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Keeping that Water Sparkling Clear


A pool with crystal clear water is inviting for you and your guests. In addition to maintaining proper chemical balance with the pool's water, it is important to filter out the waterborne particulates, keeping the water crystal clear. There are multiple filter options available. Each are canister like vessels plumbed directly into the pools pump system. When the pools pump is on, the valves can direct the water through the installed filter. Ultimately, the particulates suspended in the water are trapped in the filter.

The three most popular types of filters are Sand, Cartridge and DE (diatomaceous earth). Each of the three filters differ in cost, maintenance and filtering quality. The Sand Filter is the least expensive, requires the least amount of maintenance and is the least effective in filtering. Sand provides the filtering media. The filter is cleaned by back washing (the process of reversing the direction of the flow direction of the water) to push the contaminants out of the filter and to the lawn. The sand media lasts a relatively long time. Every three to five years the sand should be replaced.

The use of cartridge filters has become more popular. The filter is more effective and relatively easy to maintain. Maintaining the filter is as simple as hosing the filter off with a high-pressure nozzle every 3-4 months. The cartridge filter will catch smaller particles than a sand filter. The cartridge filter itself is a replaceable item and can be expected to require replacement every 3 years or so.

The DE filter is the most effective means of filtering the pool. With the increased effectiveness comes higher costs and increased maintenance. DE or diatomaceous earth is an organic substance comprised of the fossilized remains of microscopic sized hard-shelled creatures found in the ocean. This fine dust collects the finest particles at 2-4 microns. The DE media does require more maintenance, as each year the filter should be disassembled and cleaned.