Pool Sand Filters: What Are They and How They Work?

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Pool sand filters are the most vital part of your pool as kidneys are to the human body. You might find it strange, but yes, it’s true’! Though chlorine kills bacteria and other harmful contaminants in water, it is the filter that helps to eliminate them from water.

They are high-end filter systems in the pool specially built to eliminate debris and dirt from the water. These filters are the most cost-effective option to filter an in the ground or above-ground pool.

Since sand filters do not have any fiber parts or paper to tear or block, so they last for several years with less maintenance. Without its use, the water of your swimming pool turns dirty and become a home of deadly bacteria.

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What is the Main Purpose of a Sand Filter?


The sand filter generates the best quality water by eliminating 90% to 99% pathogens and that too, without the use of any chemical treatment.

What Materials Does Sand Filter Capture?

A sand filter can filter a wide range of solid and bigger particles from the water like leaves, gravel, insects, algae, and other organic material. Small stuff will get blocked as the water cycles via filter canister.

It means it will grab even tiny particles between 20 and 100 microns in size. However, sand pool filters can also filter large salts that do not dissolve in water, such as salts in fertilizers.

How do Sand Filters Work?

Sand filters in your swimming pool make use of sand to filter water. They consist of a large tank with a thick bed of special grade sand. Instead of a sand filter, few pools use a cartridge or diatomaceous earth filter. The water to be purified sinks via sand with much ease.

These filters work by allowing water to rotate via a canister that consists of sand. Fine sand pores in the filter block the dirt particles and other bigger waste with ease.

When some quantity of water gets filtered or when it reaches some degree of pollution, the filter will automatically switch to backwashing. Backwashing happens once the water flows via the waste line rather than into the pool.

During this time, the pores of sand filters get bigger to eradicate dirt from the sand. It retains the optimal purification qualities of the sand filter.

Finally, the pump cycles clean water back into the swimming pool. But remember, as the filter sand gets dirtier and older, the water pressure via the filter lowers. Low water pressure boosts the pressure rate of the filter. It alerts the swimming pool owner that it’s time to backwash the sand filter.

Sand filters usually use silica sand with grains that fall within 45 to 55 mm range. Thus, any sand you purchase as a ‘swimming pool’ or ‘filter sand’ will cater to this standard.

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How Often Should You Change Sand in Pool Filter?

With time, sand filters get blocked with floc after some time of their use. Remember, when the filter gets clogged and dirty, the water makes the whole pool dirty.  Also, sand usually works better, the more grime it collects. But it needs replacement after some time.

On average, the life span of sand within the filter of your swimming pool lasts for 5 to 7 years. However, it’s advised for you to change sand every five years. Replace filter cartridges once every 1 to 2 years.

Signs you need to change your pool sand filter:

Did you notice that your swimming pool does not sparkle as usual? If yes, may it’s a red flag for you to change the sand lifter. Just note that pool sand filters are tough to inspect because you need specialized gear. So make sure you check the filling of fitter regularly.

Here are the few signs that will help you to diagnose the issue thoroughly:

  • Frequent backwashing or filter cleanings
  • Boosted filter runs
  • Cloudy water
  • Dirt in pool
  • Blockage of pool filter mainly during vacuuming
  • Leakage around backwash line
  • The filter clogs mostly during vacuuming
  • Skimmer suction is not as powerful as before
  • Difficulty maintaining the algae-free pool
  • Finding it hard to maintain a healthy PH balance

Wrapping Up:

High-end sand filters for your pool is the key to maintain a clean and healthy swimming environment. They are the best choice for you if you have a tight budget and want to spend less time on maintenance. It is perfect for big above-ground and in-ground pools as it won’t clog quickly, unlike other filters.

However, unlike cartridge filters, they need to be sized as per your pool pump. If you find it challenging to change your pool sand filters, its best idea to call the best pool cleaning agency near you. They will help you diagnose the problem with your sand filter thoroughly and change it without any hassle.

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