Which pool filter is better: sand or cartridge?

Summer is fast approaching us, and it is about time to break out the pool! But how do you plan on keeping your pool clean this summer?

One question we commonly get asked from customers is what filtration system should I get for my above ground pool: sand filter or cartridge filter? That’s where we come in here at VMInnovations!

Sand Filters


Sand filters have been around for a long time and filter the water by cycling it through fine granulated sand. They generally don’t need to be cleaned as often as cartridge filters and go through a process called backwashing, which reverses the water flow and flushes away any dirt and unwanted particles. Backwashing is necessary based on pressure gauge readings from the pump. Sand filters can work non-stop for days, sometimes weeks, before backwashing is necessary, so the maintenance level is very easy.

Cartridge Filters


A cartridge filter is usually much smaller than a sand filter, and they use paper filters that look like tubes to catch particles. Most cartridge filters are considered to clean better than sand filters, but cleaning them is a much different process and will require more maintenance. The filter housing must be disassembled and each cartridge inside must either be replaced or hosed off by hand to remove dirt and debris.



With proper cleaning, the sand inside your sand filter can generally last 5 to 8 years before being replaced. This depends on the size of your pool and the amount of debris it filters daily. On the other hand, the individual filters inside the cartridge system usually need cleaned or replaced every 2-4 weeks.

Overtime, cartridge filters will usually cost more money and require more maintenance than sand filters, but they tend to keep your water cleaner. While both filters do a great job of filtering particles from getting into your pool, it seems you’ll need to decide between easy maintenance or cleaner water. We’ll let you be the judge on that!

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  1. 1

    it doesn’t matter which pool filter media You choose. A few Things which decrease your maintenance cost of your pool sand filter media are: Regular check the Filter basket and Remove dirt material and change filter sand when you thing, system is not proper cleaned water

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