Though Pool Cartridge Filters are typically a bit more expensive than sand filters, cartridge filters are just as easy to maintain, and are more effective as long as you don’t have a huge pool.
Inside a tank slightly smaller than their sand cousins is a plastic cylinder surrounded by pleated polyester filter media and capped on each end. Water flows into the tank and through the pleats. Debris as small as 10 microns is captured in the filter, then clean water heads back to the pool.
Pool Filter Cartridges are energy efficient and inexpensive. As the filter collects contaminants, it’ll need cleaning. Rather than backwashing, you’ll simply remove the cartridge from the tank, and spray it with a hose to remove debris and dirt.
Occasionally, you’ll want to spray it down with filter cleaner, and on a regular basis, soak it in diluted muriatic acid or a chemical filter cleaning solution. While this is a bit more physical work for you than backwashing, it wastes less water.
Pool Cartridge Filter Pros:
Filters contaminants as small as 10 microns
No backwashing; less water waste
Performs well at low speeds, such as with variable-speed pumps
Cartridge Filter Cons:
More work than sand filters
Lasts only 2 to 3 years
Deep cleaning required 1 to 2 times per year