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New and experienced pool owners alike often ask which kind of filtration equipment is best for their pool and it can be a little tough to choose. Your swimming pool contractor can help you decide but there are a few definite facts that you’ll want to consider before being swayed in either direction.

Firstly, sand filters cost 1/3 less than cartridge filters and most people assume that this is because cartridge filters are far superior and should cost three times as much. The truth is that cartridge filters result in only a minor improvement in water clarity that is not actually visible to the eye.

In terms of maintenance and regular cleaning, sand filters require relatively little time and attention compared to the cartridge system. On average, a sand system would best be backwashed twice per month and may take about 3-5 minutes to complete the task each time. This cleaning or “backwashing” process uses pool water to flush through the system and is most efficiently done after a significant rainfall when you would be reducing your water level anyway.

In contrast, cartridge filters take about 40-60 labour-intense minutes for each cleaning and require that all of the cartridges are taken out and manually cleaned with a garden hose. This spraying process requires water supply from your hose and is only as effective as you are. The job of getting all of the debris dislodged from the tight pleats of the cartridge can be challenging and demands more time and energy.

And finally, the sand system is good for 4-5 years before needing to be replaced and will cost about $400 for a new system. The cartridge system instead, will last about 3-4 years and will cost $500 to replace the cartridges and $1000 to replace the system. The choice is obviously yours and there are pros and cons to both. We simply caution that you consider the facts and choose a system that seems right for you

Sandmaster water filtration