Maintaining Your Sand Pool Filter

Maintaining your sand pool filter is a crucial part of your pools maintenance.  One of the things you must consider doing every 3-4 years is replacing the sand in your filter.

Why do you need to change the sand, you may ask?

Your filter’s job is to keep your pool water crystal clear.  To do this, water is pumped through the filter, where debris, dust, skin, hair, sunscreen particles and oil are caught by the sand, allowing clean, clear water to pass back into the pool.  Over time, the sand becomes clogged with all this organic matter.  As a result, the filter is not able to work properly.  Changing the sand allows the filter to continue being efficient and effective in keeping your pool clean.

Steps to cleaning out the sand in your filter:

  1. Remove the old sand – this can either be removed with a vacuum, or alternatively by scooping out the sand with your hand or a small shovel. Because the sand is full of dirt and bacteria, it is best to wear rubber gloves when cleaning it.
  1. Place some tape over the sand pipe. This is the open pipe in the middle of the tank where your sand is held.  Hold the sand pipe in the centre of the tank for the next two steps (if you don’t and the pipe moves, it is near on impossible to adjust once the sand has been replaced).
  1. Add water to the filter tank, then put the new sand in. This helps to protect your filter from the impact from the sand falling into the filter.  The best sand to use is #20 silica sand as it is specifically recommended for filtering, and won’t damage your filter.  It is available from most pool supply stores nationwide

It is important to find out how much sand your model of filter requires, as using too little or too much will affect the ability of the filter to work properly, and could even irreparably damage it.

  1. Replace the filter head and tighten. Finger tightening is ample, as overtightening can cause the body of the filter to crack.
  1. Complete a backwash through the filter. To complete this, make sure the pool is overfull, the backwash the filter for 3-5 minutes, followed by a 1 minute rinse cycle.

These easy steps will return your sand filter back to its original, clean, state.