Best filter for use with hard water?

carlos31

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Oct 18, 2007
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Central Texas
#1
I am building a 40K gallon IG plaster pool and wrestling with the filter choice. I am in the Austin, Texas region with fairly hard water. I was leaning toward DE but a neighbor is telling me that he cleans his DE filter once a week because if he doesn't the calcium build-up is ridiculous. I searched the posts but could not find any connection between filter selection and hard water. It has been such a problem that he has been adding softened water to the pool!!!!

Has anyone found a particular type of filter to be better at handling hard water?

Thanks,
 

duraleigh

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#2
Nope,

Water hardness cannot be filtered out. It only shows itself in a pool when your water balance is off, usually in more than just calcium.

The type of filter is irrelevant.
 

HarryH3

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Apr 22, 2008
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Central Texas
#3
I'm just north of Austin and have a DE filter. During the summer I usually backwash the filter and dump in fresh DE every 7 to 10 days. It's MUCH easier than pulling out cartridges, washing them and then putting them back into their housing. DE does a good job of removing dead algae and also catches the pollen, dust, mold, and other stuff that's in the air around here. As stated above, calcium doesn't clog the filter, but the other stuff does. I could go longer between changes, but I like to really keep the water flowing well through my pool. This past winter I went several months without needing to backwash the filter at all. The pressure remained steady, much to my surprise, so I just left it alone.

"Cleaning" a DE filter involves turning the pump off and on a few times, while moving the lever on the backwash valve between pump runs. I then dump a few pounds of DE into a 5 gallon bucket of pool water and pour it slowly into the skimmer. I just cleaned it this evening, just before supper and it took about 15 minutes. 8)
 

mas985

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May 3, 2007
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#5
HarryH3 said:
It's MUCH easier than pulling out cartridges, washing them and then putting them back into their housing.
I never found it to be much of a problem. I only clean my filter twice a year and and on a bad day that takes me about an hour for all four filters. So, I spend about 2 hours per year cleaning my cartridge filters. It sounds as though you may be spending a lot more time then that on cleaning your DE filter.

An oversized filter makes all of the difference. An oversized DE filter would probably need less cleaning as well.
 

HarryH3

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Apr 22, 2008
326
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Central Texas
#6
You must have some pretty clean air around there. My sister has filter cartridges on her pool (about a mile from me) and it seems like they're cleaning them way more than twice per year. My BIL spends a lot of time in the backyard with the garden hose. We get more pollen here than anywhere else that I've ever lived. Oak, Cedar, Elm, etc. It seems like there is something spewing crap into the air nearly year round. :(
 

JasonLion

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#7
Skimmer socks cut down on filter cleaning significantly, though they do allow you to get really familiar with skimmer sock cleaning (which is much simpler but also much more frequent).
 

mas985

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#8
HarryH3 said:
You must have some pretty clean air around there. My sister has filter cartridges on her pool (about a mile from me) and it seems like they're cleaning them way more than twice per year. My BIL spends a lot of time in the backyard with the garden hose. We get more pollen here than anywhere else that I've ever lived. Oak, Cedar, Elm, etc. It seems like there is something spewing crap into the air nearly year round. :(
Again, it depends on the size of filter you get. I oversized mine specifically so I wouldn't need to clean it very often. And no, the air is not very clean. I have several large trees that dump a ton of pollen into the pool. If you size the cartridge filter correctly, it should not need cleaning more than a couple of times a year.
 

lovingHDTV

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May 26, 2007
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Round Rock, TX
#9
I live in RR and use a sand filter. I find it works quite well and only backwash once a month during the swim season. Personally I'd never own a cartridge filter, but that's just my preference, I hate cleaning them.
 

ivyleager

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#10
lovingHDTV said:
I live in RR and use a sand filter. I find it works quite well and only backwash once a month during the swim season. Personally I'd never own a cartridge filter, but that's just my preference, I hate cleaning them.
Agreed! I hae a sand filter and it's probably the most user friendly one of the bunch. My water sparkles! I also have hard water. Water softener for inside water, but the outside tap is straight from the well. I have no issues with calcium deposits.

CaryB
 

carlos31

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
104
0
Central Texas
#11
follow-up to filter question

thanks everyone,

Since my region does have a lot of pollen and dust as my fellow Texan pointed out, I think the smart combination may be the largest DE filter I can get (I guess the Pentair Quad Cartridge DE100) and using skimmer socks. That should cut down my filter maintenance to the minimum.

Based on your replies it sounds like my neighbor's water chemistry is off and this is the cause of what he is reporting as "calcium buildup" in his filter.

One last note of interest. Although I frequently read about the cleaning power of different filters discussed on the forum I have yet to see a pool in person (DE filter or otherwise) that has the "crystal clear water" I see others talk about on the forum. Does anybody actually have crystal clear water? I am guessing that the pools I see must have poor water chemistry or not enough water turnover; or both.
 

robrinker

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Aug 2, 2007
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Northeastern Ohio
#14
I have a Hayward Perflex EC75A for my ~30,000Gal IG. My water is amazingly clear and 'sparkles' to the point that it's almost impossible to vacuum it when the sun is shining on it.

BTW, you mentioned that you are building an IG Plaster pool. FYI, you NEED hard water with this type of pool to keep the water from dissolving your plaster. As everyone else said, this is irrelevant to filter choice.

Another thing I might add: DE filters can be a bit of a pain if you are trying to filter a ton of crap out of your pool. I recently turned my pool brown while trying to fill it because my well pump started sucking up dirt. I had to backwash and replace my DE 4 times (in addition to bumping the filter once an hour) to get my water back to sparkling. This should be a rare occurance though.
 

HarryH3

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Apr 22, 2008
326
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Central Texas
#15
Re: follow-up to filter question

carlos31 said:
Does anybody actually have crystal clear water?
I do! Mine looks like I filled it with bottled water. :)

When we first moved in we could barely keep algae at bay. Then I learned about CYA... Ours was absurdly high so I drained and filled the pool with fresh water last spring. Oddly enough, the city water actually had a somewhat green tint to it. Once the pool had enough water so that I could fire up the filter the water turned crystal clear within 24 hours. It's been crystal clear ever since. It's amazing what keeping the chemistry correct can do for your pool!
 
G
#16
Re: follow-up to filter question

carlos31 said:
One last note of interest. Although I frequently read about the cleaning power of different filters discussed on the forum I have yet to see a pool in person (DE filter or otherwise) that has the "crystal clear water" I see others talk about on the forum. Does anybody actually have crystal clear water? I am guessing that the pools I see must have poor water chemistry or not enough water turnover; or both.
Here are some pics of my pool (with a cartridge filter). You tell me if anyone really has 'crystal clear water'. :wink: