If you’re experiencing pool algae or green water, in all likelihood, your pool filter may be the culprit. While we may not think about them too often, pool filters play a very important role in making sure our pools remain sanitized and blue. Filters work by trapping dirt, debris, and other contaminants that would otherwise accumulate on the floor of your pool. In essence, the filter is an essential part of the pool cleaning process.
Four main types of pool filters that are used in swimming pools:
Sand Filters – These filters use sand as their primary filtering media. They work to filter the water by passing it through a layer of sand. The smaller contaminants trapped in the sand, including dirt, debris, and other contaminants, are trapped within the filtering medium.
Debris Filters – These filters use a fine mesh material capable of trapping smaller particles such as dust and small debris pieces before they become trapped on your pool’s floor.
Vacuum Filters – These filters are a combination of a sand filter and a debris filter, which uses both forms of filtering media. Vacuum filters work by using suction to pull the water through their filtering system. Dirt, debris, and other contaminants that would normally end up on your pool’s floor are caught in the filtering material before they can reach the bottom of your pool.
Pleated Filter Cartridges – You’re likely familiar with these at-home versions. These filters consist of multiple, pleated layers of filtering material, which work to trap the small particles that would otherwise accumulate on your pool’s floor. However, these work in a similar fashion to vacuum filters However, they utilize a chemical process that catalyzes the dirt and debris trapped within the filter for easier removal when you clean your pool.
Knowing which type of filter media you have in your swimming pool will help you determine if your filter is working properly and efficiently. Keep in mind; different pool types are more likely to require specific types of filters. For example, sand filters work well for above-ground swimming pools, while vacuums work better for in-ground pools. Pleated filter cartridges are primarily used in fiberglass pools.
How do I know if my pool filter is dirty?
There are several ways you can tell if your filter needs to be cleaned and determine whether the filter is working correctly. Here are some signs that your pool filter may need to be cleaned:
1. Pool Fills Slowly – If it takes longer than usual for your pool to fill up, there’s a chance that there’s a build-up of dirt and debris that has accumulated in the filtering system.
2. Pool is Cloudy – When dirt and debris are trapped and removed from the pool water, it can cause the water to appear cloudy until the trapped particles are completely removed from your swimming pool.
3. Vacuum Fails to Work – If you’re noticing an issue with your vacuum system, such as your vacuum head not moving freely, or if you smell a strong odor coming from the location where it’s connected within your pool, this can be an indication that something is wrong with your filter system.If you doubt what type of filter you have or the type of pump, call a professional. They will know how to clean a green swimming pool and which filter you should be using. Make sure to keep an eye on your filter condition and change it if you notice any problems.