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Thread: Getting to know my sand filter

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    Getting to know my sand filter

    Today is my 2-month anniversary of being a first time homeowner and also a first time pool owner. Needless to say, I'm still in that "getting to know my pool" phase. I'm quickly getting to know my water chemistry, but the one area I've been putting off is getting to know my sand filter. The only thing I have done to filter is backwash.

    As backstory, the previous owner left a lot of receipts from past home repairs and it looks like the filter was replaced in 2010. In the filter book left behind the previous owner wrote that normal PSI is 30. That is consistent with the current PSI on pump at highest speed (3250rpm). Despite that, my PSI does seem high compared to what I hear others mention on here as the normal range. Also, I do get a lot of debris in pool and everyday have very fine silt that I am always sweeping toward drain.

    Despite having a pool guy, I'm going on the assumption that the previous owner never cleaned or replaced sand since installed 7-years ago. So basically, I've come up with a few excuses why I should open up the sand filter and have a few questions since I don't want to screw something up.

    1. Replace Sand or Clean Sand - I've seen conflicting posts on the need to replace sand or just clean sand?
    2. I like the idea of starting over fresh, or even putting in different type of sand that is better. Is all sand created equal? Is there a "higher end" type of sand?
    3. If I were to replace sand, how do you dispose of old sand? Can you use it in your yard or does it have to be thrown out?
    4. How would one know if a lateral was broken without taking out sand?
    5. How much sand do you need in filter?
    6. Whether I take out sand or just clean out with hose, do I disconnect the pipes coming in and going out of filter before opening up the filter?

    Thats all I can think of right now, but I'm sure I will have more as I build up courage to tackle this project. Thanks in advance for any help and guidance.
    16,000 gallon in-ground pebble tec pool. Hayward SP3400VSP Eco-Star Pump, Pentair Triton 2 TR-100 sand filter, A&A 5-port in-floor pool cleaner, Pentair Intellibrite 5g color changing pool light, Polaris 965iQ Robotic Pool Cleaner, OG Pool Math Subscriber and most importantly a Taylor K-2006C test kit.
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    | SLAM | Chlorine / CYA Chart |

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    This will answer just about all those: Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    For #2, the Quickcrete pool sand has some bad reviews. The HTH sand is usually ok from what I hear.

    For #4, it would be sand coming out through a return, mostly noticeable under the return.
    32K gallon Plaster - CircuPool SJ-55 SWG - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL/K-1766
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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    Thanks Mr Bruce. The problem with #4 is I don't have a traditional return jet. Only returns are from the in-ground floor cleaning system so if anything come out it gets pushed around on bottom.
    16,000 gallon in-ground pebble tec pool. Hayward SP3400VSP Eco-Star Pump, Pentair Triton 2 TR-100 sand filter, A&A 5-port in-floor pool cleaner, Pentair Intellibrite 5g color changing pool light, Polaris 965iQ Robotic Pool Cleaner, OG Pool Math Subscriber and most importantly a Taylor K-2006C test kit.
    Test Kits Compared
    | SLAM | Chlorine / CYA Chart |

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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    So I opened up my filter today and put a hose in to clean it out. I thought I had closed off my filter by putting the side valve to my backflush pipe, however I completely forgot the water could still go backward through the pump.

    Needless to say, a bunch of brown clouds quickly appeared to come out of my skimmer and main drain. After realizing it, I was able to stop it by disconnecting one of the unions from my pump and let the water drain out there. So after cleaning a while longer, I could never get the filter full enough so water spills out the top. Instead it just flowed out the backwash pipe and where I removed the pump union.

    So I'm not sure if that still did the job or not, but I don't know how to isolate the filter so water flows out the top. Any suggestions?

    Also, once I got everything back together I backwashed and then ran pump. All the dirt that got pushed back in the pool has now spread and clear water to very murky. Hardly can see bottom now, and I can't stop calling myself an idiot. Do I just run filter 24/7 until it clears back up? I assume there is nothing I need to do chemically?
    16,000 gallon in-ground pebble tec pool. Hayward SP3400VSP Eco-Star Pump, Pentair Triton 2 TR-100 sand filter, A&A 5-port in-floor pool cleaner, Pentair Intellibrite 5g color changing pool light, Polaris 965iQ Robotic Pool Cleaner, OG Pool Math Subscriber and most importantly a Taylor K-2006C test kit.
    Test Kits Compared
    | SLAM | Chlorine / CYA Chart |

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    kevreh's Avatar
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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    Just running it seems to be the logical thing, of course if all the stuff in the pool is finer silt/dirt you may have to backwash if the pressure gets high again. Sort of like a spring opening where there a lot of crud in the pool and you'll need to do a backwash within a day or so of opening.
    16x32 Concrete IG 24k Gallons
    Equipment: Carvin 525sf Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, Vortex Solar Panels w/solar valve, 1hp Hayward Pump with 3/4 HP AO Smith 2 Speed Replacement Motor, Aquarite Saltwater Cell, Polaris 280 Dolphin Active 20 Robot
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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    previous owner wrote that normal PSI is 30
    A few things that I have noticed:

    1) My plumbing is 2" and I have a oversized pump and sand filter. Also, I have return 8 jets, 2 main drain and 2 skimmers. My pressure is around 12 psi.

    2) My friends pool has a lot less return jets and whether one skimmer and main drain or 2, the pressure is a lot higher (like 20 psi starting pressure). The plumbing is 1" to 1.5 ".

    I believe the configuration of the pool dictates the pressure at the pump. There are many variables from sizing of piping, size of sand filter, distance, skimmers, main drains, returns, etc. Your pressure is the highest I have seen as a normal starting pressure, but that does not necessarily mean something is wrong.

    You may want to see how your pressure changes when closing different valves, etc.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Re: Getting to know my sand filter

    Sand filters are fairly simple beasts, but even so, I appreciate that Pentair publishes the manuals online: Pentair - Triton II Side Mount Filters

    (the Users Guide answers your question #5)
    12,000 gal Diamond Brite indoor​ pool. Pentair Triton TR-60 Sand Filter +added DE, Lochinvar Energyrite ERN-200 gas heater, Pentair Multi-valve, Pentair SuperFlo VS pump, TF-100 kit, Pool Math App - iOS

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