How a Pool's Filtration System Works

Contaminants enter the pool because of environmental factors like rain and wind or transfer off of swimmers. The purpose of the swimming pool's filter is to keep the pool clean. So, how exactly does your pool's filtration system work?

First of all, there are three main types of swimming pool filters:

Sand filters. These are probably the most common type of filter. Water is pumped through a bed of sand and contaminants are sifted out. After the contaminants build up, the filter must be backwashed.

Cartridge filters. This kind of filter is known for being easy to contain. It uses a typically polyester cartridge to remove particles from the water that lasts a very long time. Rather than having to constantly replace the cartridge, most cartridge filters only require that after the particles build up, you remove the cartridge and wash out the contaminants.

DE filters. Otherwise known as diatomaceous earth filters, or the fossilized residues of diatoms, these filters can remove very small particles but require a bit more maintenance. These filter use a powder made from seashells to trap pollutants and requires that new powder be added each week. The ability to remove smaller particles results in a cleaner, more sparkly swimming pool.

Pool water enters through the skimmer and the pool pump sends the water through the filter, and through one of these three methods, removes particles from the water. The clean water is returned to the pool. If the pump or filtration system gets turned off for a long period of time, the pool water will become cloudy or dirty.

The pump does not have to run all day, but it should run long enough to filter out all the water. This can take around six to eight hours. If you are having particular trouble with green or dirty water, you should run your pump for as long as it takes to become clear. The pump plays a vital role for pool circulation, which is essential for healthy pool sanitation. The pump creates enough pressure to send the water to the filter with enough force to remove particles from the water.

The difference between the skimmer and the filter is that the skimmer pulls at the surface of the pool to remove larger debris while the filter separates water from the smaller ones. Filters vital to a healthy pool, so make check out a pool supply store for the right filters for your pool.