Cartridge Filters

brian987

LifeTime Supporter
It is time to replace my old, too small cartridge filter. Is there much difference in quality &/or longevity between the different brands and/or models of cartridge filters? Is there one I should avoid? Or which is considered the best? Just want to be sure I am getting the best for my money & won’t need to replace again anytime soon.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,211
Bedford, TX
Brian,

They are all about the same...

A 352 sq. ft. filter is plenty big for your pool, but I personally think bigger is always better when it comes to filters. The bigger they are, the less you have to clean them.

I have the Pentair Clean and Clear 520.. I could probably go all year without cleaning it, but my brain will not allow that to happen.. :mrgreen:

I clean it twice a year. Once after the pool season is over, like this weekend, and once before the pool season starts next year.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,920
Central California
I clean my Pentair 320 once a year. How often you'll need to clean yours is determined by the size of the filter and how dirty the pool gets. I'm not in 100% agreement with TFP's stock answer of bigger is better. I would say "big enough is better." Since I wouldn't go more than a year, and once a year is enough, 320 for my use case if big enough. I'm glad I don't have bigger cartridges to clean than I what I have, because that is the one pool chore I really hate! How one determines ahead of time what "big enough" is, is not straight forward. How often did your 352 need cleaning?
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
346
Katy, Texas
It's not a matter of just "bigger is better and doesn't have to be cleaned as often." It's how much efficiency you're losing between cleanings. My 15k gallon pool is 10,000 gallons smaller than yours, and I have a Pentair Clean 'n Clear 420. Four cartridges, which I clean twice a year, even with skimmer socks. I can't see how smaller cartridges would be less trouble to clean. Every cartridge is going to begin "clogging up" as soon as you turn on the pump. The larger the cartridges, the longer it will be before efficiency and water flow are reduced. The only advantage I can see to a smaller unit, other than initial price, is that when you replace the larger cartridges you'll have to spend more. Even so, the larger cartridges are almost certainly going to last longer. Why to you think the 4" media filters for your home A/C are rated for 6 months or even a year, while the standard 1" filter is a monthly or bi-monthly replacement? When I made the switch from 1" to 4" A/C filters, there was such an improvement in air flow, I could almost hear the air whistling through the vent! It's got to be the same with a pool filter.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,920
Central California
I thoroughly clean every pleat in my filters, one at a time. If there were twice as many pleats, it would take twice as long. My filter pressure does not drop significantly throughout my cleaning cycle (once a year). So a bigger filter would not help my flow, or cost less to run. It would only be more work to clean. That is my use case, and is so because I have a relatively clean pool. If someone had a dirtier pool, and was needing to clean multiple times a year, and didn't want to do so, then a bigger filter would likely be the better choice.

I was only pointing out that bigger is not always better.

We are each projecting our own use case on the OP, which may or may not apply. And as long as he understands that as such, he can make an informed decision. Price is only two factors (initial and replacement). You bring up another one to consider, how the filter impacts the flow. Maintenance labor is another factor, and for me, the more important one.