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Pool Maintenance

Filter Types

Along with the pool pump, a filter is an essential part of your pool equipment. There are two common types of filters that are currently sold in Australia, Sand Filters and Cartridge Filters.

Both types of filter do the important job of filtering fine particles and removing other contaminants (dust, dirt, hair, oils) from your pool, but both are different in their effectiveness and maintenance

Sand Filters

Sand filters use sand or glass as the medium for filtering. Sand can trap particles as small as 20-25 microns, Glass media can achieve much finer and can filter particles down to 2-5 microns. As a comparison, a grain of table salt is 100 micron, human hair is approx 75 microns and we can see a 40 micron dirt particle (with good eyesight).

As particles become trapped in the sand or glass, it restricts water flow. The filter will need to be back-washed approximately once per month to remove the build-up of collected contaminants.


  • Easy maintenance (backwashing & rinsing);
  • Inexpensive over the life of the filter (no cartridges to replace);
  • Sand media lasts 5-6 years;
  • Glass media has 10-12 year life (made from recycled glass & can trap particles as fine as 2-5 microns).


  • Requires backwashing and rinsing;
  • Wastes water through backwashing and rinsing;
  • Sand media can only filter down to 20-25 microns;
  • Requires the most pressure, making it less energy efficient.

Cartridge Filters

The cartridge filter uses a paper-like cartridge to filter the pool water, trapping particles down to 10 microns in size. A cartridge filter uses less water pressure to work, so there is less strain on the pump. After time the collected particles in the cartridge will restrict water flow and the cartridge will need to be cleaned or replaced.

Manufacturers recommend that cartridges are removed and cleaned monthly. This can be done with a hose and or soaking the cartridge in a mild detergent solution and afterward rinsing thoroughly.


  • No backwashing;
  • Performs well at lower speeds (perfect for variable-speed pumps);
  • Greater surface area for filtering fine particles as small as 10 microns;
  • Helps conserve water.


  • More maintenance than sand filters;
  • Need to replace filter cartridges (approx every three years);
  • No ability to vacuum to waste (without valves being plumbed-in);
  • Have to deep-clean the cartridges 1-2 times per year.

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