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Thread: Sand filter problem?

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    Sand filter problem?

    I've been a pool owner for the last 3 years since we moved into our new house. During that time I've been performing normal procedures to keep it clean with good results. Recently this has changed and I'm thinking I've got a problem now with my sand filter. The main issue has been that the water is staying cloudy for the most part and I don't really see any rise in pressure over a period of time on the filter like I used to. This has been going on for the last couple of weeks.

    Now I tried to do a normal vacuuming through the skimmer and after cleaning about half the pool, I noticed that I had the debris from the bottom being returned back out into the pool which of course turned it all cloudy again.

    The pool filter and sand were installed brand new 3 years ago when we moved in. We do run the pump a lot (my wife likes the waterfall on at all times) so I thought perhaps it was just time to change the sand, but I am not sure about it since I am not seeing a rise in pressure.

    I've also been reading about channeling effects which might explain the debris shooting right back out into the pool without being filtered. I didn't see any recommended procedures though if that is the problem.

    Can you experienced folks out there help me out on what to do?


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    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: Sand filter problem?

    A complete set of tests may be helpful for us to help you (see my sig on test kits), particularly FC, CC, TA, CH, CYA, Ph. You may want to do a OCLT (see my sig) to confirm you do not have organics in the pool. Here is a link for How to fix a channeled sand filter. I would try this first, and at the same time confirm that your sand is at the proper level in the filter.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Sand filter problem?

    Thanks so much for pointing me that other thread.

    I may give the gentle rubber mallet approach a try, but I would prefer to see what is going on in there. Unfortunately as I am learning now when the guys installed the filter, it appears to me they just permanently put the PVC pipes together with no concern about future maintenance. To get the valve off the top (it's a Hayword one-piece unit), it looks like some hack saw work is in order.

    Are there already threads or pointers for best practices on how the plumbing should be done to allow the valve to be removed?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Sand filter problem?

    Most of us prefer to have a ball valve union between pieces of equipment. You can search "ball valve union" in the google box on the bottom left of this page and it should bring up some threads with info and pictures of other folks plumbing projects.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)

    Re: Sand filter problem?

    This needs to be in a sticky or an FAQ or something. I'm a little leery of my pool's previous owner's maintenance, so I tried this method just for fun this afternoon. Good Lord, the amount of junk that floated out. I'll do a more thorough deep clean in the spring, but this seems like it should be a yearly maintenance item for sand filter owners.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Sand filter problem?

    For properly sized sand filters I recommend every other year. If your sand filter is undersized, which is common, then every year.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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