How to Change Pool Filter Sand

pool filter sand

Last Updated on September 9, 2021 by Steffi Nell

If you own a swimming pool, you know how costly it can be to pay a professional to service and maintain it. Changing pool filter sand is one task that you can easily do yourself to save anywhere between $100 – $150. The only expense you will incur is the cost of the filter sand, which is typically less than $10 a bag. That’s a tremendous savings! Best of all, it will only take about 30 minutes to change pool filter sand.

pool filter sand

Every swimming pool has a filter system, but yours may not be a sand filter. If you have a cartridge filter or DE filter, you won’t have to worry about changing pool filter sand. However, if you do have a sand filter and you’ve noticed that you’re having a difficult time keeping the water balanced, you’re having to backwash frequently, or you’ve seen sand in the bottom of your swimming pool, chances are it is time to change pool filter sand. This is something you will have to do every few years. Here’s how –

How to change pool filter sand:

Step 1 – Remove the drain plug and allow several hours for the water to drain completely.

Step 2 – If you have a ball valve, close it. Otherwise, plug the skimmer and return eyelet.

Step 3 – Remove the multiport valve or lid to the filter tank.

Step 4 – Reach into the tank and move the baffle out of the way.

Step 5 – Use a cup or coffee can to scoop out all the old sand. If you prefer, a shop vac can be used instead. Be very careful not to damage the laterals when removing the old sand.

Step 6 – When the sand tank is empty, inspect the laterals (the finger like objects at the bottom of the tank) for cracks or breakage. Even the smallest crack will let sand into the pool, so be sure there is absolutely no damage.

Step 7 – Put the drain plug back in.

Step 8 – Before adding new sand, fill the tank with enough water to cover the laterals. This will help cushion the area to prevent damage when the sand is added.

Step 9 – Protect the center pipe with a cup or other object. Then, slowly pour the sand (use pool filter sand only) into the sand filter. The best way to do this is to lift the bag next to the opening and cut a small slit in the bag. This will allow the sand to very slowly enter the filter system. You want to avoid a sudden rush of heavy sand, as this may damage the laterals at the bottom.

Step 10 – Wipe off the excess sand from the top of the tank.

Step 11 – Replace the filter lid and tighten.

Step 12 – Set the sand filter to backwash. This will remove heavy sediment before returning the sand filter to a normal setting.

Extend the life of your pool filter sand by cleaning it twice a year; once and the beginning and end of pool season. Look for filter cleaning products at any pool supply specialty store, or online.

Steffi is a DIY aficionado. Home improvement specialist and Interior designer wannabe. Her passion for native and recyclable materials inspire her to start this blog. Follow her on Twitter

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