If you have a swimming pool, cleaning it regularly doesn’t mean that it completely free of all contaminants. A pool usually comes with its share of maintenance and responsibilities that cannot be overlooked. Removing the debris is a great way to start; using chlorine to sanitize and kill harmful bacteria is also very important. But that’s not all you should do. You need to invest in a pool filter that’s able to capture all the bacteria and debris that build up in the water.
Pool filters are designed to capture even the minutest compounds. To give you a more realistic picture, it can filter a human hair, which is 30 – 120 microns. This means that your pool won’t be cloudy any more – all the debris, be it from swimmers or wind, will be filtered effectively.
These little devices are the answer to a clean pool, but finding the right one for your needs can be a real hassle. Some are designed for in-ground pools, whereas others are designed for above the ground pools. We understand this, and that’s why we have gone out of our way to find you some of the best pool filters in the market. It’s time you keep your pool super clean!
|15 GPM||4||Hayward EC65A Perflex D.E. Pool Filter|
|7 GPM||5||Pentair 180008 FNS Plus|
|15 GPM||4||Intex Krystal 28651EG|
|24 GPM||3||Hayward W3S220T Pool Filter|
|15 GPM||5||Pooline Pro Above Ground Pool 120sf|
|15 GPM||3||Pentair 180006 FNS|
|10 GPM||4||Intex Krystal 26645EG|
|12 GPM||3||Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner|
|7 GPM||3||Hayward W3DE4820|
|12 GPM||2||XtremepowerUS 75202|
- Effective purification
- Long warranty period
- Long filter lifespan
- Superior strength
- Easy to maintain
- Long-term reliability
- Very affordable and easy to maintain
- Works well, thanks to its high flow rate
- Available in various models
- Long-lasting unit
- 7-position valve filter functions
- All-weather performance
- Sturdy and durable design
- Users can adjust power when necessary
- Comes with several accessories
- Easy filter access
- Large capacity filter
- Sturdy design and construction
- Four filtration options
- Easy to maintain
- SmartNav navigation system
- Offers fast cleanout
- Quirky design eases maintenance
- Minimal maintenance
How To Choose The Best Pool Filters – Buying Guide
Different pool filters suit different functionalities. Whereas some work best for above ground pools, others work only with inground pools. Understanding the various types is the key to finding the best product. These guidelines will equip you with the right information you need to know before purchasing one.
What is a Pool Filter?
Pool filters are an essential addition to swimming pools. As a requirement, pool water should be cleaned using chlorine and other disinfectants to make it safe for swimming. After chlorine action, there is a need to remove the dead bacteria and contaminants. Otherwise, you will have a pool free from dangerous bacteria but laden with pollutants, hence cloudy. This is where pool filters come in handy. They help in filtering pool contaminants, keeping pool water clear and pure.
Why you need a pool filter
Owning a pool is the first indication that you need a pool filter. Well, not all pool owners mind the safety of their pool water. However, if you own a pool and are concerned about the safety of your pool water to those who use it, consider installing a pool filter. Apart from the invisible bacteria killed by chlorine, other contaminants, such as leaves, small rocks, and tiny branches, can be blown into the pool. This is why you should install a filter.
How a pool filter works
Pool filters and pool pumps work hand in hand to clean water. Both work in a closed-loop system with the process beginning when water passes through the first filter, commonly referred to as a skimmer. Water streams from the skimmer to the pump where the pump’s basket removes debris before directing it to the filter. The filter eliminates any remaining debris and contaminants from the pool water.
Pool filters are responsible for heavy cleaning of the pool. The pump moves water through the filter from the pool. The pump consists of three parts; the basket – that collects large contaminants such as leaves, an impeller or fan, and a water discharge point. The water discharge point is where the water from the pump is pushed into the filter for further purification. The pump has a motor that keeps everything in motion. Without the pump motor, water will not be fetched from the pool, enter the filter, or get released back into the pool.
Types of pool filters
Pool filters are categorized based on their construction. There are three types of pool filters. The burning question for most enthusiasts is; which one of the three is the best? There is no “one-size fits it all” when it comes to filters. The best type depends on individual needs, replacement frequency, budget, and other factors.
1.Cartridge pool filters
Though relatively pricey than sand filters, cartridge filters are easy to maintain and more effective, especially if you have an average-sized pool. The unit has pleated polyester filter media, unlike sand found in sand filters. Water flows through the tank with polyester materials and pleats. The filter can capture debris as small as 10 microns, making it more effective than sand filters.
With continuous use, the cartridge collects contaminants necessitating cleaning. However, rather than backwashing, cleaning process involves removing the filter cartridge and spraying with a hose to remove accumulated dirt and debris. Once in a while, use a filter cleaner and regularly soak it in diluted muriatic acid or any other chemical filter cleaning solution. Whereas this is more physical, it is better than backwashing and wastes less water.
Cartridge filter pros
- Filters small microns
- No backwashing thus wastes less water
- Effective even in low speeds
Cartridge filter cons
- Physical cleaning than sand filters
- Lasts a few years
- Requires regular deep cleaning
2.Sand pool filters
If you are on the market for a budget-friendly filter with minimal maintenance needs, go for the sand filter. It is also the right choice for large pools as it doesn’t clog easily compared to other filters. The pump sucks water from the skimmers and pushes it through a filter with a tank full of sand. The 20-silica sand is a standard media used in the tanks. The value means it filters particles measuring 20 microns and more.
How does sand pool filter work? You may ask. Well, every sand particle is “prickly.” If observed under a light microscope, you will see some rough edges around the sand particles, which enables it to grab debris and contaminants as water passes through the filter. With continuous use, the sharp edges are eroded and slowly wear out, becoming smooth surfaces that won’t capture debris any longer.
Similarly, the contaminants trapped by the sand accumulates on the filter with continuous use. Therefore, this helps trap small particles, even as the sand particles smoothens out. Eventually, it prevents smooth water flow through the filter, reduces efficiency, thus necessitating a backwash. Fortunately, the sand filter has a pressure gauge that alerts you of increasing internal pressure. The backwash is an easy cleaning method that involves reversed water flow to flush away the debris.
The 20-silica sand is the standard media used in sand filters. However, try other alternatives to increase filtration efficiency. For instance, D.E powder can be included to enhance efficiency after backwash or after sand replacement. You can also completely replace sand with other compounds such as Zeosand or filter glass. Zeosand is made from zeolite minerals and traps even smaller particles than sand. On the other hand, filter glassis negatively charged finely crushed glass that attracts positively charged particles.
Sand filter pros
- Easy to maintain
- Longer lasting
- Filtration efficiency can be enhanced
Sand filter cons
- Least effective compared to other types
- Backwashing wastes water
- Accumulating debris builds pressure that reduces filter efficiency
3.Diatomaceous earth pool filters
Diatomaceous filters are the most expensive and maintenance-intensive water filters, but they filter the smallest particles. The Diatomaceous filter tanks have grids covered with crumbly, white powder. The powder is made from crushed fossilized remains of aquatic organisms called diatoms. Diatomaceous filters also have silica that adds to their water cleaning efficiency.
If the pressure builds in DE filters, you will have to remove old materials from the filter and replace it with new ones. A backwash or bumping handle system can do this. Both methods remove old materials, but we highly recommend opening the system and cleaning the grid by hand. You can then add the new Diatomaceous earth after reassembling the unit.
To add the DE into the filter after cleaning, use the pool’s pump skimmer. Start by mixing the DE with enough water to form a slurry. The slurry should appear like a thin, creamy solution. Once done, switch the pump on and slowly pour the solution into the skimmer. As the pump sucks water into the skimmer, it will evenly distribute the DE over the grids.
- Filters as small as 5 microns
- DE powder is easily added through the skimmer
- Doesn’t use caustic chemicals to clean
- High cost to install and maintain
- Difficult to find one for above ground pools
- The grid requires regular replacement
Factors to consider when purchasing pool filters
Before settling for any pool filter, you should put several factors into consideration. Pool filters differ and suit different people in different situations. Let’s have a look at some of the factors you should have in mind when searching for the best pool filter.
Size and volume of the pool
The first important factor is knowing the size of your swimming pool. Pool filters are designed for specific sizes and shapes of pools. Some filters work best in the round and oval pools, while others can clean best when used in a pool of particular water capacity. Always have a thorough understanding of the shape, size, and volume of your pool to avoid wrong purchases.
Type of Filter
You should also take note of the kind of filter that will best suit your needs. Figure out which among the three filters discussed would best suit your budget and maintenance requirements.
Pool filters are supposed to last. That said, the best products should be made from reliable and durable materials that can withstand various elements and remain sturdy for years. To ascertain this, ensure that your product of choice is constructedof a durable outer cover withrobust inner components. You should as well ensure that spare parts of the filter are easily accessible if need be.
As mentioned, a pool pump and filter work hand in hand. Therefore, the volume of water in the pool determines the pump capacity required for optimal cleaning performance. Most pools in residential homesneed pumps ranging from 1 to 2HPs.
For any electrical installation, always look out for safety features to prevent usage accidents. In this case, search for filters with automatic timers and self-shut off options. The above features not only help in saving energy but also prevent the motor from overheating due to too much pressure.
How to troubleshoot a pool filter
Since the pool filter plays a crucial role in ensuring that your pool is clean, it is wise to keep your filter in good condition always. Filters experience a few common problems. That aside, you should learn how to clean a pool filter. Knowing how to recognize and solve the problems will ease the troubleshooting and repair process. Apart from cleaning, here are some common issues with pool filters;
· Filter leaks
Do you see some water dripping from your pool filter? Is there a small puddle below the filter? If so, your pool filter could be leaking. Leaks in the pool filter may not cause a significant drop in pool water, but it is vital to repair. Begin by identifying the position of the leak. Inspect the filter’s tank for holes and patch them up. However, get ready to replace the tank since the patches may not last long.
For those using split-tank filters, check the filter belly for leaks. If the filter leaks from this point, inspect how tight the O-ring is and the presence of debris, wear, and tear. You might consider replacing it if the ring is worn out. Don’t forget to use a pool gasket lubricant to improve sealing efficiency and keep the ring hydrated.
· Filter cycle problems
If your filter runs in short cycles even when the pool is not in use, the filter could be experiencing flow rate problems. A likely problem in such a situation is a high flow rate, meaning the pump could be strong for the filter. It can also mean that the filter is not big enough for the pool. With such a problem, begin by ensuring that the filter is of the right size.
If it is of the required size, you should consider backwashing the filter for long periods. During backwashing, continue the process until water present in the sight glass becomes transparent. The process can take several minutes. The filter could also be running in short cycles due to the presence of algae and other debris clogging it. In such situations, clean the filter thoroughly or replace it if it is worn out.
· Filter materials in the pool
It is rare to see filter materials in the pool after backwash, regardless of your type of filter. However, if you notice some filter components, suspect some problems. The first place to begin your troubleshooting is by checking the bolts that hold the filter in place. Loose bolts can allow particles to escape into the pool. For sand filters, check the strand or lateral pipe if it is broken and requires replacement. Suspect a tear in the grid fabric for DE filters. This will require replacement.
· Water pressure issues
You should check the pressure gauge as part of regular pool maintenance. Water pressure problems can significantly affect the performance of the filter. If the pressure is low, it could be a blockage within the system, anywhere before the filter. On the other hand, if you experience high pressures, check for blockage anywhere after the filter.
You asked we answered…F.A.Q’s
Which is the best pool filter type?
Deciding on the best pool filter type comes down to whether you have an in-ground or aboveground pool, your budget, and usage experience. Cartridge filters, for instance, are suitable for beginners due to their ease in maintenance. They pick up most particles and are affordable.
Sand filters are best for those on a budget. They won’t pick up as much debris as other filters but will clean to some level. Sand doesn’t need regular replacement, but backwashing requires a lot of experience and uses a lot of water. The DE pool filter is the best choice if you want to achieve the cleanest pool water or when running a commercial pool. They eliminate even the smallest particles but cost more than other filters.
Is it possible to remove algae permanently?
Algae growth is a common phenomenon in pool water. Most pool owners deal with it more often than you probably think. However, with cartridge pool filters, you should be able to get rid of algae for good. These filters prevent algae growth when installed into a pool. Cartridge filters remove other pool water components, including phosphates, which promote algae growth. Without phosphates in the water, algae won’t find nutrients to survive on, and they will eventually die out.
Can filters remove the cloudiness of water?
There are many reasons why your swimming pool may appear cloudy. A common reason is due to the accumulation of small particles in the pool. It may also happen when incompatible chemicals leach into your pool water. High PH, calcium and high alkalinity can also cause this. All these can be solved by installing a filter. The filter traps even the smallest particles leaving the water crystal clear.
Top-mounted or side-mounted valve?
Sand filters available on the market have either top mounted or side mounted valves. Both function similarly but differ in installation cost and ease of installation. You will have to decide, based on preference, which valve-type suits your pool. Top-mounted filters are cheap and easy to install, as they require fewer parts and less labor. However, you can’t reach the sand without removing the top pipes. This makes it daunting to maintain. On the other hand, side-mounted filters cost more but are easy to maintain.
The best pool filter should not only ensure your pool water is clean, but also save you time and effort spent on maintaining the pool. All the products outlined above do an excellent job of keeping your pool clean and healthy. We like the Hayward EC65A Perflex Pool Filter for its superior filtration ability and extended filtration cycles. Similarly, the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner is a perfect choice because of its robust performance, advanced technology, and top-notch cleaning.