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Choosing the Right Pool Pump and Filter

Posted by Watson's on May 13, 2022 2:45:00 PM

Want to add more fun to your backyard this summer? An above ground pool is an affordable, practical addition to your backyard that doesn’t require the significant investment of an in-ground pool.


Whether you already have an above ground pool or are looking at getting one, you’ll want to understand and select or upgrade to the best pool pump and filter to keep it clean and safe for swimming.

The purpose of your pump and filter system is to circulate your water and keep your pool clean. 

How do you know which filter system is best for your above ground pool? Keep reading!

Selecting the Right Above Ground Filter System

When it comes to selecting the right filter system for your above ground pool, you should consider the following things that will impact the effectiveness.

Pool Size

This likely seems obvious but getting the wrong size filter system for you pool can leave you with an unclean or overly clean pool. The right size system will give you the perfect balance.

Have a smaller pool? Then you’ll want a smaller filter. If you’re unsure of the size filter you should get, contact the experts at Watson’s who can help answer your questions.

Pool size is also important for the size pump you need. This will be determined by your pool’s volume and how much water to circulate within your desired time. If your pump is too big, it can overpower your filter and cause unnecessary wear and tear and incur more energy costs. If your pump is not big enough, you won’t be able to circulate well, potentially causing algae buildup.

Type of Filter

Once you’ve determined the right size system, you’ll want to decide what type of filter you want to go with.

There are three types of filters available: Sand, cartridge, and DE.

Let’s take a look at the functions and effectiveness of each so you can decide which you want.

Sand Filters

Sand filters are typically less expensive than cartridge and DE filters and require less maintenance. For these filters, pool water is filtered through sand, catching debris, and then pushing clean water back into the pool. Sand filters are very common for both their low-maintenance and inexpensive investment.

Sand filters don’t require frequent replacement and can last for anywhere between 4-6 years before needing to replace the sand, which is also less expensive than a cartridge filter.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters are a step above your sand filters, allowing for even more debris to be filtered out that a sand filter may not catch, such as spores. Unlike a sand filter, which backwashes the filtered water, there is no backwash in a cartridge filter which means more saved money through less use of water and energy.

Cartridge filters, while more expensive than your sand filter, will have less wear and tear because it doesn’t backwash. They are also simple to maintain, as you need only remove the filter and wash away the debris. Cartridge filters do need replacing more frequently than their sand counterparts, typically every 1-3 years depending on the size of the pool. 

DE Filters

DE stands for diatomaceous earth.

These compact filters use a DE powder and catch even the smallest of particles that sand and cartridge may miss. They absorb through the DE powder within the filter canister and then sift out through a skimmer.

DE filters are effective but are also more expensive and require more maintenance between having to frequently add in the DE powder and clean.

When you’re ready to add some fun and excitement to your outdoor space with an above ground pool, look no further than your Watson’s Superstore. We carry the largest selection of above and semi in-ground pools along with everything you need from filter systems to fun floats. Contact us to speak to one of our experts or stop in to one of our nine superstore locations.

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