The one thing you need when you have a backyard pool is a pool filter. If you have any sort of pool, you need to be thinking about a pool filter. When you buy a new pool, you should be thinking about the type of filter you need and the additional costs. The same is true if you already have a pool and want to upgrade to a more efficient or easier to use filter.
The best pool filters will leave your water sparkling and new while not needing to perform a lot of maintenance on it. The top-rated pool filters will also save you money on operational costs, so it is worth thinking about replacing the filtration system in your pool if it is old.
Everything you need to think about is contained in our buying guide. Once you know a little more about the inner workings of a pool filter, you can better choose the pool filter which will work best in your pool.
How To Choose The Best Pool Filter – Buying Guide
Size and volume of your pool
Everyone needs a pool filter. This is a non-negotiable when it comes to taking care of your pool. You may be able to save a little by buying a filter which is less expensive than a higher quality one, but you should never skimp on the size of filter you need. In fact, you should buy a filter which will suit a larger pool, just to ensure that you are getting your pool filtered. While we are on the subject of skimping on a pool filter, we would always recommend investing in a high-quality pool filter, which does mean spending a little more on your pool filter. If you can find a better quality pool filter, with better materials, at a slightly higher price, then you will have a pool filter which will last. The materials of the pool filter will break down over time so it will save you money in the long run. As pool filters are worn down by chemicals, you will need to repack parts or the entire unit altogether. With a high-quality pool filter, you will not have to buy a replacement part as often, and the entire unit will not have to be replaced for a long time.
Now, on to the size of the pool filter. This is the part of the process where many people make a mistake and end up buying a pool filter which is not capable of filtering their pool or one which is far too powerful for their pool. If you get a pool filter which is just right, you will save money when you buy the finer and in the aftercare of the filter. Getting the right size of pool filter can be finicky, but we have a step by step guide to help you calculate the exact size of the filter which you need.
The first thing you need to do is to calculate the total volume of your pool. If you have the installation or user guide, then you may have that information at hand, but if you do not, then you will have to calculate it. We are providing the simple equations for square, rectangle, and circular pools, so if you have a different shape, then you may have to go online to find the equation you need.
Step 1: To find the volume of your square or rectangular pool, you need to measure (in feet) the length, width, and depth, and then multiply all three numbers together. The result will be the volume of your pool in cubic feet. For a circular pool, take the radius (the measurement from the center to the edge (in feet)) and multiply it by 3.14. This will also give you the volume of your pool in cubic feet.
Step 2: Once you have the volume of your pool, you need to calculate the capacity of your pool in gallons. To do this, take the value you obtained in step 1 and multiply it by 7.48. There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot so this will tell you the number of gallons of capacity in your pool.
Step 3: Now you need to calculate the flow rate of water. This will tell you the flow rate of the filter which you will need to buy. This step needs a little estimation of the turnover rate of your pool. If you have a filter installed and you are replacing it, then you can buy a sensor to find out your turnover rate, but they cost money and are not entirely needed. Your minimum turnover rate would be 12. This means that all of the water in your pool will be filtered in 12 hours. We like to use 10 as our turnover rate. To calculate the flow rate, take the capacity of your pool (calculated in step 2) and divide it by the turnover rate (10). This will give you your flow rate.
Step 4: Now you can go out and buy a filter which has a flow rate you need. Most pool filters will have the flow rate included on them, but if they do not, then you can multiply the filter rate by the filter area to obtain the flow rate. We always recommend buying a filter which has a higher flow rate than the flow rate you need. It is better to go a little bigger rather than go a little smaller.
A sand filter is cheap to use, and the sand in the filter system will trap small particles and filter the water for you. The water is pumped through a large bed of sand, where particles as big as 20 microns are filtered out, and the water coming out the other side is clean. Smaller particles can pass through the sand, so this type of filter will not get your water as clean as a cartridge filter or a DE filter, but it is cheaper and easier to use.
You will find that a sand filter is the most commonly used filter in most backyard pools. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 2-4 feet in diameter. They look similar to a large ball. The one main advantage is that, due to the popularity of this type of filter, the sand for the filter is easy to acquire. It is also easy to add more sand and clean the filter.
The sand will need to be replaced at some point, but you should not have to do that for around seven years. The one main disadvantage is that when the sand collects a lot of debris, the pressure can build up and it becomes harder to pump the water through the filter. This can add to your utility bill (though, only very slightly).
A cartridge filter falls in the middle-ground between a sand filter and a DE filter. They are not as cheap as a sand filter and not as expensive as DE filters. They require a medium amount of maintenance and filter particles somewhere in the middle of the other two filters.
Cartridge filters are a great choice for most pool users. They are not too expensive, and they clean a pool adequately. This type of filter has a cloth-like material which is used to filter the water. It will trap particles as small as 5 microns. The area of the filter is also larger than that of sand filters so you do not need to worry about the pressure building as it will with a sand filter.
Cleaning and maintenance with this filter are also easy. All you have to do is remove the filter and hose it down with some clean water. There is also no backwashing needed with this filter. These are great filters for saving energy, and they will last a long time with minimal maintenance and cleaning. You will have to change the filter every three years, so make sure that you budget for that.
D.E. Filter (Diatomaceous Earth)
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a natural and organic material which can be ground up into a fine dust and used to filter water. This type of filter is made up of elements or grids which are covered in fabric and then coated with the DE powder. As water flows through the filter, the white DE powder traps the smallest of particles. Of the three filter types on our list, this type of filter will filter your water the best, giving you the cleanest water to swim in. The disadvantage of a filter which cleans the water so well is that the filter is expensive and it requires more maintenance.
This filter system is extremely reliable and will last for years if you take care of it properly. You will need to regularly check the filter for wear and tear, and at least twice a year, you will have to remove the filter for cleaning. This is as simple as hosing the filter down and replacing it. The DE material will also need to be replenished on a regular basis, though this is easy to do. To refill the DE material, you can backwash the system, and add some more DE through the pool skimmer.
Q: How Does A Pool Filter Work?
A: All pool filters work in much the same way. Water is pulled through a material, and the particles in the water are trapped, and clean water flows out of the other side. The exact way in which the pool filter works will depend on the type of pool filter.
With a sand filter, a lot of water can be pumped through the sand at any one time. The dirty water from the pool is pumped to the filter and enters through an inlet pipe. Gravity pulls the water down through the sand, and the water is filtered as it travels through the sand. Any dirt and debris are caught by the sand, and clean water will flow out the other side and back into the pool.
As more and more particles are collected, a layer of dirt and grime appears on the top of the sand. When this happens, the pressure of the water will increase, and it will take more energy for the water to get through the sand. When enough dirt and debris build up, the system will need to be backwashed. When you backwash your system, you reverse your pool pump to force the water through the pump from the other side. When you are doing this, the dirt and grime, along with the top layer of sand will be backwashed, so you need to make sure that instead of the water running back to the pool, the water is diverted to a drain. Once you have backwashed the system, you can add more sand if you like. The backwashing will also help to relieve the pressure on the pump system.
If you are using a DE filter or a cartridge filter, then the operation is much the same. Water is pushed through a fabric or material, instead of being pulled through sand, but the fabric/material does the same job as the sand, trapping particles, and usually smaller particles. The water which comes out of the other side will be clean and pumped back into your pool.
With a DE filter, you can backwash it much like a sand filter, and add more sand when you are done (making sure to divert the water to the drain when you do). For a cartridge filter, you do not need to backwash it. Instead, you take it out and rinse it.
Q: Top Mounted Or Side Mounted Valve?
A: The top mounted-system and the side-mounted system is a choice you may have to make when you are installing a sand filter. Both systems run in the same way, but do have differences in the ease of installation and the installation cost. It will be up to you which system you decide to use.
A top-mounted system is a cheap option to install. The filter is easy to install in this way and the pipes are easy to install too. There are fewer parts needed, less time needed to install the system, and less labor needed to install the system. This means that overall, it will cost you less money to install a top-mounted system. However, it is harder to maintain a top-mounted pipe.
With a top-mounted system, you cannot reach the sand inside without first removing the pipes on top. This makes them more difficult to maintain. Side-mounted systems cost more to install, but once the installation is complete, you can get into the sand without having to move any pipes. You are able to get into the sand daily to clean it or change it.
Q: Which Is Really The Best Pool Filter Type?
A: The best filter type for your pool will depend on the type of pool you have and your budget and experience. Cartridge filters are great for beginners as they are very easy to maintain. They will pick up most particles, without costing too much money, and they do not need to be backwashed like sand filters, or DE filters do. These are the easiest to use filters, but you will have to change them every three years.
Sand filters are great if you are on a budget. They will not pick up as much debris as the other filters, but they will clean your water. The sand does not need to be replaced regularly, but you will need to backwash the sand every so often so you will need to have a little experience or be willing to learn how to do that.
If you want the cleanest water or you are maintaining a commercial pool, then a DE filter is the way to go. They filter out the smallest particles, but they do cost a little more money than the other filters.
Q: How To Clean Pool Filter?
A: Just like the filter in your hot tub, you will have to regularly clean your pool filter. To clean a sand filter or a DE filter, you need to backwash the system to remove the layer of grime and dirt on the filter. Make sure to route the water away from your pool and into a drain. When it comes to cleaning your cartridge filter, you clean it differently to a sand or DE filter. Cleaning a cartridge filter is simple and easy.
When it comes to cleaning your cartridge filer, you should first locate the filter and remove it from its place. You should always have a replacement filter on hand, just in case you notice some damage to the filter which you remove. If there are any holes or tears in the filter material, then you should replace it as the dirty water is going to get through without the dirt being filtered. When you are using cartridge filters, you should always make sure that the materials are high quality. Never choose paper as the material will break down over time and will become useless. Look for fiberglass or synthetic materials.
Take your garden hose and rinse the filter with clean water. You can use a spray nozzle to better get the water in-between the filter pleats. Make sure to rinse the filter as soon as you remove it from the filter system. If you wait too long, the debris and dirt can dry into the filter and become hard to remove. The quicker you rinse your filter, the easier it will be to clean.
Once you have rinsed your filter, you should let it dry in the sun. The UV rays of the sun will inhibit the growth of any algae, which can clog up your filter and make it work inefficiently. Once your filter is dry, you can tap it a few times on a soft surface to remove any loose particles from the filter. You can use your fingers to separate the pleats as you do this to better clean the filter. You can also use an air compressor if you have one to blow away any loose dirt. You do not need to get all of the dirt and dust off perfectly, but the more you can remove, the easier it will be to properly clean your filter.
Take a large bucket and fill it with water. Add some pool chlorinator at a ratio of 1 part to every 6 parts of water. Submerge the filter in the bucket, and place a lid on to fully submerge the filter if you can. You can leave the filter overnight, but we recommend letting it sit for up to 5 days. If you need to use your pool in this time, then fit your replacement filter and rotate them each time you clean the filter.
Once the filter has soaked, take the filter out of the chlorinated water and rinse it in a bucket of clean water. You should notice the water change color as the dirt is released. Allow the filter to dry in the sunlight once again. Once the filter is dry, you should brush off any dirt and dust once again. You can use your fingers, a paintbrush, or an air compressor. You can now place your filter back into the filter system or into storage until you clean the replacement filter.
Q: How To Change The Sand In A Pool Filter?
A: After you have used your filter for a long time, you will need to change the sand. Replacing the material in your filter will take a little time, but it is easy to do, will save you money on your pool’s operating cost, and you only have to do it every few years.
The first thing you need to do is turn off your filter and your pump. You do not want the pump to come on when you are changing the sand. Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the filter tank and let any remaining water drain out. This may take some time, so be patient. Next, remove the hoses which are connected to the multi-port valve. If the pipes are hard plumbed, then you will have to cut them now and add fittings when you want to reattach them. Remove the clamp which holds the valve to the tank. Remove the multi-port valve. Cover the top of the sandpiper to prevent sand from getting in there when you add the new sand.
Use a shop vac to remove all of the old sand. You could also use a scoop if you do not have a shop vac. Rinse out the remainder of the sand. Fill the tank halfway with water to protect the interior workings when you pour the sand in. Add the new sand (one bag at a time). Fill the tank with water and connect everything back to the positions they started in. Backwash the filter and then run your pump again. You can also check other related articles such as pool floats, pool heaters, pool alarms, pool noodles, pool thermometers, pool slides and a lot more.
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A good pool filter will not only ensure that your pool is clean, but it will also save you money and headaches. No one wants to have to perform maintenance on they pool systems, and with one of the filters from our list, the maintenance will be minimal. All of them will ensure that your pool is kept clean and healthy (just make sure to buy a compatible filter system).
The best pool filters will make it easy for you to take care of your pool. It is important to choose your pool filter system wisely to ensure that you leave your pool a place where people want to be. If you like this article, please also check our article for infrared saunas.
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