New Filter - cartridge or DE


Bronze Supporter
May 28, 2016
Arlington, TX
I have had a cartridge filter for 18 yrs. Mixed results but most of my issues can be traced back to pumps or sweeps. I feel the cartridge has always done a decent job. I am getting a pool renovation and was considering a DE filter. Two of the PBs have recommended just upgrading to a newer cartridge filter - one that hold 4 filters. Mine is a Hayward using a C-120 filter. I was told it is too small for my pool - ~25K gallons (i think). I am curious what others think. I'd probably prefer the cartridge but I am just not sure.

Any opinions are appreciated.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
Tucson, AZ
Filter types all have their pluses and minuses. See: Pool School - Pool Filter Comparison

I agree your old filter was way too small. These are the minimum sizes I would recommend for a 25k pool in your climate with long pool seasons:
Cartridge: 375 sqft (3 times the size of your old one)
Sand: 29" diameter
DE: 60 sqft although 72 sqft would be better


In The Industry
Jun 2, 2007
Annandale, VA
I'm replacing my de filter with a cartridge filter soon. Granted, the de filter (36sf) was way too small for my pool (24k gal). But why mess around with the powder and wasting water backwashing if you dont need to.


Well-known member
Nov 16, 2015
San Diego
We're DE fans. I originally wanted cartridge but our pool guy talked us into DE. Glad he did. Seems to kind of polish the water, but could just be my imagination.