To switch or not to switch. Cartridge vs Sand debate

bobodaclown

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2011
2,360
Murrieta, CA
#1
Hello All,
I'm not looking to start a flame war or anything. Just looking for opinions, not trying to ruffle feathers.
I currently have a Clean and Clear CC100 installed. I have 2 filters that I swap out when they need to be cleaned. We've had several pool parties and they need to be cleaned/swapped out more often. The swap out is about 15 minutes. Then another 15 to clean the dirty filter.

I have an empty (no sand) Haywood S244S (300 lbs sand, 3.1 Sq Ft) sand filter that came with the house not installed. I'm thinking about installing it and removing the cartridge filter.

Looking at getting opinions.

Currently the Cartridge runs at a clean PSI of 5 (50gpm) and clean it out when it gets to 10PSI (45gpm)

Pump run time is approx 8 hours due to the SWCG needing the time to maintain chlorine level.

What should I do? :?:
 

chrisexv6

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
340
Milford, CT
#2
I have that exact filter and have had no issues (except for my recent "hey look we're missing lots of sand after 9 seasons" issue)

My parents had a sand filter, my FIL has a sand filter, most every pool Ive gone to has a sand filter. To me the only choice would be between sand and DE, I wouldnt put cartridges in the mix just because of the cleaning/swap out time.

I say go sand and never look back. I run the same filter on my 22K gallon pool for 9 hours/day, and even thats probably too much. Im sure plumbing has something to do with it as well...I have 2 1.5" suction and 2 1.5" return lines feeding a 2" inlet into my .5HP northstar pump. I dont have a flow meter, but my clean psi is about 9...havent done the math to figure it out but my guess is around 50GPM or so.
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#3
Your filter is small for you pool per tfp recommendations. We would recommend a ~250 sq. ft. filter for you pool. With that said, if you don't get algae, then the only trouble is it means you must clean it more often.

The sand filter you have is a better fit size wise for you pool. At 3.1 sq. ft. it is the minimum size sand filter that meets our recommendations for your pool.

Do you have no water restrictions typically?

Do you have decent fill water?

Do you have a good place to put the backwash water?

If yes to these three questions, then a sand filter should work for you...but then it comes down to preference and flames :twisted:
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2009
22,805
SouthWest Alabama
#4
Since I have my flame suit on I say rip the cartridge out and put the sand filter in there. :twisted:

Now having said that, if my current filter ever bites the dust, I'm going to switch to a very large cartridge filter. It's not that I don't like my sand filter it's just that I love my sisters large cartridge filter.
 

elwood58

LifeTime Supporter
#5
Sand filters. Are the easiest to deal with, provided you do not have issues with backwashing and fill. They are also the least level of filtration on a micron scale, so if you have cloudy water issues, it may not be your best choice. Topping them off with a little DE seems to help though.

Cartridges are great filtration, but much higher maintenance, especially if not sized properly for your pool.
 

SteveK

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2007
63
Central NJ
#6
I've had a 27" sand filter for 16 seasons but switched to a cartridge filter (Hayward SwimClear 4030) this season. Won't ever go back to sand.

Installed the new cartridge filter at the start of season -- same time that I replaced old pump with an Intelliflo and upgraded my pad plumbing to 2".

The pool was a green, slimey, swampy mess to start season (opened it late due to new equipment installation time). The SwimClear has cleaned up my water in record time -- only 3 days from swamp to crystal clear. My pressure has not increased from 4PSI since opening the pool. I haven't had to clean the filter even once yet.

With my old sand filter, opening usually took 7-10 days with back-washing and back-washing and back-washing. Wasting water, wasting water, then more back-washing. :? Even after all cleaned-up, back-washing was needed at least every 2 weeks. More wasted water and need to re-balance after replacement water was added.

Also, flow rate through the sand filter was probably about half of the flow rate with the SwimClear. What does that translate to? Being able to run the Intelliflo pump at a lower speed thereby saving on electricity cost. Plus, filters work better at lower speeds (smallest particles don't get forced through the media).

My filter is technically 'over-sized' for my pool (20x40 IG @33,000 gallons), but that translates to longer time between cleanings which certainly seems to be the case.

So, for me, contrasting cartridge filter to sand filter, I'm getting better water clarity, better flow rates, lower electricity consumption, lower water consumption, and more stable water chemistry.
Nope -- never going back to the sand pile. YMMV of course. :mrgreen:
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
#7
SteveK said:
My filter is technically 'over-sized' for my pool (20x40 IG @33,000 gallons), but that translates to longer time between cleanings which certainly seems to be the case.
TFP recommendations for your pool would be 490 sq. ft minimum...so we would still say your are slightly undersized at 425.

SteveK said:
I've had a 27" sand filter for 16 seasons
Your filter was too small for you pool at 4 sq.ft. Our recommendation for your pool size would be 6.1 sq. ft. minimum.
SteveK said:
Even after all cleaned-up, back-washing was needed at least every 2 weeks.
That is really frequent backwashing...probably due to the small filter, or you had some other problem going on.
 

chrisexv6

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
340
Milford, CT
#8
SteveK said:
The SwimClear has cleaned up my water in record time -- only 3 days from swamp to crystal clear.
Im actually able to do this with my sand filter which by TF suggestions is actually UNDERsized for my pool. So, in my case anyway, I wouldnt be seeing a huge improvement with different filter media. I even debated going DE, but again the pool clears up quick enough for me so I see no reason to run out and buy an expensive new filter.

Im sure, though, if my sand filter ever died (but how do they, really) I would at least look a little at cart or DE but most likely come back to sand again.