Sand Change

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Changing Your Filter Sand

Your sand filter needs regular maintenance for proper filtration.

  • Once a year you should clean the sand using a filter cleaner.
  • You should replace the sand every 2-3 years in an aboveground pool and every 3-5 years in an inground pool.

There are several steps to follow when replacing the sand. At the bottom of your sand filter, there are small plastic tubes with slits in them. These are called laterals. The slits are big enough to let water pass through, but keep the sand in the tank. It's important to treat the laterals carefully. If a lateral is broken, sand can return to the pool. To protect the laterals during a sand change, follow the instructions below.

  1. Before opening your sand filter, be sure the valve is on "Closed" and either a valve or some sort of a plug is blocking the water flow from the pool. Sometimes a tennis ball in the bottom of the skimmer can work in a pinch.
  2. Carefully remove all of the filter sand by scooping it out or sucking it out with a shop vac. Do not put used filter sand where children might play in it. Filter sand is ground silica which can cause cuts on skin.
  3. If you think you have a broken lateral, this is the time to check them by carefully examining each lateral. Even a hairline crack can cause sand to return to the pool. If you remove a lateral, be sure to put it back with the slits in the same orientation as when it was removed.
  4. When putting in fresh sand, keep in mind that we want to protect the laterals. Rather than just dumping all the weight of the sand onto the laterals, we recommend that before you add any new sand, you fill the filter tank half full of water with your garden hose.
  5. Then slowly pour the fresh sand into the tank. The water will cushion the sand and let it gently settle around the laterals. The water will overflow from the tank as you add sand.
  6. Fill your tank only 3/4 full of sand. Filling the tank more full of sand can impede your water flow.
  7. Return your plumbing and water flow to the state it was before this process and you've completed the process. Enjoy your improved filtration and sparkling pool.

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