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Swimming Pool Spa And Filter Types: Cartridge

June 24, 2019

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Pool and Spa Filter Types: Cartridge

In this series, we have been exploring the various different types of filtration equipment you can use for you pool and spa. We have already covered sand filters here and Diatomaceous Earth here, and this week we will be exploring the world of cartridge filters. We will cover the following information:

  • How Does a Cartridge Pool Filter Work?

  • The Benefits of Cartridge Pool Filters?

  • The Cons of a Cartridge Pool Filter

  • Cartridge Filter "Need To Knows"

  • Should I install a Cartridge Filter For My Pool?


How Does a Cartridge Pool Filter Work?

A cartridge filter works much the same way the cabin air filter works in your car. Cartridges, that look much like your cabin air filter, are inserted into your cartridge filter system and the water is then passed through those cartridges. The cartridge itself is made up of tiny fibers that are woven together in such a way that the fibers capture the matter that passes through them. This simple form of filtration is actually very, very effective!


What is So Good About Cartridge Pool Filters?

Cartridge filters are capable of filtering down to 15 microns, which is 10-35 microns smaller than sand filters are capable of filtering out. To get more of a visual of what that looks like, check out this link here. But needless to say, 15 microns is a very good filtration power!

Cartridge filters are also the filter type that many operators choose because of its lighter ecological footprint. Cartridge filters use VERY little water to clean. This is because cartridge filters don't require any backwashing to be cleaned. In fact, you can end up using up to 90% less water to clean your cartridge filter annually than if you were to use a sand filter. That about of water saved is great for the environment, but it is also wonderful on your pocket book!

Cartridge filters generally also require less "babysitting" than other filter types as well. This is because you really only need to swap the cartridges once the filter gauge reads 8-10 psi over the starting pressure after the last time you swapped the cartridges. This could be anywhere between once a week to once a year. That's right, once a year! 

Finally, cartridge filters actually take up very, very little space physically, making them a preferred choice for operators who have very little space in their pump rooms. That pump room, or sometimes pump closet, can be very cramped, so having more space is a great thing when it comes to tight quarters like some of us are working in. 


What Are The Cons of a Cartridge Pool Filter?

Believe it or not, there are very few cons when operating with a cartridge filter for your pool or hot tub. Really, the only downfall to a cartridge filter is the fact that the cartridges will need to be replaced when they start showing any wear, tears or rips. These cartridges can be somewhat pricey, but in the long run, the money saved on the water bill from using a cartridge filter more than makes up for the cost of the cartridge replacement costs. 


Cartridge Filter "Need To Knows"

There are a few things that you will help you when using your cartridge filters, or will help you make a more informed decision when weighing cartridge filters against other filter types.

  1. You will need to use a cleaning agent when soaking your cartridge filters during cleaning. Yes, the cartridges do need to be soaked as part of the cleaning process, so be sure to have a vessel that can be used to house those cartridges when soaking them. 
  2. You will need to have two sets of cartridges for your system, so you can continue to filter even when one set is being cleaned. 
  3. NEVER use acid to clean your cartridges!
  4. Check regularly for tears or breaks in the filter cartridges. These tears and rips mean it is time to replace the cartridges. 
  5. Bag up your cartridges once you have cleaned them when they are not being used in the filter. This will prevent your filters from becoming dirty from dust and debris that might be floating in the air where you have those filters stored.


Should I Use a Cartridge Filter For My Pool?

As you have just read, there are many, many benefits and few sacrifices to a cartridge filtration system but there are some final things to keep in mind before you take the plunge into the world of cartridge filtration. Remember that cartridge filters do not always play well with clarifiers as the clarifier can get gummed up in the mesh fibers within your filter. So if you are a heavy clarifier user you may want to use a different filter media. It is also good to know though, that there a many other non-clarifier ways to clear up cloudy pools. In fact, we explore those ways in this article here


How Do I Learn More? 

There are a ton of choices out there when it comes to pool and hot tub equipment in general! The best way to get educated about your pool and hot tub's needs is by taking a CPO® (Certified Pool Operator) class through Pool Training Academy. We proudly certify more people than any other CPO® Certification program in the world so you can know you are getting the best education possible. In fact, your state may even require that you get CPO® certified to operate your pool and hot tub, so why not get certified by the most trusted CPO® Certified group worldwide? Click here to sign up for your next CPO® Class.


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