Best cartridge filters

seerenoMarch 5, 2010

I am getting ready to upgrade my old pentair DE filter to a new cartridge filter. A couple of questions:

1. Which brand is the best? Sta-Rite, Pentair or Hayward?

2. Does oversizing matter? I have a two story roof with solar, and have a pentair VS-3050 pump, will a larger filter have any effect on the way the solar performs?

3. Pricing to change out old system (filter and backwash) to new cartridge system?



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Going larger means less frequent cleanings for the cartridges. There is not a lot of impact with flow rates once you get to a larger unit but getting one that can handle the higher flows the 3050 can push, plus one size, is not a bad idea. The plumbing changes are not normally a major issue but without seeing what you have, I can't say for certain.

Labor to remove the old and install the new is typically about an hour or two unless there are some radical changes in your plumbing. Remember to add a valve to the pump exhaust so as to add a waste port.

This valve is used to lower the water when rain makes the level too high and for vacuuming to waste situations such as an algae bloom. Algae happens to everyone at some point. You don't want the dead algae in the filter cartridges. Pipe and fittings are cheap but a good 3 Way valve will add some to the cost.

Sta-Rite is owned by Pentair. System2 is similar to Pentair's Clean and Clear line. The two larger models handle up to 150 GPM which matches closely to what the 3050 can push. This will help prevent cartridge crush from excessive pressures.

The same can be said for the Hayward Swim and Clear models as well as the Jandy CL models in terms of sizing and throughput capabilities.

Keeping the cartridges clean is important for long life. Rinsing the dirt and debris off with a garden hose sprayer periodically means opening the tank and removing them. It's not a difficult chore if there is some room to work. Do NOT use a power washer!

Please remember to have a clean tub(s) large enough for soaking the cartridges overnight. There are 4 cartridges in these units and they are not cheap. Soaking in TSP or powdered dishwasher detergent removes the oils and lotions that will accumulate and not rinse off. This needs to be done about once or twice a year, depending on the bather load and length of your swim season.

If you plan on doing the work yourself, mail order may save some money but be sure to add in shipping. Please don't ask your local pro to install it if he didn't sell it.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:23AM
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??? #1

I'd suggest either the Pentair Clean & Clear 520, or the Jandy CL or CV 580 multi-cartridge filters over the Hayward or the StaRite models.

??? #2

Oversizing a swimming pool filter is the best money ever spent. I'd feel certain that the solar will perform the same, I don't see it performing better or worse.

??? #3

I'd charge around 1300-1500 to perform this swap in SE Texas.

I'm curious, why are you moving away from the DE filter?
I'd be buying a new 60 sq/ft DE filter if this job description was happening at my house.

See ya,

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:15PM
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Thanks for the information Scott. I was curious what are your thoughts on the StaRite system 3 cartridge? I recently just had a company out here and that is what he is pushing. I believe he said a System 3 300. In the rare occasion I do run my pump on high, would that be to much pressure on that small unit if i was to run my pump at 3000rpms?

Kelly, I had been leaning towards the pentair myself, but as you can see from above someone else is pushing something else. I can still insist he change to what I want but I may need to pay more if he can not get as good a deal on the pentair. Why do you not like the Sta Rite, from what I read they are just like the pentair?

As for the cartridge over DE, just ready for ease of use.Cartridges seem to be the way to go now and just make for easier cleaning.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 5:46PM
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System3 replacements are very expensive. Its a little annoying removing the clamps. Works well. I prefer the Clean and Clear and Jandy offerings.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:14PM
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quote" System3 replacements are very expensive. "quote

Their replacements are very expensive when compared to the others. This is the reason I don't prefer them.
However it is a very good filter.

See ya,

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:43PM
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"Its a little annoying removing the clamps."

"Their replacements are very expensive when compared to the others."

As a previous owner of a pool with a System 3 filter, I can second these opinions. The turning on those clamps just goes on and on and on and on and on! And - I had thought to buy a 2nd set of filters to give me more cleaning options, but quickly dismissed that idea when I saw the prices for replacement filter media.

Our current home has an older Hayward cartridge filter and when the previous owner's pool maint. co. came by to replace it prior to the home sale, I was amazed at how quickly he was able to switch it out. I wouldn't have been even halfway through turning the clamps on the System 3 in that time.

No complaints on the job the System 3 did in keeping the pool water clean though!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:35AM
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It sounds like the System 3 filter may be overkill for your pool size, not sure. In any case, it was designed to hold a significant amount of dirt and creat very little pressure drop in the process. Most of the dirt congregates at the bottom of the vessel, not the media, thus allowing the media to last longer. The replacements may be expensive, however, they should last longer then the common filter designs.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:38PM
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Thanks all for the info.. I have a DE,, love it,, but just got tagged by the city when the pool man did a minor backwash... I don't have a million people swimming in the pool-- I like the cartridge idea as long as I'm not continually throwing non-recyclable filters away... I will go oversized with either the Jandy or Pentair..

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 5:39PM
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I vote for the Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520. This is one piece of equipment that you can't really oversize. The bigger the better. Kelly's estimate on the cost is right in the ballpark.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 4:16PM
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Filters, properly cared for will last quite a few years. In addition to the hosing down to wash away the debris, they also need a good soak in either TSP or cheap powdered dishwasher detergent and then a re-rinse. I use a large, clean, plastic garbage can to mix the TSP/detergent with water. Then I agitate the water every couple hours. Any tears require the element be replaced.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 4:42PM
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