How to pick the best pool filter?
There is no real science or recommendation when it comes to picking the best pool filter. As you’ll see, there are different types of them that can suit a variety of needs, and it really boils down to what you’re looking for in a pool filter. Aside from the type of filter, there are a few other factors to consider as well, such as your pool system, filter flow rate, filter size, ease of installation, its durability, and, of course, its price. Understanding a bit more about all of these features will help inform you better so that you have more knowledge when shopping for the right pool filter for you.
Type of pool filter
As you’ve already seen from our products, there are three types of pool filters: sand, cartridge, and D.E. Choosing the right filter is simply a matter of choice for you.
Sand filters are, by far, the most commonly used pool filter, and they tend to be more affordable than the other ones. As the name suggests, this type of filter contains sand with a drain pipe at the bottom of the tank where the water can go through the sand, depositing any impediments behind. They’re easy to maintain, but lots of water can be wasted when trying to clean it.
Cartridge pool filters are more energy and cost-efficient, and you can save more water using this filter. However, maintaining them can be more tedious since you have to manually take out the cartridges to wash them. A great example of such a product is the Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump.
Lastly, the D.E. filters are the most expensive but are also the most dependable filters. The D.E. powder does an excellent job of filtering out even the most microscopic of elements to keep your pool crystal clear. The Hayward EC65A Perflex D.E. Pool Filter is a premium product that can help you to keep water in your pool crystal clear.
Your pool system
The type of pool you have as well as the size of the pool matter when it comes to finding the right pool filter. There are filters for two types of pools: above-ground and in-ground pools. The best pool filters are specifically made and designed for a certain pool system, and thus, your pool needs to be of a certain type to be able to install it. Another important factor here is the size of your pool.
The size of your pool is important because if you have a bigger pool and you purchase a smaller pool filter, your filter will definitely struggle to keep your pool water cleared.
If you buy a bigger filter, it won’t matter as much, but you definitely want to find the right pool filter for the size pool you have. The Rx Clear Radiant 24 Inch Sand Filter System can be a nice option as it comes in various sizes and can be installed on both above-ground and in-ground pools.
The flow rate refers to the amount or volume of water that can pass through its pipe. This figure can be expressed either as gallons per minute (GPM) or gallons per hour (GPH). Thus, it’s vital that you know exactly the type of pipe you have and the maximum allowable GPM or GPH as this will help determine its maximum allowable capacity of water to flow through.
The best pool filters from our list vary in terms of their flow rate. There are some that produce standard GPH figures which are in the 2500-3000 range, but there are also others that are more high-powered and some pool filters, like the Pentair 180009 FNS Plus D.E. Pool Filter, have a GPH of 7,200. What this means is that it is able to clear larger pools effortlessly.
The sand pool filter is the smallest type out among three types we’ve evaluated by far, and it can range in diameter between 1-5 feet. It comes in the shape of a ball, and, as its filter name suggests, is filled with sand. As for how much sand it can hold, it really depends on the type of sand pool filter you end up buying. Depending on this parameter, it can hold anywhere from 40-300 pounds of sand. As for the other types of filters, the same rule applies here – the bigger the filter is, the more water it can process.
The great thing about having a sand filter is that it requires almost no maintenance, and the sand should last you anywhere from 5-10 years before you’ll need to replace it.
The sand in the filter is meant to trap particles that range in size from 20-100 microns. As these particles are caught by the sand over the years, the sand itself begins to wear down. Thus, the more sand you have in your tank, the longer this trapping process will continue. The Hayward W3S220T ProSeries Sand Filter is a great option that can be found in various sizes to fit your pool.
Ease of installation
Generally speaking, the installation of your pool filter is not incredibly difficult, but still, it can be time-consuming. You can expect the installation process to take anywhere between 1-4 hours. That said, you want to be absolutely sure you get it right the first time so that you avoid any problems in the future.
If you’re installing the pool filter for the first time, the most important thing to know is where to put the filter. There really is no ideal spot, but you’ll want to put it in a place that is easily accessible for you and where you can easily connect the water lines. You’ll also want to ensure the pool filter stands on a solid surface and not on something like grass. Some of the best pool filters come with an easy-to-follow filter assembly kit, and if your model doesn’t, it is not hard to put it together yourself, which you’ll have to do before connecting the filter to the piping system.
Just about all pool filters come with a detailed installation manual, and it’s critical that you follow each step and ensure they are completed before using the pool filter.
To avoid the fuss with the installation, you can try the Rx Clear Radiant 24 Inch Sand Filter System. You will get it running in almost no time.
When you’re spending hundreds and even over a thousand dollars for one of the best pool filters, you’re definitely going to want one that is will last you a few years. Thankfully, just about all of these pool filters are made to last and have solid durability.
Because companies know that these pool filters are going to be sitting outside, many of them are resistant to the weather. For instance, the Hayward W3S220T ProSeries Sand Filter is corrosion-resistant, meaning that it holds up well when its surface interacts with chemicals in your pool (chlorine). A result of this is that it will not rust and will hold up fine.
Another durable feature of these pool filters is its resistance to UV rays. Since it’s going to sit outside all day, probably in the sun, if you live in warmer climates, your pool filter has to suit that. That is why plenty of them are UV-resistant and can handle the effects of the sun well.
What else can be important?
There are a few other considerations you should take into account when it comes to operating your pool filter.
The pressure gauge allows you to be able to check on your pool filter’s pressure to ensure that it is kept at a proper level. Pool filters need specific amounts of pressure inside their tanks to work properly. If the pressure is too high or low, the filter will likely end up not working as it should, or it can even damage your filter and tank altogether.
Another thing you’ll want to make a note of is the multi-way valve. This valve essentially tells the water where it needs to go. While your pool filter’s primary function is to filter out the sediments and residue in your water, it can also do a few other things too, and these other functions are controlled by this multi-way valve. Examples of these other functions include backwash and rinsing.
Like any product that has a variety of options to pick from, the pool filters can come with different price tags. This drastic difference in prices is great for shoppers of all types of preferences.
If the price is not an issue, you can go for something like the Pentair Triton II Side Mount Filter TR100, which will cost a hefty $1000. For those who are thriftier and want a more cost-effective pool filter option, our Best Value pick, the Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is a fantastic choice since it comes in at an incredibly low price of only $65! As you can see, that is quite the range of prices!
However, most of the best pool filters tend to be on the lower end of this range, and you can easily find one under $500 that is both cost-effective and superb in quality. There is no better option, in our opinion, than our Editor’s Choice, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above-Ground Pools that costs about $130.