Swimming pools offer recreation during the warmer months. But, the pool's water must be filtered for the health and safety of the swimmers. Two types of filtration equipment are saltwater pumps and sand filters; they accomplish entirely different tasks.
Instead of placing chlorinated packets into a swimming pool for water quality, saltwater pumps utilize salt placed in the water. Salt creates a conductive reaction with the water, giving the saltwater pump the ability to generate chlorine from the reaction. The water moves through the pump, and its filter, to achieve clean and sanitary swimming water.
In contrast, sand filters do not pump water or chlorinate it, but attach to a basic pool pump for passive filtration. The filter uses specifically sized sand particles for trapping dirt and debris that pass through the swimming pool's water pump. Once the filter is full of debris, the sand filter must be backwashed for the system to function correctly.
A saltwater pump must function with a saltwater pool chemistry of 3,000 parts per million of salt, whereas the sand filter merely requires a basic, chlorinated swimming pool for filtration. Compared to the saltwater pump, the sand filter is a low-maintenance item.