Selecting The Right Pool Filter

Let’s Talk Pool Filters: “What Do You Want Removed?”

Keep your pool looking good, smelling nice, and feeling silky soft with the right water filtration. Understanding how different pool filters work makes it easier to choose the right one for your pool.

It’s A Trap: Your Filter’s Job

The filter traps all the particles that pass through the skimmer basket and the hair-and-lint pot. Any dirt particles that pass through your pool’s pipes are sifted out by your filter when the cleansed water continues back into your pool. All the fine dust, dirt, and sand particles are removed from the circulating water.

Interestingly, as your filter traps more debris and becomes dirtier, it actually becomes more efficient in trapping smaller and smaller debris.  Filters help keep your pool water looking beautifully blue and crystal clear. Remember though, just because the water looks clear doesn’t always mean the water is sanitized and pure.

Filters remove solid particles from your swimming pool water. However, you do need to be aware; filters do not remove dissolved contaminants, such as oils, bacteria, or disease-causing pathogens.  When it comes to that phase of keeping your pool clean, you need a good chemical maintenance program—either by using chlorine, running an ozonator, or better still, a mineral-salt-fed chlorine generator.

Size Does Matter: It Is All About The Microns

When it comes to filtration, the smaller the particle removed the cleaner your water. The best filters remove impurities you cannot see with the naked eye—but you might notice if there were enough impurities to make the water cloudy. To measure impurities, a unit called a micron is used. A micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter (1/1,000,000 m), or 0.0000394 of an inch. The human eye can see as small as about 35 microns without magnification.

To help you understand the micron better, here are the thicknesses of some common things:

  • One inch equals 24,500 microns
  • Human hair is between 50-70 microns thick
  • A grain of fine beach sand is about 90 microns
  • Pollen is between 30-50 microns thick
  • Ragweed is between 17-23 microns thick
  • Typical atmospheric dust measures between 0.001-10 microns

Swimming pool filters are rated according to the size of microns they capture. The smaller the particles it can remove from the water, the lower the micron rating and the more efficient the filter. The smaller the particles being removed, the cleaner the water becomes. The cleaner the water, the more enjoyable the pool is.

Filter Types

Below you’ll note descriptions of the three most common types of swimming pool filters. Once you understand the advantages of each, then you can consult with a Certified Pool Professional as to which filter system best suits your pool. The three types of filters are:

  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters
  • Cartridge filters
  • Sand filters

The Water Polisher

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters can strain out particles as small as 5 microns. DE is a white powder made from the skeletal remains of sea creatures, called diatoms. DE filters are constructed with internal grids. The DE coats the grids thereby forming a filtering mesh that removes any tiny pieces of debris in the water.

The Popular Cleaner

Cartridge Filters strain out particles as small as 10-20 microns. Cartridge filters are the newest of the swimming pool filters and are also the simplest to maintain, which is why they are so popular.

Cartridge filters closely resemble a car’s air filter (pleated polyester cloth), except that pool filters are much larger. As water passes through the pleated material, dirt particles and debris are trapped in the pleats.

Cartridge filters are available in a wide range of sizes, depending on the size of your pool.  When properly sized, they don’t clog up as quickly and more water flows through them (more opportunity to filter out debris).  If a cartridge filter is sized right, it may be able to run the entire season without cleaning.

The Trusted Age-Old Filter

Sand Filters can strain out particles as small as 20-40 microns. A sand filter is the oldest and simplest filter in use. As far back as ancient times, sand was used to filter the famous Roman baths. Pool water passes through tiny openings in the sand. Dirt and other debris are trapped in the jagged edges of the sand particles, allowing clean water to pass through.

Filter Maintenance

DE Filters

The DE filter may be partially cleaned by backwashing (reversing the flow of water through the filter). The filter grids must be re-coated with new filter media (DE) after each backwashing. Since backwashing does not remove all of the dirt and debris from the filter, it is recommended to annually open the filter and chemically clean each grid individually.

There is a cost for media and periodic maintenance.  Because DE should not be disposed of into streams or sewers, most communities require a separate vessel to capture the backwashed DE and dirt in a bag for proper environmental disposal.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters are also designed to run at lower water pressure than sand or DE filters. The lower pressure puts less backpressure on the pump, often allowing you to downsize your pump for energy savings.  A new cartridge filter will start to strain out particles at about 20 microns, but can go down to as low as 5 microns. Generally these filters have to be cleaned once or twice a season by simply hosing them off.

Sand Filters

Sand filters have the highest micron rating (other filters trap smaller debris).  They start out at about 40 microns and go down to 20 microns over time—as with all filters, sand filters clean better the dirtier they get.  The only way to clean a sand filter is by backwashing. A good sand filter can go years on backwashing alone.  There are no grids to clean and no DE or sand to add—just backwash and go. 

Do Your Own Research, Then Get A Professional Opinion

It always helps to have a basic understanding of filters, so your discussion with a Certified Pool Professional—such as those at B&B Pool and Spa Center—can be fruitful and, most important, money-saving!


Keep Your Pool Crystal Clear The Easy Way

Generating Chlorine: The Easy Way To Keep Your Pool Crystal Clear 

One of the truly essential things you want when you own a pool is to have crystal clear, clean water. For generations the treatment for pools relied upon harsh chemical chlorine, which you had to buy, store at home, and handle frequently. New advancements have changed that. Now, you can have crystal clear, safe water automatically and never have to handle chlorine again!

Now you can simply use gentle mineral salt to be transformed into pure chlorine by an Electrolytic Chlorine Generator. By far the easiest and most convenient way to keep your pool water sparkling clean, the IntelliChlor®—it transforms gentle mineral salt into all the chlorine you will ever need, safely, effectively, and automatically.   No more buying, storing, or handling harsh chlorine!

You will appreciate the benefits of IntelliChlor® chlorine generation:

  • You get the same sanitation performance as adding chemical chlorine without the drawbacks
  • You don’t need to buy, transport and store expensive chlorine compounds
  • You won’t have any more unpleasant odor, stinging eyes, irritated skin or bleached-out swimsuits
  • You get the right amount of automatically generated chlorine for your pool

Setting A New Standard in Chlorine Generator Technology

IntelliChlor® takes electrolytic chlorine generation to a higher level of convenience, reliability and safety. To appreciate why the IntelliChlor® generator is better it will helps to understand how it works.

Mineral salt (sodium chloride & other minerals) is added directly to the pool water where it dissolves. It takes less than a teaspoon of mineral salts per gallon of pool water. The dissolved salt flows through the Intellichlor® generator where it is converted to pure chlorine—which is then evenly distributed throughout the pool.

The chlorine does its job sanitizing the water, keeping it fresh, clear and safe. Unlike conventional chlorine products that must be constantly replenished, the mineral salt is recycled continuously, which softens the water and reduces pool maintenance. The IntelliChlor® generator even keeps itself clean. It automatically reverses cycling to prevent scale build-up for longer cell life.

Simple, Safe, Automatic

Monitoring chlorine production is easy with the IntelliChlor® chlorine generator. Its controls and displays are built right into the unit. IntelliChlor® is the only chlorine generator to provide you with this helpful feedback. You simply select from any of five sanitizing levels to easily manage the chlorine addition you need for your pool.

  • Easy-to-view displays enable fast checking of salt levels, generator cleanliness, sanitizer output and water flow
  • Adjustments are as easy as pressing two buttons
  • All performance data—production settings, hours of operation, chlorine output, cell cleaning cycles, salt readings and water temperature averages—are captured daily, making it easy to maintain perfect water
  • The exclusive IntelliChlor® tracking display shows the remaining hours of cell life in real-time
  • Integrated sensors in the generator cell ensure that water flow is adequate for safe chlorine generation
  • Ability to communicate with IntelliTouch®, EasyTouch®, and SunTouch® Automation Systems
  • Automatic shut-off feature engages in low water temperature conditions to protect the unit and prolongs its life
  • Warranty is in place for one full year

Reliability is Built In

The IntelliChlor® chlorine generator is engineered to stand up to the toughest pool conditions and provide years of dependable performance.

  • On-time cycling prevents calcium and scale build-up to maximize cell life.
  • Titanium electrode blades are coated with Ruthenium oxide, which catalyzes the chlorine production
  • Control electronics are isolated in the cell, away from high heat components, for longer cell life
  • Electronics are waterproofed for maximum reliability
  • UL Approved rugged, dependable, durable power supply/transformer
  • Unit comes with 15 feet of UL approved cable with easy installation via quick connector on power supply
  • Quick release coupling connections make replacing salt generating cells fast and easy

Engineered for Safety

The IntelliChlor® chlorine generator meets important standards for safety.

  • Power supply cell and electronics meet to UL 1081 Standard requirements—the industry standards for pool chlorine generators
  • Power supply has a flammability rating of UL 94 V-O, which means it will extinguish burning in 10 seconds after the ignition source is removed.

An Eco Select™ Brand Product

IntelliChlor® is an Eco Select™ brand product—the “greenest” and most efficient equipment choice available. It saves energy, conserves water, eliminates noise, and is an environmentally responsible chlorine generator. Using the IntelliChlor® eliminates the need to buy, store and add chlorine manually. Fewer resources are used in the production, packaging and transportation of harsh chemical compounds.

  • Generating chlorine eliminates the strong odor, stinging eyes and irritated skin caused by additives in standard packaged chlorine
  • Chlorine is generated in your pool and therefore not manufactured or transported thus reducing emissions and energy

Come into B&B’s showroom and see for yourself and all the advantages of the patented Intellichlor®.