Worst filtration properties of the three types listed
Typical cartridge filters use 4 cylindrical accordion pleated filters to trap anything larger than 15 microns. This is Pool Agency's preferred filter type to install. It has good filtration properties with low maintenance and zero yard mess.
Never has to be backwashed (making it the ideal filter for salt systems)
No mess in yard from backwashing
Cartridges are durable and will usually only crush under very high pressure conditions
Small environmental footprint
Needs to be cleaned out once every 6 months
Initial install is slightly more expensive than the other two filter types
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (DE)
Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of a type of hard-shelled algae, among other things. It is used as a filtration aid in DE filters by coating the exterior of the filtration grids and trapping anything larger than 2 microns.
DE filters have the absolute best filtration properties between the three filters listed.
DE is a known carcinogen and costs additional money to add more DE throughout the year as necessary. (DE leaves the filter every time it is backwashed)-Filtration grids are relatively fragile and will crush/tear at lower pressures than cartridge filters.
They need to be cleaned out once every 6 months.
DE filters must be backwashed periodically, but not as often as sand filters.