On the other hand, cartridge filters are easy to use, economical and low maintenance. Specialty Pool Products offers cartridge/element filters for aboveground and inground pools. These Swimming pool filters use a replaceable cartridge/element filter that is simply inserted into the unit.

The filter cartridge should be cleaned periodically throughout the pool season, which can easily be done with a standard garden hose or a specially formulated filter cartridge cleaner.

Filter cartridges should typically be replaced every 1 to 2 years, depending on the type of pool, pool usage and swimming load. The advantages of a cartridge filter system are lower initial cost and easy maintenance.

Disadvantages include the possibility of the filter clogging more quickly in an algae-heavy environment and the need to replace the filter regularly (every 1-2 swimming seasons). Cartridge filters typically filter particles 10 to 15 microns in size. SPP offers a full range of replacement filter cartridges, saving you time, money and hassle.

There are also diatomaceous earth filters, a type of pool filter that is very effective at removing very fine particles from pool water, making them ideal for those who need the best possible filtration. Specialty Pool Products offers both inground and aboveground diatomaceous earth filters. In both cases, diatomaceous earth is used as the filter media.

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that resembles chalk, is abrasive like pumice, very light and porous. Diatomaceous earth is ground into a fine powder that is used in pool filters and is usually composed of silica, sodium, magnesium and iron. Synthetic substitutes for diatomaceous earth are also available.

D.E. filters are cleaned in the same manner as sand filters, except that fresh D.E. powder must be added after each cleaning. This type of filter captures the smallest particles (down to 3 to 5 microns) when they first pass through the filter.

The disadvantages are the higher initial cost and the need to add new E.E. powder after cleaning (back pumping). Specialty Pool Products offers replacement D.E. filter media, making maintenance of your new D.E. filter quick, easy and economical.

Regardless of the type of filter you choose, always purchase a filter larger than the smallest size that fits the volume of your pool or spa. With a larger filter surface area, you'll have less time to clean the filter and more time to enjoy your pool (and not maintain it!).

You should choose a system that requires as little pumping power as possible to achieve the desired flow rate, since less pumping power means lower operating costs, which translates into lower bills.