Cartridge Filters vs. Sand Filters

Today it seems everybody wants to be “green”. For some this has to do with the environment. For others, it’s about electrical or energy costs. But whatever the reason, people are concerned.

For years, the Jackson, MS area has been known for using sand filters on swimming pools. However, the industry has seen a change nationwide. Due to the push to be “green”, manufacturers have seen a shift to cartridge filters. These filters can be used on above-ground pools or in-ground with significant savings. Here’s a comparison:

Sand Filters

  • Media cleaned by backwashing
    • Backwashing is performed every 7-14 days
    • Recommended for filter media to be chemically cleaned twice yearly
    • Media is completely changed every 2-3 years
  • Filter lifespan is approximately 10-15 years

Pros of a Sand Filter

  • Easy to backwash
  • Media only needs to be changed every 2-3 years

Cons of a Sand Filter

  • Waste water when backwashing
  • Waste chemicals when backwashing
  • Increased electrical cost.
    • Filter causes water flow restriction making pump use more watts. Thus electric bill increases significantly

Cartridge Filters

  • Cleaning of Filter Element varies depending on size of filter
    • Elements 100-175 sq. ft. are usually cleaned monthly
    • Elements 200 sq. ft. and above are cleaned 2-3 times a year
    • Recommend to chemically cleaning elements each time they are cleaned.
    • Elements are replaced periodically, typically every 1-2 years.
  • Filter Lifespan is approximately 10-15 years

Pros of a Cartridge Filter

  • Saves water because there is no back washing.
  • Saves chemicals because there is no back washing.
  • Saves electricity because there is not restriction of water flow on pump. Thus pump uses less watts and runs more energy efficient. Can reduce electric bill by 50%.

Cons of a Cartridge Filter

  • Cleaning filter elements usually takes 15-45 minutes depending on model and filter size.

What our experience tell us:
Based on our experience with both sand filters and cartridge filters in the Jackson, MS area, we feel that each customer must determine what is most important to them: maintenance time vs cost of maintenance.

If maintenance cost is a key concern, then a cartridge filter can be a great asset to your pool. The savings in water is not significant. However, the savings in chemicals has been noticed by customers. Moreover, the savings in electrical cost is outstanding. Most customers report approximately a 50% savings compared to running a sand filter. If the cartridge filter is paired with an energy efficient pump, electrical savings can reach the 75% mark.

However, if maintenance time is key concern, then a sand filter may be your best bet.  After all, sand filters have been the filter of choice by most pool owners in the Jackson, MS area for decades.  Some customers who have had experience with both sand and cartridge filters have noted that backwashing a sand filter is much easier and quicker than cleaning cartridges.

Thus, our recommendation is to talk with Paradise Pools staff member to determine which filter will best meet your expectations and life style.  In addition, ask whether or not your pool can be upgraded to be energy efficient pump. Not all pools can run the energy efficient pumps. However, the cartridge filters can be used on most, if not all, swimming pools.

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© Paradise Pools & Spas
227 S. Pearson Road
Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: (601) 932-POOL (7665)
Email: info@paradisepoolsms.com
Summer Hours:
March 16th - August 31st
Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 3pm
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