Pool salt water filter – Select the best filtration system

Salt Water Pool Filters

Filters for salt water pools are an essential component in maintaining a clean and healthy pool. Filtration will ensure that undesired filth and debris are removed from the water, which no one wants floating about while they are trying to relax and enjoy a soothing swim. There are three different forms of filtration that work well with a salt water system.

Electrolytic pool cells are sometimes mistakenly referred to as salt water filters, but they don’t filter anything; instead, they use electrolysis to convert the present salt in your pool water into minimal levels of chlorine. Continue reading for some useful suggestions and advice, including our salt water filter comparison chart, if you want to learn more about filters that function well in salt water systems.

The most common type of filtration is a sand pool filter, which is popular since it is inexpensive and provides good filtering. Sand filters are very adaptable and can be utilized in a variety of applications, including hot tubs, above-ground pools, and big communal pools like those found in a residential complex, hotel, or waterpark.

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The main disadvantages of sand filters are that they have the worst filtration of all the filters and that they need to be backwashed weekly or biweekly. Sand filters can filter particles down to 40 microns, whereas de filters can only filter particles down to 5 microns.

Cartridge filters are popular due to its high level of filtration, which may remove particles as small as 10 microns. This makes them four times better at filtration than sand, but only half as good as diatomaceous earth. A cartridge filter works by using paper filters that can be cleaned and reused for several years before needing to be replaced.

There is no need for backwash, which means less maintenance and, of course, saving water for the environment. The devices themselves are simple to maintain and repair, but the initial cost is more than the alternatives. When it comes to salt water pool filters, we recommend them because of their overall quality and low maintenance requirements.

The diatomaceous earth powder used for filtration gives D.E. pool filters its name. They have the best filtration of all the models, with a pore size of more than 5 microns. Filtration levels are unrivaled, resulting in some of the clearest water you’ll ever see. Superior water quality will be recognized by anybody who uses your pool if you utilize a salt system with D.E. filtration.

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The biggest disadvantage of D.E. pool filters is that they are difficult to operate and maintain. They are costly to fix and replace if you require them in the terrible case that you need them. Due of the possible environmental damage that diatomaceous earth poses, there has been a drive in recent years to get them banned in several localities.


To have gorgeous, crystal-clear water, you need good pool filtration. Pool filters are an important aspect of your pool’s filtration system because they maintain your pool clean by capturing dirt and debris and recirculating clean water. Choosing the correct pool filter for your pool ensures that the water is clean and safe to swim in.


Pool filters are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choosing the correct pool filter will ensure that your water is fully and efficiently cleaned. Here are some things to watch for:


Pool filters are available in a variety of sizes, depending on the size of the pool and the amount of time it is used. It’s also crucial to think about how much foliage there is around the pool. Less maintenance is associated with a larger filter capacity.


Some filters are simple to install and do not require professional assistance, but others do. This is dependent on the model and brand of the filter.

We’re here to answer all of your questions, including how to choose the proper filter, whether you’re looking for a new filter or just want to learn more about how to keep your pool healthy and clean.


It’s critical to understand each of the three basic types of filters before selecting one for your pool. Each sort of filter has its own set of benefits and cons.

Sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (D.E.) are the three basic types of filters that can be utilized with your salt system. When choosing a filter for your salt water pool, keep in mind that each one has its own set of benefits, applications, and drawbacks. Pool size, bather load or usage, filter quality, and maintenance are just a few of the factors to think about.

If you want to learn more about the many types of salt water pool filters, click on the links below. There is information about each type of filter available, including how to maintain, clean, and what products to use.

Sand Pool Filter

Because of its low cost and ease of maintenance, sand filtration is the most used filter in home pools. The filtration isn’t as good as some other options, but it’ll suffice for most pools. This filter type makes use of pool sand as well as other novel sand alternatives that perform well with salt water systems and help you get crystal clean water.

This filter type is the easiest to maintain, although it provides coarser filtering. Water is pushed through a big amount of sand to make them work. Backwashing, in which particles are forced to the top of the sand and out a waste pipe, cleans the filter by merely turning a valve (this can use significant amounts of water).


  • Cleaning is a breeze.
  • Affordably priced
  • Long-lasting


  • Filtration with lower performance, collecting material as small as 20-30 microns.
  • When backwashing, up to 1000 gallons of water can be used.
  • After a few years, it’s difficult to replace the vast amount of sand.

Cartridge Filters

A cartridge filter system is appropriate for household pools since it provides mid-level filtration. Because of its simple operation, the filters are straightforward to replace, and the machine itself is simple to maintain. The cartridges are reasonably priced, and they are supplied in multi-packs for convenience and cost savings.

This filter type strikes a good mix between performance, maintenance simplicity, and cost. Cartridges, which are pleated tubes that enable fine water filtration and normally last a few years, filter the water. Cleaning the cartridges is as simple as hosing them down.


  • Debris as small as 5-10 microns can be captured using cartridges.
  • It is simple to set up and maintain.
  • Affordable
  • Most Energy Efficient


  • Cleaning a cartridge might take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes.
  • Cleaning is more “hands-on” than with other filters.
  • After years of wear and tear, internal cartridges must be replaced.

D.E. Pool Filters

The capacity to filter down to 5 microns makes De filters the cadillac of filters. They do necessitate a monthly backwash, and some systems can be difficult for pool owners to understand. They’re an excellent choice for luxury pools with low to moderate consumption and an all-around excellent filter system for pool owners who demand the best.

With a little more complexity and cost, this type of filter provides the best filtration. It works by passing water through “grids” coated in diatomaceous earth powder.


  • Filtration that is extremely fine, trapping material as small as 3-6 microns.
  • If properly cared for, it will last a long time.
  • DE powder is simple to replace


  • Filter type that is usually the most expensive.
  • Backwashing and disassembly are required for filter cleaning to hose off grids.
  • After each cleaning, DE powder must be refilled.

A Cyclonic Pre-Filter is another factor to consider. Pre-filters cut filter maintenance in half by catching up to 80% of the dirt and debris that would otherwise clog your main filter. It accomplishes this without the need of any moving parts or filter media, and accumulates the dirt in a clear chamber that cleans itself in seconds with only 2-4 liters of water! A prefilter is one of the most recent additions to a low-maintenance pool.

check out this detailed article on where we discuss everything about a salt water system for pool

A salt water pool is no different than any other inground pool in terms of design. The only distinction is in how the pool is disinfected. It employs a chlorine generator instead of chlorine tablets and shock. Whether or whether to obtain one is entirely a personal decision.

In the past, how were swimming pools sanitized?

An inline or offline chlorinator is usually connected to the filtration system in a typical chlorine system. Depending on the size of the pool and how much it is used, the end user typically fills this with chlorine on a weekly or biweekly basis. This is the most frequent method for distributing chlorine in a pool.

Sanitation in a Salt Water Pool is a Little Different

The salt system, also known as a generator, is purchased and installed on the pool’s pressure side, behind the filtration system. The salt generator is made up of two parts: a control box and a salt cell. Metal plates attached to the control box are found in the salt cell. The control box transmits an electrical charge to the plates, which causes electrolysis to produce chlorine. The salt in the pool water is converted to Hypochlorous acid as it travels through the salt cell. When any chlorine is added to pool water, whether it’s in the form of sticks, tablets, granular, or liquid, hypochlorous acid is generated. The newly created chlorine will be introduced to the pool as the water returns to the pool.

A salt water pool is also a chlorine pool because, even though no chlorine is added to the pool, the salt generator produces chlorine.

So, what exactly are we discussing?

Filters, pumps, and even chemicals added to a pool are not used in salt water pools. The salt system, which comprises of the salt cell, the control box, and the granular salt that is supplied to the pool, is what makes them “salt water.” This is done once for the initial application and then as needed thereafter. The control box contains easily accessible up and down arrow buttons. You can adjust the amount of salt produced based on your preferences. Most of these boxes also feature a boost option that allows you to run the system at full production, which is similar to shocking a pool manually.

What Are The Advantages Of Having A Salt System?

A salt system has the advantage of removing the need for pool owners to handle chlorine in its physical form. There is no chlorine storage on the site, and no chlorine tablets or shock are purchased on a regular basis. In reality, after the salt system is up and running and the water has reached typical balance levels, there is usually less chlorine interaction. Despite the fact that this is still a chlorine pool, the water feels softer than in regular chlorine pools. Another advantage is that once the salt is put to the water and the salinity is optimal, there will be less trips to the pool store for chlorine or shock, as there would be with classic forms of chlorinators.

It Smells Like Salt Water! So, what are the disadvantages?

The cost of a salt generator is significantly higher than that of a chlorine-based system. Because salt can be corrosive, any professional pool installer or service firm must take certain precautions. Items that are traditionally constructed of steel, such as railings and ladders, should be transformed into a composite, sealed steel, or plastic to prevent corrosion. A sacrificial zinc anode next to the filtration system is recommended by any professional pool builder or service business. As a result of the salt system, this will absorb part of the stray current that is present in the water. Zinc is a malleable metal. The anode will be attacked first by the stray current. Because these anodes are easily replaced, they will be able to withstand more abuse than the majority of the other metals in the pool. Face plates, light rings, and step trims, as well as the anchor sockets that support the rails and ladders, all have stainless steel screws. If the pool has a heater, the heat exchanger will be built of copper or titanium as well. Splash out, which can happen when the pool is in use and people wander around dripping water from their bathing suits onto the deck, can cause problems, especially if the decking is made of non-salt-friendly materials like travertine, some types of bluestone, or flagstone. When water evaporates, a million parts per million of salt might be left on the deck. Due to the residual salt that will always be in the water, it is significantly more corrosive than a standard chlorine-based pool.

A non-stabilized kind of chlorine is produced in a salt water pool. Algaecides, clarifiers, and PH balancers are integrated straight into the tablet form of chlorine (stabilized). Only this form of chlorine is produced by the salt system, which results in an extremely high pH level. The pH balance is critical for maintaining water clarity as well as the integrity of some of the materials used in the pool’s construction.

So Here’s What I’ve Decided…

It is up to the pool owner to decide whether or not to utilize a salt system in their pool. It’s a trade-off between what you consider to be more important.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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