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Old 09-15-2016, 03:07 PM
 
238 posts, read 314,834 times
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On the three filtration options, there a trade-offs on all three. Sand filters the least out, cartridges are in the middle, and DE (or cellulose alternative) filters the most. Our house came with DE and I've switched to using cellulose fiber as the DE was starting to build up in the yard and cellulose doesn't have the health concerns DE does. If I was to replace the current Pentair filter, I'd either go with DE/cellulose filter or a cartridge, though if I was trying to be low maintenance I might give sand further consideration if I could live with the lesser level of filtering (it's not like sand, done properly, doesn't do a decent job, just to be clear).
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:10 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 2,876,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudydog1 View Post
OK...one more question and I will leave you alone..
No need to leave me alone. I've been answering and asking questions on this forum for a few years now. If I was bothered, I wouldn't do it.
Ask away........

You mention a plaster pool...if you were to get a new pool today, would you still go with plaster? Pebble Tec is another big ticket item. Alot of negative press about the plaster however since I do not live back east with months of freezing temps, are there still issues like staining?

I didn't have a choice on surface. My pool was existing when I bought the house but plaster is OK with me but they can stain a bit. Also, plaster isn't too bad but is by no means smooth on the feetsies. It's somewhat coarse like a 200 grit sand paper. If I was building a new pool, I honestly don't know which surface I'd choose. I don't have any problem with my plaster pool and since it's a lighter color, my pool water doesn't tend to get too hot in the summer where as a darker surface would heat things to an uncomfortable level. Also, there are some smoother choices that aren't so hard on things. My plaster has some staining from the previous owners but I'm going to finally drain my pool this winter so I can address the staining.
Something most people don't know about pebble tech, some very nasty algae don't grow on Pebble Tech but they do on plaster. Just google "black algae". Very, VERY hard to get rid of.

I did not like the Pebble Tec we had previously as it was real rough on feet, bottoms and swim suits. However not no more from the "pool folks".

BIG thank you for the other clarification...I get it now
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
We'll it's not that simple!

With a salt system you'll be buying and handling more muriatic acid. The pH tends to creep up more with a salt system, so you'll need to add more acid to the pool if you have a salt system.

Also, the plates in the salt cell need to be cleaned with acid pretty frequently, I think monthly or so.

You need to be really careful with acid. Should really wear gloves, eye protection, etc.

In comparison, trichlor tabs are relatively innocuous. If you touch them with your bare hands they won't burn or scar you like acid can. No spill/splash worries.
While I'm not discounting your opinion, and I agree that salt systems use a little bit more MA (but not very much more), I'll have to disagree that the chlorine tablets are a good way to go. The added CYA that goes along with the tablets soon makes your CYA levels, and the chlorine levels totally unmanageable.
Yes, the tablets are not basically not harmful when handled and muriatic acid is some pretty nasty stuff, I can't ever recommend using those tablets. They just do too much damage to your chemistry. Also, I must disagree that the salt cell must be cleaned every month. It's more like once or twice a year. If person doesn't want to clean them, just have a pool guy come out or take it to the pool store. That guy can clean them. I can't imagine they would charge very much for that.
I'd take a salt system or liquid chlorine over the tablets any day of the week. I only use tablets VERY sparingly such as when I'm gone for more than a couple of days. That's about it. I use liquid chlorine but one of these days, I'll get a salt system.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bgray9 View Post
On the three filtration options, there a trade-offs on all three. Sand filters the least out, cartridges are in the middle, and DE (or cellulose alternative) filters the most. Our house came with DE and I've switched to using cellulose fiber as the DE was starting to build up in the yard and cellulose doesn't have the health concerns DE does. If I was to replace the current Pentair filter, I'd either go with DE/cellulose filter or a cartridge, though if I was trying to be low maintenance I might give sand further consideration if I could live with the lesser level of filtering (it's not like sand, done properly, doesn't do a decent job, just to be clear).
Call me crazy but I love sand filters simply because they do the job simply, efficiently, cheaply and without adding anything negative to the environment. Since they don't filter quite as good as the others, a lot of pool people look at them negatively. They filter just fine. People have been using sand filters on pools for decades and they have worked just fine. Rivers naturally filter water very effectively and naturally using nothing more than rocks and sand. Good enough for me.
If I remember right, a DE filter gets things down to 4 microns, a cartridge filter system is capable of filtering down to something like 10 to 12 microns and a sand filter typically is around 20 microns. To give you an idea how small a micron is, there are over 25,000 microns in an inch.
A sand filter is plenty. That's not to say the others aren't good, it's just that they have a lot of negatives that a sand filter doesn't. That's all I'm saying.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:40 AM
 
238 posts, read 314,834 times
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That's a perfectly valid perspective on sand filters. I haven't had one, so I can't speak from personal experience on how good it filters. As I get older, the simplicity of a sand filter sounds more appealing. I've known people who claim they see a difference in filtering quality, so it's really down to what someone thinks is best for them.
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:20 AM
 
1,461 posts, read 2,876,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgray9 View Post
That's a perfectly valid perspective on sand filters. I haven't had one, so I can't speak from personal experience on how good it filters. As I get older, the simplicity of a sand filter sounds more appealing. I've known people who claim they see a difference in filtering quality, so it's really down to what someone thinks is best for them.
Well, I'm no professional but I help take care of several friends pools as well as my own. From my own experiences, I like a sand filter over the other two because of its simplicity but you are right about noticing a difference about how well each one filters. The DE filter is in a class of its own in how well it filters and the cartridge filters aren't far behind but a sand filter does just as good a job, it just takes a little longer. As long as you keep your pool clean of debris and properly sanitized, a sand filter will keep your pool just as clean as any other filter system. Where I notice a big difference is when I'm trying to clean up a pool after its turned green from algae. A sand filter will take 3 or 4 days to clear it up where a DE filter will do it in half the time but if you keep your pool in shape, you'll never notice a difference. Also, there is a little known tip for sand filter owners. If for some reason you are in a hurry to clean up an algae bloom, you can add a cup of DE powder to your sand filter and it will filter just as good as a DE filter for a little while. It works great. You will need to backwash more often but it does work.
When I first started working on pools, I thought I wanted a DE filter but over time, I have found that a sand filter is the way to go, at least for me. I love how simple and naturally they do the job at hand. A DE filter is good but I don't know what the future is going to be for those and cartridge filters are way too expensive.
Sand filter = simplicity at its finest.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,151 posts, read 1,937,546 times
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[quote=maverick974;45497822] While I'm not discounting your opinion, and I agree that salt systems use a little bit more MA (but not very much more), I'll have to disagree that the chlorine tablets are a good way to go. The added CYA that goes along with the tablets soon makes your CYA levels, and the chlorine levels totally unmanageable.
Yes, the tablets are not basically not harmful when handled and muriatic acid is some pretty nasty stuff, I can't ever recommend using those tablets. They just do too much damage to your chemistry. Also, I must disagree that the salt cell must be cleaned every month. It's more like once or twice a year. If person doesn't want to clean them, just have a pool guy come out or take it to the pool store. That guy can clean them. I can't imagine they would charge very much for that.
I'd take a salt system or liquid chlorine over the tablets any day of the week. I only use tablets VERY sparingly such as when I'm gone for more than a couple of days. That's about it. I use liquid chlorine but one of these days, I'll get a salt system.


Each system certainly has it's own set of advantages and disadvantages. I prefer to minimize my handling of things that can do serious harm to myself. Acid is really nasty stuff and I prefer to limit its use. The first summer I managed our pool I used liquid chlorine, and I found myself constantly buying and adding acid to keep the pH in check. Since I started using mostly trichlor tablets I rarely need to add acid. Of course this means more frequent drain/refill, but we can go at least a couple of years between refills.
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Old 09-16-2016, 02:00 PM
 
238 posts, read 314,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick974 View Post
Well, I'm no professional but I help take care of several friends pools as well as my own. From my own experiences, I like a sand filter over the other two because of its simplicity but you are right about noticing a difference about how well each one filters. The DE filter is in a class of its own in how well it filters and the cartridge filters aren't far behind but a sand filter does just as good a job, it just takes a little longer. As long as you keep your pool clean of debris and properly sanitized, a sand filter will keep your pool just as clean as any other filter system. Where I notice a big difference is when I'm trying to clean up a pool after its turned green from algae. A sand filter will take 3 or 4 days to clear it up where a DE filter will do it in half the time but if you keep your pool in shape, you'll never notice a difference. Also, there is a little known tip for sand filter owners. If for some reason you are in a hurry to clean up an algae bloom, you can add a cup of DE powder to your sand filter and it will filter just as good as a DE filter for a little while. It works great. You will need to backwash more often but it does work.
When I first started working on pools, I thought I wanted a DE filter but over time, I have found that a sand filter is the way to go, at least for me. I love how simple and naturally they do the job at hand. A DE filter is good but I don't know what the future is going to be for those and cartridge filters are way too expensive.
Sand filter = simplicity at its finest.
Good discussion. Definitely some food for thought down the road when I eventually replace my DE filter system, which is on the old side of things. Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:57 AM
 
235 posts, read 207,250 times
Reputation: 321
Well everyone pretty much nailed everything I was going to mention.

Stay away from chlorine tablets IMO. Unless you are just not able to deal with the pool a couple time during the week. CYA will absolutely get too high using tablets at some point. No way around it. And CYA is tied to chlorine. Meaning, the higher CYA gets the higher amount of free chlorine is needed to do the same sanitizing job. Thats why some people wonder why their pool isnt looking good even though the chlorine level looks normal.

There are no chlorine alternatives worth using. Many have tried. Whoever does come up with one will make a ton of money though. You likely wont smell chlorine if you keep a eye on your pool chemistry. When you smell chlorine it actually means there isnt enough chlorine in the pool. Chloramines form which is what you smell. Thats why public pools and hotel pools smell. They are under sanitized for the amount of disgusting filth that uses the pool.

Do yourself a big favor. If you dont want to spend on a auto pool cleaner, pick up a Pool Blaster vac. Waaaaaaaaaay better then dealing with hoses when you need to vacuum.
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