Difference Between Sand & Cartridge Filter

Difference Between Sand & Cartridge Filter

Sand Filter:

Sand filters work quite simply by pushing your pool water through sand that catches the dirt and debris and returns clean water into the pool. You clean your sand filter by backwashing it. This means running water backwards through the filter until the filter is clean. Sand filters are a pretty popular option for residential inground pools.

Ruby Red Sand:

The primary reason for Ruby Sand's rapid acceptance by the filtration industry is improved clarity (3 to 5 Microns) of Ruby Sand versus Sand (20-40 Microns).


  • DE Like Clarity–Up to 90% Better than Sand
  • Huge Surface Area Traps More Dirt
  • Saves Water–Fewer Backwashes
  • Purifies Water
  • Traps Ammonia, Amines, and Heavy Metals


Sand filters require very little maintenance, other than backwashing. You’ll need to replace the sand every 2-4 years, depending on how often you use your pool.

Cartridge filter:

Cartridge filters have a single layer of filter media made of synthetic fabrics attached in pleats to a cylindrical core. Water is pumped through the filter and passes through the cartridge, trapping dirt and debris in the fabric. Some hot tubs have a cartridge incorporated in the skimmer. You’ll need to make sure you’ve chosen the appropriately sized filter for your pool.


Cartridge filters must be manually removed to be cleaned. When the filter gauge increases 8 to 10 psi over normal (or your water flow is visibly reduced), it’s time to clean them. It’s a great idea to keep an extra set of cartridge filters handy, so that you can swap them out when one set is being cleaned. However, with each cleaning, you’ll only recover about 60 percent efficacy. So, after three or four cleanings, you’ll probably have to buy new filters.