Why do I need to change my pool filter sand? Doesn’t sand last forever? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, sand basically lasts forever but over time it loses its effectiveness as a filtering material. To the naked eye, the sand used in a sand filter looks like any old regular sand out there. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the sand grains are actually rough and textured. This roughness is what provides the filter element. Small pieces of dirt, algae, dead bugs and other contaminants are trapped by small burrs in the sand and clean water flows through.
Over the years, this texture becomes smoother and flatter due to the amount of water passing through. To illustrate this point, try walking along a beach or stream. Have you noticed that most of the small rocks have smooth surfaces? The surface of the rocks (and in our case the sand) is smoothed over the years and although you are left with a nice layer of fine sand, it is useless as a filter material.
How often do I need to change my pool filter sand?
Depending on usage, swimming pool filter sand can be used for many years without needing to be replaced. We recommend that you completely replace your filter sand at least every 3 years and no later than 4 years. Not only does this ensure that your pool water is optimally filtered, but it also helps reduce stress on your entire pool system. The best way to tell if your filter sand is nearing the end of its life is that your pool may be cloudy more often and you will notice that you are shocking your pool more often than usual.
Can I use old sand for my pool filter?
Absolutely not. Don’t even try to use regular sand in your sand tank filter because at the very least, it won’t filter your water, but what’s most likely to happen is that it will destroy your entire filtration system.
Types of sand filter materials
There are essentially three different types of sand filter media available depending on your needs. Below is a basic list of the different types of filter sand available.
This is the most commonly used sand filter media. It is affordable and it lasts for many years. It is made from crushed quartz measuring about 0.45-0.85mm. The grinding process creates jagged-edged silica sand particles that make it the perfect filter material to trap contaminants in your water. This type is often labeled as “Premium filter sand” or “quartz sand”.
Although many media filters come with regular silica sand as the initial load, when replacing media filter sand, it is better to use glass sand media. For a nominal cost, you can enjoy clearer water, less backwash, and it’s actually lighter in weight (which means you’ll buy less). Plus, not only that but it’s also compatible with magnesium tank setups!
Glass sand filter materials come in two types, coarse and fine. Coarse glass sand media typically ranges in size from 1.7mm to 3.4mm and is used to cover the bottom drain and sides of your sand filter and this typically accounts for 30% of the media requirement. your glass sand filter material. The fine glass sand is then stacked on top of the coarse glass sand to complete your setup. Although glass sand is more expensive than regular silica sand, it has much better effects. It requires less material (by weight) to fill your sand filter, uses less water than backwashing, reduces pressure on your pump by providing superior water flow, and it Lasts much longer than your traditional silica sand.
Other sand material alternatives
There are other newer sand media alternatives that claim to be better than glass sand media but until we see real evidence (not just marketing hype) that filter media has been used used for many years, we maintained our judgment and persisted in testing real sand and glass sand environments.
Step-by-step instructions for changing swimming pool filter sand
Now that you know about the different types of sand filter media, it’s time to get down to business. Replace your pool filter sand.
Turn off the filter and pump. This is important because you don’t want the pump to run while you are changing the sand in your media. To be completely safe, turn off your pump’s circuit breaker and completely unplug everything.
Drain the pool filter by removing the drain plug at the bottom of the filter tank and allowing the water to drain naturally.
Remove the hoses or pipes attached to the multiport valve so you can access the filter media tank itself. If you have installed live joints or sprockets, this will be simple. If the pipes are hardwired to the valve, you will have no choice but to cut the pipes to remove the valve. If you plan to cut the pipes, you should install fittings so that when you next change the sand, it will be as easy as turning the fitting to remove the water pipe.
Once the plumbing is removed, give it a gentle twist and the multiport valve will come off quite easily.
After removing the multiport valve, you will see that the standpipe in the middle is the center pipe. Cover with tape or fabric tied with string to prevent sand from getting in. If sand enters the standpipe, it will be discharged into the pool, wasting water in the process.
Carefully scoop out the sand using a plastic cup. Yes, this can take a lot of time. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner or wet and dry vacuum cleaner to suck up all the sand. If you don’t have a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, bring a cold beer to your neighbor who has a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. It will save you hours of hard work. Another option to easily remove sand from your pool is to use a Venturi Pump, a V-shaped pump that can suck up all the sand in no time (and save you beer so you don’t have to borrow a vacuum cleaner from the store). your neighborhood). Not only that, V-pumps don’t need as much cleaning as wet and dry vacuum cleaners, just rinse them off afterwards and you’re done.
When you can see the sides sticking to the bottom of the riser, the sand will be almost all removed. Rinse with a garden hose and the remaining sand will drain out through the drain plug you removed earlier.
Check the inside of the filter tank for cracks and damage. If you find any, patch them up or consider replacing the sand filter to avoid any future emergencies. In particular, you need to check the filter mesh to see if it is cracked or broken. When you are satisfied that everything is working properly, reattach the drain plug and fill the tank about halfway with water.
Once the pool filter is half full of water, you can now start filling it with sand. Remember to make sure the cover we attached in step four is tight and secure, you don’t want sand getting into the center riser. The purpose is to pour water inside so that falling sand will be cushioned by the water and the sides will not be damaged by the weight of falling sand.
Note: Wear a mask and ask a friend to help hold the riser in place until the sides are completely covered with sand.
Once all the sand is in, fill the tank with water and reattach the connections to your pool filter. Be sure to remove the cap and shroud from the center riser before reinstalling the multiport valve. Make sure all accessories are flat and secure to avoid leaks and accidents.
Backwash and rinse the filter to remove excess sand in the system.
Once backwashing is complete, run the filter and check the pressure valve. This is the normal/optimal running pressure of your pool filter. Write it down (use a brightly colored pen and some tape and tape it to the edge of the filter) for future reference. If you see pressure that is about 10 PSI higher than the optimal running pressure, that’s a good sign that you need to backwash the filter.
Done, now it’s time to enjoy the results
Steps to replace swimming pool filter material
Survey the existing swimming pool filtration system
Determine the size of the filter tank
Calculate the amount of filter material that needs to be replaced
Make a plan to vacuum out the old material
Check the filter distributor inside
Check for leaks all systems
Consulting on quotes before implementation
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