An Introduction To The Sand Swimming Pool Filtration System  

by Pool Builders on 03-06-2012 in Articles

While keeping a close eye on the pH of your swimming pool water is very important in keeping your pool sparkling clean, the pool filtration system is just as vital. Take a few minutes to learn about the sand filtration system that is used in many pools.

First, a word about filtration in general. All types of systems do their job by running the water through a filter. If the pool uses a water heater, then the water will come out of the filter and run through the water heater before going back into the pool. The filter is what traps any particles of organic or inorganic matter and allows the water, now clear of any debris, to be cycled back out into the pool. While chlorine and other disinfectants do kill most organic matter, it doesn't always obliterate it. So it is up to the filter to trap it.

The filtration system always works to help circulate and disperse various chemicals used to treat the pool. Also, by simply pouring chemicals into the pool they have no way to get into hard to reach areas like pipes and such, so the filtration system helps disperse the products into all areas. This helps cut down on corrosion or calcium carbonate build up or even algae accumulation. Plus, the system works all day long, whereas the chlorine only works when you pour it in, or as long as the floater contains the product.

The first, original pool filter was created back in the late 1950s. Even though they were created so many decades ago, the ones used today employ the same sand technology that was used in the original filtration systems. Basically, this type of filter works by forcing the pool water in to the filtration through an entrance in the pool wall. Then the water is pushed through a layer of fine, yet dense sand. Any of those inorganic or organic or metal or chemical particles in the water will get stuck in the sand, as the clean water is sent back out into the pool. The only real difference between the original version and the ones that are currently used is the way the backwash works. At some point the filter is bound to be full, and when it is the water gets restricted and cannot go through the filter. In the original filter, this would often result in the water going back to the pool, bringing the sand with it.

Over the years, this problem has been fixed and the sand doesn't come back out. However, the filter is still bound to get full of particles. When it does, the pressure gauge of the filtration system will increase to let you know you need to clean out the filter. If the water gets too restricted and the pressure gauge reaches a certain psi level, the system will shut down so that water doesn't go in or out of the filter. You will need to watch for the gauge to reach 18, 19 or 20 psi and when it gets there you simply switch the level on the system to the "backwash" setting. This can run for a few minutes and just loosens up the sand so that the particles to into an other area that you will clean out.

As with any expensive filtration system, it is very important that you follow the directions as outline in the manual. Different manufacturers of filtration systems have different ways of cleaning out the filter and using the backwash setting. There are also different maintenance procedures for different brands of sand filters. If you get confused by any of the specifics or requirements be sure to ask your local pool supply store salespersons as they are experienced in the different filtration systems.

Manufacturers also set specifications on what type of sand to use and how much to use in order for the filtration system to work most effectively and efficiently. It is also good to keep in mind that if you fail to use specified sand can void whatever warrantee came with the filtration system.

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