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Thread: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

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    Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    I hope I am not posting this in the wrong place!

    I have an above-ground pool which I am converting from Baquacil to chlorine. I bought the house last year and so I'm also new to running a pool. This site has been super-helpful for me, but I do have a question I can't find an answer to.

    I have followed the conversion steps and I'm testing the overnight chlorine loss and hope to be able to change the sand in my filter soon. I'm looking forward to this because 1) I don't know how old or gross that sand is; 2) ants seem to be living in the sand; and 3) it means I can soon use the pool!

    However, I am worried about keeping the water in the pool while I change out the sand. I have a plug for the skimmer which should prevent that from draining, but what about the return? Should I have a plug for that as well? Is such a thing available, or should I just use the cork from a wine bottle (my dad's suggestion). I have put a lot of water into that pool and I would prefer that it stays there!
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    I am sure others will chime in, but based on everything I've learned and understand..most likely your sand is OK.

    A good cleaning might be in order vs. a change out...sand does not wear out.

    There is a link somewhere on how to change, but I can't find/remember where it is...stay tuned though for sure and best of luck!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Just for clarification, a baqua to chlorine conversion is one of the few scenarios where a sand change is required.

    As to your specific question, do you not have any valves in the plumbing?
    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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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Emphasizing smykowski's response. Changing sand is mandatory to a successful baqua/chlorine conversion.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    There are a couple of ways of blocking the skimmer and return lines. A tennis ball usually does a good job of blocking the skimmer. Sometimes you can block the return with a rag, other times it is simpler to remove the hose at the filter end and toss the end over the wall of the pool while you are working on the filter.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski
    Just for clarification, a baqua to chlorine conversion is one of the few scenarios where a sand change is required.

    As to your specific question, do you not have any valves in the plumbing?
    No, as far as I can tell there are no valves, everything is just connected directly. All the hoses are (now) clamped on to the pipes at both ends. When the pool was winterized, the pipes were removed and all the inlets/outlets were left open.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    There are a couple of ways of blocking the skimmer and return lines. A tennis ball usually does a good job of blocking the skimmer. Sometimes you can block the return with a rag, other times it is simpler to remove the hose at the filter end and toss the end over the wall of the pool while you are working on the filter.
    Thanks Jason, I wondered about putting the hose back into the pool. The rag is also a good idea. Should everything be blocked before I remove the drain plug from the filter and let the water out of it?
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Reporting back to say I did it! I changed the sand and reassembled the filter and nothing exploded (which was my #1 goal after changing the sand)! I felt very empowered about this pool after that experience.

    However, I am having some water leaking out from the valve assembly, some from under the flange (? -- the two-piece collar that holds everything together) and some from the pressure gauge. My neighbor gave me some teflon tape for the gauge and tightened the screws some more on the collar but there is still some water coming out. He suggested buying a new flange -- will that solve the problem or do I need to do something else as well? The filter is a Hayward S210T.
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Did you put pool lube (NOT Vasoline!!) on the O-ring when you reassembled it? Did you make absolutely sure there was nothing (not even a hair!) in the O-ring groove or on the O-ring?

    You may have to take the valve head off again and re-seat it.

    If you did ensure nothing on the O-ring or in the grooves except lube, then here's a process both heavy equipment mechanics and aircraft powerplant mechanics use on that type of clamp assembly:

    As you tighten both screws (must be done equally) gently tap the clamp ring halves with a rubber mallot to help seat the clamp and bring the two parts together.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    Did you put pool lube (NOT Vasoline!!) on the O-ring when you reassembled it? Did you make absolutely sure there was nothing (not even a hair!) in the O-ring groove or on the O-ring?

    You may have to take the valve head off again and re-seat it.

    If you did ensure nothing on the O-ring or in the grooves except lube, then here's a process both heavy equipment mechanics and aircraft powerplant mechanics use on that type of clamp assembly:

    As you tighten both screws (must be done equally) gently tap the clamp ring halves with a rubber mallot to help seat the clamp and bring the two parts together.
    If I ask what is pool lube I think that answers your first question. So, what is pool lube? Where can I get it? If I am going to detach and reattach the valve do I need to drain the filter again?
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Pool lube is a silicon based lubricant, sold at most pool stores. It can also be found at plumbing supply stores and sometimes in the plumbing section of hardware stores. If at the plumbing section/store, it is call plumber's lube.

    You would only need to do a partial drain of your filter. Be sure to use the lube on all gaskets/O-rings on your pool equipment, This will help preserve and extend the life of these items.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Thanks Charlie, the pool lube (and cleaning the edges) worked like a charm! I was able to get into the pool for the first time yesterday (had to install a new ladder) and I'm so happy with the quality of the water. I am looking forward to a terrific summer of enjoying my pool!
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    FP,

    That's a very nice success story.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Thanks! I am also really enjoying using the test kit to "do science" with my pool. I forgot how much I enjoyed chemistry in high school!
    12500 gal 24' round AG pool, Hayward S210T filter, Hayward PowerFlo pump

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    Re: Filter sand change dumb newbie question

    Congrats on a job well done!

    (psssst... I use plastic shopping bags to plug my skimmer and return... ) ((Just make sure you take them out before starting the pump!!!))
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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