How To Change Sand In Pool Filter?


Sand filters are inexpensive and effective filtration systems to get rid of large and small particles that can contaminate water. Over time, these filters lose their effectiveness, and hence, there is a need to change the sand. While the most convenient option is to call a professional to handle the job, to save money, you can do it by yourself. 

If you want to learn how to change sand in the pool filter, read on and learn from the things we’ll share! No need to pay the pros to do the work for you!

Why Do You Need to Change Sand in Pool Filter? 

Before we start talking about the steps, you should be aware of why you need to replace sand in the first place. You might think that it is a waste of time and effort, but this is important to make the most out of your pool.

By changing the sand in the pool filter, you can get rid of the dirt particles in the water, making it clearer and more hygienic. This makes the pool look better and more inviting. This will also minimize the work that the filter has to do. Plus, when you do not change the sand as needed, this can also cause a chemical imbalance in the pool and make it prone to the growth of bacteria. In the long run, it can help to save money on your pool maintenance

Signs that You Need to Change a Sand Pool Filter

How do you know if it is time to replace sand in the pool filter? This isn’t a simple guessing game. You need to watch out for the signs. 

  • You are backwashing more frequently. The failure to do this will make the sand ineffective in getting rid of the particles that can make the pool dirty.
  • There is a build-up of dirt and grime at the bottom of the pool. This is because of the presence of excess dirt. 
  • Water in the pool will turn cloudy. Use a pool test kit to check water quality. Add the chemicals as needed. If water is still cloudy, this can be an indication that sand needs to be changed. 

Types of Sand for Pool Filter 

More than knowing how to replace sand in a pool filter, it is also important that you learn about the different types of sand that you can use in a filtration system. To the uninitiated, they all look the same. If you examine them closer, however, they have varying characteristics. 

  • Silica Sand: Sourced from ground quartz, this is the most common sand used in pool filters. It is mined and not manufactured. 
  • Glass Sand: This is a great filter media if you are looking for one with a low environmental impact. It is made using 100% recycled glass. This is a great choice if you have hard water since it can capture manganese and iron particles in water. 
  • Zeolite Sand: It is from zeolites, which are volcanic rock minerals. It has 100 times greater surface area compared to standard sand filters. It has a sponge-like shape, making it highly effective in trapping particles. 

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Replace Sand in Pool Filter 

When creating a pool maintenance schedule, one of the most important to include would be changing sand in the pool filter. If you want to know the basics of how to replace sand in a pool filter, here are the steps you need to know. It might take a few hours if you are doing this for the first time. Nonetheless, it is nothing too difficult and most people can surely handle the work. 

  • Turn Off The Pump 

Before you start, the first thing you need to do is to turn off the pool pump. See to it as well that the timer isn’t activated to turn on anytime soon while work is being completed. It would be best to cut the power from the main break and not just from the switch. This makes sure that no water will enter the system while you are replacing sand.

  • Take Out the Drain Plug 

After turning off the pool pump, remove the drain plug. This is located at the bottom of the filter tank. Unscrew it and let the water run out of the tank. This might take quite a while, especially if you have a large swimming pool. In some cases, you will need to connect a hose and let the water drain somewhere else. Keep the drain plug in a secure place. You will need to reinstall it later. 

  • Remove the Multiport Valve 

The pool’s multiport valve has hoses and pipes, which you will need to remove. Depending on the set-up, you might also need to cut the pipe. Using a screwdriver, take off the collar of the multiport valve, which you will find at the top of the tank. 

  • Cover the Standpipe 

After the removal of the multiport valve, the standpipe will now be visible. This is the open pipe where the multivalve port was initially connected. Cover the hole using duct tape or any other similar material, which will prevent sand from getting in. When sand gets in, it will be flushed into the pool once you activate the pump. 

  • Remove Old Sand 

The next step is to get rid of the old sand in the filter. To do this, you have the option to scoop the sand out manually or use a wet/dry shop vac. Be cautious when you are removing sand to prevent damaging the laterals. If you choose to do this manually, it would be best to wear gloves since the sand is dirty, especially if it has been a long time since you had it replaced. 

  • Rinse the Tank 

Once the sand is removed, the next thing to do is to clean the tank by rinsing it thoroughly. Chances are, sand particles will remain in the tank even after vacuuming, so you need to clean it properly. Spray a garden hose both inside and outside the tank for thorough cleaning. Use a flashlight to look inside the hose and see if it needs more cleaning. 

  • Clean the Laterals 

Aside from the tank itself, you should also clean the laterals. Inspect for any sign of damage or breakage. If it can be removed, take them out and rinse them in a solution made of water and muriatic acid. See to it that you will rinse the lateral thoroughly before putting back in the tank. Be careful when handling the laterals as they can turn brittle after several years of use. 

  • Return the Drain Plug 

Now, it is almost time to add the sand, but before doing this, you need to return the drain plug to its original position. Make sure that it is secure and tight. This will prevent any leaks once you start running the pool’s pump. 

  • Add Water 

Next, add water to the tank, but you don’t need to fill it to the brim. Add water only until the tank is half-full. This will serve as a cushioning to the laterals to prevent damage once you fill the tank with sand. 

  • Add Sand 

At this point, you can now add new sand to the filter. Before doing so, don’t forget to wear a mask to avoid breathing sand particles. Hold the sandbag from the corner of the tank. Use a utility or pocket knife to slice the bag from the lower bottom side. Don’t make an opening that’s too large. Make it small enough so that the sand will gradually fall off the tank. This will prevent mess and waste. 

As you change the sand, one of the most important is to make sure that you are replacing the right amount. In most cases, there is a sticker on the side, which will be indicative of the maximum fill line. 

  • Fill with Water 

After filling the tank with sand, now is the time to fill it with more water. Using a garden hose, add water until it reaches the level of the sand. This is important to allow the pump to work properly as it filters water in your swimming pool. 

  • Return the Parts 

It is now time to return the parts of the tank that you have earlier removed. Return the multiport valve, collar, pipes, and hoses. See to it that they are tight to prevent any problem. 

  • Add a Lubricant 

Look for the O-ring and lubricate. This is the top of the multi-port valve where it will get in contact with the tank’s mouth. Lubricating is important to make it easier to disconnect the two parts when the time comes that you need to change the sand filter again. 

  • Backwash the Filter 

One of the most important when it comes to how to replace sand in pool filter is learning how to backwash. Backwashing uses a reverse water flow in cleaning the swimming pool’s filtration system. This is a process recommended to be done at least once every two weeks. When you change the sand, this is also a crucial step. 

To do this, start by attaching the pool backwash hose to the multiport valve. Next, push the lever of the multiport valve and adjust it until it is in the backwash position. After doing this, turn the pump on for at least two minutes. 

After backwashing the filter, now is the time to rinse it. Adjust the position of the multiport valve and choose rinse. From here, let the pump work for at least one minute. 

  • Turn the Pump On

Now that everything is ready, it’s time to turn on the pump. When the pump is running, make sure to check the pressure gauge. Take note of the normal running pressure of the filter. Every time you are doing work for the pool maintenance, check the pressure. If the reading shows that it is 10 psi more than the normal, this means that it is time for backwashing the filter. 


Before we conclude this guide, allow us to answer a few questions that you might have about sand filters.


Q: How often should you change sand in pool filter?


It is recommended that you change the sand in pool filters at least every five years. While some filters can last more than 20 years without replacing sand, it can make the filtration system inefficient. 

Q: How do I know if my sand filter is bad?


To know if your sand filter is bad, some of the most obvious signs to watch out for include having cloudy or unclean water, leaking in multiport valves, broken laterals, tank failure, and valve issues.

Q: How much does it cost to change sand in pool filter?


On average, the cost of changing sand in pool filter is $100. This is given that a professional will handle the job for you. If you do it by yourself, it will be cheaper since you will only need sand as a replacement.

Q: How do you change the sand in a Hayward pool filter?


To change sand in a Hayward pool filter, start by removing the multiport valve and covering the standpipe. Next, get rid of the sand in the filter. Rinse the tank and its laterals. Fill half of the tank with water, add sand, then fill it with more water. Backwash and rinse the filter.

Q: How long do pool sand filters last?


Sand filters will last five to seven years on average. This, however, will depend on several factors, such as the size of the swimming pool and the extent of use.

Globo Surf Overview

At this point, we hope that you now know how to replace sand in the pool filter. With time and effort to spare, it is pretty much a straightforward task. You don’t need to pay the pros to do it for you. Doing this properly is important to ensure that your pool water remains clean and clear!

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