Just like the kidneys are important to the human body, filters are also important to pools. The importance of pool filters cannot be overemphasized.
Maintaining your pool and having clean water in it is one sure way to keep yourself safe (personal) and also customers (commercial) coming. If you’re going to do that, you need to get the best pool filter that will work for your pool.
As much as there are several pool filters available, there are not many credible details to help out in decision-making. To help you procure the best pool filter, I have compiled a list of the top products you should be considering.
I’ve also made available some important details you need to know about pool filters, a buying guide, as well as, its maintenance practices.
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Benefits of Pool Filters
Regardless of whether you own a small or large pool, you are obliged to providing a safe environment for your pool’s users. If it is a commercial pool, nothing seems so embarrassing like having negative comments about your pool. For non-commercial pools, you won’t want to endanger your family.
With a pool filter, you can successfully make your pool cleaner and healthier. It is an effective filtrating procedure that can keep dirt, sand, germs and other unwanted materials from going into the pool. Of course, you might have used a chemical to control microbes in the water, you can still improve the water quality by screening them out.
The filtrating quality of a pool filter is often linked to the number of foreign bodies it's able to hold back. This characteristic is calculated in microns. The human hair is averagely 50 microns in diameter while bacteria can be as small as 2 microns. Obviously, a filter that can screen out bacteria will be more effective.
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Types of Pool Filters
As earlier stated, there are many pool filters in the market. However, they are segregated into categories to suit your preferences, budget, and the size and construction of your pool. The major categories are:
- Filtering mechanism/screen.
- Location of the pool.
Indeed, it’s all about filtering but there are different filtering systems employed by different pool filters. The filtration power of a product is often referred to as the pool filter micron rating. The lower the rating, the higher the filtration efficiency.
This criterion often determines the price of the pool filter, as well as, it’s long-term effects, cost, and maintenance.
1. Sand Pool Filters
This is the most common pool filter among pool owners. This is due to its low price. Pool filters that employ sand filtration are also low priced. In addition, sand pool filters require little maintenance.
The system works by passing water through a bed of sand. Most sand filters can effectively screen out particles as tiny as 20 microns. When the sand bed is loaded with dirt or debris, all you need to do is backwash.
The sand can last up to 5 years with intensive use. Common sands used include Filterglass, Zeosand, and Silica, with the latter being the best pool filter sand. Sand pool filters are also available in two types:
- Top-mount – The valve is positioned at the top of the device. They are cheaper than the side-mount sand pool filters. However, maintenance is a little more tedious since you have to detach the pipes first.
- Side-mount - In this case, the valve is positioned on the side of the sand pool filter. You do not have to detach the pipes before cleaning.
- They are cheap.
- They are very easy to manage and maintain.
- Can be used for up to 5 years.
- Needs to be cleaned regularly (backwashing and rinsing).
- May not be able to screen out particles smaller than 20 microns.
- The cleaning processes – backwashing and rinsing – wastes water a lot.
2. Cartridge Pool Filters
This type of pool filter involves passing water through a filter cartridge. They make use of cloth-like materials as their screen media. They are more effective and can remove particles as small as 10 microns.
The cartridge pool filters often have a large surface area for filtration; hence, they are usually slower. They consume less amount of energy.
- It is energy-efficient.
- It can remove particles as tiny as 10 microns.
- Can handle a large volume of water per hour.
- Requires no backwashing.
- Requires more cleaning.
- Must be replaced after 2 to 3 years.
- May be a little expensive.
3. Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filters (or DE Filters)
They are the most effective, possessing the best pool filter media, Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is made from fossilized materials grounded into powder and lined up in a grid. More like a mix of sand and cartridge filters. The DE filters can screen out the tiniest of particles that are as tiny as 5 microns. However, they require more maintenance.
- Can remove particles as tiny as 5 microns.
- Extremely reliable.
- Very expensive.
- Requires more maintenance.
Location of the Pool
Depending on your preference of usage and the intended location of your pool, pool filters are also available to give you both
- Above-ground use or,
- Under-ground use
What Is the Best Pool Filter?
Before delving in the detailed reviews, here are some highlighted best pool filters in 2020 you may like to see.
- Best Overall: Hayward C900 SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
"One-year warranty, pressure gauge, cartridge filter is easy to remove."
- Runner Up: XtremepowerUS Sand Swimming Pool Filter
"UL listed, 1.5 HP motor, works for aboveground pools."
- Best Budget: Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Portable, pocket-friendly, UL/CSA standards, equipped with a timer function."
- Best Premium Cartridge Filter for Extra-Large Pools: Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
"High capacity, effective filtration, great for those passionate about water conservation."
- Best Sand Pool Filter: Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Pool Filter
"Corrosion-resistant, needs little maintenance, comes with user-friendly seven functions."
- Best Cartridge Pool Filter: Hayward C4001575XES EasyClear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Quiet, lightweight, compact, the device is easy to install and user-friendly."
- Best DE Pool Filter: Hayward DE6020 Pro-Grid Vertical DE Pool Filter
"Heavy-duty, durable construction, comes with easy-to-replace valves."
Comparison of Top 21 Best Pool Filters 2020
Of course, there are lots of products available in the market and you may get confused when making your purchase. To save you time and energy, I’ve done thorough and genuine research whilst also considering the differences in the filtering system.
Afterward, I was able to collate the top 21 best pool filters you should use for your pool in 2020. I have made a brief analysis of each product selected with the features and characteristics all written out. All these are available for a quick preview in the comparison table below.
Nevertheless, I suggest that you still go through the full review of all these products to improve your decision-making.
The Best Pool Filters
Getting the best pool filter for your pool is a good investment if you really want to enjoy fresh water. If you feel a clean pool cannot be achievable, you probably haven’t tried the best pool filters on my list.
This list contains the top 21 best pool filters you can get in 2020 with their features, pros, and cons. They have been thoroughly researched and they cover a wide range of products. Hence, you get to see the reviews of filters for large pools, medium-sized pools, and small pools.
Every of the three major pool filter types is well-represented in the list. Budget-friendly and premium products are also included.
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Pool Filter
(Best Low-Budget Sand Filter)
The Intex machine is one of the top pool filters to actualize your desire of having a healthy pool. Evidently, you can see why I have it on top of my list. It is designed to work above ground and it employs the sand filtering system.
The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Pool Filter has a tank made from a polymeric material which gives the product its weather-proof and corrosion-proof qualities. The pool filter is equipped with a six-piston multiport valve which is unique to the device. To perform a quality filtering job, it cleans up your water with six efficient operations which include filtering, backwashing, rinsing, recirculating, draining and closed system.
With its efficient 0.75HP pump motor, the filter achieves a pump rate of about 3000 gallons of water per hour. Impressively, it attains a supply of up to 2450 gallons of water to your pool in just an hour.
It features an automated timer which allows you to control the pumping sessions. The timer is capable of spanning up to 24 hours and comes with a preset cycle between 2 to 12 hours.
For enhanced device safety, the filter is equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) which is integrated with a safety power-off. The sand is contained in a strainer basket which facilitates easy cleaning. However, you do not have to worry about maintenance because the sand can last up to 5 years. In addition, it meets with the UL/CSA standards.
- Comes with a durable tank which is weather-resistant and less susceptible to corrosion.
- Comes with GCFI and a power-off safety feature.
- Less maintenance needed since the sand can last up to 5 years.
- The product is relatively affordable.
- Cleaning is made easy with the utilization of a strainer basket to hold the sand.
- It is equipped a user-friendly level with which you can easily handle all the device’s six operations.
- Comes with a 24-hour timer.
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- The product is heavy.
- Does not come with sand.
Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Pool Filter
(Best Sand Pool Filter)
If you want a pool filter that offers much flexibility, this is the best for you. The Hayward S270T Pro Series is housed by durable and corrosion-resistant material. The housing is made of polymeric material and will withstand harsh weather conditions.
The product is a sand pool filter and uses up to 350 pounds of sand. However, it is rugged and dependable with a nice structure which makes cleaning stress-free. It is designed for underground use for your spas, pools, fountains, and even fish ponds.
The product offers a nice and steady supply of water whilst still performing its cleaning function. It comes with 7 functions including a self-cleaning system, the backwashing mechanism. It flaunts its Vari-Flo value which allows you to easily select the different functions provided by the device.
The filtering system is made more efficient with the integration of a top diffuser which uniformly sprinkles the water over the sand screen. While the backwashing mechanism cleans up the sand media, you also get to see, through a side glass, if the cleaning is completed.
The device is energy-efficient, thanks to the full-flow technology which ensure that filtration periods are shorter and perfect.
- Comes with a side glass which allows you to know when the backwashing operation is accomplished.
- Comes with a large pressure drain to ease servicing.
- The tank is resistant to corrosion.
- It flaunts a unique control valve that is easy to use.
- It has a high flow rate of 4440 gallons per hour.
- Requires little maintenance.
- Consumes less energy.
- Needs up to 350 pounds of sand.
- Does not come with sand. You have to buy it.
- Comes with a small warranty of one year.
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Hayward S210T93S ProSeries Sand Pool Filter
(Best Heavy-Duty, Medium-Budget Sand Filter)
The Hayward S210T93S is a remarkable pool filter for pools above the ground. It is known for extreme ruggedness and energy efficiency. The filter employs the sand filtration system to make your water clean.
The entire operation is powered by a heavy-duty 1.5HP motor and yet energy-efficient. Of course, it is the innovative filtration system that earns that quality for the Hayward machine.
The filtration system employs the full-flow technology that ensures every inch of the sand media is utilized for filtration. This way water is uniformly distributed and there is no lagging. In the end, crystal clear water is released into the pool and your pool users are elated.
The product comes with 7-position valve operations which include filtering, waste, winter, closed, backwashing, recirculation, and rinsing. The backwashing can be effectively monitored using the sight glass. A pressure gauge is also affixed to the device.
The powerful motor coupled the filtering system makes it possible for the machine to deliver up to 4440 gallons of water per hour. That’s quite much, isn’t it?
On the part of ruggedness, the material used to make the filter’s housing is the popular color-fast polymeric stuff. This ensures that the machine stands up to various weather conditions as well as corrosion-resistivity.
- The device comes with a powerful motor.
- It is energy-efficient. This is due to the efficient filtrating technology.
- Comes with a 7-position valve.
- The bases of the filter are made of tough thermoplastic to enhance overall durability and longevity.
- It comes with 7 different operations.
- Can handle and deliver a large amount of water at a time.
- Backwashing is pretty efficient.
- The product is easy to assemble and still comes with a user guide.
- The product is heavy.
- It doesn’t come with sand and mounting bolts.
XtremepowerUS Sand Swimming Pool Filter
If you need an extremely powerful sand pool filter, this product should be on your list. From its name, one should expect top-notch and powerful performance. Impressively, it doesn’t disappoint.
The XtremePowerUS Sand pool filter is specially designed for above ground pools. To provide its extreme power to filter your pool, the device is equipped with a 1.5HP motor. The intriguing feature in the motor is its quiet operation whilst still delivering high performance.
In the filtration section, the device is well-designed to facilitate faster and high-quality results. The sand pool filter comes with a large straining basket which is easy to access. It only needs 175 pounds of sand.
With its 5-way valve, you can switch between different operations which includes filtering, backwashing, closed, rinsing and waste. The device is capable of delivering 4500 gallons of water in just one hour in an efficient manner.
In terms of durability, the components of the pump are reinforced with fiberglass to provide more strength. The build materials are durable and can tolerate all-weather conditions. The product is fitted with a safety device, an automated thermal overload guard, to prevent overheating.
- It delivers as high as 4500 gallons per hour.
- Large and easily accessible straining basket.
- Powerful 1.5 HP motor.
- The product is UL listed.
- Comes with a device protection feature, an automated thermal overload guard,
- Durable construction and fiberglass-reinforced components.
- It runs quietly.
- You will have to buy the sand separately.
- Doesn’t come with a lot of instructions.
- Doesn’t have an on/off switch.
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
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Hayward S310T2 ProSeries Sand Pool Filter
(Best Premium Sand Filter for Underground Pools with Great Energy Efficiency)
The Hayward S310T2 is one of the bigger variants of the Hayward Proseries Top-mount sand filters. Just like the other variants in the series, this product is made for underground pools.
The entire system is housed in a durable polymeric material which ensures that the product is durable, weather-resistant and less prone to corrosion. It comes with good ergonomics and great filtering capability.
Judging from its size, it offers more power and capacity. However, you should expect the product to be heavy. Yes, it is heavy as it weighs almost 100 pounds. It is also known to have high ruggedness level and it is energy efficient.
The product comes with Vari-flow valve which has 6 positions to help switch between the 7 operations of the device. The operations include filtering, waste, winter, closed, backwashing, recirculation, and rinsing. It is equipped with a sight glass to help you monitor the backwashing process. It also features a pressure gauge.
The device makes use of the full-flow technology to achieve its high-quality and efficient water filtration. This adds to the energy efficiency of the device as well as ensuring that filtration is done faster.
The full-flow technology works by distributing the water over the sand media. This way, every inch of the media is utilized and no particular region is overburdened. With this, the device can deliver 5880 gallons of water to your pool within an hour.
- With the Vari-flo valve, it can work efficiently at many pressure levels.
- It is energy-efficient.
- Features a pressure gauge.
- Can deliver a very large volume of water at once. It has a flow rate of 5880 gallons per hour.
- Offers many functions.
- Ideal for large pools.
- Comes with tough thermoplastic filter bases.
- Comes with pressure drain which is large enough let out water faster.
- The product is very heavy.
- Requires 500 pounds of sand which is another expense on its own.
Hayward S244S ProSeries Sand Filter
(Best Sand Filter with Ease of Assembly, Installation, and Maintenance)
The Hayward S244S is another member of the Hayward Proseries. However, this variant is a side-mount option. Just like the other Proseries variants, it makes use of sand for its filtering system.
The product is easy to assemble even without professional help. It has an umbrella-fold-like, self-cleaning system that facilitates a steady flow of water as well as balanced backwashing.
The product showcases a great amalgamation of quality build materials and awesome technology. The components of the filter are made from durable and corrosion-proof materials that can tolerate different weather conditions.
With the full-flow technology, the device can supply as much water, about 3720 gallons per hour, for your pool. The filter bases are sturdy as they are made from rugged thermoplastic.
Importantly, the product bears a 6-way Vari-Flo valve which provides maximum flow of water even at low pressures. The seven functions - filter, waste, winter, closed, backwash, recirculation and rinse – ensure you have clean and healthy water in your pool at all times.
- Can be easily assembled.
- Has rugged filter bases which are made from thermoplastic.
- Comes with a pump timer, though it’s optional.
- Can provide maximum flow regardless of any pressure drop.
- Efficient filtration system with great energy efficiency.
- Large drain for quick servicing or winterizing.
- It is very easy to maintain, thanks to its side-mount design.
- Requires 300 pounds of sand.
- The one-year warranty seems too small.
Hayward S166T92S 16in Sand Pool Filter
(Best Sand Filter, Durable for Filtering Small Pools, Fish Ponds, and Saltwater)
The Hayward S166T92S is a top-mount member of the Pro series. The tank is built to be very durable as they are made of color-fast, quality polymeric material. With the quality of the build material, it is able to withstand the various weather conditions.
It is capable of handling a large amount of water as well as the pressure involved in pumping and filtering. The powerful motor, together with the efficient filter, reduces the running costs of the pump filter. The pump filter comes with a tough base to bears the entire stress of the filter's operation.
The pool filter comes with 7 different functions which include a self-cleaning system for easy maintenance. The pump filter has 2160 gallons per hour as its flow rate. The device, with the help of its valve, is able to supply a large volume of water even in cases of low pressure.
A large water drain is embedded in the machine to facilitate quick-draining for quick service or wintering. A clamp is also included to allow for 360-rotation thus making installation easy.
- The tank is durable and corrosion-resistant.
- Easy to assemble and install.
- Rugged filter bases.
- Easy to drain for service and wintering.
- Can deliver even at low pressure.
- Very energy-efficient.
- Comes with an efficient self-cleaning system.
- When considering the flow rate, one would conclude that the product’s price is a bit on the higher side.
- The flow rate is low and may not be ideal for big pools.
- It is not too quiet.
- The product is not compatible with 240 Volts power outlets.
Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
Looking for a portable and budget-friendly filter for your small pool, try the Intex 28635EG pool filter. For water filtration, the machine uses a cartridge to screen out unwanted materials and keep your water crystal clear.
The lightweight Intex machine is designed to work for pools above the ground. It comes with double insulations which makes it capable of handling various pressure levels.
You do not need a professional to set it up for you. The budget-friendly is easy to install, just fix the hoses and plug into your power source. The power cable is about 25ft long and it comes with a GFCI built into it to protect your device.
An automatic timer feature is also made available in the device with presets of 2 to 12 hours. The highlight of the product is its Hydro-Aeration Technology. This feature allows improved water filtration, circulation, and clarity, as well as, the overall quality.
The cartridge is easy to replace or clean. It also a flush valve for removing accumulated sediments. In a nutshell, maintenance is pretty easy. The machine can only supply 1500 gallons of water into your pool in 60 minutes. Hence, it is very much ideal for small pools.
- Comes with a timer function.
- Ideal for small pools.
- Comes with a power switch.
- Features an air release valve to remove trapped air from the filter compartment.
- It is fitted with a flush valve at the bottom of the filter compartment. This helps to remove sediments, thus making cleaning easier.
- It is budget-friendly.
- Maintaining the device is very effortless.
- Meets with UL/CSA standards.
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- Cannot meet up with the demands of a medium-sized or large pool.
Hayward C900 SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
The Hayward C900 Pool filter is another exception cartridge filter on this list. It is built specifically for underground pools. Resembling a rocket, the device is designed to come in one piece.
It has a removable cap which is held to the molded base with a single locking knob. There are not much of bolts and nuts. You only have the single knob that locks into a sturdy core.
The product has a nice design. The body is made of reinforced plastic which can withstand adverse weather conditions and resist corrosion. It should be able to last very long.
The removable cap allows you to reach the cartridge with ease. A cartridge is pre-installed in the pool filter on-purchase. The cartridge is extra-large and can handle a large volume of water at once.
As much as 5400 gallons of water can be filtered per hour.
The C900 cartridge filter also comes with a pressure gauge on the cap. Also, on the head of the device, an air relief port, which can be controlled manually, is positioned opposite the pressure gauge.
- The product is made from corrosion-free materials.
- Can filter as much as 5400 gallons of water in an hour.
- You do not have to buy a filter cartridge on-purchase as it already comes with one.
- The cartridge is easy to replace or clean, thanks to the easy-to-remove cap of the machine.
- Not much of effort is needed in setting up.
- Comes with a pressure gauge.
- Comes with an extra-large cartridge filter for increased efficiency and filtering capacity.
- Features a manual air relief port.
- Has a one-year warranty.
- Doesn’t have a timer.
Hayward XStream Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Cartridge Filter with High Ruggedness, and Easy Maintenance and Cleaning)
The Hayward brand is not known to manufacture great sand pool filters alone. It has also employed the cartridge filtering system in newer models of its pool filter. Impressively, these products quite perform great filtering jobs. As a result, they are in high demand.
This device is particularly made for above-ground pools. The tank is made corrosion-proof and weather-tolerant with its glass reinforcement. This ensures that the machine runs a trouble-free operation for several years.
The tank of the Hayward Xstream is made into a single build. Unlike other previous cartridge pool filters, it comes with a pump. So, you shouldn’t feel bad because it has got no extra parts. The major components of the filter are built into the tank.
The tank has a removable head which allows you to access the cartridge conveniently. Consequently, you do not need a professional to clean up your cartridge. The head of the tank is secured on the device by a sturdy knob.
In terms of its core function, filtering, the Xstream does perform up to expectation. It can efficiently filter about 3500 gallons of water in just an hour. It has a large filtering surface area that can catch debris and dirt. Once the cartridge is clogged, it is easy to remove and hose-wash.
In addition, the device features a quick-release air relief port and a pressure gauge.
- The device runs quietly.
- Doesn’t require regular backwashing.
- It comes with a pump.
- Comes with a cartridge already installed in the tank.
- The motor has an on/off switch.
- Can process about 3480 gallons of water within an hour.
- Durable build material.
- Features an air relief port.
- Does not have a timer.
- The extra-large cartridge requires much water when washing.
- The one-year warranty is small.
Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Premium Cartridge Filter for Extra-Large Pools - Editor's Choice)
The Hayward brand is all about helping pool owners to deliver healthy and clean water to their pool’s users. It’s got a reputation which it has garnered for more than five decades. You shouldn't be surprised to see an excellent show of craftmanship in this product.
And of course, the brand meets up to expectations. This product is probably the best above ground pool filter, especially the large ones.
The tanks are made durable, and resistant to corrosion and weather, so you get to use it for a long time. The major tow pieces of the tank, the head, and the base are held together by a sturdy but easy-to-remove clamp.
The device is best known for its large filtering area of about 525 square ft. That’s quite large enough and will filter a large volume of water in an hour, up to 9000 gallons. Filtration is done by a cluster of four cartridge elements. This appears to be the best pool cartridge filter on this list.
The product employs a manifold design at the top that ensures efficiency and long cleaning cycles, yet a high flow rate. The filters can be removed and cleaned easily, which is quite remarkable.
There is no need for backwashing in the case of this device.
- It has a large filtration area.
- Comes with a quick-release manual air relief valve.
- Comes with a cluster of four cartridge elements.
- Features an in-built 2.5 drain so you can easily drain out the tank in case of any urgent servicing.
- Can withstand heat, courtesy of the Noryl bulkhead.
- Less maintenance required.
- Does not require wasting water on backwashing.
- Filters a very large amount of water in an hour, up to 9000 gallons of water.
- The product weighs almost 10 pounds which is quite heavy. You might need assistance during replacement.
Pentair 160301 Tank Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Premium Large-Capacity Cartridge Filter for Underground Pools)
Finally, I’ve found a quality product outside the Hayward brand. The Pentair brand is another high-profile brand that manufactures pool filters. Its cartridge pool filters are quick impeccable and they are worth including on the list.
The Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter is a pool filter for underground pools. It is equipped with a large filtration area of up to 420 feet squared. A large filtration area implies a large volume of water processed every minute.
Of course, the device can filter a whooping of 9000 gallons of water in one hour. Yet, it is able to effectively screen out dirt and debris. With this large water supply, the product is probably the best pool filter for owners of large pools.
The tank comes into major parts coupled together by a tough clamp. For maintenance sessions, the clamp is easy to remove and replace. The tank is made of polypropylene reinforced with fiberglass.
- Can filter up to 9000 gallons of water in one hour.
- Lightweight when compared with other high-power cartridge pool filters.
- It is designed to meet with the NSF standards.
- Comes with the filter pre-install in it.
- Features a quick water-release drain for urgent servicing.
- Ideal for large pools.
- Comes with an effective air relief system.
- Offers a large filtration area of 425 square ft.
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- Requires regular cleaning every year.
Hayward C4001575XES EasyClear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Cartridge Pool Filter)
The Hayward C4001575XES is a very compact pool filter. Thanks to its sturdy base and its compactness, it can easily sit securely to your above-ground pool. The tank is made of a tough material (plastic-like) that is weather-proof. Since it is plastic, you do not need to worry about corrosion.
Unlike most cartridge filters on this list, this product comes with its own pump motor. The motor, with a horsepower of 1, can provide the force needed to pump and filter your water.
The filtration is done by its full-flo cartridge filter, which is made from polyester material. The filter is durable can last long. It is efficient in screen out the tiniest of particles. The filter is held by a molded core which helps to improve the filtration process.
The product features an the easy-lok which ensures that the lid opens easily and quickly. This way, you can easily access the cartridge for proper cleaning or replacement. Another striking feature is the check valve, which ensures that water is not lost when removing the cartridge filter.
The device is capable of filtrating 3000 gallons of water in one hour, which is great for a medium-size pool. The motor runs quietly. In addition, the product is easy to install and use.
- With its 3000 GPH flow rate, it is ideal for small to medium-sized pools.
- It is easy to install and maintain, even without a professional’s help.
- It runs quietly.
- It comes with a motor.
- Efficient filtering system.
- Comes with an easy-lok lid.
- It has a check valve built into it to prevent loss of water when the cartridge is removed.
- Fairly lightweight and compact.
- It does not come with a timer
- It does not have a power switch.
Pentair 160340 Plus Fiberglass Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Premium Inground Cartridge Filter for Large Pools)
Looking for a pool filter with large filtration capacity, try the Pentair 160340 Plus Pool Filter. It is a cartridge pool filter that has a large filter area of about 320 square feet. With this large filtering capacity, it will handle 9000 gallons of water in an hour, effective enough to fill up your large pond in time.
The entire filtration process is done in an injection-molded tank that is secured firmly. The tank is also able to handle the pressure with its internal air relief. It is also made of corrosion-free materials to increase its longevity.
The product has a uniform hydraulic flow and a clamp for tension control. It also has a manual air relief port. It is listed by the NSA.
- It is certified by NSA.
- It comes with a 320-square-feet filter which is large enough to filter as much as 9000 gallons of water in just one hour.
- It is ideal for large pools.
- Comes with an internal air relief.
- The product is lightweight when compared to other cartridge pool filters with similar flow rates.
- It has an extra-effective filtration system.
- The cartridge must be cleaned regularly. At least, 3 to 5 months interval.
- The one-year warranty seems too small.
- It is not too compact.
Hayward DE6020 Pro-Grid Vertical DE Pool Filter
(Best DE Pool Filter)
For those looking for more filtering power, the Hayward DE6020 Pool filter should be on your list. The tank is made from Perma Glass which is a glass-reinforced copolymer. This gives it the needed strength to handle pressure as well as durability to resist corrosion.
The product is designed to work with underground pools. It is DE pool filter; therefore, you should expect more filtering power as low as 5 microns. It requires about 7.5 pounds of the diatomaceous earth to perform optimally.
The device is efficient and will filter, within an hour, 8640 gallons of water. Interestingly, it will work well with saltwater.
The device comes in two parts which are fastened together by a heavy-duty, single-piece flange clamp. Releasing this clamp gives you instant access to the internal components of the device, thus making maintenance easy.
It comes with an air relief and a sturdy pressure gauge.
- Needs little pounds (at least 7.5 lbs) of diatomaceous earth for its filtration area.
- Can handle about 8640 gallons of water in one hour.
- Durable construction.
- Can work well when used with salt water.
- The filter is easy to replace.
- The valve is sold separately.
- Does not come with the backwash valve. Hence, maintenance is not much easy.
- It is not easy to set-up.
- Heavy and bulky.
Hayward EC75A Perflex DE Pool Filter
(Ideal DE Filter for Medium-Sized Underground Pools)
Just like the Hayward brand has proven its quality in other product listed above, here is another pool filter to ascertain their top-notch craftsmanship. The product is a DE pool filter designed for underground pools.
The product is great for both small and big pools, regardless of their sizes. The heavy-duty tank is injection-molded and coupled with glass-filled thermoplastic for added strength. This enables it to have a corrosion-free attribute.
It comes with a pressure gauge. The most interesting feature is the automatic air expulsion system. This helps to eliminate air buildup in the system.
The device also features the flex-tube filter elements, a patented feature. It reuses the dirt mixture and the DE filter to form a fresh surface for filtration. It can filter 4800 gallons of water an hour, making it a great device for small and medium-size pools.
- It has a flow rate of 80 Gallons per minutes which is equivalent to 4800 per hour.
- Comes with an automated air expulsion system in cases of excessive air buildup.
- Easy to install.
- Maintenance is easy.
- Durable and corrosion-proof tank.
- Comes with a pressure gauge.
- Doesn’t come with the DE sand. You have to buy that separately.
Pentair 188592 Quad Cartridge Style DE Pool Filter
(Best Low-Budget DE Filter for Large Underground Pools)
The Pentair 188592 is another built-to-last product from the Pentair brand. Whilst it comes in a bulkier design, the device accommodates four cartridges which offer large capacities. It is designed mainly for underground pools.
The four cartridges ensure a large surface area for holding back unwanted materials. For easy maintenance, the device is fabricated for easy removal.
Its tank is made of fiberglass-reinforced polypropene tank that can withstand corrosion. Furthermore, the device can filter up to 7200 gallons per hour.
- Comes with four big cartridges that provide a large filtration area.
- The tank is resistant weather and chemicals.
- Large drainage outlet.
- Comes with a tension control clamp.
- Comes with both internal and manual air relief to regulate pressure.
- Maintenance is easy.
- Comes with a pressure gauge.
- The filter may be costly to replace.
- Requires very high maintenance.
Hayward EC50C93S Perflex DE Pool Filter
(Best DE Filter for Above Ground Pools)
Talking about performance, the Hayward EC50C93S Perflex is the way to go. It comes with the Power-Flo feature that ensures maximum filtration ability.
This feature ensures that the machine functions with much energy-efficiency, even with large filtration power. It can conveniently deliver more than 2500 gallons of clean water in an hour.
The system includes a powerful pump motor of 1.5 Horsepower. In addition to its already exception capacity, its tank is made of corrosion-free material. It is simple to install and use. It features an ABS modular platform base.
- Comes with a 1.5HP motor pump.
- It has a power switch.
- Easy to assemble and install.
- Can remove particles as small as 2 microns.
- It is energy-efficient.
- It comes with a sturdy base.
- Runs quietly.
- Doesn’t come with a timer.
- Requires regular maintenance.
- Doesn’t come with a ground fault circuit interrupter.
Pentair 180009 FNS DE Pool Filter
(Best Premium DE Filter for Large Above Ground Pools)
The Pentair 180009 FNS DE pool filter is an above ground filter designed for medium to large pools.
Capable of filtering 7200 gallons of water per hour, it will fill up your large pond with water in no time. It's got a great filtration capacity that can effectively screen out the smallest of dirt. You can be sure of safe-to-use water in your pool at all times.
Since every customer wants a durable product, this device doesn't let you down. The tank is made from polypropylene reinforced with fiberglass. Not only does this improve the aesthetics, but it also makes it resistant to corrosion and weather. Furthermore, it makes the product capable of handling high pressure.
Maintenance is made easy with its impressive internal design, curved vertical grids, and an efficient backwashing system. It is also easy to install and use.
- You do not need the help of a professional since the product is easy to install and use.
- It has a huge turnover capacity of 7200 gallons in one hour.
- Easy maintenance.
- Efficient filtration and backwashing system.
- Rugged body build.
- The seals may wear out quickly.
- Requires a large amount of diatomaceous sand.
- Requires more maintenance routine.
- The product is bulky.
Sta-Rite PLDE36 DE Pool Filter
(Best Premium DE Filter for Small Pools and Tubs)
The Pentair Sta-Rite is one of the best pool filters that are easy to maintain. Starting from the design to the components, you can easily clean the device without stress.
The entire system, together with the filter media, is fully backwash-able. The filter media is also easy to access for replacement.
You do not need to disassemble the entire system before cleaning. With a water hose, you can easily deep-clean the device.
The device comes in two pieces, the head, and the base, which are held together by a sturdy ring clamp. The two pieces are made of ABS thermoplastic for durability.
It can turn over 2200 gallons of water in just an hour. Quite small but it is a great product for underground pools and tubs.
- Can be used for tubs too.
- Easy to change filter media.
- The tank is made durable and to last long.
- Large drain port.
- Easy to backwash.
- It is easy to install.
- Comes with a pressure gauge.
- Balanced flow of water thanks to the design.
- Comes with a strong ring closure that holds the head and base of the device together.
- It is pricey.
Hayward C9002SEP Seperation Tank DE Pool Filter
(Best Low-Budget DE Filter for Underground and Above Ground Pools)
The Hayward C9002SEP is a nice piece of engineering. It is indeed a separation tank, one that separates unwanted materials from water. It comes in just one piece as it does not include a pump.
The tank is divided into two segments, the cap, and the base. These two segments are held together by a single locking system which is made effective by a strong core that bears the nut.
The single-locking system, along with the drain port, helps to make maintenance easy. To avoid excessive accumulation of air, the device also comes with an air relief port.
- Easily access the internal components of the device.
- Comes with a sight glass to monitor the backwashing.
- Features an air relief valve.
- Comes with a drain port for quick servicing.
- Durable tank construction.
- Easy to install.
- Requires regular cleaning.
Pool Filters Buying Guide
The quality of a Pool filter affects the quality of your pool’s water. But choosing the best pool filter for your pool can be pretty tedious. You are having to face different specifications, types, size, features as well as prices of different products. Indeed, it is stressful.
Well, I have made a compilation of those things you should consider when buying your pool filter.
Of course, this is the most important when buying your pool filter. Whether you are buying it for your home or for commercial use, ensure you do not go into debts after purchase.
It is important to know that DE filters are generally expensive to buy and maintain. On the other hand, the sand filters are cheaper.
Position of Your Pool
The position of your pool also matters a lot. Some pool filters are made specifically for above ground pools while some may be for underground pools. If your pool is an above-ground one, ensure purchase products with durable, corrosion-free tanks.
Type of Pool Filter
There are three types of pool filters – Sand Pool Filters, Cartridge Pool Filters, and DE Pool Filters. The Sand Pool Filters make use of a sand media while the Cartridge Pool Filters makes use of fabric. The DE Pool Filters make use of diatomaceous earth as its screen media.
They have different selling prices, micron rating, costs of maintenance and life span. Generally, the Sand Pool Filters last longer. They are cheap but with a higher micron rating. You might consider changing from cartridge filter to sand filter if you want something that is easier to maintain.
The DE Pool Filters offers the best pool filter media but are expensive, difficult to maintain and won’t last very long. If you want the cleanest water in your pools, you should go for the DE pool filters. The Cartridge pool filters are somewhat in-between.
Compatibility With Your Pool
To choose the best pool filter for your pool, you need to determine its product’s compatibility. This you can do using a swimming pool pump size calculator and pool filter size chart.
Swimming pool pump size calculator
- Calculate the cubic size of your pool.
- Calculate the gallons you need per hour.
- Determine how long you want to run your pool filter.
If your family pool has a length of 30ft, a width of 30ft and depth of 3ft, the total cubic volume in gallons will be
30ft x 30ft x 3ft x 7.5(since 7.5 gallons = 1 cubic foot) = 20250gallons
The gallons needed per hour will be
20250 ÷ 24 hours = 844 gallons per hour.
When purchasing your pool filter, it is best to look for a product that supplies higher than your pool’s requirement.
The ability to clean up your pool fast enough is dependent on the filtration capacity. Components such as the pump and the filter (length) influence the filtration capacity. The filtration capacity is measured by gallons per minute (GPM) or gallons per hour (GPH).
Pools with higher GPH will filter your pools faster than the lesser ones. It is best to use the high-profile pool filters for large or commercial pools such that clean water is made available at all times.
The pool filters with lesser GPH will work best for smaller pools. You can also use them for residential pools.
Safety and Maintenance
Before concluding on what to buy, check out for safety features. Features such as the ground fault circuit interrupter will help prevent shocks. Look out for safety certifications such as the UL and CSA.
In terms of maintenance, a pool filter with fewer parts and components will be easy to maintain. You should also ensure that the product comes with an understandable user manual that describes different maintenance techniques. I have included a section to help you clean and maintain your pool filter.
How to Clean a Pool Filter?
Regardless of whatever gadget you own, you must dedicate some time for cleaning. This also applies to Pool Filters. Cleaning can go a long way in prolonging the useful life of your pool filter.
Also, a dirty pool filter will be less effective, consume more energy and end up messing your pool. Of course, sand filters will last up to 5 years, Cartridge filters will last 3 years. It takes adequate cleaning to make it last up to those years.
Cleaning a pool filter varies from type to type. I have included simple procedures on how to clean your pool filters properly.
Cleaning Your Sand Filter
Cleaning a sand filter is very easy. Ensure you read the user’s manual before cleaning. It is important to know that the assembly of your device can influence the length of your cleaning session.
You will need a screwdriver, a wrench, and sand filter cleaner for this exercise. You might also need a replacement sand filter.
- Switch the valve to the backwash function for about four minutes to push out the debris.
- Power down the device and switch the valve to the filter function.
- Open up the lid of the strainer. Add some sand filter cleaner into the strainer and close it back.
- Turn on the pump, allowing it to run for 20 seconds.
- Then turn it off, leaving it for about 10 hours.
- Switch on the backwash function again to eliminate the already-removed dirt by the sand filter cleaner.
- Then switch on the filter function once again.
Cleaning Your Cartridge Filter
Ensure you understand the user’s manual before cleaning. Just like the sand pool filter, it is important to know that the assembly of your device can influence the length of your cleaning session.
You will need a screwdriver, a wrench, filter cleaner, garden hose, spray nozzle and a cartridge replacement for this exercise. Yes, you need the buy a spare just in case you need it. Ensure you buy the best pool cartridge filter for your device.
- Switch off the pool pump and the pool filter.
- Turn on the air relief such that air is released from the filter. Remove the clamps, closures or latches connecting the head and the base of the filter.
- Remove the head of the filter and slowly pull out the cartridge. If you note any faults, you might need to use the cartridge replacement.
- Clean the cartridge by watering it down with the spray nozzle. If it is very dirty, you might need to soak it in the filter cleaner for 10 hours.
- Rinse the cartridge filter and return the cartridge into the tank.
- Replace the head and secure with the locks/clamps/closure.
- Put on the pump. Open the air relief to remove air from the system. Keep it open till a steady spring of water comes out of it.
- Check the pressure and see if it matches the manufacturer’s requirements. If it does, close the air relief. If it doesn’t, you should consider tightening the clamps properly.
Cleaning Your DE Filter
Go through the user’s manual before cleaning. This is the easiest type to clean anyways. You will need a screwdriver, a wrench, DE filter cleaner and garden hose for this exercise.
- Backwash the pool filter for four minutes and turn it off.
- Release the air relief. Open the drain outlet and remove water from the tank.
- Open up the filter by unlocking the clamps/locks/closures.
- Carefully bring out the filter manifold and remove the filter grids.
- Nozzle-spray down the interior of the tank thoroughly.
- Nozzle-spray down the filter manifold. You might soak in the DE filter cleaner if it is very dirty.
- Grab the filter grids and rinse it all out.
- Place the clean DE filter grids back in the tank.
- Turn on the filter and prime it. Open the air relief and water till a steady spring of water flows out. Close the air relief afterward.
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions, add DE filter into the filter.
- Allow the DE to spread evenly into the filter grids before using it fully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In case you skipped some cogent points in the article. I’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help clear your mind.
Swim Network Overview
Cleaning is a very important procedure in swimming pool management. Thanks to technology, efficient cleaning devices are made available, in the form of pool filters, to make it easier. There are lots of them in the market from different brands. Indeed, making a choice can be difficult.
Right from selecting the best type you need to pick the best product under your preferred type. Even from the category of cartridge filters, you saw a Pentair vs Hayward cartridge filter form of rivalry. Quite stressful!
Well, I have simplified your decision-making with a simple buying guide as well as the reviews of the top best pool filters. The Intex 28635EG Pool Filter is the overall budget pool filter. Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter leads as the best premium pool filter.
Regardless of which product you decide to buy, always know that regular maintenance and cleaning will prolong the life of your pool filter.
Have you owned any of these pool filters? Please share your experience with other readers in the comments section. Help your friends know about Pool filters by sharing this article with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.