Swimming pool filters: the benefits of glass media

AFM Dryden Aqua
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Which filter media should I install in my swimming pool?

Swimming pool filters are necessary to ensure that dirt, debris and contaminants are filtered effectively out of the pool water. The most popular filter media amongst our customers is still sand. 

But one filter media that is becoming a direct competitor to traditional sand media is glass. 

At Eagle Leisure, we specifically use AFM from Dryden Aqua for our glass filter media. This is a specifically engineered glass product, that we have had particular success with. So when we are referring to glass media in the below review, we are specifically referring to AFM. Other glass products will vary in performance. 

 

What is AFM®? (Activated Filter Media)

AFM (Activated Filter Media) is a sand replacement made out of glass. It is specifically engineered from recycled glass and processed to obtain the perfect size and shape for maximum filter efficiency. 

The benefits of AFM filter media

Generally speaking, glass will outperform sand. But AFM outperforms both sand and other types of glass filter media.

AFM will:

1. More than double the performance of an existing filter

2. Lowers backwash water demand by average 50%

3. Lasts for the lifetime of the filtration system

4. Made of recycled materials

5. Provides a return on investment 

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AFM filter media is more effective than sand (and all glass)

Glass has a slight negative charge, so attracts and traps very fine particles like a microfibre cloth. Standard glass filter media can filter tiny particles as small as 5 micron (compared to the 20-40 micron trapped by sand).

The graph below is independent test data showing the filtration efficiency of AFM in comparison to other filter media. It can filter particles as small as 1 micron. And doubles the filter performance in comparison to sand. 

Dryden AFM

Plus glass filter media has another unique feature, which helps it reign superior over sand. Filtration takes place through the entire filtration depth, unlike sand which usually takes place across the top 6 inches. This allows for a larger contaminant load. This is due to the density of glass, which doesn’t pack as tightly as sand.

Because of this it can trap more contaminants while only using approx. 80% of the media required when compared to traditional sand.

AFM filter media uses less water

One of the main advantages of AFM filter media in swimming pool filters is its potential to save water. 

As the glass media more efficient it needs less backwashing. The average duration of backwashing can be reduced, resulting in up to 50% less water usage. 

This is important from a sustainability perspective, energy savings and also water costs in commercial properties where water is charged dependent on usage.

AFM filter media is made of recycled materials

glass swimming pool filterGlass filter media is entirely made from the surplus of recycled glass that already exists. 

For companies with sustainability high on their agenda, glass beads can be one way of achieving this goal.

AFM filter media lasts for the lifetime of the filter

Swimming pool filters using sand, require media replacement approx. every 3-5 years. 

Glass filter media last on average 5 – 10 years. However some glass advocates claim glass can be used for a lot longer. With some people claiming AFM lasts the lifetime of the filter. 

AFM filter media lasts for the lifetime of the filter

AFM filter media does cost more than traditional sand filter media. 

However there are a couple of the benefits that make it an investment worth making.

As already mentioned, AFM (glass) filter media is more effective and helps to lower the level of Chlorine that needs to be used. Plus, water usage is reduced. 

This helps reduce the overall running costs in terms of chemical maintenance, water usage and energy costs. 

In addition, the glass filter media needs replaced less often. Filter media changes can be expensive, especially in large commercial premises. Having to do this less often will save a lot of money in filter maintenance costs

The cons of AFM: Is AFM suitable for everyone?

There are a few reasons that you might opt against AFM.

1. AFM (glass) filter media is more expensive

The initial outlay of glass beads is higher. It is more expensive to install.

However, basing the decision solely on cost may be a false economy. 

Length of time, and water savings may produce payback for glass bead filter media within a year and outweigh the initial cost.

1. AFM (glass) filter media can't be used with all pumps

In order for AFM to be as efficient and effective as possible, the pumps need to be able to produce a back wash rate of 45metres cubed/hour. 

If your pumps cannot do this, then you might not be able to install AFM.

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In conclusion

Sand is still the go to choice for filter media, but glass is becoming more and more popular. This is due to the increased effectiveness over sand. 

Plus the long term savings that can be made over the lifetime of the filter media. That’s why, if suitable and possible, we always recommend that you install AFM glass filter media.

If you are thinking of installing a new filter or swapping over to glass filter media then get in touch. 

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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