Changing The Sand In Your Pool Filter  

by Pool Builders on 02-11-2012 in Articles

It is recommended that the sand in your filter is changed every five years. It is possible to run a filter for longer, but its efficiency will decrease rapidly.

Filter sand has been ground to a size of 0.3 to 0.5mm and is very rough when new. It is the roughness that makes the sand efficient at filtering out the dirt particles in your water. Over a long period of time the roughness becomes smoothed out, and the efficiency of the filter consequently diminishes. The system then has to run more frequently to achieve the same task. Chemical costs may increase too, as the need for more sanitizer increases. After five years the sand becomes smooth and broken down, this traps the dirt deep down, making backwashing more and more difficult. The result is shorter filter cycles which requires more frequent backwashing. The consequence of this is shorter filter cycles and increased backwashing.

You need to start by removing the old sand. Start by opening the filter. If your filter is the type with a top mounted multiport valve, then you will have to disconnect the pipe work connected to the valve. Often this means cutting the pipe as threaded unions are often not included. This may be a good time to install unions to make servicing easier next time. Some filters have a drain plug at the bottom, making the sand removal quite easy. Removing the plug will enable the sand to flow out and you can then use a hose to wash the remaining sand from the tank. If your filter does not have this drain plug, then you need to remove the sand by scooping it out from the top. Before you do this undo the drain plug to release any water. When scooping out the sand be careful not to damage the laterals, which are very delicate. Filters which have the multiport valve as a side mount have a lid on the top which can be removed by unscrewing. It is now possible to clean out the old sand as described above. When the sand has been completely removed, the laterals should be carefully removed and thoroughly cleaned. Most laterals simply unscrew easily, and are easily removed from the tank. Check the laterals for any signs of breakage, and replace them if necessary. The laterals should be checked for any damage, cracks or splits, and replaced if necessary.

Lastly, flush out the tank and reinstall the cleaned or new laterals. Now replace the sand. Ensure that the sand bed is level after adding each bag of sand. Lastly, reconnect the pipework.

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