If you own a pool, there is a high chance that your filter is a sand filter. You would know this because your filter would be this big container next to the pump. We attached an image on this post for you to confirm.
That being said, this article will give you an overview of the main functions of the filter during the pool season. It will also cover how you can do a backwash for your pool.
What is the primary setting for my Sand Filter?
Most of the time, the filter will be set to Filter. This is the large handle on the top of the filter. When on filter, the water is being forced through the silica sand and is filtered. This will also be used to vacuum the pool. Since this dirt is being accumulated in the filter tank, eventually it must be removed.
How do we know it’s time to clean it?
That’s where the pressure gauge comes into play. When you first start the filter system, take note of the pressure on this gauge. The number will be your clean pressure. This number is important because as dirt accumulates, the pressure tank will increase. When this pressure increases by 5 PSI, it’s time to clean the tank. This is done by backwashing. You will notice at the top of the filter that the position for this task is directly opposite to the Filter position.
Tip: at any time you move anything or do any maintenance on the filtration system turn the pump off so that the system isn’t under pressure.
How do I make a Backwash?
To clean the filter, turn the pump off, turn the top handle on the filter to the right position and restart the pump. Water will now be circulating in such a way to remove the accumulated dirt. This dirt and water will be flushed out through a hose connected to you filter (make sure you have one). You must always uncoil this hose completely before restarting the pump or risk creating damage to it. This process should only last around one minute.
After this time, stop the pump, turn the filter handle to the rinse setting and restart the pump for about 10 – 15 seconds. This rinse is done to remove dirt that accumulates in the filter head. Again, turn the pump off and return the filter handle to the Filter position and restart the pump.
You should do this about once a week, depending on the pressure reading on the gauge.
What are the other settings on the sand filter for?
You probably noticed that we have not talked about the Drain, Winterize and whirlpool positions on the filter head. Winterize is only used when it comes time to close the pool in winter (winterizing is covered in other documentation we provide.)
The Whirlpool function is not used very often. It basically does the same as Filter except that no filtration is done. Whirlpool will really only be used when you are required to use some type of chemicals.
Drain on the other hand, will be used to remove water from the pool. It takes the water and simply diverts it to the backwash hose, but without filtering or cleaning the filter tank. Drain is also sometimes used to vacuum the pool.
Remeber to always turn the pump off when turning the filter handle. Apart from backwashing, there is no other regular maintenance that is done to the filter tank itself during the pool season.