My sand is "channeled" how to fix it?


Well-known member
Jun 25, 2007
My sand is "channeled" in my filter, according to do I fix it. The guy who came out says is will be $$ but I am thinking that replacing the sand, or even swishing it around will fix it. Am I right?


Jun 4, 2008
Western NY
I'm new at this, but I suspected I had this problem a few weeks ago. I GENTLY tapped on the sand tank with a rubber mallot and watched the pressure gauge climb about 2 psi. I had a polaris turtle attached to the return line and was getting fuzzy dandilion pollen building up on the screen of the turtle hose. That told me that the sand wasn't catching the fuzzy pollen. Since I tapped on the tank, I get no pollen fuzz, debris, or anything on that screen.

I also recall some advice offered to me where you would use a garden hose and gently push it into the sand tank (with the top off) and use the water coming from the garden hose to redistribute the sand within the tank. I did not try this because I felt that I solved the problem by tapping on the tank, but that was going to be my next attempt.


Open up the filter so the sand bed is exposed. Stick a garden hose into the sand and turn on the water. The sand should loosen up and all the dirt and gunk should float and overflow out of the filter. You might need to stir up the sand a bit. Keep this up until the water overflowing out of the filter is clean. If any sand is clumped together CAREFULLY break it up with something like a broom handle but BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE LATERALS. You will be surprised at how much stuff this gets out of your filter than backwashing doesn't and I feel this 'deep cleaning' should be done yearly. This should take care of the channeling but if the sand has a lot of calcium deposits you might want to follow this up with an acidic sand filter cleaner from the pool store.


Oct 5, 2007
western NY
Wow......I had the same problem this year.....took me a few days to get the pool from green to clear enough to see the bottom. Saw a good amount of dirt, etc down there, so I started the automatic vacuum. It was sucking up fine, but when I went to backwash it the water seemed not that dirty. After rinsing I'd start the filter again to vacuum and dirt was coming out of the return. Never had that happen before.
My sand wasn't "channeled" I don't think, just clogged up with dead algae....and backwashing didn't help.

I took the head off the sand filter and did the "hose overflow" thing for about 15 minutes. A lot of junk overflowed. Put it all together, and now everything is working fine.

I have not been very active at all here on the forum, but I used to be very active back in the "old days" on Ben Powell's poolforum. I have a Taylor test kit and am a many year devotee of the BBB method. I've had my 30' round pool for almost 10 years and this is the very first time I've ever seen green in my pool.....but that was mostly my fault....(my pump died).... All is well now, and just getting it going. Thanks again for the great website! I'm just trying to get the pool looking great because I'm selling the house. The kids are gone now so we're downsizing. No more pool soon......



Active member
Mar 27, 2012
A question in addition to this...

Instead of just a regular garden hose stuck into the the sand to flush debri out, how would turning the multi-valve to backwash then capping off the backwash exit tube to let more water flow out the top than the average garden hose can supply work?


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
No, you don't want to use the pool pump when doing this, that would be way too much. You want a very gentle water flow when doing this cleaning.