Pool Filters

 

How to Choose Your Pool Filter System

Keeping pools clean is more than just an aesthetic endeavour. Stagnant pool water is a potential health hazard because it can increase the risk of mosquitoes and ticks, which are major disease vectors. There’s also the potential risk of bacterial infections that range from inconvenient to life-threatening. The best way to avoid that is to get the right pool filter and maintain it regularly. 

Importance of a Pool Filter

It’s important to understand the basics of how these maintenance systems work to clean your pool. When you look at the size of the filter, you’ll see the measurement in microns. A micron is one-millionth of a metre, or 0.001 millimetres. To put that measurement in context, the width of a human hair is approximately 50 microns, while household dust is about 4 microns. Chemicals like chlorine are staples in pool maintenance, because they're effective against bacteria growth, and the pool’s filter system removes those dead bacteria and dirt, reducing cloudiness. 

Filter Types

There are three basic types of filters you can use to clean your pool. 

Diatomaceous earth, D.E., filters are composed of fossilized diatoms, which are organisms whose skeletons are made of silica. This type of filter traps contaminants that are 5 microns, and the powder can be used effectively with the pool skimmer. These filters are considered high-maintenance because grid replacement happens every couple of years. 

Sand filters are good for large pools. These work by pulling water in from the skimmer and pushing it through a tank full of sand. The grains have prickly edges and act like needles that lance particles that are at least 20 microns. This kind of pool filter cleaner is easier to maintain than the D.E., and the sand lasts for about five to seven years. 

Cartridge filters are cylinders of pleated polyester with capped ends, so they look like standing paper rolls. Water flows through the pleats, which capture 10-micron contaminants. They’re easy to maintain. You just use a chemical cleaner and hose them down every six to twelve months. Cartridge filters last about two or three years and work well with lower-speed pumps, helping you to use less water. 

The Math Behind Sizing Your Pool Properly

To find the right pump, you need to know the cubic meters per hour, m3/h. With that figure, you can know the pump size you need and, by extension, the filter size. First, you find the area and depth of your pool. The formula for the area depends on the shape of your pool, such as rectangular, circular or a combination. To find the pool depth in metres, you just average the depths of the shallow and deep ends. The product of the area and depth provides the volume in cubic metres.  

To go from volume in cubic metres to m3/h, you need to consider how long you want your pump to run. For home pools, an eight-hour maximum is normal, so you divide the volume by 8. 

Pump and Filter Sizing

The distance between your pool and pump, known as metres of head, affects your m3/h rate; the farther apart they are, the lower the m3/h. You need to have a good idea of the metres of head as well as your m3/h to start looking through the manufacturer charts. When choosing a pool pump, go with one that has a slightly higher m3/h rate than your calculation. Once the pump is chosen, the pool filter has to be comparable. If it’s too small, not only will it break, but your pump will burn out. When you check the filter sizes from Walmart.ca, remember that it’s best to err on the side of getting a filter that’s rated slightly larger than your pool’s m3/h.

Watch Your Water Pressure

Once your filter system is running, one thing you’ll want to check is the water pressure gauge. It’s a good idea to check that number during the start so you have a baseline to compare with during routine checks. If the pressure is lower than normal, there’s probably blockage before the filter, while higher pressure indicates clogging past the filter or perhaps a problem with the return valve. 

 

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