How Often To Replace Sand In The Filter

by Larry
(New Orleans, LA)

I have an above ground pool (17000) gallons that is going on our 4th year.

Should I replace my sand in my filter?


Larry Carbo

Thanks for the question Larry

Normally, sand should be replaced every 5 - 10 years, depending on the usage. A heavily used pool will need to change the sand more often than a lightly used one. If it's just 2 people splashing around a couple times a week your sand should last at least 10 years.

The best advice I can give is to be sure to take a hot soapy shower before entering the pool. Oils and lotions can eventually clog up the filter. The is called "channeling" where the water bypasses the sand, goes down the side of the filter, and returned to the pool as dirty water. In this case, either a degreaser needs to be used, such as GLB Filter Fresh, or change the sand.

Also, be sure you have the correct amount of sand. This is called the "freeboard". It's the measurement from the top of the tank to the sand. You can call the sand filter manufacturer and get the correct measurements. Most people put in the correct lbs. of sand but fail to check the freeboard. When the sand gets wet it settles. You lose sand during backwashing as well.

A normal top-off of the sand is about 2" - 3" so have some extra on hand. Check it a couple of times during the swimming season.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Sand Filter Pressure Increases And Low Suction

by Marie
(Ansonia, CT)

Pump run good after backwashing but after a half an hour pressure goes up on gauge and suction slows down.

We have 2 skimmers, one in center of pool on bottom and the other a normal skimmer up top.

There's no problem in back washing?

Thanks for the question Marie

There could be a few things to look at.

First, is the gauge working?

Easy way to find out is turn the pump off. If the needle drops to zero, it's fine.

Next, be sure the pump lid is seated correctly and the gasket is in good shape. Air might be getting into the system.

Be sure to bleed the air out of the filter tank.

When you turn the pump motor off is there any backward flow out the skimmer?

There may be a large air bubble caught in the system causing the pressure to rise.

Be sure all valves are placed in the proper positions. You want the right amount of flow going through each valve.

Normally the pressure will rise when the pump has to work harder for the water to flow through the system. This might mean blockage somewhere.

Check the lateral to be sure they're not cracked. If they are you'll need to replace them.

Here are some posts to consider:

No Backwash Or Rinse Pressure On A Pool Sand Filter...

My Pool Sand Filter Has Low Pressure..Low Psi & Multiport Valve Is Leaking..

Check the sand for channeling.

This is when the sand becomes clogged with oil and debris.

Take the top off the filter (turn the system off first).

Feel around the inside sides of the filter for holes, edges, pits, etc... If there are any, you have channeling.

Email back and I can give you a good way to degrease the sand filter.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Sand Filter" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for answers.

Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.


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Sand Filter and Valve

by Soro

My Liner and pvc lines were replaced by a pool company. After replacement everything was working fine until I discovered they did not replace the line that were hidden under my deck. I called them and they came and replaced it.

When I turned on my pump I found out that sand was going into the pool through the jets and my Valve handle could not be moved from one setting to another.

I remember see the company guy working on the valve trying to open. Is the company responsible for all these problems. Everything was working fine when I disconnected for the winter. What really went wrong?

Thanks for the question Soro

Sand and/or dirt in the pool is a normal issue when lines are replaced. This has happened to me and should dissipate in time. You can stir up dirt and debris and sometimes dirt can work itself into the lines during the installation. It will go through the returns but it's simple to vacuum it up. It's similar to washing your car. You can dry it off then you drive down the road and get water streaks on the windshield. It's just water that hides itself in all the little cracks.

Now, if they had to move the filter for any reason or did any work on it, they may have broken a lateral inside. This will definitely cause sand to go back into the pool via the returns. Ask them if they moved or worked on the filter. If they replaced the suction and return lines they may have churned up some sand in the filter.

The valve, and I'll assume this is either the skimmer or bottom drain valve, should move freely. They can break but it takes alot of pressure and twisting to do it. Valves are designed to be under pressure. It's a pretty simple device but does have moving parts such as the handle and internal parts like o-rings that can be torn, ripped, or squashed. A broken o-ring can stop the turning of the valve.

If they replaced all the lines then I can assume they replaced or re-installed the valves. In this case they would be responsible to ensure it works correctly for you.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Sand Filters" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of $35 per hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Have I helped you find a solution to your pool problems? Did this information help you? Please consider making a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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