The only way to keep your pool’s water fresh, clean and looking good, is with the right water filtration system. But, how do different pool filters work? And how can I choose the right one for my pool? Don’t worry, we did the dirty work and we’re laying out all the answers, nice and clean.

Trap It, Trap It Real Good

A pool filter is designed to trap particles that pass through your pool’s skimmer basket. The dirt particles pass through your pool’s pipes, are sifted by the filter, then returned to your pool as clean water. As this process continues, you can be sure the fine dust, dirt, and sand particles are constantly being removed from the circulating water in your pool.

It’s All About Size, Guys

As far as filtration goes, size matters. The smaller the filtered particles, the cleaner your water will be. The best filters remove dirt, silt and dust particles you can’t see with your eyes, however with enough impurities, it would make the water cloudy.  To measure impurities, pool experts use a unit called a micron. You and I can see about 35 microns without a magnifying glass, but here are some references to help you understand the size of microns more clearly:

  • An inch is 24,500 microns
  • Human hair is between 50-70 microns
  • A grain of sand is about 90 microns
  • Pollen is between 30-50 microns thick
  • Dust measures between 0.001-10 microns

Swimming pool filters are rated according to the size of microns they can trap. The smaller the particles it can remove from the water, the more efficient the filter, leaving you with a pool with cleaner, safer water.

Types of Filters

Luckily, there are only three common types of swimming pool filters. Plus, with help from the experts at Kelly’s Pool Care, we’ll help you decide which system will best suit your pool.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder made from the bones of sea creatures. The DE filters are made with an internal grid, which is coated by this fine powder, creating a mesh-like filter that catches tiny pieces of debris in your pool water. And how does it stand up against microns, you might be wondering? DE filters can strain out particles as small as 5, count them FIVE, microns.

Cartridge Filter

By far the most popular cleaner, cartridge filters strain out particles as small as 10-20 microns. Cartridge filters are the newest and most simple to maintain, making these the most popular of all the pool filters. Like your car’s air filter, cartridge filters use a pleated, polyester cloth which traps dirt and debris. Available in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find a perfect fit for your pool. If your cartridge filter is properly sized, you can go the whole season without cleaning. And while not as impressive as the former, cartridge filters can still filter out particles as small as 10-20 microns.

Sand Filter

Sand filters can strain out particles as small as 20-40 microns. A sand filter is the oldest and simplest filter in use. In fact, these date back to ancient times when sand was used to filter the famous Roman baths. Sand filters allow your pool water to pass through the tiny openings in the sand, catching dirt and other debris in the jagged edges of the sand particles. Clean water passes through and you’re left with a sparkling pool. Sand filters can strain particles as small as 20-40 microns, so if you’re thinking, “why fix what isn’t broken,” it’s time to do as the Romans do.

Clear, clean pool water not only looks great–it’s safer, too. Make sure your pool is ready for the summer swimming season and consider upgrading your pool’s filtration system today. And remember: While filters help keep your pool water looking clear and blue, you can’t rely on looks alone. Filters only remove solid particles from your pool’s water. This means oils, pathogens or bacteria may be lurking as dissolved contaminants in your pool. The only way to ensure total sanitization of your pool is with a chemical maintenance program.

Stay on top of your pool’s cleanliness with the help of Kelly’s Pool Care.

Keep Your Pool Clear and Clean

Let us set you up with the right filter and chemical maintenance program.