Filter socks are one of those items that always turn into a debate when discussed. So what’s the big deal? Why do people love or hate them?
There are tons of variations of socks and sock holders that make the impressions of filter sock use inconsistent between users. Different microns, materials and how you install and remove the sock from your sump can all play into how someone feels about filter sock use.
The Bad - low micron felt filter sock with an hang on filter sock holder. It really doesn’t get much worse than this. A low micron sock is basically used for polishing water and will get clogged quickly. (refer to the post about microns for more details). To further compound the issue, add on filter sock holders generally don’t work very well since they are designed to be universal and not to work with any one sump design. The result is usually a mess whenever you try to change the sock and a very irritated individual. Cleaning felt filter socks is no fun either. Take it outside and blast it with the highest pressure water you can find then sneak it into the washing machine without the spouse noticing. Generally, felt filter socks never really get cleaned properly. Not only that, people with this type of setup get frustrated with the whole process that they just leave the filter sock in the sump overflowing and it becomes a nutrient factory.
The Good – The best way to use filter socks is to utilize them as a short term coarse mechanical filter. Put them in to clean up excess food or when you are stirring up detritus during maintenance. Use a mesh filter sock since they need just a simple rinse under the faucet to clean and never leave them in the sump more than a few days. If you think you will use them regularly get them built into the sump. The new waterfall style sock holders where water first drains into a separate section then cascades into the socks makes maintenance much easier and should be utilized whenever possible.