Sand For Sand Filters  

by Pool Builders on 06-11-2012 in Articles

The filtering media found in above-ground sand filters is similar to the sand that you play with at the beach, yet has some subtle differences.

This media is a specially graded sand with an average dimension of no less than 45 millimeters but no more than 55 millimeters.

This specifically graded sand is able to trap and retain water contaminants as small as 20 microns (but no more than 100 microns). Pressure eventually builds up inside the filter assembly due to all of the impurities inside.

When the pressure gauge displays a total internal pressure of at least eight pounds, the back-washing mechanism must be activated to rid the sand filter of all the dirt and scum that has been collected inside.

Regular back-washing ensures that your swimming pool filter is working at one hundred percent capacity each and every time you use it. If you operate your filter and backwash it correctly, you will only have to check the sand tank once every five years.

One of these units, costing between $500- $700, is a worthwhile investment because other filters (especially the ones that make use of diatomaceous earth or DE) require manual cleaning.

If you are the type of person that wants something to ideally run for a very long period of time with the least amount of maintenance, sand filters are definitely the best choice for you.

Should the filter media in above ground filters be replaced? There is a general consensus within the pool maintenance community that the sand should be emptied and replaced with fresh sand every five to seven years.

One clear sign that the sand media [] inside your filter may be deteriorating faster than it should be is frequent backwashing. If your filter's pressure gauge indicates an internal pressure in the range of eight to ten every fifteen days, it is possible that the sand media has deteriorated.

The deterioration of the sand usually occurs due to problems with the water's pH level. It is also possible that your swimming pool water is highly mineralized.

Highly mineralized water deposits calcium particles into the sand filter media; this makes the filter media less efficient and more prone to accelerated deterioration. There are two solutions to this problem (if you have confirmed that you have hard water) - to either buy a bigger above-ground sand filter or to install a water softening filter.

Water softening filters (e.g. green sand filters) remove materials like iron and manganese from tap water. Doing so reduces the mineral load in the sand filter; this additional filter for your pool could help to minimize the deterioration of your filter.

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