…If you want the most automated, fuss-free, comfortable experience possible.
—Part 3 of 7:
#3. Opting for a DE filter vs. a cartridge filter
Which pool filter does better a better job of capturing tiny particulate matter: DE (diatomaceous earth) or cartridge? Particulate size is measured in microns. For reference, a grain of table salt runs about 90 microns in size, and a human eye cannot really see anything smaller than about 35 microns.
In a technical sense, DE does outperform a cartridge. That’s because DE can filter particles as tiny as 3 to 5 microns—whereas a cartridge can handle microns as small 5 to 10. However, unless you plan to gaze at your pool through a microscope, you will never be able to tell the difference. Either technology will ensure beautiful, sparkling water.
What WILL matter though, is what else DE will give you: Hassles, cost, and required disposal of the material—a hazardous substance that’s a known carcinogen and that’s used to poison pests. Additionally, most models of DE filters require backwashing, which results in substantial loss of pool water each year.
However, a cartridge filter is ultra-low maintenance. Depending on its size and your pool use, it will need a simple hosing down only two or three times a year. Typically, filters with Microban antimicrobial product protection stay fresher even longer. Microban is woven into the filter material and will inhibit growth of mold, algae, and fungus.