Swimming Pool Blog

How to Easily Change your Pool Filter Sand

How to easily Change your Pool Filter Sand
by Rob Cox, May 01, 2011

How to easily Change your Pool Filter Sand

pool sand filter


When Should You Change Pool Filter Sand?

  • Every 5-7 years
  • When water clarity becomes difficult
  • When length of time between backwash is short

How Do You Get to the Sand?

First, drain the tank by removing the drain plug on the bottom of the tank. Allow several hours or overnight for full drainage.

Side Mount Valves: Use the filter dome removal wrench to remove the top dome on the filter. Reach in and push the baffle out of the way. 

Top Mount Valves: With a hacksaw, cut the incoming and outgoing pipes at a point which allows 3" of clear pipe to use a coupling or union to reattach the valve after changing the sand. After cutting the pipes, remove the clamp assembly where the valve joins the tank. If no clamp exists, the valve likely threads into a collar in the top of the filter tank. After removing the clamp, twist and wiggle upwards. Pry with large flathead screwdriver if needed. Cover the standpipe with an upside down cut, or plug or small towel.

How Do You Remove the Pool Filter Sand?

  • Shop Vac
  • Scoop with a large cup or coffee can
    • Use caution as you reach the bottom of the tank, not to bump the laterals.
    • You can leave a little in the tank, under the laterals.

How Do You Replace the Pool Filter Sand?

  • Add enough water to cover to cover laterals
  • Pour sand into the top of the tank
    • Use only 45-55mm graded pool filter sand, or use alternative sand like ZeoLite
    • For Top Mounted valves, cover and stabilize the center standpipe.
    • For Side Mounted Valves, reach in the tank and rotate the baffle left or right
  • Be careful not to breath in the sand dust
  • Fill to proper level, consult tank label or owner's manual for proper amount

Here's a video on replacing the sand in a side mount, Purex Triton II sand filter:

For more information on replacing pool filter sand, see our Pool Info article Changing Pool Filter Sand