Changing the sand in your pool filter

filterThis week we are looking at changing the sand in your pool filter. We recommend that the sand in your filter is changed every four years. This is a bit of a messy, unpleasant task, but well worth doing as a matter of routine. If you find this task a little daunting Newstarhomesinspain would be pleased to carry out this work for you. Whilst filters will carry on working for a lot longer than five years, their efficiency will decrease all the time.When new, filter sand has been ground to a size of between 0.3 to 0.5mm and each grain is very rough. It is the roughness of the sand that makes it efficient at filtering because the dirt particles get caught on the rough edges. However, over a long period of time this roughness becomes smoothed out. The more smooth the sand the less efficient the filter. Consequently, the system has to run more frequently to only maybe achieve the same result as when new. In addition, the chemical costs may increase as you will have to use more chlorine.Also, as the sand becomes worn it compacts more, trapping dirt deep within the sand and making it more and more difficult to remove by backwashing. After five years it is unlikely that backwashing will clean it completely.Whichever type of filter you have the first thing to do is stop the pump running and drain the filter of water by opening the drain plug at the bottom.If your filter has a top mounted multiport valve, then it is necessary to remove this in order to get to the sand. Usually these just unscrew from the body of the filter, but it needs to be disconnected from the adjoining pipework before you can unscrew it. If the pipework has unions in place then this is easily done. If not, then the pipe needs to be cut cleanly and squarely. When re assembling the pipework it is worth incorporating unions to prevent the same problem in the future. Once you can see the sand, carefully remove it using a small trowel. Towards the bottom of the tank are several plastic “spokes” called laterals that radiate out from the centre of the filter. Be careful to avoid damaging these as you dig out the sand.If your filter has a side mounted multi-port valve, then there will be a lid on the top of the filter body which unscrews to expose the sand. Remove sand as above.Once all the sand has been removed, flush out with clean water. Check the laterals for damage and replace if necessary.
A damaged lateral could leak sand back into the pool.
Finally, replace with new sand, and re-assemble lids, multiport valves and pipework.Rather than replacing with traditional sand, it may be worth considering the modern alternative which is glass media. Whilst this is initially more expensive, it gives a higher performance than sand and will last much longer than sand, at least ten years.


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