Can I use a sand filter with saltwater pool system?

Filling the pool with salt water is becoming more fashionable and famous. The salt water pool owners very often have the question of “Can I use a sand filter with saltwater pool system?

On one hand, that sand filters could not provide you with sufficient purification in the salt water pool system.

On the other hand, there are more effective cleaning methods for the saltwater pool system. For example, cartridge filters and the Diatomaceous Earth (D.E) filter. They also have their disadvantages.

And in this article, we will analyze information about filters that work great in salt water systems continue reading for some helpful tips and advice.

Can I Use A Sand Filter With Saltwater Pool System?

Of course, pool owners can use sand filters to clean your salt water pool, but it is worth remembering that it is not as effective compared to other cleaning filters.

It is because they can purify water only from those contaminants that have a size of 10 to 20 microns.

However, this can be quite a profitable option if, for example, you want to choose affordable sand filters.

What Other Pool Filters Can You Use For A Salt water Pool?

Below we compare three salt water pool filters options for saltwater pool and their ability to remove particles measured in micrometers.

NOTE: 1 micron = one-millionth of a meter. For comparison, a white blood cell is about 25 microns.

Sand Filter

Recognized as the most practical and reliable, sand filters are increasingly used for cleaning private and public swimming pools, the demand for these products is constantly growing.

But it is impossible to call sand filters universal and the best. When choosing this option, owners should familiarize themselves with all the features of the sand filters.

Cleaning is carried out according to the scheme:

after turning on the pump, the contaminated pool’s water collected through the skimmer is directed into the container with sand, passes from top to bottom, leaving garbage there, and returns.

As the impurities settle in the sand, more and more pressure is required to pass water inside. At a critical value, the arrow on the pressure gauge indicator turns into the red zone. This serves as a signal to switch the device to the backwash mode. After its passage, the position of the valve changes, and the pool filter returns to work.

The sand filter provides filtration down to 40 microns in size compared to de filters that provide filtration down to 5 microns in size. Filter sand can last 5-10 years between changes, giving you an economic filter system.

There are pros and cons of sand filters below.

  • affordable cost of equipment, components, and sand filler;
  • fast and high-quality purification from any insoluble particles with sizes over 25 microns (from 5 microns when filling glass sand into the filter);
  • ecological purity and chemical inertness of the filter material;
  • ease of installation and maintenance;
  • a rich selection of models, the possibility of full automation of processes.
  • high water consumption during mandatory washing of the filler and the duration of this process;
  • inability to retain soluble organic matter and excessively fine particles;
  • the dependence of the performance and quality of water filtration on the weight and dimensions of the device.

Cartridge Filter

A cartridge filter is a salt water pool purification device equipped with a replaceable filter element. The filler cartridge is placed in a flask made of inert material.

The pool filter material depends on the manufacturer’s preferences and the water purification quality. Filter paper, polyester, or polypropylene granules are used as a filler. It detains contamination with sizes of 20-50 microns. Cartridge filters with a higher degree of purification require frequent replacement.

A cartridge filter system will provide mid-level filtration and are ideal for residential pools.

Cleaning is carried out according to the scheme:

The pool pump supplies contaminated water to the filter. It passes through the filler cartridge.

Large mechanical particles are retained on the surface of filter paper or polypropylene fibers. Clean water flows back into the pool bowl.

The cartridge filters system needs to be cleaned and rinsed to remove impurities. It is increases the service life of its filler. The manufacturer specifies the frequency of maintenance in the technical documentation for the device.

There are pros and cons of the cartridge filter system below.

  • considered the most budget option;
  • compact dimensions;
  • ability to do no noise during filtration;
  • filtering and installing easy;
  • ease of replacing the filler, washing it – no need to involve specialists;
  • operate for a long-time.
  • need frequent flushing – every 3-10 days;
  • frequent replacement of cartridges – this significantly increases the cost of filtration and operation of the pool;
  • only mechanical pool’s water purification;
  • need to buy additional disinfection products, flocculants, preparations for removing salt deposits on the walls of the bowl.

The only significant drawback of all of the above in this equipment is the frequent replacement of the cartridge. Its service life ranges from 10 days to 1 year, depending on the filler and the manufacturer.

D.E. Filter

The diatomaceous filter for the pool is considered the highest quality in it. The water passes through several stages of purification. This filter works with a unique filler – diatomaceous earth mixture, made from microscopic particles of fossil plankton.

The filter is the most reliable but, at the same time, the most expensive among all types of mechanical filters.

Since the silicon in the mixture participates as an absorbent. It disinfects pool water, kills bacteria and algae, and removes fermentation. Microorganisms do not develop in water purified with silicon dioxide, the lining surface is not covered with mucus.

  • Best filtration.
  • Practically no use of chemistry is required.
  • Water is saturated with beneficial properties for the body.
  • The salt water does not bloom and has no smell.
  • Maintenance of the pool, with such filtering systems, is minimal.
  • Refers to self-cleaning filters in which the diatomic layer of the mixture is preserved
  • Expensive.
  • The contents of the earth mixture are toxic. It must be disposed of correctly.
  • Complete replacement of the mixture is required every six mont

Choosing A Sand Filter

Do You Need To Add A Filter To A Salt water Pool?

Many people think that if there is a saltwater pool that contains salt in its composition, you automatically get rid of all the microbes and algae you may contain in your swimming pool. However, it is worth knowing that this is not the truth.

Salt, which contains chlorine, does not kill all microbes and will not save you from the appearance of algae, pollution. You still need to have a pool filter to ensure the pool is clean enough.

When choosing a sand pool filter, it is necessary to consider many factors. And here are some of them.

Your pool size

Now you have to check whether your sand filter can purify the volume of water that your saltwater pool contains. Otherwise, you risk getting an insufficiently cleaned pool. So it would help if you had a more powerful pool filter for larger pools.

You need about 1 square inch of filtration for every 1,000 gallons of water, so an 18,000-gallon saltwater pools need an 18-inch sand filter tank, a 23,000-gallon saltwater pools need a 23-inch sand filter tank, and so on.

Inground/Above ground pools

First, check whether your sand pool filter is suitable for your pool type. After all, sand filters can sometimes be suitable only in the in-ground pool, the above-ground pool, or both.

Gallons per hour of filtration

intex pool

Also very important: Pick a filter capable of filtering an amount of water every hour of operation that suits your saltwater pool size and the amount of time you will run your pump. So if you have a pool with 20,000 gallons and will run your pump 10 hours per day, you need a filter that can filter 2,000 gallons per day (20,000 gallons / 10 hours).

Your pool pump and piping

Now, suppose you have chosen a sufficiently robust filter whose performance characteristics correspond to the size and volume of the swimming pool. In that case, you also need to make sure that your pool pump and pipes are sufficiently powerful to filter such a volume of the pool’s water.

Where do you live?

Also, if you live, for example, in a frosty climate, it is worth checking whether it is possible to transfer and remove your filter every winter when there is no pool season. At the same time, you should consider that every such season you will have to replace the sand in the filter because transferring 200 lbs of sand into the room is not such an easy task.

How Much Should You Spend On A Saltwater Pool’s Sand Filter?

The thing that makes it very convenient is that you can choose any sand filter for a seawater pool, since in principle, in addition to the size and volume of the pool, you do not need to consider other characteristics. Usually, from 300 to 1000 US dollars are spent on a sand filter if we consider the size of the pool and the installation fee.

Why Do Saltwater Pools Not Need Chlorine But Require A Filter?

The gist of this question is that salt works in saltwater pools like a chlorine tablet. It is because salt naturally contains chlorine particles and kills germs in the pool. On the other hand, the swimming pool filter works like a vacuum cleaner. The chlorine contained in the salt will not be able to rid you of all impurities, but the filter, together with the salt, will work thoroughly as a protection against dirt and debris.


Obviously, pool owners can use the sand filter in the salt water pool if you remember some important things

– The sand filter is the most popular type of filter used among consumers, but the sand filter is not the best and not the most effective. Other filters can provide a higher degree of purification for saltwater pools, while the sand filter provides the lowest degree of purification.

– Also, most sand filters need a quite frequent cleaning, which is done by backwashing. This type of purification forces you to spend more water and is also able to disrupt the pool water chemistry in the saltwater pool.

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