Translate to:

Cartridge Filters - Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down?

  • Rating: 5 after 5 votes
I am doing an analysis of filters and am seeking feedback from the members on Cartridge Filters. Specifics such as if you use them, your business location (city,state)  and what your overall opinions (real or perceived) and performance observations of them are. Even if you have never installed one, a response as to why you do not use them would also be most helpful. The study has to do with water conservation and increasing swimming pool pump efficiencies and is not manufacturer related. Thanks for your input.

Views: 12871

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My pool builder installed a Jandy CL340 cartridge filter for my 16,000 gallons pool around 8 years ago and generally installs cartridge filters for pools in our area.  This is an oversized 4-cart filter that combined with my opaque electric safety cover has me needing to clean the filter only once a year so very minimal water waste.  The pressure doesn't have any noticeable rise over a season.  As you note, it is very efficient with low head even at higher flow rates.  Cartridge filters are recommended where I live since we are under occasional water restrictions (San Rafael, Marin County, California) and water is expensive at higher tiers (tier 3 and 4 rates are $14 to $20 per CCF -- hundred cubic feet or 748 gallons).  Since we don't get summer rains in our area and since I don't have to backwash the filter and only clean it once a year, I use winter rain overflow to dilute the pool water.  With the pool cover that eliminates evaporation (except when open), this means the pool uses very little city water.

 

The water is very clear (see here and here) though has small floaters visible at night in beam of underwater lights which probably would not be seen using a DE filter, for example.  I am very happy with the filter and am very glad that it is oversized so that I don't have to clean it often since that is a bit of a pain.

 

For residential pools I can see where cartridge filters can work well, but for large pools such as many commercial and public pools the high flow rate requirements pretty much force one to sand or similar (recycled crushed glass) filters, plus such high bather-load pools typically require more frequent filter cleaning which is obviously much easier with backwashing of sand (or equivalent) filters.  Finally, high bather-load pools need much more water replacement so backwashing isn't as wasteful.  On the other hand, other techniques such as reverse osmosis (RO) could be used to clean the water rather than water replacement, but this is generally much more expensive.

 

If one is looking at energy efficiency for the circulation system, then one needs to look not only at the filter type, but also pipe size and types of plumbing components (high-tension spring check valves can be notorious at restricting flow, for example, so flapper check valves should be used instead), variable speed/flow pumps, and also placement of the solar system.  Putting a solar system on a roof significantly increases energy usage and costs due to the greater piping distance and the required head to prevent negative pressure near the highest point.

I was a big DE person for a long time.  Over recent years I have moved to suggestion quad cartridge filters because of the ease of maintenance and the water savings for customers.  I am located in the southeast so we suffer frequently from drought conditions.  Many municipalities in the southeast have also made it mandatory to use cartridge filters.

I would agree with Richard, As a Builder I almost exclusively utilized cartridge filters in thousands of residential swimming pools but as he stated in commercial pools I would not recommend them at all.

 

The flow rates through media filters are very good and with using variable or 2-speed pumps it just made a lot of sense.

 

From a service perspective and from experience I know many service professionals did not like them however in my opinion the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. With new pools I usually comped the customers with an additional set of filter cartridges so they could take the time to really clean them properly which gave them a fresh set when they needed cleaning. With service customers we just worked a deal with clients and recycled them for an additional charge rather then spend the time cleaning them onsite.

 

Additionally in Arizona as in many parts of the country backwashing can be a hassle with H/O associations and City restrictions, not to mention a serious waste of a precious natural resource.  

I live in South Carolina where sand filters are king for both commercial and residential pools.  In my opinion, sand filters are best suited for commercial pools whether using sand, zeolite, or glass as the media.  DE in commercial application doesn't seem to be the best option unless it is self contained like the filters manufactured by Vak Pak.  Vak Pak DE filters were very popular in Florida at a variety of commercial properties.  

 

My vote is for cartridge filters or DE in residential pools but there are issues with backwashing and of course wasted water with the DE.  We sold a ton of cartridge filters in my days in Florida and the new quad systems are terrific.

I'm a cartridge fan also.  I have seen cart filters go 2 years between cleaning (not that I recommend that!), and they are less of a water waster than DE tends to be.

 

My personal pool has the StaRite System3 Mod Media filter (450 SF), and I clean it every 6 months (I'm a bit anal about stuff like clean pool water!).  The carts are the originals, and are almost 9 years old.  They clean up well and have no tears or holes.  I know of these same filters that are on the original carts that are 15 years old, so they are durable (I like your idea of supplying an extra set to the customer though, Kevin!).

In years past, I always preferred DE filters, due to better filtration. But now with the availability to add a little cellulose fiber to coat the cartridge filters, I think they work well for all the reasons mentioned.   

That is a good point and will reduce the particles often seen at night in the water a little closer to that of a DE filter... So great idea to increase clarity and filter performance for those worried about that...

Kim Skinner said:

In years past, I always preferred DE filters, due to better filtration. But now with the availability to add a little cellulose fiber to coat the cartridge filters, I think they work well for all the reasons mentioned.   

I have used the StaRite Mod. Media (450 sq. ft.) many times. The key is to run the filters slow. I like about 60 gpm or so. I have seen a 16x32 vinyl pool run for three months without a 5 psi pressure rise on the gauge.

Oil will kill a cartridge filter. To defend against this, we reccomend using Pool Perfect every week. Do the math on the number of cap fulls and then add one more. Always be generous in the application of the Pool Perfect.

If you are looking at a large pool with a 2hp pump, then consider using a pair of the 450's with seperate valving and balanced piping.

Absolutely... throw in a 2-speed or variable speed pump and it is a perfect match...

Rob Lane said:

I have used the StaRite Mod. Media (450 sq. ft.) many times. The key is to run the filters slow. I like about 60 gpm or so. I have seen a 16x32 vinyl pool run for three months without a 5 psi pressure rise on the gauge.

Oil will kill a cartridge filter. To defend against this, we reccomend using Pool Perfect every week. Do the math on the number of cap fulls and then add one more. Always be generous in the application of the Pool Perfect.

If you are looking at a large pool with a 2hp pump, then consider using a pair of the 450's with seperate valving and balanced piping.

I agree with most of what has already been written here. Cartridge filters definitely have a role to play in our industry. The are great for spas and some residential pools. They are required in some areas where there is concern over DE in the sewers and storm drains. (It is heavy and clogs the pipes.) 

 

Be aware that most single cartridge filters (as opposed to the quads) have a spring operated pressure bypass valve. Thus, a small filter with a big pump means that some of your water will bypass the filter cartridge. This can be particularly frustrating when you are vacuuming the same dirt over and over and it keeps going through the bypass valve. This problem gets even worse when trying to recover the pool from an algae bloom, dust storm, forest fire ashes, etc.

Another vote for bypass awareness day! Most sand filters used are undersized and so people have issues. Size it for 10-12 gpm per sq.ft and it will perform great. Backwash on flow drops and probably once a month quickly in any event. Want to polish throw a cartridge on at 1/2gpm and it will rarely need a cleaning. Very minor cost in the big scheme of things.

 

Many filter systems I see have design or maintenance issues and so from up top you cant really tell what filter is being used.

I am a big cartridge fan myself.....depending on the market (drought or cost of water) I think they just make more sense.  Even if your market doesn't have a high cost on water, the cost of chemicals, salt, etc. will slowly bleed you all summer long.  Yes, you do lose some clarity, but I find adding a small amount of an additional media, like Fiber Clear helps filter the pool water down to a smaller micron.  For cost, I like the quad cartridge systems, but for longer life and easier cleaning the Sta Rite System 3 is the way to go. 

RSS

Sign in

E-mail

Password
 or Sign Up
By signing in, you agree to the amended Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Forgotten your password?

Latest Activity

PRECIOUS ROMEO is now a member of Pool Genius Network
9 hours ago
Adrien is now a member of Pool Genius Network
Sunday
Adrien shared Justin Childs's event on Digg
Sunday
Sandra Essien is now a member of Pool Genius Network
Friday
Justin Childs posted an event
Thumbnail

2017 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo at Orange County Convention Center

November 1, 2017 at 10am to November 3, 2017 at 2:30pm
The 2017 PSP Expo, the largest pool and spa industry event in North America, will be held this year…See More
Aug 11
D is now a member of Pool Genius Network
Aug 8
Profile IconYitz and S Grant joined Pool Genius Network
Aug 5
Brian Siegel posted a discussion

Pool Service Company Management Software

Hello, Looking to invest in a management software for my service company, we do not do construction…See More
Aug 3

© 2017   Created by PGN Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Offline

Live Video