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Thread: Silica sand vs. beach sand

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    Marci M's Avatar
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    Silica sand vs. beach sand

    We are just replenishing the sand in our filter. We spent $24 per bag of silica sand.

    I live in Hawaii and I'm surrounded bu the most beautiful beaches full of FREE white sand. Is there any reason I can't get a few buctets to add to my filter?
    13 K gallons, in ground, rectangle, 14 x 30 Vinyl, single main drain, Sand filter, Hayward Tablet Chlorinator, Pentair Pump

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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    Take a look at this recent thread - the wrong sand particle size can cause all sorts of grief. Maybe your local beach sand would be good in the filter... but quite possibly not.

    My findings on how not all sand is created equal
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    Yup, while I believe all sand is silica, for your filter you are looking for a specific size sand. Too small and it will fit through the parts inside the filter and just blow back out into the pool. Too large and there is too much space between particles of sand to filter properly, thus the bad stuff your at trying to get out of the pool just goes right through the the filter and back into the pool.

    Kind of like Goldilocks, you are looking for the sand to be just right. Silica pool sand has bee run through a series of screens to get just the right size sand in the bag.

    Grab a glass of wine and go down to the beach and watch the sunset, but leave the sand there. It's just not right for your filter.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Marci M's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    I see, not worth the risk.

    It's also crazy when I see the price difference between what I paid for #20 filter sand and what everyone else paid.
    13 K gallons, in ground, rectangle, 14 x 30 Vinyl, single main drain, Sand filter, Hayward Tablet Chlorinator, Pentair Pump

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    You say you are replenishing your sand, how low was it?
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    It does make me wonder if people with ready access to sand couldn't just set up an appropriate screening system to get the desired size (I'm assuming the desired size for pool filter sand isn't a deep dark secret).
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    I suspect you could, but at what cost to find and build appropriate size screens for over and under sized particles, then building a shaker table to mount it on, plus your labor cost ...
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Marci M's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    It went down to just about 50% full. I think we lost quite a bit while deep cleaning our filter.
    13 K gallons, in ground, rectangle, 14 x 30 Vinyl, single main drain, Sand filter, Hayward Tablet Chlorinator, Pentair Pump

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    With that much loss I would be concerned your pump may be too big for your filter
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Silica sand vs. beach sand

    Something to keep in mind about beach sand. It is mostly crushed sea shell. From what I have been told so it is high in calcium. This is why it is bad to use as masonry sand when mixing mortar. I would also assume it is not the best idea for filter sand for this reason as well. Unless you are trying to raise the calcium level of your water.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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