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Thread: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

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    Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    My filter is blowing sand through the "eyeballs". Not a great amount but a noticeable pattern of sand appears on the pool bottom (shallow end) after a few hours. Last season I installed a solar cover and after that I noticed the sand dispersion pattern under the eyeball area. I wonder if its been doing that all along but just unnoticed until the solar cover altered the currents in the pool. I've found sand in my pool buster vacuum all along but assumed it was just there from foot traffic. Anyway, I put off the problem til now.

    The filter is a Ranger RS-2415 and is about 12 years old. The sand was replaced about 5 years ago. I drain it every year for winterization. It's done an acceptable job over its life but now I wonder if some other type of filter might be better. DE or cartridge maybe. I assume a sand filter is the most economical.

    I have a very old pool - 20' x 40' inground. I think its called a hybrid - has a concrete bowl in the deep end (and floor of shallow end) with fiberglass sides. And every year it's "something" - just last year I overhauled the pool heater. One year a groundhog chewed a hole in a skimmer return line, but I digress.........

    My plan is to dump the filter sand and inspect for cracks or breaks, then decide what to do. I could use advice from others with this problem and would appreciate any advice and comments from people experienced in other types of filters.

    TFP is a great site BTW!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Sand getting into the pool is usually a cracked lateral inside the filter. It is sometimes tricky to see the cracks, inspect the laterals closely in good lighting. Typically you replace the one or two broken ones and you are good to go. Once in a long while there is something more complex wrong. While you have the filter open take a look at the main internal pipes and check to see if anything is wrong. It almost never is, but easy enough to check.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    The other thing we see commonly posted here on the forum is it really isn't sand.

    Can you pick some up off the bottom of the pool and identify to be sure it is sand?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    The other thing we see commonly posted here on the forum is it really isn't sand.

    Can you pick some up off the bottom of the pool and identify to be sure it is sand?
    Yep - it's sand for sure.

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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    The only thing keeping the sand out of your pool is the laterals.......they must be damaged.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    An easy and quick way to remove sand from the filter would be to use a Dry/Wet Vac and when it fills empty it into a wheel barrow or something. (Take off the Vacuum filter)

    Here is another question pertaining to sand getting back in the pool. When I first got my house I replaced the pump but not the filter and I was getting sand back into the pool. After checking the laterals I came to the conclusion that the new pump was pumping water faster then the filter could filter resulting in sand get pushed through the laterals. In the end I just purchased an updated sand filter and was done with it.

    And one more thing, was just thinking the other day that isn't it possible that previous homeowners could have used incorrect sand which was smaller then recommended. How would one go about identifying the diameter of sand to confirm its the proper stuff?
    Fiberglass/Concrete IG
    Pool Size: 16500 gallons
    Filter: Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount Sand Filter
    Pump: Hayward 1 HP Super Pump

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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Good thoughts, Bnighgrow.

    I am not completely convinced that a big pump pushes sand through the laterals but others here on this forum with more experience and smarts than me certainly think it is quite possible so I'll buy into that with just a bit of reservation. The solution is a smaller pump.

    I am completely convinced of incorrect sand size and that solution (change the sand) is a lot more palatable from an expense standpoint so I would be tempted to try that first.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    I couldn't find enough detail on your laterals, hub and standpipe, so I don't know if the following is applicable:

    I had sand blowing into the pool, so figuring it was the laterals, I decided to inspect them. When I got the sand out and saw the lateral assembly, this is what I found:

    Instead of the laterals being fully extended, they weren't seated properly, and as a result, a giant gap was exposed under each finger, which let a ton of sand in the pool. Once I reseated everything, my problem went away.

    I'm not saying that this is what's going on for you, just that getting in to look might make your problem glaringly obvious.
    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
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Actually, the photo helps a lot. I've never been "inside" the filter tank, so this tells me what to look for. Brings up more questions though:

    Are the "laterals" individually replaceable or do I buy an assembly?
    Without going to the pool store, are they available on line?
    Does the standpipe/lateral assembly come out easily?

    signed - O.P. (original poster)

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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    The standpipe with laterals comes out easily only after the sand is removed. If you try to remove it with sand in it can be damaged, and it is impossible to put it back in with sand present.

    The laterals unscrew and can be replaced individually. They should be fairly easy to find on the Internet. Make sure you get ones that match your 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: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Update from OP
    Actually an easy job - two screws and my valve was off. Shop vacuumed most of the sand out (boring - took way over an hour and the last bit was wet - kept clogging the vac hose). Anyway - I'm still sort of in the dark. I fine-tooth combed them and the laterals were perfect. The only possible problem I could find was one missing screw in the standpipe assembly. Looks like that caused a tiny gap. I'm hoping that was the problem - won't know until I open the pool and fire everything up - probably July with the weather we've been having (I'm in South West Michigan). I haven't tried posting a photo to the forum but here goes.
    P4240042.JPG

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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Is that gap inbetween 2 of the lateral slots? If so, I think you found it......very nice work
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Looks like you found it. Well done!
    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: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    sorry to jump in.... i have the same issue with my intex 2650 sandfilter putting a lot of sand in pool. I called intex yesterday, they were awesome, and immediately sent me all new lateral pipes under the 2 year warranty (bought last june)

    will i need to plan on replacement sand when I replace the laterals or can I reuse the sand? its only one season old.
    Partially buried Doughboy Desert Spring 16 x 32, sport pool, with 7 ft deep middle, 20,000 gallons, Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1.5 HP 2 speed pump, 250 lb sandfilter, 2 Doughboy skimmers and 2 returns. 2 cascade fountains.
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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    You can reuse.

    Fiberglass/Concrete IG
    Pool Size: 16500 gallons
    Filter: Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount Sand Filter
    Pump: Hayward 1 HP Super Pump

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    Re: Sand Filter blowing sand - help & advice please

    Original poster here - for a follow up. Apparently my problem was NOT in the filter. My disassembly revealed no problems with the "laterals", the missing screw probably wasn't contributing. In short, the filter is perfect with new sand. I opened the pool and fired up the equipment only to find the same sand-blowing problem - even worse than before. At first I thought it was just previous leaked sand in the line but after 3 days it was continuing.

    My 20x40 ig pool is oriented North-south, the pool equipment is at the SW corner, I have one skimmer(middle east side) and 3 "eyeballs": #1 near SW corner, #2 on W wall near N end, and #3 @ NE corner. #2 was the problem - the only one emitting sand. I was at a loss - so I adopted plan "B" and plugged the offending #2 eyeball. I expected the sand problem to merely move to eyeball #3 but, so far, none yet (4 days now). I must have a break in the line feeding #2. At this point, I'm baffled on a fix. All of the circulation lines are under concrete. This is typical for me - I never have simple problems! Anybody have a clue if I can live with one less eyeball?

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