Have you been experiencing lower than normal flow in your pool return? Not sure what’s going on or what’s causing the issue? If you have been properly backwashing and your pump pot basket is clean and inserted correctly, you may have an issue with the sand. If your sand is too dirty or has been channeling, you will more than likely see a lack of pressure coming out of your return. Changing your sand is pretty easy, but there are a few tricks to it!
Carefully Remove the Sand
It’s important to do this step carefully or damage could be caused to the filter system itself. Make sure the filter system is turned completely off and that your control head is rotated to the closed position. Shut off all ball valves if you have them, to prevent as much water loss as possible during this time. Remove the clamp around the neck of the sand filter, holding the control valve onto the tank. Carefully pull the head off of the stud pipe that runs the length of the sand tank, set aside. The stud pipe will still be in the middle of the sand filter during the process of removing all of the sand. To remove the sand out of the filter, use a cup or a shop vac to safely remove all of the old sand. Once all of the old sand has been removed, continue on to the next step.
Inspect the Filter
Make sure there is no damage to the laterals (apprx 6-8 on most filter systems). If the holes have expanded or cracked further, this would indicate a major issue which could allow the fresh sand to make its way back into your pool. We recommend replacing all the laterals as a set to insure there will not be any chance of any further issues with the sand filter. Make sure that the bottom part of the lateral system has not become detached from the rest of the stand pipe. If this has occurred, you will need a new stand pipe.
Add Fresh Sand
The key to remember when adding the sand is to first cap off the top of the stud pipe. This will insure that sand does not get down into the middle of the pipe, which will cause sand to shoot into the pool when you first turn it on. It is recommended to use the sand cap grate that comes with your filter system, but if you don’t have that piece anymore you can simply use a plastic cup which will have the same effect. Pour the sand evenly around the outside of the tank, around the stud pipe, to evenly coat the bottom of the filter. Make sure to only add the exact amount of sand that your filter system requires so that you do not over-fill or under-fill the sand filter, which would cause improper filtering. It is important to keep record of how much sand your system holds, in case the tag on the front of the sand filter becomes weathered and you are unable to read it anymore.
Most aboveground systems will hold between 100-200 lbs of sand each, although the broader range is anywhere between 30 lbs – 250 lbs depending on the size of the filtering unit. Inground sand filters will usually hold between 325-900 lbs of sand!
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