For many years on the Treasure Coast the most popular choice among builders has been Cartridge filters. Some argue that cartridge filters are too small, they don't filter the water well enough, the list goes on and on. The facts still remain that Cartridge filters are here, they work very well, they are very affordable and you can get a replacement element at just about any pool store. This is our choice when it comes to pool water filtration. These filters are simple, you open them with no tools, remove the cartridge, hose it off, then put it back into the canister. There is little margin for error and pretty much anyone can work on.
The absolute best choice for the clearest water would have to be a DE or Diatomaceous Earth filter. The reason why the DE type filter is the best choice is that it filters down to 5 microns. To put this in perspective a grain of sand is about 1000 microns. You can see that a DE type filter does the best job when it comes to water clarity. The reason why most builders and service companies do not offer DE Filters in our market is likely the amount of parts needed for repairs on the filters as the filter ages. On DE Filters you will have a tank clamp, bolt, nut, washer. Then you have a multi-port valve so you can select where the water will go, the multi-port valve can have a whole host of problems. When you get into the inside of the filter you will have grids, a manifold, breather, metal rod(s) and bottom grid holder. When troubleshooting a DE Filter you need time which costs money. Most clients opt to replace older DE Filters with Cartridge filters for the ease of maintenance. If you are absolutely ok with costly repairs and insist on a DE Filter we will be happy to install one for you.
Sand filtration is nothing new and it is also very effective. Sand filters will effectively filter down to 20 microns. Even though the DE Filter will filter better 20 microns is still excellent. I've seen 5-10 sand filters on the Treasure coast. There must be more but they are not very popular here. One reason is probably that Sand filters are very large in diameter to carry as replacements. Then you will need to carry several bags of sand and gravel to bed the filter after installation. This adds another whole element to the installation which will also add cost. If our equipment pads where the pump, filter, salt system are located was bigger....I could see Sand Filters making a come back but not likely anytime soon on the Treasure Coast.
Cartridge filters are the easiest to work on, simplest to fix, easiest acquire parts for.
DE Filters are the best money can buy but you are looking at very costly repairs, lots of different parts that need to be in stock to fix and you need a qualified tech to service the filter yearly, meaning take it apart, clean it, inspect it and reassemble it.
Sand Filters are great because they are environmentally friendly, they don't need DE Powder to work, just sand. If they had a smaller footprint they would be a go to filter for our market as a Cartridge alternative.