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when do you change the sand in a pool filter


Poolking | Pool Sand Filter Manufacturers

When Do You Change the Sand in a Pool Filter?

Your swimming pool is undoubtedly one of the highlights of your home during hot summer months. However, to keep it in good shape and looking crystal clear, you need to make sure it is well-maintained. A well-maintained pool filter is essential in ensuring that your swimming pool stays clean and hygienic for you and your family. Over time, the filter mechanism clogs up and stops working efficiently. Therefore, you need to know when it's time to change the sand.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about when to change the sand in your pool filter.

How Does a Pool Filter Work?

Before we delve into when to change the pool filter sand, let's take a moment to explore how a pool filter works. Essentially, a pool filter removes impurities and other foreign objects from the pool water. A filter can either be a sand filter, cartridge filter, or a Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter.

The sand filter works by removing dirt, debris, and other contaminants through a process of filtration when water passes through the sand-filled tank. The sand in the filter traps the contaminants, and then the clean water proceeds back to the pool.

When the sand in the filter tank gets too dirty, it becomes less effective in trapping dirt and debris particles. This means that instead of returning clean water to the pool, the dirty water may just circulate back in, which can cause a variety of health problems.

When Should You Change the Sand in Your Pool Filter?

The general rule of thumb is to change the pool filter sand after every five years. However, some conditions may significantly reduce the sand's useful life, and you may need to replace your sand filter more frequently.

Here are some telltale signs that it's time to change the sand:

1. Change the sand if you notice a decrease in water flow - If you begin to notice that the water carries dirt and debris even when the filter is on, that's a clear sign that your filter sand needs a replacement.

2. Low pressure in the filter tank - A clean and maintained sand filter runs at a specified pressure range. If the pressure in the filter tank drops below what is considered normal for your pool, you should replace the sand.

3. Broken or dirty filter laterals - The laterals are thin tubes that enable the filtered water to flow back into the pool. Over time, these can break or become clogged, causing water pressure buildup. In such cases, the sand filter requires a change.

4. Cloudy or dirty pool water - If you notice that the water seems dirty or cloudy, that's a clear indication that your filter is no longer capturing contaminants. Overused sand or a damaged filter can be the root cause of cloudy, murky water.

5. Gritty or abrasive pool water - If the water flowing out of your pool's jets is gritty to the touch, then it's also a sign that it's time to change the filter sand.

How to Change the Sand in Your Pool Filter

Changing the sand in your pool filter can be a relatively easy process. However, it requires careful attention to detail to ensure that it's done correctly, as well as to prevent further damage to the filter or pool system.

Here's a step-by-step guide to changing the sand in your pool filter:

Step 1: Turn Off the Pump - To start the process, you will first need to shut off the pump and close the valves on either side of the filter.

Step 2: Drain the Water - Once the filter is closed off from the pool's water supply, you should then let the water drain out of the filter tank.

Step 3: Remove the Old Sand - After the tank is empty, you need to remove the top dome of the filter and start scooping out the old filter sand. It's best to use gloves and a scoop to collect the sand and dispose of it.

Step 4: Clean the Tank - Once the old sand is out, clean the filter tank with a hose to remove any debris or remnants of the old sand.

Step 5: Add New Sand - After cleaning the filter tank, start pouring new sand into the tank. Be sure to add the appropriate amount of sand and check the manufacturer's guidelines.

Step 6: Reassemble the Filter - Once the sand is added, replace the dome cover and turn the pump back on. Check your system for leaks and ensure there is enough pressure to operate the filter.


In summary, changing the sand in your pool filter is an essential aspect of swimming pool maintenance. A well-maintained filter is crucial in keeping your pool free from contaminants and harmful bacteria. As a general rule, the sand filter should be changed every five years or when pressure drops or water flow slows down. By following this guideline, you can help ensure that your pool stays clean and hygienic for years to come.


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