How to Change Pool Filter Sand

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a crystal clear swimming pool is to have proper filtration. One of the easiest ways to ensuring proper filtration is by changing pool filter sand at proper points throughout the pool season.

Dirt, bacteria, debris and animals are constantly being introduced into the pool water and filtration is the best way to remove any unwanted substances prior to swimming.
Pools that use a sand filter can’t rely simply on backwashing to ensure the water is being filtrated properly, the sand needs to be changed every five years. Learning how to change pool filter sand will go a long way to keeping your pool running in tip top shape.

Filter sand is ground down to a size of .45 to .55 mm in diameter and is very rough when newly added to the filter. The coarseness of the sand is what makes it effective in filtering out dirt and other particles from the pool water.

Over time, the sand begins to smooth out, much like a rock erodes in a river and larger particles are not being filtered out and instead, sent back into the pool water. When your filter is not doing its job it’s time to start thinking about changing pool filter sand

Here are a few steps on how to change your pool filter sand.

  • The filter needs to be opened; make sure the pool pump is turned off before beginning any work on the unit.
  • Filters with multiport valves need to have the plumbing to the valve disassembled.
  • If the filter is separated in half by a clamp and bolt, simply open the drain valve and let the water flow out.
  • Wash out as much sand as possible with a garden hose to help minimize any digging that may be necessary from the filter.
  • Any digging with the sand is best accomplished with a plastic cup, not a shovel.
  • Be careful when digging around the bottom of the filter base, as there are plastic laterals that are fragile. A shovel will easily break these plastic pieces.
  • Once the sand is fully removed from the tank, examine each lateral carefully, if there are any cracks or any signs of wear, replace the parts before adding the replacement sand.
  • If significant debris is present on the laterals, they can be soaked in a mixture of muriatic acid and water to dissolve the buildup.
  • Thoroughly rinse the laterals and replace.

After all the steps are completed, including the replacement of the laterals and under drain assembly, then the replacement sand is ready to be added.

  • Here are a few tips for adding replacement sand:
  • Prior to adding any sand, fill the tank halfway up with hose water.
  • Add one bag of sand at a time and then reach into the tank and try and level out the sand bed to the best of your ability.
  • Consult the manufacture’s label for the proper amount of sand to add to the tank.
  • Once the sand is replaced, reassemble the filter and start the filter in backwash mode to remove any dust buildup from the new sand while also giving the replacement sand an opportunity to settle around the laterals at the bottom of the tank.

Keeping fresh sand in the filter is a necessity to help keep proper flow of the water and maximize the effectiveness of each chemical. Knowing how to change your pool filter sand can help your filter run properly for years to come.

Of course, Pooltown can make the process as easy as possible by replacing the sand for you, insuring the proper amount is added and the filter is correctly reassembled. Contact us direct at 800-882-0152 for more information on our pool care services.