Cartridge filter (swimming pool)

There are three main types of swimming pool filters. Cartridge, sand, and diatomaceous earth(DE). The type I am going to give you some info on in this post is the cartridge filter. I personally would never sell a cartridge filter to any of my customers. They are in my opinion the worst filter for a pool. I will try to keep my personal feelings out of this post and just give the facts about the worst filter type on the market. Sorry.

Cartridge filter (swimming pool)

A cartridge filter has inside of it a pleated fabric wrapped around a plastic center tube with holes or slits in it to let the filtered water pass through and return to the pool. The pleated material inside the filter is usually polyester. This is what traps and holds the particles so they don’t return to the pool. When a cartridge filter becomes clogged with particles the pressure in the filter tank will rise and the water flow through the filter will decrease.

This means it is time to clean the filter. To clean this type of filter you open the tank, remove the cartridge and wash it down with a garden hose. The water from a hose will only remove some of the debris the filter has trapped. You will also need a filter cleaner to remove any oily or mineral build-up. After cleaning, degreasing, and descaling the filter, let it dry before reinstalling it. As the polyester dries it will expand or fluff creating more filter areas to clean the water. I recommend removing and cleaning a cartridge filter at least once every two weeks whether the pressure in the tank rises or not. This will make the filter last longer.

The disadvantages to a cartridge filter are many. They are the slowest to clean water of any filter and the end result is water that is not as clear as any other type of filter. A cartridge filter will remove particles as small as 7 microns. Sand filters and especially  DE  filters remove much smaller particles which gives a much clearer finished product in a much faster time.

The cost of a cartridge filter will be less upfront cost but in the long run, will cost more. On average most pool owners will get one to two seasons out of a cartridge filter. This means having to buy a new cartridge every year or two. A pool cartridge will cost anywhere from $95 up to $550 for an in-ground cartridge filter. This is why the “big box” pool stores love to sell them. They’ll give you a load of crap about how easy they are to maintain and the low upfront cost but what they are really doing is setting you up to have to come back all the time and buy new cartridges. It’s all about the money.

This is why I won’t sell this type of filter. It won’t clean as fast or as good and cost way too much. I can sell my customers a top-of-the-line DE filter that will clean faster and better than any cartridge filter on the market that will cost a little more upfront but in the long run, cost a lot less. Cleaner, faster, cheaper to operate than a cartridge. Why would anyone want a cartridge filter? I’ll tell you why. A salesperson told them it was the best. Actually, it is the best. Best for the salesperson. Not for you. Do the research for yourself and find the filter that’s best for you. Hint… it’s not a cartridge filter.

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