How much thought have you given to your swimming pool filter? If you’re like most pool owners, you won’t think about it until it is obvious it’s not working. Should the sand in the pool filter be changed? That is a question your swimming pool service contractor from Seahorse Pools & Spas in Fort Worth, Texas can answer and can take care of during a service visit.

One of the benefits of a sand swimming pool filter is that it can go for a decade, in some instances, without having to have the sand changed. A sand filter that goes that long without new sand certainly won’t function as efficiently or be as effective in removing dirt and debris, but we have seen some that have been unchanged for years.

When you start out with a sand filter the sand itself is about  .45 to .55 mm in diameter and is very rough. This roughess helps clean the water that is pushed through it and it traps and holds debris and bacteria. Over time and years, the sand will lose its roughness and its ability to clean properly is diminished.

As the sand’s effectiveness is diminished, you or your pool contractor will need to use more and more chemicals to keep the water clean. You may see an increase in the cost of pool maintenance and you may also see that it’s harder to keep the pool water clear. A rule of thumb is that after five years the sand will have worn do to the point that dirt is lodged so deeply in the filter that backwashing won’t address it; backwashing, too is a costly undertaking.

Should the sand in the pool filter be changed?

What will happen during a change in the filter’s sand:

  1. The filters will be opened and the sand removed.
  2. The filter will be removed and the pool service contractor will remove all of the dirt.
  3. Once the sand is removed, your pool contractor will thoroughly examine all of the internal parts and assure they’re working properly.
  4. The pool service contractor may recommend soaking the internal parts in a mixture of water and muriatic acid to thoroughly clean off any build up.
  5. The filter will be cleaned and rinsed
  6. Your pool contractor will reinstall the filter. You may want to invest in a second filter so it can be quickly and easily swapped out without having to wait for the current filter to be cleaned and dry.
  7. The tank will be filled halfway with water.
  8. New sand will be added and leveled by hand.
  9. After the sand and water have been added to the proper levels, it will be reassembled and viola the pool is ready for use.

Many swimming pool owners rely on a pool service contractor to change the pool sand because it is one of those tasks that is performed so infrequently that the steps may be forgotten between sand changes! The next time we pay a service visit ask us whether we think it’s time for a sand change.