Sand Pool Filters - Is it Time For You to Get One?

by Pool Builders on 02-09-2010 in Articles

There are arguments on what the best swimming pool filter is in the market. Is it the Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.), sand pool filters or the cartridge filter? Preferences may vary. The fact of the matter is that any filter system can be used for proper maintenance of a pool.

Perhaps the oldest and most common method of filtration is via sand pool filters. Filtration is driven by gravity as it pulls water down through the sand. As water passes through the sand pool filter, sand catches debris and only allows clean water to come out of the outlet pipe. This process is likened to a filtering process in your coffee maker.

Eventually, accumulated debris and dirt in the sand filter will cause significant pressure drop between filter inlet and outlet. Water flow will slow down and this indicates that it is time to perform maintenance work. Maintenance of sand pool filters is called backwashing. To perform a backwash, a few valves need to be adjusted in order to redirect flow of water. Instead of water returning to the pool, water is drained into the sewer. Water flow is simply reversed by pumping from the outlet and then coming back out of the inlet pipe that is connected to the drainage pipe. This reverse pump process pushes the accumulated debris and dirt from the sand pool filters, flowing out into the drain and down to the sewer.

As time passes, particles in a sand filter will smooth out due to wear and tear of water flow. When this happens, filtration efficiency of sand pool filters will decrease. It is then recommended that you change the sand in your filter. There are varying opinions on how often this should be done. On the average, it takes about five years for sand pool filters to require changing. You may have heard of sand filters going more than 20 years without changing sand. This may still work depending on usage and maintenance but the efficiency is no longer the same as it was several years ago. It will take more cycles to clean up pool water if your sand pool filter is more than 20 years old.

To change sand in your sand pool filter, there are a number of steps to follow. The first step is to remove old sand. Drain water out of the filter tank prior to opening the tank. Reading the manual on your filter tank is a must as there are different kinds of filters tanks. Once the filter tank is open, it is recommended that you use a plastic cup to dig out the old sand instead of using a shovel. Using a shovel poses a risk of breaking the laterals of the under drain. When all the sand is cleaned out, clean and inspect the laterals carefully. After inspection, the sand pool filter is ready for sand replacement. Again, following instructions from the manual is recommended to ensure proper replacement of sand.

Once the replacement procedure is complete, it is highly recommended that the sand pool filters undergo a backwash process. This allows settling of the sand and cleaning of dirt from the sand.

If you are not comfortable doing this on your own, there are licensed professionals who are trained and skilled in performing these tasks.

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