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Thread: Sand getting through lateral

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    Sand getting through lateral

    I get sand in my pool, so I ran the Aquabot, washed out the filter bag, and retrieved the sand it cleaned from the pool. (There are some larger grains of sand in the pictures, so I am going to check for broken laterals. Also, we have lots of birds in the neighborhood, and maybe some sand gets deposited by their poop????)

    IMG_5155.jpg

    Then I sprinkled it over a new lateral, to see what would get inside the lateral.

    IMG_5156.jpg

    Then dumped out the sand inside the lateral onto a sheet of paper.

    IMG_5157.jpg

    I replaced the sand years ago with sand from a local pool store. So, either the sand grains are wearing down and many are now small enough to enter the laterals, or the sand I bought had poor quality control. Anyone bought crappy pool sand and had this happen? I really doubt it is wearing down and getting smaller. As I said earlier, I'm going to empty the filter to check the laterals, so have to replace this bad sand.

    So can anyone recommend a quality brand of sand I should look for?
    Vinyl 18x36 IG with deep end, 25,000 gallons, 1 1/2HP Pentair Pinnacle pump, Pac-Fab Triton II TR60 325# sand filter, Aquabot low voltage vacuum. Pool installed in 1995
    Have been using BBB method for years

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    That doesn't look like pool sand. If you can tie a sock or something similar over a return, you can see if the sand is coming from the filter or entering the pool by some other means.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    I just had the same issue, my sand was changed 5 years ago and I was getting a lot of sand in my pool. Changed it with 350lbs of new sand an all is well, I think all the sand is the same just needs #20 silica sand.

    Just make sure you inspect and clean all laterals
    1999, 18x36 29k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Pentair SD80 Sand Filter, Pentair Millivolt 250m NG Heater
    2007, Hydropool H625 Platinum, 3HP/4HP pumps, Balboa Spa pack, Poly Planar Stereo c/w pop up speakers

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Thanks guys, I'll tie a sock to a return to see what's coming from the filter. Maybe it's not pool sand, but it feels like sand, and is heavy, drops right back to the bottom of the small bucket I washed the Aquabot filter in. The organic stuff floated away as I washed it. Birds, in general, eat sand and gravel for their gullet, but I don't know if it then comes out the back, so to speak.
    Vinyl 18x36 IG with deep end, 25,000 gallons, 1 1/2HP Pentair Pinnacle pump, Pac-Fab Triton II TR60 325# sand filter, Aquabot low voltage vacuum. Pool installed in 1995
    Have been using BBB method for years

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    I have the same dirt or sand in the bottom of my pool as well.... Changed laterals, new sand... Dirt still on bottom... Used robot to clean and have same dirt in my robot... Looks nothing like the filter sand.

    Could an underground pipe be broke and pull and in?

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    I had same problem, tied a nylon hose to the return jet ... no sand. Then watched the Grackle birds dropping sacks of poop into my pool .... lots of sand in there. Stupid birds.

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    So today I opened the filter and took out some sand. Did the same as I talked about above- washed it, dried it, then sprinkled it over a new lateral. Here is the result:

    IMG_5162.jpg

    So I'm confused as to why so many grains are so small that they go through the laterals and end up in the pool. The sand has either worn down, or it was not properly screened by the company that bagged it. I replaced it years ago, and don't remember the brand. But the white steps have been showing some sand for years, not much, but this year decided to fix it. Here is a close up showing the fairly large difference in particle size.

    IMG_5159.jpg

    Surely this is fairly rare, to have so many fines in pool filter sand . I am going to do the same test with the new sand out of the bag.
    Last edited by That guy; 06-11-2015 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Spelling-always counts
    Vinyl 18x36 IG with deep end, 25,000 gallons, 1 1/2HP Pentair Pinnacle pump, Pac-Fab Triton II TR60 325# sand filter, Aquabot low voltage vacuum. Pool installed in 1995
    Have been using BBB method for years

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Sand wears down, they say you should change it every 4-5 years. Replace and you are golden. Not a difficult job, takes 2 hours

    "I replaced the sand years ago with sand from a local pool store" How many years ?
    1999, 18x36 29k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Pentair SD80 Sand Filter, Pentair Millivolt 250m NG Heater
    2007, Hydropool H625 Platinum, 3HP/4HP pumps, Balboa Spa pack, Poly Planar Stereo c/w pop up speakers

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    Sand wears down, they say you should change it every 4-5 years. Replace and you are golden. Not a difficult job, takes 2 hours

    "I replaced the sand years ago with sand from a local pool store" How many years ?
    Mmmm, not sure many of us o this forum would say that sand wears down....I am sure the pro's will jump in.
    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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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    It might be you have a leak underground and its pulling in the sand around the pool

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    That amount of sand is pretty small. It's normal after a backwash for sand to be redistributed and some of the finer particles to make it through to the pool. I wonder if you have any problem at all.?
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Quote Originally Posted by toofast View Post
    Mmmm, not sure many of us o this forum would say that sand wears down....I am sure the pro's will jump in.
    Over time the grit size definitely wears down to a smaller particle with friction...go rub a couple rocks together or a couple sheets of sand paper, let me know what happens
    1999, 18x36 29k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Pentair SD80 Sand Filter, Pentair Millivolt 250m NG Heater
    2007, Hydropool H625 Platinum, 3HP/4HP pumps, Balboa Spa pack, Poly Planar Stereo c/w pop up speakers

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    My Polaris got some sand up the other day. I back washed maybe 2 weeks ago. I don't usually have to backwash often enough to establish the correlation, but I bet that's my problem at least.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    Over time the grit size definitely wears down to a smaller particle with friction...go rub a couple rocks together or a couple sheets of sand paper, let me know what happens
    I don't know, but there have been several discussions in the forum in which it's been stated that the amount of movement between sand particles inside a sand filter is so small that almost no wear would be expected, even over even geologic time periods.

    I think there's a far greater effect of redistribution of small particles, so that small particles that are newly adjacent to the laterals, are pushed out of the filter for a short period at startup after a backwash.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Sand getting through lateral

    Quote Originally Posted by gtemkin View Post
    I don't know, but there have been several discussions in the forum in which it's been stated that the amount of movement between sand particles inside a sand filter is so small that almost no wear would be expected, even over even geologic time periods.

    I think there's a far greater effect of redistribution of small particles, so that small particles that are newly adjacent to the laterals, are pushed out of the filter for a short period at startup after a backwash.
    Could be an interesting debate, my sand hadn't been changed in...I beleive 8-10 years or so. I figured broken laterals. Cleaned the entire filter and checked all laterals which were fully intatct with no breaks. I poured the old/dry sand on the lateral and similar to the OP the sand went into the cylinder. New sand did not enter the cylinder.....I even had a 10 year old half bag of sand in the pool house from the old home owner and same thing the sand did not enter the lateral cylinder. ( so I know it was not an incorrect grit )
    1999, 18x36 29k Gal, IG Vinyl, Sta-Rite Intellipro VS, Pentair SD80 Sand Filter, Pentair Millivolt 250m NG Heater
    2007, Hydropool H625 Platinum, 3HP/4HP pumps, Balboa Spa pack, Poly Planar Stereo c/w pop up speakers

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