The quest to create a filtration system that handles high flow rates and bather loads, filters the finest particles possible and stays unclogged with minimal maintenance has led to the development of some promising new technologies.
As electrolytic salt chlorinators (ECGs) become more common on residential pools, some manufacturers are exploring cartridge materials designed to operate at maximum efficiency in the somewhat different chemical environments of these pools.
“We’re upgrading our componentry to make sure it withstands all the harsh elements that the a salt-chlorinated pool can create for a cartridge,” says Bruce Stump, vice president of sales and marketing at Filbur Manufacturing in Buena Park, Calif.
One of the greatest design challenges has been to create a cartridge filter that catches tiny particles, while not becoming plugged with larger ones. One company, Pleatco LLC in Glen Cove, N.Y., has developed a dual-layer filter to get around this problem — an outer shell catches particles in the 20-micron range, while an inner core captures particles down to 3 microns in size.
“It’s essentially a filter in a filter,” says Richard Medina, Pleatco’s vice president of operations and engineering.
Meanwhile, some companies are exploring an entirely different direction — searching for new materials to try as filter media, or attempting to synthesize entirely novel ones. It was this approach that led to the introduction of zeolite — a microporous mineral — into the pool industry.
Other manufacturers have tested different minerals — as well as more unusual substances such as finely ground glass and powdered plant fiber — in their efforts to offer more efficient, more eco-friendly filter media to the industry.
While methods like these have yet to see widespread use, they provide an encouraging glimpse into a future when filtration methods may be far more precise — and more user-friendly — then anything we see today. However, still others have kept their focus on refining the products their consumers know and trust, as they study new filter media for potential future applications.
“We’re researching a filter media made from 90 percent post-consumer products, as an alternative offering,” says Scott Gleason, national sales manager for Unicel in Chatsworth, Calif. “But our basic product line is going to remain largely the same, as we continue to refine our technology and manufacturing, as well as the raw materials we put into our cartridges.”
Pool & Spa News wishes to thank the following people for providing their expertise for this article:
• Richard Medina, vice president of
operations and engineering at Pleatco, LLC in Glen Cove, N.Y.
• Steve Boykins, owner of AquaPoolCo in Los Angeles
• John Shonfield, owner of Shonfield Pools in Los Angeles
• Scott Gleason, national sales manager at Unicel in Chatsworth, Calif.
• Bruce Stump, vice president of sales and marketing at Filbur Manufacturing in Buena Park, Calif.