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Sand or Zelbrite

Media filters are a popular choice for both inground and above ground pools. Customers often hear different views as to which media is best to use in their filter - Zelbrite or sand? Below we hope to distinguish the differences between the two

Why should I use Zelbrite instead of sand in my filter?

Zelbrite is the filter media of the future and has much more to offer:

  1. The performance of D.E. with the ease of sand.
  2. Better filtration (3 microns) means a saving in chemicals usage and better looking water.
  3. Removal of ammonia - better swimming comfort - no smell - no more irritation to skin and eyes.
  4. Because of its greater surface you will not have to backwash as often - on average twice as long between backwashing therefore saving water - up to 30%
  5. Leading Australian swimming pool filter manufacturers recognise these benefits and have chosen to promote this ultimate filter media.
  6. No only has Zelbrite been chosen as the best form of filter media in domestic pools it is being used in many aquatic centres - swim schools and council pools throughout Australia and overseas.
  7. Zelbrite comes from a naturally formed volcanic rock

How much Zelbrite do I need in my filter?

Zelbrite has a lower bulk density than sand, hence you require 75% by weight of the amount of sand required, and this will vary depending on the size of the filter. A 15kg bag of Zelbrite is equivalent in volume to a 20kg bag of sand.

Most filters have a name plate which will give you the size of the tank, e.g. 24in and also specify the amount of sand required, for example 140kg, which is 7x20kg bags of sand, or 7x15kg bags of Zelbrite.

How well does Zelbrite filter

Tests carried out by an Australian University prove that Zelbrite filters out dirt particles down to less than 1 micron. This compares with sand at 15 microns and diatomaceous earth (DE) at around 5 microns. Zelbrite also removes ammonium ions which inhibits formation of potentially harmful chloramine compounds.

What is Zelbrite made from?

Zelbrite is an Australian product. It is manufactured from naturally occurring zeolitic material which was formed as a result of ancient volcanic activity over 300 million years ago.

Why do I have to backwash and rinse three times when I first install Zelbrite?

As with new sand, you must backwash two or three times to clean out any dust. With Zelbrite the three backwash and rinse cycles ensures that any adhering clay is removed, and importantly, the different particle sizes are separated - the finer material rising to the top of the filter tank and the coarser grains settling to the bottom covering the laterals.

Do I have to modify my filter?

No, all domestic sand filters are suitable for use with Zelbrite.

What does Zelbrite Regeneration mean?

Zelbrite is able to adsorb ammonium ions from water however over time it will become saturated and unable to take up more ammonium ions. The process of regeneration removes the adsorbed ammonium ions, effectively 'refreshing' the Zelbrite. Even if Zelbrite is not regenerated, say once every one or two years, this will not affect its superior filtration performance.

If I want to regenerate my Zelbrite, how do I do it?

The procedure is very simple. It comprises adding sufficient pool salt to the filter to produce a 10% concentration, leave stand overnight before backwashing two or three times.

Can I use Zelbrite with a Saltwater Chlorinator or Ioniser?

Yes. Some of our distributors are also leading filter and saltwater chlorinator manufacturers and they recommend their chlorinators and ionisers be used with Zelbrite filters.

If I have a saltwater pool do I still need occasionally to regenerate my Zelbrite?

Yes, saltwater chlorinators typically produce water with a salt level of around 6000ppm which is not concentrated enough to regenerate the Zelbrite.

How often do I have to replace Zelbrite?

Filter manufacturers have always recommended that sand should be changed every 4 to 6 years. Zelbrite is as hard as sand so it will therefore last just as long.

Will I have to backwash as often if I change from sand to Zelbrite?

No, Zelbrite's superior filtration capability results in fewer backwashes being required. You should expect an extra 2 to 4 weeks between backwashes.

Do I use more water to backwash and rinse with Zelbrite?

No, tests actually show that you can save up to 30% of water when using Zelbrite.

Is Zelbrite used in commercial pools?

Yes, Zelbrite is used in many commercial pools. Among the latest to choose Zelbrite is the Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre which includes a 50 metre pool served by six filters with each filter holding a tonne of Zelbrite. You will find that many swim schools have changed to Zelbrite because it provides their customers with the best quality water and delivers significant savings on chemicals

Does Zelbrite have any effect pH?

No, Zelbrite is pH neutral.

Are there any additives or impurities in Zelbrite?

No, Zelbrite is manufactured entirely from a naturally occurring zeolitic mineral resource. The manufacturing process does not involve treatment with, or addition, of any form of chemicals or other materials.

Note: Direct Pool Supplies does not ship sand or Zelbrite due to the weight & high freight costs. We only sell it out of our shop for local pick up. Our customers can usually source the product locally.

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