What Are The Best Pool Filter Options?

Pool Filter Options

The pool filter is arguably one of the most important parts of the pool system as a whole. A lackluster pool filtration system can cause several problems:

  • A dirty pool: The clarity of the water is synonymous with the overall design and beauty of a pool. If the pool is dirty than it's value becomes obsolete. 

  • Health problems: When people swim in unfiltered water, they're at risk for certain health conditions. The most common are skin issues like rashes, though more severe problems can arise if certain bacteria are in the water. This is especially problematic for children and the elderly, both of whom have lower immunity.

  • Compromised longevity: All pool components have an expected lifespan. If the pool isn't properly maintained with adequate filtration, the lifespan of these elements (such as the pump, etc.) are greatly shortened.

  • Increased cost: With a poor filtration system, the cost of pool maintenance may be substantially higher than it should be. A pool that isn't filtered appropriately may require additional chemicals and other products, which can add up quickly.

There are several different types of pool filters available. Here's a rundown of the best options and the situations they benefit most.

Copper Ionization

Copper ionization is an innovative pool system that removes bacteria, impurities, and algae from water via copper ions. It was first developed by NASA as a way to clean water for astronauts.

Because of its unique cleaning method, copper filtration requires no chlorine or salt to keep water sparkling clean. Using plates, copper ions are pushed into the water. These ions refresh the water, removing impurities and leaving it clear.

The copper filtration system also balances the pH of the pool by adding oxygen or carbon dioxide as they are needed. A sensor lets the system know when the pH needs to be adjusted, and the pH is displayed for users every 30 seconds.

Because it lacks harsh chemicals or drying salt, many homeowners choose the copper filtration system for their pools. While this system may cost a bit more upfront, it usually pays for itself within a few years. It can also significantly extend the life of your pool.

Sand Filter

The sand filter is often considered the classic filter system. It's relatively inexpensive and requires moderate maintenance.

With a sand filter, dirty pool water is sucked into the top of the filter and pushed downwards through a special type of sand. This sand removes dirt and debris from the water, and the clean water is then pushed back into the pool. The dirt and debris remains in the tank until the system is backwashed. During backwashing, a hose is attached, a switch is flipped and the entire system works in reverse, pushing the dirty water out of the tank and through the hose to the yard or a trash receptacle.

Sand filter system maintenance is generally cost-efficient and moderately simple. The sand is usually replaced every three to five years, and backwashing is necessary once or twice per week, as the filter system gets clogged.

Cartridge Filter

The most common in-ground pool filter is the cartridge filter. Though it's more expensive than the other types of filters, it also requires the least maintenance. These systems usually have multiple pleated filters to collect dirt and debris. Two or three times per year, the filters will need cleaning and degreasing. This process can take one to two hours. These systems are usually the most expensive to install, but they can last eight years or more. They don't require backwashing or refills of sand or DE, making them rather cost-efficient in the long run.

Which Filter Is Best?

Each filter system has its own practical uses, and they may all be used with traditional pools as well as salt water pools.

Overall, each pool owner must look at their own situation to decide which system will work best for their needs.