Oftentimes, filters are not what you think of when you are planning the construction of your pool. Usually, it’s the extrinsic look and feel aspects that you pay attention to. The mechanical workings are left to the pool engineers or construction company handling the project. However, it is important that you consider the filtration systemand discuss it with your contractor.
Contrary to common belief, the pool filters do not sanitise the water – water sanitation is done by the chemicals used in the pool. The filter which is part of the filtration system is there to catch any debris and/or microbes from floating out to the pool and to keep water free of contaminants that can make you ill. You know the filter is doing a good job when the water is crystal clear.
There are two types of filters to choose from; cartridge filters and sand filters.
Sand filters:sand filters work out of a large tank that is made with either concrete or fibreglass or any other sturdy material. The tank contains a special type of sand that forms the heart of the filtration process. The sand usedis kiln-dried to get rid of any live contaminants like bacteria and also washed to get rid of dust and fine particle matter. When the pool filter is switched on, the pump sends the pool water via the filter’s inlet pipe to the tank, and then the water is pushed down through the sand in the tank, the sand traps any debris in the water as it gets pushed down and then the cleaned water gets released back to the pool via the outlet pipe.
The system needs a good cleaning periodically. With frequent use, dirt and build-up in the sand will slow down the filtration process at which point you have to backwash the filter. By doing this you make the sand filter clean again to make it ready to use again.To ensure the cleaning mechanism is working at its optimum, backwashing must be done about once a week. Sand in the tank only needs to be replaced every 5-10 years making it a cheaper option than cartridge filters.
Cartridge filters: the other option for a filter is a cartridge filter. Cartridge filters use a substance called diatomaceous earthas the filtering agent to take out debris or use spun polyester to do the job. The water is pushed into the tank similar to the way water is pushed into the tank when using a sand filter. Here a catcher collects or traps any debris and then the water is passed through the polyester or diatomaceous earth filters to let clean water back into the pool.
With a cartridge filter, cleaning buildup requires removing the filter to get rid of dirt. This is done by soaking the filter in a cleaning liquid for some time every 2-6 weeks. A cartridge filter will usually last 1-3 years after which it must be replaced.