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Deciding what type of filter to install for your pool can be tricky. But, there is a wealth of information that exists to assist in your decision. Basically it comes down to budget, ease of use, and how important is the cleanliness of your water to you?
There are basically three types of pool filters. Diatomaceous Earth (or DE for short), cartridge, and sand. Each filtration system has its merits and drawbacks. Each, however, falls clearly in one of the categories - budget, ease-of-use, and effectiveness. Depending on the importance of each of these aspects to you will determine which filtration system meets your needs
If the cleanliness of the water is of paramount importance to you, then the DE filtration system may be your best choice. Diatomaceous Earth is a substance found in the soil. It is like a fine, white powder that is absolutely unparalleled in filtering even the smallest particles and impurities in the water. It is however, typically the most costly and most often the most difficult to use.
A cartridge filtration system is absolutely the easiest to enjoy. It simply involves replacing a filter. There is no replacement or messy DE or sand to worry about. The filtration doesn't do quite the job of a DE system, but a better job than a sand filter. The cartridges are typically more costly, however the unit itself usually is more reasonably priced than a DE filtration system. The cartridges will need to be replaced more often than a sand or DE system, making the overall cost of maintaining the system more costly.
A sand filter is usually the most economical. It does not filter quite as thoroughly as a DE or cartridge based system, but does a fine job nevertheless. If you have little fear about diving into the ocean, lake, or pond, then you should have no fear about diving into a pool using a sand filtration system as a sand filtered pool will offer a safe, clean swimming environment far superior to nature's. It's a bit messier to replace than a cartridge, but replacement of the sand occurs only every few years.
The pool sand filter is typically less expensive initially and less expensive to maintain in the long run. It is our recommended system of choice. There are many fine sand filters to choose from, but we strongly recommend you to consider the Intex, Hayward, or Pentair systems.