Stuck on filter decision

Nursenini

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Sep 22, 2015
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Bixby, Ok
#1
I have read all the stuff on the various types of filters but I'm STILL not sure what to go with...
Sand or DE...Sand or DE...

PB wants us to go with sand.
I'm leaning toward DE for its finer filtration. I just don't want anything that's going to be a a pain in the rear and give me problems. If it's just a matter of cleaning, that's not an issue. Replacing DE sounds like it would be easier than replacing sand- I sure don't want to haul sand bags. PB says to just hire out the sand replacement (of course-THEY provide that service for a fee).
PB says people complain about DE and hate it. I haven't gotten any specifics on the complaints, just that there are complaints.

Would love for folks to weigh in with your experience with your filter.

Why do you like it or hate it?

When it's time to replace it would you go with the same thing again or are you planning to get a different type as soon as you can?

I really need help with this. I'm very torn.

Thank you!
 

Frank Rizzo

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Nov 13, 2015
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Woodland Hills, CA
#2
Im curious why no cartridge filter in your decision making? Here in CA because of the "drought" - cartridge is the easy choice because it saves water from no backwashing .....and it kinda settles in-between Sand and DE clarity?
 

Nursenini

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Sep 22, 2015
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#4
Im curious why no cartridge filter in your decision making? Here in CA because of the "drought" - cartridge is the easy choice because it saves water from no backwashing .....and it kinda settles in-between Sand and DE clarity?

I have a friend who has a cartridge filter and absolutely hates it. I was just taking her word for it when she warned me against cartridge.

ive heard of you having to pay a fee to dispose of DE
Thanks for the heads up but that's not an issue here.
 

chiefwej

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Jun 12, 2011
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Tucson
#6
In filters, size matters. The larger the filter, the less often it needs service. If you've read up on the filters you know that in terms of maintaining, sand is the easiest, DE is by far the most labor to maintain. Cartridge is in between. If I had it to do over, I think I would go with an oversized cartridge filter. You should never have to add or replace sand in a filter, so there is no hauling sand. But a sand filter does waste the most backwash water. In a SWG pool that can mean occasional salt and chemical additions to rebalance your water.

My DE filter is backwashed and recharged with DE every couple months, and gets a full breakdown service twice a year. It is messy and time consuming. With a sand filter you just backwash then turn it back on. No recharging. Cartridge just gets a breakdown cleaning a couple times a year, but isn't as messy since no DE. Also, no handling a carcinogenic (DE), and no backwashing and no recharging.

As far as how fine they filter, the real difference in water quality is chemistry much more than filtration. Any one can produce a sparkling clear pool.
 

Nursenini

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Sep 22, 2015
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Bixby, Ok
#7
Thanks for the feedback, Chief!
When you say messy and time consuming, is it just the twice yearly cleaning that's messy and time consuming?

The options on filters I have been given are:

30" sand filter
Progrid 70 DE filter (I'm sure there's a cartridge choice if I wanted one)

Are these considered oversized enough for my less than 17,000gal pool?
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
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#8
I have a big cartridge filter and a lot of trees. I have to clean it at least twice in spring and twice in fall, sometimes I get lucky and it is three times. :) And if you get algae you will have to clean it every day or two at the most. It is a fair amount of work and uses quite a bit of water to clean the cartridges. Minimum time is 30 or 40 minutes and an hour is probably better. My next filter will be the biggest sand filter on the planet!

I don't think the water clarity thing matters much with TFPC. I'm pretty sure that it is not possible for my water to be any clearer.
 

Nursenini

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Sep 22, 2015
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#9
I have a big cartridge filter and a lot of trees. I have to clean it at least twice in spring and twice in fall, sometimes I get lucky and it is three times. :) And if you get algae you will have to clean it every day or two at the most. It is a fair amount of work and uses quite a bit of water to clean the cartridges. Minimum time is 30 or 40 minutes and an hour is probably better. My next filter will be the biggest sand filter on the planet!

I don't think the water clarity thing matters much with TFPC. I'm pretty sure that it is not possible for my water to be any clearer.
We have a full sun yard but our neighbors on either side have trees that drop some trash during the fall but it hasn't been bad historically, or maybe I just never noticed. Watch it be a pain now....
My friend with the cartridge filter inherited it with the new home she bought. Pool came with it. She had previously had a sand filter at her other home. She can't wait to replace this filter as soon as she can. Her biggest piece of advice to me was not to get cartridge.

Thank you for the input, pooldv!
 

Isaac-1

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May 10, 2010
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#10
Sand filters are the least work, but do use up the most water with all the backwashing, other than that they are the lowest maintenance, take the top off and deep clean every few years, and that is it, no need to ever change sand. Don't buy into that sales pitch from the pool store, it is simply almost never needed, about the only need to ever change sand is if you gunk it up with too many magic potions from those very same pool stores. DE is more work, and it does filter better, I switched to DE a few years ago, and can tell you I would never go back. For me DE filter operations means replacing the DE twice per season (10-15 minute job) and breaking the filter down and acid washing the DE fingers (mine has fingers not grids) about every 2 years in a big rubbermaid trash can, truth is I could probably push that out to every 3, maybe 4 years.
 

pooldv

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#11
Yes, but note that Isaac's pool is indoor.

We were amazed at how much stuff our trees drop that we never noticed until we got a pool and had to scoop it all out. :shock:
 

Nursenini

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Sep 22, 2015
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Bixby, Ok
#12
Sand filters are the least work, but do use up the most water with all the backwashing, other than that they are the lowest maintenance, take the top off and deep clean every few years, and that is it, no need to ever change sand. Don't buy into that sales pitch from the pool store, it is simply almost never needed, about the only need to ever change sand is if you gunk it up with too many magic potions from those very same pool stores. DE is more work, and it does filter better, I switched to DE a few years ago, and can tell you I would never go back. For me DE filter operations means replacing the DE twice per season (10-15 minute job) and breaking the filter down and acid washing the DE fingers (mine has fingers not grids) about every 2 years in a big rubbermaid trash can, truth is I could probably push that out to every 3, maybe 4 years.
Thanks for being so specific! That's very helpful! Having never owned a pool, I find some things a bit vague. I'm a very much a details person. The more details I get, the better for me to figure out if DE is right for me, if I can handle the maintenance or not.

Yes, but note that Isaac's pool is indoor.

We were amazed at how much stuff our trees drop that we never noticed until we got a pool and had to scoop it all out. :shock:
Thanks for pointing that out. I see it in his siggy but may not have noticed had you not said something.

I'm probably going to experience the exact same thing with the neighbors trees.


So, if Isaac is doing a breakdown cleaning every 2-3 years for indoor, is that then the equivalent of doing it 1-2 times/yr for outdoors?

With cleaning DE, the DE material is changed, but it sounds like you clean a sand filter without removing the sand... What's the cleaning process for sand?
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#13
I have a link for you! LOL

Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

I had a cartridge filter with the last pool and HATED it BUT that was before I found TFP so that may have something to do with it.

With my sand filter I just turn off the pump and move the filter handle to back wash and turn the pump back on and let the filter do it's work! Once it is backwashed I turn the handle to rinse let it do it's thing then turn it back to filter and call it good! SO easy!

As for sand replacement.............YOU will never need it as you have TFP in your back pocket so make sure your pool is clean and clear!

I cannot speak of DE as I have not played with one before but since I have a pond in my yard and wetlands behind me I do not think DE would be a good pick for me.

Kim
 

Texas Splash

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#14
Lots of great advice already. So the only thing I would caution you about is your friend's advice. While she may mean well, if her pool is not TFP clear, then ANY filter will be a pain for her. My pool is just under 18K, and you can see the relatively modest cartridge filter that came with "My pool" (pics in my sig) - single cartridge. If I had known better before-hand, I would've requested a larger cartridge filter, not because of clarity concerns, but just to have a bit longer between cleanings.

Still, with my TFP water, I pull that cartridge out about once per month. I rinse the grey sediment off (very easy), takes me about 10 minutes or so, and I'm back in business. There are no internal components to worry about like with sand or DE (laterals, tubes, manifolds, etc), and I can't imagine my water being any clearer than it is now. Along with the great personal advice above, I would also spend some time on YouTube just so you can see first-hand the many examples. Make sure you do a search for things like "troubleshoot" or "problems with my XX filter". That way you see some potential pitfalls as well.
 

Isaac-1

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May 10, 2010
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SW Louisiana
#15
Indoor or outdoor, pool filter cleaning is going to depend on how big of filter you install, and there is no down side other than initial cost to installing a "oversized" filter, at least within reason. You should be aware that many pool builders install filters that we would generally consider undersized as their standard filters, maybe they consider weekly filter cleaning as no big deal, but why do it if adding a little more money lets you turn it into monthly or even once per season filter cleaning. Additionally each type of filter has its own style of cleaning, with sand filters you backwash flushing hundreds of gallons of water backwards through the filter, typically 3-5 minutes of pump run time on high so around 30-50 Gallons per minute, and hopefully down a drain (assuming you are allowed to connect it to the sewer system where you live). With DE you also sort of backwash (everyone calls it backwashing, but technically the water does not run backwards through the DE) the used DE down the drain (hopefully) or use a DE catch device that filters the DE out from the waste water (if water conservation is an issue you can also put the waste water back in the pool and filter the DE out with a Slime Bag Backwash/DE Slime Bag – 3036” Flow rates up to 120 GPM | The Slime Bag . With DE either way the amount of waste water down the drain is much less than with backwashing a sand filter. Then of course there is the cartridge filter option, from what I have read on here there is a lot of variation on how hard cleaning is depending on cartridge design. Regardless you need a place to put them while hosing them off, some people even take them to a car wash to wash them out, this can be an issue if you have a small yard, and can be messy.

Ike

p.s. on the Carcinogen issue with DE, it is an inhalation hazard, like silica dust is, if you breathe it in the sharp particles damage the lungs, a simple dust mask while handling it can prevent this though, once it is wet or used this is not an issue (used DE clumps together).
 
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cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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Fletcher, OK
#18
I live just south of you... I went with a cartridge filter because of the droughts we get here and cost of water... I did build a system that I could empty water out of the pool if needed.



I have a Pentair Clean and Clear 320 Cartridge Filter and my pool is about 14000 Gal, about 3k less than yours... if you went with a cart I would suggest the 420 or even the 520... I only cleaned my filters once last year and I am planning doing the same again this year...

With that said, they do take about an hour to clean all 4 filters.. My friend has a ginormas sand filter and loves it but he is on a well and does not pay for water, sand and DE filters use some major water to clean and backwash...
 

otter86753

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Sep 26, 2013
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Charleston, SC
#20
I have a sand filter and haven't owned other types of filters so I cannot speak to those. I use hairnets in my skimmer and as as result, I may have to backwash my filter 1 or 2 times a season and we have a long swim season usually from April through September and sometimes beyond. (This year, it was 82 degrees on Christmas day and I jumped in the pool!) I just wanted to give additional information regarding water usage with a sand filter. It is amazing what is kept out of the filter using some type of skimmer sock.