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Replacing The Sand In Your Sand Filter

Filter sand can typically last anywhere from five to ten years, depending on how often the sand is cleaned. Filter sand will lose its effectiveness to filter the water from years of granular erosion, as well as matting and impacting of the sand due to oils, dirt, calcium, and clay.

Pentair Triton 2 Pool Sand Filter

Pentair Triton 2 Pool Sand Filter

If any of the following statements apply to you, it may be time to change your sand.

I have to backwash more often due to the pressure rising faster.
Example: If you used to backwash every eight days, but now you're backwashing every five days because of your pressure reading, it's time to replace your sand.

Even though my pressure gauge is saying it's time to backwash, I see very little dirt flush out when I do backwash.
If you see very little dirt through your sight glass as you backwash, it's time to change your sand.

After backwashing and rinsing, dirt flows out from my inlets.
If you see this ugly sight, it's time to change your sand.

I've used biguinide products, and was told I need to afterwards change my sand.
You are right! If you've used biguinide products in your pool such as Baquacil, you need to change your sand.

Replacing Your Sand, Step by Step

Certainly, you can call a Memphis Pool Service Technician to replace the sand for you, or you can do it yourself. If you choose to tackle the task yourself, the following are the steps needed to change your sand.

  1. Use only sand with the proper grade for your sand filter. Sand filters usually require filter sand, with granules about .45 to .55 millimeters in diameter. For most sand filters, before the sand is added, a bed of pea gravel is laid at the filter base. Check your filter's owner's manual, or contact us for the correct amount to add to your sand filter.
  2. Open the filter, by following these steps.
    a. Turn off the pool pump, and disconnecting the multiport valve plumbing. Remove the multiport valve.
    b. Inside the tank, some sand filters have a large diffuser basket. If yours does, remove and clean the diffuser basket. You will then be able to access the filter sand.
  3. Scoop out the old sand.
  4. Cover all vertically exposed plumbing with a protective cap.
  5. In order to lessen the impact of the sand on the laterals, fill the bottom one third of the tank with water.
  6. Pour the gravel into the tank slowly, and then pour the sand into the tank. Use caution so as not to damage the laterals. Fill the tank to about two thirds full. The requirements of some filter models may vary, but typically leave 10-12 inches of space between the top of the bed of the sand and the bottom of the diffuser assembly. Adequate space will prevent loss of sand as you backwash. However, if the sand bed is too low, the filter will require more frequent backwashing as it will load with dirt more quickly.

    Note: Installation manuals of different models offer a number of tips to help you change the sand in your filter. For instance, some recommend holding the standpipe to make sure it doesn't come loose while pouring the sand.

  7. Reassemble the filter parts, remove any protective caps from the plumbing or piping, and place the top-mounted multiport valve or dome back on top of the filter. Some assemblies are held by threads and others by a clamp assembly. All assemblies use o-rings, so be sure to use an o-ring lubricant for a tight seal.
  8. Turn the system on. First rinse, and then backwash, which will remove any impurities from the new filter sand. Lastly, set it to "filter". That's it. You are ready to operate it as normal.

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Memphis Location
2762 Getwell Rd., Memphis, TN 38118
(Two blocks south of I-240)
Phone: 901-365-2480
Germantown Location
7605 Poplar Ave,. Germantown, TN 38138
(@ Germantown Road)
Phone: 901-755-7946
Collierville Location
930 W. Poplar Ave. Collierville, TN 38017
(Behind Perkins Restaurant)
Phone: 901-854-6423