Do you ever need to change filter sand?

krick

Member
Jun 11, 2013
7
Cary, NC
I purchased my house about 3 years ago. It has an in-ground pool that was built in 1980. It has a sand filter, which I believe to be a Hayward S200. I can't find a model number, but it looks exactly like the pictures I find online. I have no way to be sure, I believe that this is the the original filter, which makes it over 30 years old. It doesn't seem to filter very good and I suspect that the sand may be caked and/or channeled. So I was planning on taking the top off and doing the garden hose thing to break up and clean the sand.

Is it possible that this filter still has the original sand in it? Is there ever a time when you'd want to change the sand? I'm only asking because if I'm going to go through the trouble to unbolt every one of the 24 bolts to take the lid off, it might make sense to do a complete sand change instead of trying to clean the old sand which could contain god-knows-what and might not even come totally clean.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,806
SW PA
Welcome to TFP!

You do not have to change the sand unless you are doing a Baquacil Conversion. If after cleaning the sand and it is still caked and or channeled then ok... but for the most part sand never needs changed as it does not go bad. Clean the sand and see how it looks. If you're not sure and still have questions, take pics of it, post your questions and we'll get you on your way. :goodjob:
 

krick

Member
Jun 11, 2013
7
Cary, NC
I know sand doesn't go bad, but it could get coated with oils that don't some off with water or contaminated with particulate matter that doesn't float and can't be easily flushed to the top. That's my main concern, I guess.

I'm going to try to clean it this weekend and I'll post back if I have any issues.

Thanks!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,053
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Welcome! :wave:

Thirty years old? I wonder if the little bits you lose with each backwash have added up over time to where you're now low on sand?

Well, you'll find out when you open things up, won't you? Wear old clothes when you do it.
 

krick

Member
Jun 11, 2013
7
Cary, NC
I didn't have much luck with the "deep cleaning". The sand was fairly filthy with what looks like lots of small bits of decomposed leaves.

My filter is the S200 and it has the in/out lines on the side. I wasn't able to find a valve position that allowed me to fill the filter with water and have it overflow like in the video. The water either drained back into the pool, into the pump, or out the waste line. I did the best I could but after a while I gave up and put the dome back on since it didn't seem like the bits of leaves wanted to float.

I'm going to see if it performs any better this season, and if not, I'm going to pull the top half off the filter and do a complete sand change at the end of the season.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
It probably doesn't matter at this point, but he water doesn't need to flow out the top of the filter, just somewhere higher than the top of the sand. From your description, setting the valve so water flowed out the waste port is your best choice.