When should I change the sand in my filter?
Typically, pool owners with sand filters will change the sand every 5 to 10 years. You don’t have to wait until issues start arising. You can be proactive and change it anytime between 5 and 10 years. Otherwise, there will be signs to indicate it is time to change the sand.
- High PSI reading on your pressure gauge, even after performing a backwash.
- Low flow of water coming out of the return(s).
- Having problems filtering debris and maintaining
How to change the sand in my pool filter?
Changing the sand in your filter is a two step job. First you must remove the old sand then you must add your new sand. The reason we split these two up are because there are specific instructions and tips we can give you to make this task much smoother.
Removal of old sand:
The first step in changing the sand in the filter is to drain the filter tank of water by removing the drain cap usually situated at the bottom of the tank. While the tank is draining, you can start to remove the filter head. It is usually attached to the tank portion of the filter by either a V-Clamp mechanism or by bolts and nuts. Once the filter head is removed, you will now have access to the tank containing the sand. In the middle, you will notice a pipe protruding out of the sand. That is the standpipe. Do not touch or attempt to move this standpipe just yet. You will also notice that there is an o-ring to help seal the filter head to the tank. It is a good time to check if that o-ring is damaged. Remove it and look at it thoroughly to see if it’s cracked or ripped. If you see any damage, now is the time to replace it.
To remove the sand, keep the tank in a vertical position. You may have to take it out by hand one scoop at a time. This may take a long time but sometimes, it’s the only way. Some have used a Shop Vac successfully to remove the sand. You may need to loosen the sand with your hand to be able to use the Shop Vac. Keep removing the sand until the standpipe is completely uncovered of sand and it can easily be lifted from its position. Do not force it out of its position.
Now that the standpipe can easily be lifted, you will have to remove the laterals (fingers) that are attached to the standpipe. They are either screwed into or snap-fit into the standpipe. Some might even be easily folded upwards, all depending on the make and model. Once this is done, you can remove the standpipe from within the tank and finish emptying the rest of the sand. This is a good time to look at the standpipe and laterals to see if they are damaged. If they are fine, we recommend cleaning them thoroughly to remove any debris. You can also rinse the inside of the tank of the tank to make sure it is clear of debris.
Adding the new sand:
Before you start putting the new sand in the filter, you must know the amount of sand you need to add. The information is usually indicated on the tank. Most tanks will have a chart with the different models made by the manufacturer of your filter and the amount of sand needed for each of these models. It is possible with time that this chart was removed or faded from sun exposure. You should be able to get the amount of sand needed for your filter model with the help of your friendly neighborhood pool store.
You are almost ready to add the sand but first you will need to put back the drain plug at the bottom of the filter tank. You will also need to put back the standpipe back in the tank and reassemble the laterals to the standpipe. Once it’s reassemble, the standpipe must be placed at the bottom of the tank, laterals at the bottom, with the pipe centered at the top opening. It is important that the pipe be centered in order for the filter head to fit into place. Now you will need to cover the top of the pipe opening so that no sand goes inside the standpipe.
Just before you start putting the new sand in the filter, we recommend adding about a foot of water in the tank. This is to absorb the falling sand you are adding so that it does not damage the laterals. Now you are ready to put in the new sand. Cut open the bag of filter sand in order to form a spout to easily pour the sand into the tank. Once all the bags are added, you can place the filter head back into place and reconnect it to the tank either with the V-Clamp mechanism or with the nuts and bolts