Is it worth switching from Sand to Cartridge?


Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
San Antonio, TX
HI all-
I have not been on here much this year, which is a good thing because my pool has been great and no issues. I was checking my water bill (which is $233...ouch....we need rain in San Antonio...) and I noticed they are offering a $250 rebate if you switch from a Sand or DE filter to a Cartridge filter. I assume their interest is in no back washing. I am curious on your opinions on this.

You can see my configuration in my signature. Is it worth spending the money? I do backwash quite a bit in the Spring because of the leaves and pollen are heavy, but during the summer I almost never need to. My pool is clear. I have had no problems with the sand filter. I run my VS pump on the default program that came with it and it keeps it clear. My s200 robot does a great job in picking up dirt. I am not sure what size cartridge filter I would need, or what they cost. A quick search shows prices between $600-$1000.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance...

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
I suspect you're right about the rebate being related to saving water with a cartridge filter.

I have to agree with the "if it aint broke" way of thinking.
On the other hand, if you think you might recover your investment within 2 or 3 years, then its worth serious consideration.


Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
Spring Valley, NY
Not sure about the DE filter because it DOES backwash and I think it may use more water if not the same because DE filters have a backwash sequence to call it completely backwashed prior to replacing the lost DE. Am I missing something here.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
Damascus, MD
Usually these rebates are only valid if the equipment is "professionally" installed. That usually negates any savings from the rebate. Confirm before you proceed!


Well-known member
Jan 30, 2018
Our Onga pantera sand filter has been a bit temperamental. It has zeolite in it. It keeps channeling around the sides, despite me deep cleaning it and resettling the zeolite.

Considering whether to replace with a big cartridge?

Or maybe I should swap the zeolite out and use plain old sand? zeolite seems to be lighter than sand, and I was wondering if the water is pushing it aside more easily than sand...

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Paul, I don't recall seeing anywhere the age of your filter. As you know, with age comes replacement parts (spider gasket, handle, etc), in some cases the entire MPV assembly. So if yours is getting "dated", you can also evaluate any foreseen replacement costs and include that in your comparison. But if everything is equal, I'm also on the "If it aint broke" bus. I suspect SAWS of whomever services your water will always have that rebate later.