How to Clean & Change a sand filter

How to Clean a Sand Filter

Sand filters should be cleaned at least once per season, preferably in the fall before closing. You must clean your sand filter after encountering bouts of algae.

  1. Backwash the filter for 3-5 minutes to ensure large organic debris is out of the sand.
  2. Turn off the pool pump. If there is a valve in front of the pump, make sure it is closed.
  3. Remove the lid and basket of the pump.
  4. Empty contents of Filter Cleaner into pump pot and fill to top with water if needed. If pump pot is full place the Filter Cleaner bottle into the pump pot as this will remove enough water to allow you to add the Filter Cleaner.
  5. Put the pump lid back on and turn the pump on. The pump will push water into the filter but it will not pull water from the pool.
  6. Turn off the pump once the filter cleaner and the clean water have entered the filter (approximately 5 seconds).
  7. Let the filter cleaner soak in the filter for 8 - 12 hours. Open the valve at the front of the pump, if applicable. If you have a timer on the pool make sure it's turned off and does not come on during the cleaning process.
  8. After the appropriate time has elapsed, turn the filter dial to 'backwash' and backwash for 5 minutes. If the filter is not backwashed for the proper amount of time, there may be cleaner residue left in the sand. If it gets into the pool water, it can cause balancing and clouding issues.
  9. After the filter has been backwashed, turn pump off and switch filter dial to the rinse position.  Rinse the filter for 30 seconds.
  10. Turn off the pump and switch the filter dial back to the filter position.
  11. Turn pump back on.

It is much easier to clean your filter media at the end of the season rather than waiting until the beginning of the season. If all the dirt and oil has had time to settle over the winter it can cause calcification resulting in the need to change the media.  Cleaning the sand should be done at least 24 hours before closing the pool.

Sand should be changed in the filter every 3-5 years.  However, if the sand is not cleaned once per season the sand may need to be changed much more often than that.

How to Change the Filter Media

Sand should be changed in the filter every 3-5 years.  However, if the sand is not cleaned once per season the sand may need to be changed much more often than that.

  1. Turn off the pump.
  2. Take the drain plug off the bottom of the filter. If you remove the drain plug the night before it will allow the sand to dry making removal easier.
  3. Remove the clamp or bolts holding the filter head to the filter body.
  4. Scoop or shop vac the old media out of the filter.
  5. Once the media is out of the filter, remove the standpipe assembly, clean it and inspect it for any cracks or other damages.
  6. If everything looks fine, put the standpipe assembly back in the filter.
  7. Inspect the gasket on the drain plug to be sure it doesn't need replacing and put the drain plug back on the bottom of the filter.
  8. Add water to the filter until the laterals are covered.  This will prevent damage to the laterals once the sand is added to the filter.
  9. Cover the standpipe opening with duct tape to ensure that no sand gets into the standpipe.  If sand gets into the standpipe, it will end up in the pool.  Ensure the standpipe is straight before adding the sand to the filter.
  10. Cut one corner of the sand bag so the sand can be poured into the filter. 
  11. The filter should be approximately ¾ full or filled with the required amount as per the filter manual.
  12. Reinstall the filter head using silicone lube on the o-ring and turn the pump on.
  13. It may take a while for the sand filter to completely fill with water so the pressure may be low at first. 
  14. The filter must be backwashed before normal filtering resumes.

Sand/Zeobrite is an extremely important part of keeping your pool clean and clear.  Remember to clean your filter media once per season to extend the life of your media, and to keep the pool looking clear and beautiful.