Sand Filter Maintenance

by Dan
(Ontario, Canada)

Here goes my annual routine of maintenance on my sand filter.

You will need:

1. Shop Vac
2. Cork that fits the diameter of the piping
3. Duct tape
4. Large wrench
5. Pipe thread tape
6. O-ring lubricant
7. Philips screwdriver #2 (or whichever fits the clamp)
8. Appropriate Sand for the Pool filter

1. Shut off power at the breaker.
2. Unscrew the cap at the bottom of the sand filter and let all the water out.
3. Now undo all the lines going into the sand filter. There should be 2. This is where you either use your wrench or screwdriver depending on the configuration
4. Unscrew the main clamp at the top of the tank and just below all the inlets.
5. Gently take off the entire gauge and inlet at the top this will expose the interior of the sand filter inspect o-ring and lube it with o-ring lube.
6. Cap the main pipe in the center of the filter with the cork and duct tape.
7. Using the shop vac suck out all the old sand and debris this step is very important rinse out with water.
8. Now close the drain
9. Carefully dump new sand into tank ensuring that nothing is lost.
10. Reassemble the filter and inlets retrace the dis assembly steps.
11. After making sure all the connections are snug prime your pump and turn on the breaker and pump.
12. Inspect again for no leaks and ensure everything is now water tight.
13. That particulate filled pool will now in 6 hours be 98% clear.

Changing the sand every couple of years makes maintaining the pool over the season that much more simple. Remember, high ammonia is usually animal pee and sometimes you have to use 3x the shock initially to get it going.

Algae happens.

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Sand Pool Filter..Changed The Sand With Something Like Sand

by Laurie
(Greenville, SC)

My above ground pool has a sand filter.

The sand was very nasty and dirty, so I replaced it with something the pool guy sold me that isn't sand, but it's *like* sand.

Now the pool will not turn clear and when I back wash the pool, the water that once was dirty during this process is now clear.

Is this normal?

My pool used to only take a few days, if that, to clear up, and since I changed the sand, it won't clear up at all.

Any idea why?

Thanks for the question Laurie

My best guess at to what your pool guy meant by "like sand", meaning it's similar to pool sand or regular pool filter media, could probably be a couple of things:

1. Crushed glass

2. Clay, or other organic matter that doubles as pool filter media

Crushed glass has been used as a filter for over one hundred years, but it only came to swimming pools in the mid part of the 1990´s.

I got started in pool in 1999. At this time the crushed glass was not very common, so my experience is with sand, DE, and cartridge filters.

From my understanding, recycled crushed glass can remove particles down to 2 - 5 microns, where normal pool sand is anywhere from 6 - 15 microns. There are some other alleged benefits such as decreased weight and less time backwashing.

I don't have personal experience with glass, as was stated, but in all my years I've never had much problems with sand. Just the normal maintenance for home pools. More problems with commercial pool, but this is due to heavy use along with oily and greased up sand.

The first question I would ask is not if crushed glass is better, but who funds the studies for crushed glass.

If the companies who make the glass filter media fund the study, it will show all the benefits of using their product. Their product is better because the studies prove it, so you should buy from them and stop using normal pool sand.

This is my own theory, but it might be something worth considering.

I am always open to new ideas and how to make things work and perform better, but I need to be sure everything is on the up-and-up.

Pool sand has been around for decades and while it does have its drawbacks, I think it's still a good way to filter your pool water.

I think with all of the "reduce - reuse - recycle" we hear about, we tend to lose sight of those things that are tried and true and have stood the test of time.

Keep an open mind, but until someone (preferably neutral) can prove crushed glass is better, I'd stick to using #20 - #30 sand pool filter media.

If you've always, year after year, had great pool water and chemistry, and the only thing that has changed is the pool filter media, that would be my first concern.

Go back to where you bought the new sand and explain your situation. There might be something they can do. I think that might be your problem.

How to fix it? Maybe go back to your normal pool sand.

Hope this helps and good luck with your pool.

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Sand Filter Backwash Problem

by Kevin

I think I ran the pump when valve was closed....OK I I can't get it to backwash filter and circulation seems to work fine....also pressure gauge is stuck on opposite side of needle stop.

Hi Kevin. The pool guy term for what happened is called "dead head(ed) the pool pump". What is means is water is trapped inside the pump pot and lines but no water is moving. Running the pump motor while the multiport valve is in the CLOSED position will cause the water to become super-heated.

This heat transfers to the pipes and internal parts of the motor and the pump pot. The possible damage is dependent upon the amount of time the pump motor was running and the outside temperatures. A few minutes may not cause any issues. Overnight could cause problems. You can check the spider gasket in the multiport valve and replace if needed. Also check the internal parts of the valve for cracks or warping and replace if needed.

For the psi gauge, if may need to be replaced. If the needle drops to zero while the motor is off, it's fine. But if the needle sticks when the motor is off, it's time to replace it.


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