 12 - 14 yrs old. Been reading PoolForum & now TFP for a while, and, not knowing anything about filters at all, I think we would probably pick the same Hayward SAND filter (if possible) that has been there and reliable for we-do-not-really-know-how-many years. (Got new sand, though!!) Since PoolForum closed membership, TFP has come to the rescue for lots of us. The sand filter is my buddy , my friend, my pal, and..........I try to stay away from Pool Store opinions on just about everything! Good luck in your choice of replacement. Welcome to the site!
    ....what was it that duraleigh said? Ya, owners like their filters? Joyce
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Thanks! :)

    Yes, i'm a newbie!

    Thats exactly what i've been doing, a LOT of reading! Since I wrothe the last messages I am now pretty sure that the sand is not leaking out, I used the "sock" test. I'm pretty convinced that it wasn't rinsed enough when backwashed.

    The pool had 2 leaks, which were fixed. I'm not going to replace the filter, but may think about checking the sand or having it filled with Zeo. I'm going to purchase a pool buster to clean out the sand on the bottom.

    After I get on top of the maintenance I may lower or even stop the pool service all together. now that I understand how everything relates to everything else, I think I can do it using the BBB method.

    After this, all that is left is replacing the pool light and the electrical line going to it, and I should be good to go until next year when I plan to sandblast to get all the peeling paint off.
    14,000 Gal. IG Plaster
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter W/ 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward Pool Vav Ultra

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by jlhaz
    Yes, i'm a newbie!

    Just to be clear, I was calling MYSELF a newbie and warning YOU!!

    Thats exactly what i've been doing, a LOT of reading! Since I wrothe the last messages I am now pretty sure that the sand is not leaking out, I used the "sock" test. I'm pretty convinced that it wasn't rinsed enough when backwashed.

    The pool had 2 leaks, which were fixed. I'm not going to replace the filter, but may think about checking the sand or having it filled with Zeo. I'm going to purchase a pool buster to clean out the sand on the bottom.

    We had our sand replaced (300 lbs) & gauge installed and it only cost about $75. Money well spent for us!

    After I get on top of the maintenance I may lower or even stop the pool service all together. now that I understand how everything relates to everything else, I think I can do it using the BBB method.

    If I can do it, YOU can do it! No kidding!

    After this, all that is left is replacing the pool light and the electrical line going to it, and I should be good to go until next year when I plan to sandblast to get all the peeling paint off.
    Well, we didn't sandblast, but we did opt to have it replastered in March. Either that or have it repainted every two years for about the same amount of money. No brainer for us on that one.

    Good luck with your pool. You will find lots of folks on this forum wanting you help you with your pool!

    Joyce
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    If you are indeed getting sand in your pool, you may have a crack in the stand pipe or the laterals.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    OK, I did another check this morning before going to the store. The water was crystal clear ( I guess because the leaks are fixed the chemical held in the water)

    When I started the pump, for about 10 seconds it looked like something cloudy (i'm guessing sand) came into the pool and then that was it, the returns ran clear(with a little bubbling)

    So I checked the pump basket and everything there, no water leaking and the pump basket was full of water. I heard the sound coming from the skimmer basket so I checked there. The skimer basket is called a Vac-Mate? the pool guy put it in. It has a small dial that helps direct the flow of water from the top or bottom (how it was explained to me). the dial was pointed more toward the right, which caused more air sucking noise then toward the left. I left it more toward the middle. The bubbles that are appearing from the returns seem to be minimal.

    Does it sound like the skimmer basket may need some parts? or is just usual for this skimmer basket?

    Also do you all think my sand filter definitely has a problem because of the 10 seconds or so of sand during startup?

    Edit: I just went in the pool, only to the 2nd step and sat in. I was able to feel the sand on the step with my hand. It looks like sand on the step but when I touch it it feels kinda powdery and looks white. It seems to feel like this over the whole pool surface. is that a sign of sand, or could it be from the fresh chemicals the pool guy put in yesterday?

    Thanks for all your help!
    14,000 Gal. IG Plaster
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter W/ 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward Pool Vav Ultra

  11. Back To Top    #11
    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    OK, I'll be the devil's advocate here - I like my cartridge filter. The only problem I've had with it is the pressure gauge getting water under the glass (poor design on the location and type of gauge, IMO). I especially like that, come fall when we winterize the pool, I drain it, take it apart, let it dry, and then put it in storage. I have two filters, so when one gets dirty and has to be cleaned, I pop in the spare so we can still swim while the old one soaks in dishwasher detergent.
    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!"

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    John and Buggs, why don't you like the cartridge filters? Is it having to clean them or their performance?

    Gary
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
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    I switched from DE to sand and have never looked back.
    Poor Man's Pool
    Doughboy 18 ft round above ground
    7600 gal with center drain
    Pentair sand filter, 1 HP pump
    50 ppm borates
    "I know just enough to be dangerous"
    Pool Calc Ver 1.41 (Excel)

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    I have a cartridge filter and am happy with it, but fully understand why sand is preferred, especially if you add a small amount of DE to the sand filter. I think the biggest pain with a cartridge filter is cleaning it -- it's much harder than backwashing as you have to disassemble, remove cartridges, clean them, reassemble, etc.

    Now, that said, my pool builder was very smart about this (I thank him every chance I get) and installed an over-sized Jandy CL340 (340 square foot filtering area; handles flow rates up to 135 GPM) 4-cartridge filter for my 16,000 gallon pool. This large filter handles pools up to 3 times my size and I have found that I only need to clean it once a year (with a 7-month swim season). The pressure never even rises over the swim season. So with a once a year cleaning, it's not that big a deal. If I had a smaller filter and had to clean it several times during the season, I'd be wishing for a sand filter myself. My pool has an electric safety cover so I don't get a lot of junk in it so I'm sure that helps, but it does get almost daily use.

    In my case, I didn't really have a choice of filters since there are water restrictions in the county where I live so cartridge filters are either required or strongly recommended (not sure which) since they use the least amount of water since there's no backwashing.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    John and Buggs, why don't you like the cartridge filters? Is it having to clean them or their performance?

    Gary
    For me it's cleaning them, and also the cost to replace them. A large sand filter doesn't need backwashing often and when it does, it takes a couple of minutes. Plus the sand filter with zeo gives almost the same clarity as DE in my experience, although slower than a DE. Zeo is more expensive than sand, but it lasts a lot longer than cartridges, in my experience.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Update

    Hello Everyone,

    Well, the service company told me most likely the laterals were bad. With the price they quoted to fix I decided to replace it with a cartridge filter. I brought a Clean & Clear 75 and it'll be installed within the next couple of weeks.

    I could have tried to go through home warranty, but when my pump needed replacing, they used the "chemicals out of balance" routine so I just paid for it myself. Since the house was empty for a while and the pool neglected, maybe this is the best course of action. The leaks have been fixed and now I know that the equipment is new hopefully it will eliminate a lot of problems in the future.

    When it's installed i'll let you all know!

    Thanks for your help & suggestions!
    14,000 Gal. IG Plaster
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter W/ 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward Pool Vav Ultra

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