Best Cartridge Pool Filters for Inground and Above Ground Pools

A pool filter is a must to get a sparkling-looking pool. The filter will capture dirt, dust, and debris and leave your backyard pool crystal clear. You can find three types of filters- sand filter, DE filter, and cartridge filter.  So, you can easily get overwhelmed if you don’t know which type of pool filter provides superior filtration. 

Your neighbor may recommend the sand filter as they are affordable and easy to maintain. But when it comes to the comparison between the sand filter vs. cartridge filter, we recommend the cartridge one the most. 

Cartridge filter can capture fine particles below 10 microns. So, your pool water will be crystal clear. Fortunately, we reviewed the 6 best cartridge pool filter systems to make your buying decision easy. 

Best Cartridge Pool Filter For In-Ground Pool

Go for any of these cartridge pool filters if you have an in-ground pool in your backyard. 

01. Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter (Best Overall)

Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
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Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Filter is the best cartridge pool filter for an in-ground pool. We ranked it as best overall for several reasons- ease of operation, large capacity, and optimum filtering capacity. 

Firstly, you can easily operate this unit. Close the filter drain, open all the system valves, and turn the manual air relief valve to the open position. Now, turn on your pool pump. Now, the pump will move your pool water through the filter to filter out the water. 

Secondly, the capacity of this cartridge filter is large. The Hayward offers a cartridge filter with 325 sq feet. So, it can hold a lot of dirt, dust, and debris. Indeed, you don’t need to clean the filter for a long (minimum a year) time between cleaning. 

Now, it’s time to take the eyes to its filtering capability. It features multi-element filters with superior water filtration capacity. Unlike other cartridge filters, this can capture fine dust and particles to keep the pool crystal clear. It delivers a higher flow rate to filter 9000 gallons of water per hour to leave the pool dirt-free. 

Besides its performance, this cartridge filter is easy to clean. Just remove the cartridge and wash the filter with a garden hose. And the best part is- you don’t need to backwash the filter as the cartridges are cleanable. 

Pros

  • Low-profile tank base design makes it a breeze to remove the cartridges for clean & replacement
  • Full-size 1-1/2-inch integral drain for fast clean-out
  • Provide ultimate filtering result

Cons

  • Typical installation against a wall makes the drain plug unaccessible.

02. Hayward W3C9002 SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter (Best for Small Pool)

Hayward W3C9002 SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
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Hayward W3C9002 SwimClear Plus is the best cartridge pool filter for small in-ground pools. If you have a swimming pool of up to 13000-gallon, this cartridge filter will be your go-to option. It provides enough pressure and flow rate to filter 5400 gallons of water per hour. 

The StarClear Plus filters use a reusable extra-large single-element cartridge with a new precision-engineered core and gasket molded end caps. It delivers superior strength and maximum flow to filter out fine dust, dirt, and particles to leave your pool crystal clear. 

For convenience, you can easily clean the filter when it gets filled with dirt & debris. Its unique design makes it a breeze to remove the cartridge in the filter assembly with no tools. Just spin off the single locking knob, lift off the filter cover, and remove the cartridge. Then, wash the cartridge with a garden hose. 

Now, let’s move on to its construction. The tank uses durable materials to add longevity. Its single-piece injection molding for the base and body provides added strength that ensures durability. 

Pros

  • Convenient to clean for the single-knob design
  • Provide superior filtering performance
  • Durable and long-lasting design

Cons

  • You need to maintain it more often. However, it’s simple to clean this cartridge filter.

03. XtremepowerUS Deluxe 200 sq ft Pool Cartridge Filter (Best Budget)

XtremepowerUS Deluxe 200 sq ft Pool Cartridge Filter In-Ground Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Filter System
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If you want to get a cartridge filter to leave your pool crystal clear without costing a leg and arm, go for the ExtremepowerUs Delux Pool Cartridge Filter. 

Though this cartridge pool filter is affordable, it doesn’t sacrifice the filtering efficiency. Its extra-large cartridge element with new precision engineered extruded core delivers maximum strength and flow. Its 2″ in and outlet connection offers a 150 GPM flow rate to filter out 72000 gallons of water per 8 hours. 

This single cartridge pool filter has a raised inlet for holding extra dirt, dust, and debris. By installing this filter with your system, you can capture fine dirt from 10-15 microns. So, you will get crystal clear water for swimming, and the large dirt capacity of this filter requires no frequent cleanup. 

Turns out, you can easily remove the filter cartridges for regular washing or replacement. Just unfasten the single knob, pull out the filter cover, and remove the cartridges. Then, use a garden hose to clean the cartridge filters. 

Lastly, it’s time to talk about durability. The filter tank uses extra-durable glass reinforced copolymer material as its construction. So, you don’t need to worry about its longevity as it can handle the toughest environmental conditions. 

Pros

  • Effortless to remove the filter cartridge for cleaning or replacement
  • Use durable copolymer material to ensure longevity
  • Deliver higher flow rate to filter out a large amount of water 
  • Effective to capture particles as small as 10-15 microns to leave your pool crystal clear

Cons

  • Some users complain they find the pressure gauge missing in the package. 

Best Cartridge Pool Filter For Above Ground Pool

If you want to get rid of every speck of dirt from your above-ground pool, take the following pool filters into account. 

04. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump (Best Combo)

INTEX 28637EG C1000 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
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Are you looking for a filter and pump combo for complete pool cleaning without spending a fortune? Then, the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump will be your best pick. 

The filter cartridge pump delivers a 1000 GPH pump flow rate. It means you can filter out your 6000-gallon Intex above-ground pool with ease. The best part is- its replaceable cartridge filter can capture fine dirt & particles. So, your swimming pool will remain crystal clear and ensure a healthy swim. 

Turns out, this filter pump includes a hydro-aeration technology inlet fitting. It will help to improve water clarity by circulating & filtering the water. 

Installing the filter pump will be a piece of cake. You just need to attach hoses and plug the unit. 

Pros

  • Perfect for a pool of 6000 gallons of water
  • Convenient to install
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • It’s not specially designed to capture and collect dirt & dust. Indeed, it’s a combo of pump & filter. 

05. Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump (Best for Above Ground Pool)

INTEX 28633EG C2500 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
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Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is the best cartridge pool filter for an above-ground pool. It delivers a pump flow rate of 2500 GPH and a system flow rate of 1900 GPH. As a result, this pump will circulate and filter the water evenly to leave your pool crystal clear. 

The type B cartridge it includes can capture fine particles, dirt, and dust. So, you don’t need to worry about the filtering capacity of this filter pump. On top of this, the strainer basket this pool pump includes can prevent the dirt & debris from reaching the pump. It doesn’t only increases the filtering efficiency but also adds longevity to the pump. 

Like other Intex filter pumps, this one is also integrated with hydro-aeration technology. Due to this feature, you will get a pool with high clarity water. 

Therefore, the filter it features is replaceable and cleanable. It means you can use the same filter for a long time by washing periodically. 

Pros

  • Easy to clean due to the replaceable cartridge filter
  • Convenient to install
  • No extra parts required for installation

Cons

  • The filter gets clogged often and you need to clean it frequently

06. Hayward W3CC15093S XStream (Premium Choice)

Hayward W3CC15093S XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump System
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Hayward W3CC15093 will be your best filter pump combo for an above-ground pool.

The 1.5HP pool pump generates enough power to draw more water from your pool and let them go into the filter. Forget to mention that this pump has a strainer basket. It captures the dirt & debris and prevents that debris from reaching the pump. It adds longevity to your pump and increases the filtering efficiency.

Turns out, the Hayward includes a larger size cartridge filter. As a result, it ensures an equal distribution of dirt & debris throughout the filtering element. 

Finally, it’s time to check out the construction of this pool filter pump. Its body uses durable material to shield outdoor wear & tear. Therefore, it can also resist corrosion. 

Pros

  • Quick access to all internal components due to Easy-Lok ring design
  •  A durable filter tank provides years of trouble-free operation
  • Offer efficient filtering result

Cons

  • Some users complain that the pressure gauge stopped working after the first summer.

Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Cartridge Pool Filters

Consider the following criteria before choosing a cartridge pool filter. 

Pool Type

First off, consider the pool type you have before going for a pool filter. It is indispensable to know because not every filter fits your pool type. For example, if you have an above-ground pool, you should get a cartridge filter compatible with your pool type. Fortunately, we enlisted filters for both types of pools. 

Filter Size

Pool filters are rated by GPM per square foot. We recommend the pool filter according to the same GPM as your pool pump. If it seems challenging to understand, get a larger size filter so that it can tackle the power of your pump. 

Filtering Efficiency

The filtering efficiency of a filter depends on the flow rate and the cartridge element. For example, the Hayward C3030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter provides a higher flow rate to filter 9000 gallons of water per hour. And it has multi-cartridge elements to capture fine dirt, debris, and particles. So, you don’t need to worry about the filtering capability. 

Durability

How long the cartridge filter lasts will depend on the material it uses. Every cartridge filter we listed uses glass reinforced copolymer or single-piece injection molding. As a result, those filters can handle rough environmental conditions and corrosion. 

Ease of Cleaning

Before picking a cartridge filter, consider the easy cleaning system of the filter. Luckily, every filter we reviewed comes with a locking knob system. Just unfasten the knob and remove the cover. Then, pull out the cartridges and wash them with a garden hose. 

How To Deep Clean Pool Cartridge Filter

All of the cartridge filters we mentioned are replaceable. It means you can clean them and bring back their filtering efficiency. And this chapter will let you learn how to wash the cartridge filter. 

  • Turn off the control panel first.
  • Remove the drain plug by loosening with your hand and drain all the water from the filter. If you find it difficult to remove the plug, use a wrench to unfasten the drain plug.
  • Next, unscrew the single knob and remove the filter cover. Afterward, pull out the cartridge elements. 
  • Some of the cartridge filters have top bars on the cartridge elements. Pull them out gently, and then remove those cartridge filters.
  • Now, use a garden hose and start spraying the filters to clean the dirt and debris. 
  • You can also use a cartridge cleaner and apply it to your filters. Let it sit by leaving it for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse your filter with water.
  • Lastly, let the filter dry. 

FAQs

  1. Are Cartridge Pool Filters Good?

    Yes, cartridge pool filters have a lot of good. A cartridge filter will leave your pool crystal clear by capturing & collecting fine dirt, dust, and particles. In other words, the filter will make the cloudy pool sparkling clean. 

  2. How long do cartridge pool filters last?

    Generally, a cartridge pool filter will last between 3 to 5 years, depending on the usage and maintenance. However, you will get more longevity if you maintain the filter frequently. 

  3. How often should cartridge pool filters be replaced?

    Typically, a cartridge filter will last for 3-5 years. So, you need to replace the cartridge filter after this timeframe. To replace a cartridge filter, you need to spend $200-$1600. 

  4. Sand filter or cartridge, Which is the better for your pools?

    A cartridge filter is better than a sand filter for your pools. With a cartridge filter, you can capture fine particles below 10 microns. But a sand filter can catch only dirt above 20 microns. Therefore, cleaning the cartridge filter is simpler than the sand filter. 

  5. Do you backwash a cartridge filter?

    No, a cartridge filter requires no backwashing. It means you need to put a lot of elbow grease and waste a lot of water to backwash the cartridge filter. Just remove the filter from the tank and use a garden hose to wash the cartridge filter. 

Final Verdict

Among the 6 best cartridge pool filters we mentioned, we recommend the Hayward C3030 SwimClear Filter most for in-ground pools. It is durable, functional, and simple to use & clean. 

On the other hand, go for the Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump if you have an above-ground pool. You can also go with any of the filters on the list based on your preferences. 

No matter which filters you will buy, we suggest you clean the filter timely to get the peak performance.

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