Good idea to switch to cartridge filter?

ares99

New member
Apr 12, 2017
3
Powhatan
I live in Richmond, VA and have an 18x33 above ground pool. About 18,000 gallons.

Need to replace the pump and am looking into switching from sand to a cartridge based filter. My goal would be to make it easier to maintain and just have to discard and replace the filter every year instead of having to backwash, etc.

I have received mixed advice on whether this is feasible or a good idea and would appreciate any thoughts. This pool came with our house when we bought it and I am fairly new to the world of pool care and maintenance.

Thanks.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Most cartridge filters are cleaned not replaced and should last five to seven years. They can be a pain to clean but if you get one large enough it can be a once a year job.

You should buy a filter at least double the size recommended for your pool. That way you will only have to clean it once or twice a year.

Cart filters do a slightly better job than sand but few normal folks can actually see a difference (maybe at night with the lights on ).

Its a feasible idea if you don't like backwashing.

If you are backwashing more than say once a month you probably have to small a sand filter.
 

Sweep49

Bronze Supporter
Mar 18, 2015
18
Cordele/GA
If you want to not need to back wash then a cartridge filter is the way to go. But you probably won't get through a pool season without needing to clean the cartridge filter based on pressure buildup. Depending on the length of your swim season and whether or not you close the pool for the winter will determine how many times you may need to clean it. I would guess you'd need to clean it 2-3 times at the minimum over the course of a 3 month season, and maybe as often as every 10-14 days. If you get an algae bloom you will be cleaning the filter daily until the outbreak is cured. As you stated, although you wouldn't necessarily have to, you could replace the cartridge each year.

Based on my experience, if you don't mind backwash on your yard, the sand filter would be the easier option to maintain.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,343
NW Ohio
Welcome to TFP!

Discard the filter every year? I don't know of anybody that does that outside of those small Intex ones. I have had my current one for about 5 years. You also have to clean them throughout the season, they aren't really any easier to maintain than sand except maybe when it comes to winterizing.
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,760
Edmond OK
I quit cartridges for a sand filter. Cartridges are a pain to wash. Backwashing a sand filter is quicker and easier.
 

ares99

New member
Apr 12, 2017
3
Powhatan
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like I will stick with the sand filter although I do usually have to backwash at least once a week by the end of the season which makes me think I am doing doing something wrong. Pool is Baquacil.
 

ares99

New member
Apr 12, 2017
3
Powhatan
I hate to say it, but there is your problem.....


Have you ever thought about saving money with chlorine? Pool School - Convert Your Baqua Pool to Chlorine
I have wanted to convert to a saltwater system ever since we bought the house a few years ago. Despite everyone else we know with a pool telling us that a saltwater system is the way to go, my wife is convinced that anything chlorine based will destroy her hair and we argue about it every time I bring it up.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,343
NW Ohio
Yeah, as with Tim I don't want to sound unkind, but as soon as you said the pool is baqua I went "ah, that explains it." Unfortunately, that is not at all surprising and I guarantee a cartridge filter would not fix the problem.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Have your wife look around on here -- almost all chlorine based systems and no weird hair (well maybe Kim on a bad hair day:party::party:). The levels of chlorine we recommend just are not noticeable and don't affect bathers. I encourage you to have your wife look at the pools on here and ask about the process we recommend. Its less work and will not affect her. She will just want to swim more in crystal clear water.
 

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