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Thread: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

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    Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    I've never rinsed or cleaned my sand filter in the 4 years I've owned the pool, because I'm unfamiliar with the equipment and loathe to pay someone to do it. At this point, it's either channelled or dirty because the water returning to the pool has bits in it. (Great technical term, "bits.") I have a feeling this is a huge, all-day project since I have no clue what I'm doing, but it has to be done or I'll go crazy vacuuming the bits over and over!

    I bought new sand and DE to add to the filter. Looked all over TFP, but can't find a "how-to" for either rinsing or changing sand, though I did find one for adding DE. I have an old-fashioned sand filter, so old that there is no make/model information anywhere. It's shaped like a big egg.

    If you're able to help with this, please keep in mind that I have no idea what a "diffuser" or "lateral valve" or any other piece of equipment that might be obvious to you looks like. (I wish my whole pool came with a manual -- I am good with manuals -- but alas, no.) I'd like to start with the easiest possible fix, and proceed from there.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    just did mine a few weeks go

    dove into it

    first thing if your gonna change the sand
    pull the drain out on the bottom of the filter so the water drains out

    remove the inlet and outlet pipes off the valve
    remove the collar hold down on the valve which holds it to the filter housing

    then just a slight rotate and pull up and it should slip right off leaving the lateral downtube in place

    let the water all drain out of the filter
    and let dry some

    take a shop vac and suck out all the old sand
    spray the inside of the housing down with the hose to rince the crud clear and check the laterals for any damage

    once drained
    put the plug back in the bottom of the filter

    center your downpipe which holds the laterals
    fill the filter half with water

    cut an old soda can lid off and it should slip right over the downtube, this wills top sand from going down in the pipe

    put in 1 bag of sand
    make sure your pipe is straight and centered in the opening

    then put the requred mount of sand in

    i was told it should be filled to where the top starts to round, meaning you have a bowl on the bottom, then a straight section, then the housing starts to round to close off

    fill to there with sand
    remove the soda can

    fill the rest with water

    put the valve back on

    install the collar lock

    put your pipes back

    set to backwash

    start her up backwash till clear

    turn off

    set to rince

    rinse for 30 seconds or till clear

    off

    set to filter

    start her up
    11,000 gal inground fiberglass pool
    Aquarite SWG system

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Great info, I would make sure your shutoff valves works, also I lubed the o-ring on top of the tank before putting the collar on. Also if there are 2 screws in the top for the collar you kind of want to tighten then evenly if it is that type to avoid one side being tight and the other pulling so hard it strips the nut or bends the clamp. that is no biggie, couple turns one side then the same on the other til it's tight.
    15'X30'X52" AGP AquaSports Grande Buttress Free (10,620 Gallons), Hayward Dreamline S190 W Zeobrite, 1.5 HP Hayward PowerFlo LX, AquaLuminator Light+ fountain attachment, Pool Rover, Tf-100 test kit, Speed Stir.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    I appreciate the help ... but I'm thinking that changing the sand may be over my head. If I'm going to attempt it, I need a diagram of a sand filter, so I know which parts you're referring to in your posts! Does anyone know where I can get one?

    Also, what about just rinsing the sand and adding DE? Is it possible that will solve my problem without changing the sand? If yes, what is the easiest way to rinse the sand? (I found the Pool School post about adding DE, so I'm good on that.)

    Thanks!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    just open the top and slowly run a hose down in throughout the sand letting the dirty water spill out. Continue until you stop getting dirty water spilling out.

    If you find it to be very chunky that don't easily break up, then consider replacing it.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Letting the dirty water spill out the top, correct?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    when i tried that i didnt drain it first of water and my laterals pulled right up out of the sand

    also after 20 min the water was still very cloudy and dirty so i just decided to take it all out, which i had to do anyways to get the laterals to reset under the sand
    11,000 gal inground fiberglass pool
    Aquarite SWG system

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    I've never rinsed or cleaned my sand filter in the 4 years I've owned the pool, because I'm unfamiliar with the equipment and loathe to pay someone to do it. At this point, it's either channelled or dirty because the water returning to the pool has bits in it. (Great technical term, "bits.") I have a feeling this is a huge, all-day project since I have no clue what I'm doing, but it has to be done or I'll go crazy vacuuming the bits over and over!

    I bought new sand and DE to add to the filter. Looked all over TFP, but can't find a "how-to" for either rinsing or changing sand, though I did find one for adding DE. I have an old-fashioned sand filter, so old that there is no make/model information anywhere. It's shaped like a big egg.

    If you're able to help with this, please keep in mind that I have no idea what a "diffuser" or "lateral valve" or any other piece of equipment that might be obvious to you looks like. (I wish my whole pool came with a manual -- I am good with manuals -- but alas, no.) I'd like to start with the easiest possible fix, and proceed from there.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    Most all sand filters work the same way. Some have different valves, but they work the same way and have similar parts. So you can Google virtually any manufacturer for their sand filter manual and get a description of how the filter is put together. I have a Waterway sand filter and it is also egg shaped. You can Google "Waterway Sand Filter Manual" and can look at a PDF which will show you how they are put together. Also in Pool School there is a glossary with pictures of parts that man have some of the parts in question. I haven't looked at it for these parts, but it is fairly complete.

    Since you say you have not cleaned it, I assume you do not know how to backwash the filter. You may want to try that first. If you can post pictures of your filter, we can tell you exactly how to backwash and if necessary change out the sand.

    If you get stuck, just post here and someone will be along to help you.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Perhaps I'm not reading this correctly but have you ever backwashed your filter????
    Mesa Arizona. Old school 26,000 gallon in ground plaster pool with sand filter built in 1984.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Oh yes. I've backwashed probably 100 times. But I've never rinsed the sand with a hose, added DE to it, or changed the sand.

    Thanks for the info about a manual. Would still like to know, step-by-step, how to just rinse the sand (not backwash). It sounds like I need to drain the water first by unscrewing the plug, then take off the clear plastic half-bubble-thing on top, then just stick a hose in there? Does that sound right?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Sounds correct to me, but I have never done it. Put the drain cap back on before you start with the hose. Most dirt should be in the upper levels of the sand.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    From the pictures on Google, I think it's a Hayward S200. And I found a diagram at PoolCenter.com! I will try the sand rinse, and will add DE. If that doesn't help, I'll change the sand. Anything else I should know before I try the sand rinse?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    The last part of this video recommends a much different trigger for backwashing than TFP does but if you ignore that last bit of advice there is a pretty good explanation of the filter and how it works:

    [youtube:iciu22zw]w_J5KgIqhD4[/youtube:iciu22zw]

    I'll keep looking for better videos.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    I'm probably backwashing too often, according to this video. But I haven't found a better way to get rid of pollen -- which keeps collecting in the divets in my steps and floor -- than to vacuum up the pollen (and other bits) then backwash immediately. If I don't backwash right away, the pollen ends up right back in my pool. (Yes, I have skimmer socks, and they help ... but not enough.) I've been thinking that my sand filter is channelled or needs DE, and that's why it's not catching the pollen. I will find out soon!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    From the pictures on Google, I think it's a Hayward S200. And I found a diagram at PoolCenter.com! I will try the sand rinse, and will add DE. If that doesn't help, I'll change the sand. Anything else I should know before I try the sand rinse?
    Glad you found a diagram. You have the right idea. A couple of things, if your pool is higher than the filter than you need to shut off the line between the filter and the pool known as the return line. If you have a valve close it. If not find something to stop up the returns at the pool. Otherwise water from the pool will run out when you take off the valve. This should not be a problem if the filter is above the pool. Assuming you have a multiport valve on top of your filter you need to note it's orientation before you take the screws holding it on off so you can put it back exactly the same way. Also, in your diagram you will see what is called the spider gasket. Be careful with this. Sometimes they are glued in place other times they just sit there. IF this gasket is worn out or get's damaged it will have to be replaced. Then when you lift the valve off you may or may not just be able to poke your hose down into the tank. If not then you will have to remove the collar that holds the rest of the head on. I put duct tape over the stand pipe so that sand and dirty water do not get in it. Then just use the hose to poke around in the sand letting the dirt overflow. You will be amazed at how much dirt comes out with the overflowing water. Just be careful with the standpipe. As you can see in the diagram it is attached to the little laterals which are small pipes that are easily broken by putting pressure on them against the sand. If you break one you will have to remove the sand and replace it. So don't put side pressure on the standpipe. All of this sounds more complicated than it is. Again, if you have any questions or if something doesn't make sense post a picture and ask.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    I'm probably backwashing too often, according to this video. But I haven't found a better way to get rid of pollen -- which keeps collecting in the divets in my steps and floor -- than to vacuum up the pollen (and other bits) then backwash immediately. If I don't backwash right away, the pollen ends up right back in my pool. (Yes, I have skimmer socks, and they help ... but not enough.) I've been thinking that my sand filter is channelled or needs DE, and that's why it's not catching the pollen. I will find out soon!
    You can vacuum to waste as an option. When you wash it out with the hose you will get rid of any channels. The video is correct that a clean filter will not catch as small of particles as a dirty filter.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Also, in your diagram you will see what is called the spider gasket. Be careful with this. Sometimes they are glued in place other times they just sit there. IF this gasket is worn out or get's damaged it will have to be replaced.
    My multiport comes off the side, not the top, so there isn't a spider gasket. But, there is an O-ring, which hopefully isn't stuck on, but I guess it might be. I will be careful with it -- hopefully, I won't have to buy a new one. I like your duct tape over the stand pipe idea. And I will be very careful when hosing off the sand so I don't break those laterals!

    Thanks!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Do you have some pool lube to lube the Oring when you put it back together? If not get some.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    I'm probably backwashing too often, according to this video. But I haven't found a better way to get rid of pollen -- which keeps collecting in the divets in my steps and floor -- than to vacuum up the pollen (and other bits) then backwash immediately. If I don't backwash right away, the pollen ends up right back in my pool. (Yes, I have skimmer socks, and they help ... but not enough.) I've been thinking that my sand filter is channelled or needs DE, and that's why it's not catching the pollen. I will find out soon!
    The TFP recommendation is to backwash when you get 25% rise from starting pressure. I'm not sure what drives that recommendation - I know it used to be a fixed rise of a certain PSI. I suspect it has to do with the fact that if you wait until the filter is as slow as they recommended in the video your circulation would be poor and you might develop algae - but I don't know this for certain.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Step-by-step how to rinse/clean sand filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    Also, in your diagram you will see what is called the spider gasket. Be careful with this. Sometimes they are glued in place other times they just sit there. IF this gasket is worn out or get's damaged it will have to be replaced.
    My multiport comes off the side, not the top, so there isn't a spider gasket. But, there is an O-ring, which hopefully isn't stuck on, but I guess it might be. I will be careful with it -- hopefully, I won't have to buy a new one. I like your duct tape over the stand pipe idea. And I will be very careful when hosing off the sand so I don't break those laterals!

    Thanks!
    If you can get the cover off the top of the filter, you can reach into the filter (with your hand or a stick) and break up the sand. Then put the filter in backwash and turn on the pump. The pump will force water backwards through the sand, carrying away all the accumulated junk out through the opening at the top of the filter.

    Do this repeatedly until the water runs clear, and the sand is nice and loose.

    Do be careful as you stir up the sand to not disturb the laterals at the bottom of the filter.

    In extreme cases (heavy calcium buildup), pouring acid into the loosened sand and stirring it around will help...BE CAREFUL!
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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