Are all paper filters the same?

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Another Brian

Are all paper filters the same?

Postby Another Brian » Mon 30 Jul, 2012 06:50

My local pool guy claims that there is a big difference in quality between paper pool filter manufacturers. He swears by unicel.

In a lab setting (e.g. college chem lab), you can get different paper filters that filter down to different micron levels. But in the pool filter business, no one is advertising based upon the micron level. (Indeed, you can find discussion on the www that discusses micron levels provided across the different filter types (e.g., earth based filter). I noticed that Hayward has a so called Microban paper filter.

My guy swears by Unicel. Home Depot sales a non-name brand. Are they all the same?

BTW - looking around ebay and other places online, it sure looks like you can save a bundle by buying your filters online.


TSH Tech

Are all paper filters the same?

Postby TSH Tech » Wed 08 Aug, 2012 03:35

Not all cartridge filters are created equal. Regardless of what they claim, they're not going to filter down to DE quality. Unicel is a popular replacement brand that is reliable, good as OEM. When I replace cartridges, our supplier carries Unicel as well as OEM name brands which are marked up tremendously because of the name brand. It's a good brand that lasts.

When buying filter cartridges, the key features that make them durable are their filter media and rubber/plastic end caps. For example, there's is an older model of Pentair filter installed on pools and I've seen some of our customers take the cheap route and order a filter online for much less than what my company sells it for. I'm not hurt over it, they're free to do whatever they want. So they get the filter and install it. I perform the annual cleaning for our clients and notice this particular filter has a orange rubber cap that holds all the filter pleats together. I also notice, this one is much more flimsy than the one prior. I smirk for a moment, because I know about this filter. So I finish cleaning and put it back together. By the 3rd or 4th month, since they bought this filter and saved lots of money doing so, it happens right on schedule. The orange rubber caps start to develop deep cracks allowing a certain amount of water to bypass filtering. Soon they will have to replace it again before the year is over. By now you probably guessed they bought a cheap made filter, probably from China, that disintegrated in a very short time.
So the moral of the story is, if you buy a filter replacement, at the least get a Unicel or bite the bullet and get the OEM name brand, you're going to get around 4 years life expectancy from a higher quality product.

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