Sand filter for new pool?

Rocket J Squirrel

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Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
1,242
Alamo, CA
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Pool companies like DE filters because they can backwash them in 15 minutes and clear any problems and be gone. A cartridge filter requires much more time to break it down and clean it so pool companies don't like them.
True. My super jumbo CCP520 with 4 huge carts takes me an hour to clean. It's a 1 person job until time to reassemble, when a 2nd person is helpful for the last 10 minutes. With an auto-cover and hairnets in the skimmers, this is an annual task.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,554
Bangor Maine
You all realize DE is a known carcinogen right? Advising ppl to add a little to their sand filters imo is bad advice. There are cellulose products that can be added to aid in filtering and aren’t harmful to the environment or humans.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,537
NY
You all realize DE is a known carcinogen right? Advising ppl to add a little to their sand filters imo is bad advice
So is cement if the dust is inhaled. For that matter, chlorine and MA are no bueno either if one was to huff them. Any of the 4 can be rinsed off harmlessly when used properly and with an ounce of care.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,492
Bedford, TX
You all realize DE is a known carcinogen right? Advising ppl to add a little to their sand filters imo is bad advice. There are cellulose products that can be added to aid in filtering and aren’t harmful to the environment or humans.

PM,

Everything is dangerous in one way or another.. It is the dust that is bad, once in the filter there is just no longer any issues..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Halzg

Bronze Supporter
Jul 26, 2021
19
Brighton Mi
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
We also have a short season here in MI, and we have a sand filter. I like having an easy way to lower the water if we get a rainy spell. It also seems to me that manual vacuuming to waste (rather than back through the filter) helps a lot with the water clarity
We also have a SWCG, and dump the salt water on the lawn with no ill effects. I don’t think the salinity is high enough to kill grass unless it was the only water the grass was receiving.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2014
33,823
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
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Fiberglass
Chlorine
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CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
And where are most ppl putting the DE after they clean the pleats?
PM, your point is understood. The TFP article does highlight the hazards associated with DE. Much like any other chemical or potentially hazardous cleaning process/product, pool owners are ultimately responsibility for a product's use and disposal. Safety is always #1.

DE is a very fine powder which can cause skin irritation and is classified as carcinogenic when breathed in. Some areas prohibit the release of DE into sewers or the environment. Follow handling precautions as indicated on the product packaging. Gardening DE, while safer to handle, has not been heat treated and therefore is not suitable for use in pool filters.

 
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ferretbone

In The Industry
May 24, 2016
164
tx
Sand filters are 25 microns........ Human visibility 40 microns
Cartridge filters 15 microns........ red blood cells 8 microns
DE filters are 3-4 microns...........bacteria 1 micron


You will not notice the difference in the three.

Sand is the lowest maintenance filter, and will hold up a life time. One sand change every 4 or 10 years
Cartridge filters need to be cleaned about twice a year, cartridges replaced maybe one every 4-5 years.
DE filters can be a nightmare even for pool guys. I love them, but you should walk away from DE .

For a newbie or whatever DE filters have to many do's and don'ts. Every mistake is a big headache. Sand filters can take the hardest beatings, from the biggest toughest pools, with the dumbest pool guys. Most if not all commercial properties use sand filters. They run 24/7 365 days of the year. DE and cartridges wouldn't last a year under that abuse.



Pentair triton 2 100, thats what you want. TR 100. Don't get that Tagelus top mount. It's fisher price, the multiport sucks, plus you have to cut the plumbing to open it, I could go on and on.
TR-100 or TR-140. Your pool builder will know exactly what your talking about when you ask for a TR 100R.
 

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,307
Spring Valley, NY
Doesn't matter newbie or not pool owners learn to deal with what they have. Some have a sand filter or one of the other choice because they inherited it when they bought the property. There's a learning curve to everything in life so to recommend a filter because it's the easiest is for most people is not relevant as they want whatever it takes to get a better product and in this case it's all about the water quality. Hence a sand filter can be backwashed in a few minutes and all is back to normal where as a DE filter also gets backwashed but with slightly different method necessitating doing it twice or three times to rid the grids of all DE, ending with the OP putting back the recommended amount of DE and then it's all good to go. The cartridge choice is by far the most tedious to clean but is a top contender because if you keep the water under control it's once or possibly twice a season depending on the climate. From a perspective of maintenance a cartridge is last but from a filtering perspective it's DE hands down with the cartridge a very close second. Most members here at TFP want to be their own pool guy for all the same reasons I'm here. Once you get poolstored or pool company bs,ed you come to realize pool care is very easy and the filter cleaning is in my opinion one of the least tasks op,s need to contend with compared to water balancing.
 

Mayorb

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Mar 16, 2010
174
About the only way to tell the difference is to look at the water in front of the pool light at night. You'll see less particulates with a DE filter. But that's about the only way.

One consideration on DE is to look at the dirt load the pool will be getting. I have converted DE to sand a few times.
Reason being that with heavier dirt loads the DE can actually filter TOO well. You get rapid pressure rises, have to backwash weekly, and pop the tank and clean out the grids frequently. Sand is the most maintenance/ trouble free, and has no parts inside that will crunch in the event of excessive pressure, as cartridge and DE filters do.
Otherwise, they all are effective filters at keeping your pool clear.

Enzymes are readily available at pool supply stores to address any oils issues.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,711
Evans, Georgia
Sand lasts a lifetime...never needs changing as long as you haven't gummed it up with freaky pool store chemicals.

Oils can be dealt with by extra chlorine. We almost never recommend pool store chemical potions.

All pools get dusty which doesn't show up during the day....but turn the light on at night, Woooweee- you'll see 'em all! great time to manually vacuum :ROFLMAO:
 
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chillin1

Member
Oct 14, 2021
5
Chicago, IL
Thanks for all the comments - this has been very helpful!

@YippeeSkippy is there any truth to sand getting smoother after years of water flowing over it and not filtering as well? I understand sand doesn't "wear out", but does it lose some of it's filtering ability due to smoothness after a few years? That's what I'm hearing as to why it needs to be changed out every 5+ years. Not sure if there's any truth to that.

@ferretbone PB agrees TR140 is a better filter, but says the TR140 will be $750 - $1000 more than the TA100D that is currently included in the quote because of the larger size (140 vs. 100), more expensive (separate) valve, larger concrete pad to hold it, and more sand needed to fill it. In your opinion, is it worth the extra $$?

Also, it seems the general consensus on TPF is to use standard pool sand, not any of the alternatives that supposedly filter down to a lower micron size. Is that just because of all the experience with sand and not as much experience with alternatives on this site, or are the alternatives getting better now where I should look at that more closely? It seems most of the negatives about the alternative media is several years old, so has there been any improvement in the past few years, or still recommended to just use sand and be happy? With the bigger filter, a changeout will be expensive, so I don't want to put in a media I will be changing out because I'm not happy with it (either way).
 

ferretbone

In The Industry
May 24, 2016
164
tx
The sands cavities will get filled, and the sand does get smoother over time. Eventually. But give it at least five years, likely ten or more. And thats not really why you change the sand out. You change the sand out because it fills up with dirt and Crud after awhile it's easier to just start over with fresh sand than to try to clean it in a filter.

I would like you to notice that there is a TR-140 and a TR-140 C................ C as in Comercial
There is also a smaller TR-100, and a TR-100C.................. C as in Comercial

If you upgrade from that filter in your bid to a TR-100, That's good. You will be much happer with that. Period.
If you up graded a little more from there to a TR-100C, C as in Comercial, you will have 4 diffusses in it not one.
If you upgraded to a TR-140, that's a big bad F'ing filter.
If you upgrading from that to a TR-140C. C as in Comercial. Well thats as big as they can get. As far as you know.

All I'm saying is at least go with the TR-100 or TR-100C, and never have to worry about your filter again. The TR-100 and TR-140 (C or not) have about the same size foot print on the ground. The TR-140 (C or not) is a little wider, but the stand is the same size as the TR-100 (C or not).

A lot of the folks here at TFP, hover over their pool. They know their pool inside and out, their systems, equations, calculations, processes, etc. Bottom line it's work, and sometimes hard work. It's not all science, and it's not all shoot from the hip either. I can buy you about 10 years of time from your new learning curve with a very simple troube free filter on your new pool. Gives you the chance to free up a lot of your time from worrying about your pool. And if you do have a problem you can scratch your filter off as the culprit.

If your asking us questions about the sand in a sand filter vs DE with a 20,000gal + pool size, then a sand filter is your filter buddy. Your at skill level 0. Just get the right filter. Start with a TR-100 and go up from there.
No public pools use DE or cart filters, they use sand. Why becuase they are simple, and get the same results with less than half the effort.
 

chillin1

Member
Oct 14, 2021
5
Chicago, IL
I'm definitely skill level 0 right now, so I appreciate the input. The only thing I don't like about the pool building process is that you have to make all the important decisions about your pool equipment when you are at a skill level of 0. That's why I came here. If I can learn and get ahead of the curve on my build, hopefully I won't regret my decisions later...
I was leaning towards a sand filter at the start based on the recommendation of a neighbor, but when the PB tells you they put in 70 pools this year and none of them have sand filters, it makes you question your initial thoughts. Based on the feedback on this site, I think I'm going to stick with the sand and see how it goes. I hope to start a build thread here next spring!
 

ferretbone

In The Industry
May 24, 2016
164
tx
Fog particles are 1-5 microns. Smokes particles are even smaller. I guess people who claim to be able to see fog or smoke are just kidding themselves.
Can you see one fog or smoke particle? I can't. You can see billions of almost anything. I can't see atoms either but some how I can read this computer screen. I think you understood what I posted was used as a reference of scale. Thanks for all your help clearing basicly nothing up here for us.
 

tomfrh

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2018
541
Australia
I think you understood what I posted was used as a reference of scale.
You appeared to be suggesting that all filter types can filter particles smaller than the limits of human visibility, and that therefore there will be no visible difference in water quality between filter types.

I’ve heard that argument several times, but it doesn’t make sense to me, as a large number of smaller particles could get thru the filter, and be visible in larger numbers, regardless of whether individual particles are too small to see.
 

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