Last Updated: October 14, 2022

How To Change Sand In Your Pool Filter

Written By: Pool Care Guide

We associate a pool with party time and having fun. But in order to enjoy a pool without disruption, you also need to dedicate some time to its maintenance. And one of the important maintenance steps is to change the sand in the pool filter. 

If you don’t change the pool filter, soon your pool will be filled with debris and will ruin your downtime. 

We know that you just want to quickly complete the pool maintenance task and relax. So, that‘s why we prepared this easy-to-follow guide with all the steps. Just follow them, and you’ll have everything done in no time. 

What Is a Pool Filter

A pool filter is a crucial piece of equipment in any pool system. It is responsible for keeping the water in your pool clean and free of debris. There are different pool filters, but the most common type is the sand filter.

As the name suggests, a sand filter uses sand to trap dirt and debris. The sand traps the particles in the water and prevents them from circulating back into the pool. Over time, the sand will become clogged with dirt and debris, and you will need to replace it. 

Why Change Sand in Your Pool Filter

Even though sand filters are very effective at keeping your pool clean, they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. If you don't change the sand in your pool filter, the dirt and debris will eventually build up and cause the filter to become less effective.

In some cases, dirt and debris can damage the pump or other parts of the pool system. Regularly changing the sand in your pool filter can prevent these problems and keep your pool running smoothly. Changing the sand can also help avoid potential health issues with your pool. 

How Often Should I Change the Sand in My Pool Filter?

The sand in your pool filter should be changed every three to five years. Depending on how often you use your pool, you may need to change the sand more or less frequently.

If you have a lot of trees near your pool, you may need to change the sand more often because the leaves and debris will clog the filter more quickly. If you use your pool regularly, you may need to change the sand more often.

The best time to change the sand in your pool filter is in the spring before the pool season begins. This way, you can be sure that your pool will be clean and ready to use when the weather gets warm.

How To Change the Sand in Your Pool Filter

Now that you know why changing the sand in your pool filter is essential let's go over the steps.

Get the Right Gear

You'll need a few supplies to change the sand in your pool filter. First, you'll need to get the correct type of sand. Pool filter sand is a specific type of sand used in pool filters.

You can find this type of sand at most pool supply stores or online. Make sure to get the correct type of sand, or your filter may not work correctly.

In addition to the sand, you'll also need a garden hose, a bucket, and gloves. The gloves are optional but recommended because the sand can be sharp and irritating to your skin.

Turn off the Power

Before you begin, you'll need to turn off the power to your pool. Turning off the power is crucial because you don't want the pump to turn on while working on the filter.

Find the circuit breaker that controls your pool to turn off the power and switch it to the "off" position. Once the power is off, you can begin working on the filter.

Remove the Lid

The next step is to remove the lid of the filter. Most filters have a large cap that you can unscrew by hand. If your filter doesn't have a screw, you may need a flathead screwdriver to pry it off. Once the lid is off, you'll see the sand inside the filter.

Drain the Water

Now you need to drain the water from the filter. To do this, locate the drain valve and open it up. The water will begin to drain out of the filter.

You can use a garden hose to direct the water into a nearby drain or onto your lawn. Once the water has drained, close the valve and remove any remaining water with a sponge or towel.

Remove the Multiport Valve

The multiport valve is a large, round valve located on the side of the filter.

To remove the valve, unscrew the handle and lift it off. Then, use a wrench to loosen the screws that hold the valve. Once the screws are loose, you can pull the valve out.

Be careful not to damage the O-ring seal when you remove the valve. The O-ring seal is a small rubber ring on the valve groove. If the O-ring seal is damaged, you will need to replace it before you can use the filter again.

Remove the Old Sand

To remove the old sand from the filter, pour it out into a bucket. Be careful not to damage the laterals as you pour out the sand.

The laterals are tiny tubes that distribute water evenly through the sand. If they become damaged, your filter will not work properly.

Also inspect the laterals to ensure they are not damaged. If they are, you'll need to replace them before continuing.

Take Out the Lateral Assembly and Pipe

You need to take out the lateral assembly before washing the inside of the tank. 

Unscrew the bolts that hold it in place and lift it out. Then, remove the pipes one by one. If you need to replace the lateral assembly or pipes, now is the time.

Thoroughly Wash the Tank

Now you'll need to wash out the tank. To do this, rinse it out with a hose.

Be sure to remove any debris or dirt that may have accumulated inside the tank. Once the tank is clean, you can dry it off with a towel.

Replace the Lateral Assembly and Pipe

Replace now the lateral assembly. Do this step carefully, it is easy to damage this part of the pump. 

Insert it into the tank and screw it. Then, reconnect the pipes one by one.

Add New Sand

Pour the new sand into the tank. Be sure to add the sand slowly, so you don't damage the laterals.

Check the O-ring 

The O-ring seal is a small rubber ring on the valve groove. 

To check the O-ring seal, look for any cracks or damage. You can purchase a replacement at your local hardware store if damaged.

Close the Multiport Control Valve

Reattach the multiport valve. Insert it into the tank and screw it. Then, reconnect the handle and screw it tight. Be sure to screw the handle on tight so it doesn't come loose and cause a leak.

Backwash the Pool Filter

The final step is to backwash the pool filter. To do this, turn the valve to the "backwash" position and let the water run for a few minutes.

Once the water has stopped running, turn the valve to the "rinse" position and let the water run for another minute. Rinsing will remove any debris that may have gotten into the filter during the changing process.

Once the water has stopped running, you can turn the valve to the "filter" position and resume regular operation.

Wrap Up

And that's it! You've now successfully changed the sand in your pool filter. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your filter will continue to work properly for years to come.

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