Each of the three main varieties of pool filter has something to offer pool owners. Sand filters are prized for their convenience and affordability. Cartridge filters are appreciated for their energy efficiency and effectiveness. The final type of pool filter we’ll be considering today in our series on pool filter options is the Diatomaceous Earth or DE Filtration system.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters
The DE filter employs the use of grids lined with a fossil powder known as diatomaceous earth. These grids draw contaminants out of your pool water. To set up the DE filter system you’ll need to mix the powder with water to get it to dissolve so it doesn’t get caught on the grids, but rather forms an even coating.
Detailed in the following list are some of the biggest pros and cons of using a DE filter in your pool.
Advantages of DE Filters
Another advantage to a DE filter is that you can directly add the diatomaceous earth powder through your pool’s filter.
2. Maximum Efficiency
DE filters can effectively filter out debris that is as small as three microns. This is far more efficient than the sand filters which only go down to 20 microns or even the cartridge filters that filter debris down to five microns in size. You can enjoy sparkling clean, healthy water in your pool if you use a DE filter.
Disadvantages of DE Filters
1. DE filters are more difficult to maintain than sand filters
These filters are a bit tricky to use because they require pool owners to premix the DE with water before applying it to the grid. They also require frequent backwashing. The backwashing process is also less simple for a DE filter when compared to a sand filter. It requires draining the DE from the filter after allowing time for the filter to charge. After charging, allowing the filter to fill up with debris, and letting the pressure rise, you need to drain out the DE and replace it, along with charging it a second time. You can expect to need to clean a DE around four times a year if you use your pool all year long. If you select a DE filter for your pool, check the manufacturer’s instruction manual for cleaning tips and to discover the recommended chemicals specifically recommended for your unit.
2. DE Filters Require Frequent Replacement of DE
You need to replace the DE in the filter more often than you do the sand in a sand filter. That means greater expense and hassle.
3. Backwashing Could be Prohibited or Regulated by Municipal Codes
Before investing in a DE filter, checking to see if your city has any sort of legal regulations about backwashing would be a wise idea. Many cities are concerned about backwash water disposal and have passed laws about how and where it can be disposed of legally.
4. Water Waste Potential
As with sand filters, the backwashing process can tend to cause water to be removed from the pool that will then need to be replaced. This could also cause chemical imbalances in the pool, so you’ll want to monitor your pool’s water level and chemicals after backwashing should you choose this filter option.
5. DE Filters are the Most Expensive
If you’re looking for an economical choice, the DE filter probably wouldn’t be high on your list. It tends to be pricier than both the sand filter and the cartridge filter.
Different types of filters appeal to different pool owners based on personal preferences. If you’re interested in maximum efficiency, the DE filter is your best choice. If you want the next most efficient and you don’t want to deal with backwashing and water waste, the cartridge filter could be right for you. If you prefer a low cost, low maintenance filter that will last a long time, you may want to consider a sand filter. Though there’s no filter that’s ideal for every pool owner, looking through this list of pros and cons can help you make an informed choice.
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