winterizing with a sand filter

gale

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
41
north central Indiana
I tried to do a search but it said the words sand and filter were too common. I've read a couple dozen threads but don't see the answers. We have a hayward sand filter that holds about 250 lbs of sand. So I'm guessing that stays where it is right? Do I take anything off of it other than the hoses that the water goes through? I know to take off the drain plug but otherwise it's all fine to stay outside right? We live in north central Indiana-it gets well below freezing all winter long. We're planning to put the pump and all the hoses and fittings in the basement. Do we need to take the top off the filter too? I don't know what the multiport/spider gasket is but I suspect it's beneath that handle that I use for the different settings on the filter? In order to remove that gasket do I have to remove that whole top thing? There are pictures of our filter and pump in my signature. Thanks and sorry if this is a repeat.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Just remove the drain plug at the bottom, the site glass, and the pressure gauge. Leave the rest. Put the multiport on "Winter" and thats it.

You really dont need to bring the pump in. IMO, its a waste of time and energy. Since you have an above ground, just drain everything, and remove the plugs from the pump. Someone else who has an AGP will be along to give you more tips.
FWIW, I live in Massachusetts and no one that I know, without exception, takes in the pump. There are those on TFP that do, but IMO its not needed.
 

Pathfinder

In The Industry
Sep 22, 2008
14
Ontario Canada
Just removing the drain plug will not sufficiently evacuate 90% of the water still in the sand filter. To remove the remainder is to use a high volume shopvac to blow the filter out through your backwash line. You place your dial to Rinse then place your vac hose on the line from the pump(leave you gauge and sight glass in while doing this). When blowing the air forces the water up and out. This procedure takes usually an extra 5-10 minutes but it will save your tank from freezing expanding then cracking.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Pathfinder said:
Just removing the drain plug will not sufficiently evacuate 90% of the water still in the sand filter. To remove the remainder is to use a high volume shopvac to blow the filter out through your backwash line. You place your dial to Rinse then place your vac hose on the line from the pump(leave you gauge and sight glass in while doing this). When blowing the air forces the water up and out. This procedure takes usually an extra 5-10 minutes but it will save your tank from freezing expanding then cracking.
You can do that if you want, but it's not really necessery. Removing the drain plug at the bottom and letting the water drain is fine. Now, if its already freezing and you need to get it out fast, sure, thats a good way to do it. But just taking the plug off the bottom of the filter will drain the water just fine. By the time you get a hard pipe busting freeze, the water is out.
Now, if your blowing out an inground pool, sure, throw the multiport on rinse while your blowing the lines and your good to go. But, for an AGP where you dont blow the lines, letting it gravity drain works, IMO.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
bk406 said:
Pathfinder said:
Just removing the drain plug will not sufficiently evacuate 90% of the water still in the sand filter. To remove the remainder is to use a high volume shopvac to blow the filter out through your backwash line. You place your dial to Rinse then place your vac hose on the line from the pump(leave you gauge and sight glass in while doing this). When blowing the air forces the water up and out. This procedure takes usually an extra 5-10 minutes but it will save your tank from freezing expanding then cracking.
You can do that if you want, but it's not really necessery. Removing the drain plug at the bottom and letting the water drain is fine. Now, if its already freezing and you need to get it out fast, sure, thats a good way to do it. But just taking the plug off the bottom of the filter will drain the water just fine. By the time you get a hard pipe busting freeze, the water is out.
Now, if your blowing out an inground pool, sure, throw the multiport on rinse while your blowing the lines and your good to go. But, for an AGP where you dont blow the lines, letting it gravity drain works, IMO.
Thank You bk406! :goodjob: The gravity drain on a sand filter takes a while, but is sufficient, when done long enough before freezing.
 

Pathfinder

In The Industry
Sep 22, 2008
14
Ontario Canada
A sand filter is a sand filter whether it be on an AGP or IG I suggest trying my method after a few days of gravity draining through the bottom. You're sure are not going to get the volume out the bottom like you would blowing it. Whats the harm in taking the extra step & 5 mins to ensure a sand filter is drained properly for your customer rather than simply relying on a guess that the water is sufficiently drained out through the bottom. It may be sufficient for southern states but to dismiss a proper method for everyone in freezing climates is a disservice to others on this board.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Pathfinder said:
It may be sufficient for southern states but to dismiss a proper method for everyone in freezing climates is a disservice to others on this board.
I live in Massachusetts, Ted was from Connecticut, now Maine. Gravity draining a sand filter is sufficient. The OP has an above ground pool. Those pools generally do not have the lines blown out. So, for an AGP owner, it makes no sense to go to the trouble to blow out a sand filter when its not really needed. If you noticed, i did say that if you are already blowing out the lines for an IG pool, sure, put the multiport on rinse and blow it out. But its not necessary.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Just make sure to give the filter a good backwash before winterizing as this will help the filter drain easier when the plug is pulled. I've seen some filters only drip when the drain plug was removed because the filter was so dirty.
 

Heckpools

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 8, 2009
318
New Jersey shore
Ive had sand filters not drain all the way and cause freeze damage to the standpipe.
Do yourself a favor, and blow it out just incase.

Take the extra 5 minutes and protect your investment.
 

julieswimtown

Member
May 25, 2013
6
Interesting to note: Hayward Manual for the S244T 24" 300# sand filter, states only this in their instructions for winterizing:
.
WINTERIZING
1. Completely drain tank by unscrewing drain cap at
base of filter tank. Leave cap off during winter.
2. Depress Vari-Flo control valve handle and rotate so as
to set pointer on valve top between any two positions.
This will allow water to drain from the valve. Leave
valve in this "inactive" position.

In regards to the pump and bringing indoors vs. leaving out in sub freezing temps-
We just switched to a MaxFlo 2 Speed 230V pump this year, hardwired.
We removed it and pulled it indoors just yesterday. My experience with winter is if winter can destroy something it will. Better safe than sorry. We also drain our pool down below frost level...well below what most pros will recommend. I tried vehemently to get my other half to NOT drain it below about 18". He wouldn't budge. Experience, once again, was the teacher here. Once burned... Anyway wonder if any of you have any stats regarding pumps in winter...what is the fail rate for pumps left out in sub freezing temps for extended length of time, higher than those that were brought indoors? Is there such a stat out there, has anyone actually documented such a test - say like, over a 5 year period?
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
I can almost guarantee there isn't a stat out there; at least not official. Leaving the pump outside just leaves it exposed to the elements more. Also the pump is not moving for that period of time so things can get rusty etc. Bringing it indoors is just a way to avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements. But if the motor is hardwired I would leave it in place as removing and re-installing wires on the pump tend to cause the wires to break from bending so much. So unless you plan on having the motor rewired to a simple plug outlet I would recommend a motor cover (or a waste basket from the dollar store cut to shape with a knife) Basically you don't want to wrap the motor in plastic as this just traps in moisture. By having a lose fitting motor cover etc on the motor it keeps the snow and rain directly off the motor but still allows it breathe and dry up.
 

pooladdict

TFP Guide
In The Industry
May 14, 2007
819
New Brunswick Canada
Anyone that lives in Northern climes would be fool hardy to leave any piece of electrical componenty outside exposed to the elements. I suggest to remove the Multiport completely and store it in a shed, cover the top with an old piece of liner from when pool was installed, leave drain cap off, no antifreeze is required inside the filter with the multiport removed, water will flow out.
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
julieswimtown said:
Post Posted: October 2nd, 2013, 12:41 pm
Interesting to note: Hayward Manual for the S244T 24" 300# sand filter, states only this in their instructions for winterizing:
.
WINTERIZING
1. Completely drain tank by unscrewing drain cap at
base of filter tank. Leave cap off during winter.
2. Depress Vari-Flo control valve handle and rotate so as
to set pointer on valve top between any two positions.
This will allow water to drain from the valve. Leave
valve in this "inactive" position.
I follow this for my sand filter and have had no problems (3+ years).

I bring my pump into my slightly heated garage for the winter.
 

julieswimtown

Member
May 25, 2013
6
Thanks all for your input.
X-PertPool - when we removed the pump, we disconnected at box - it's on it's own out there - so the wires on the actual pump itself were not touched.
pooladdict and linen: I've heard both ways, so I'll go with the Hayward instructions this year and leave the multiport in place (will remove the pressure gauge and sight glass though) will cover the multiport and see what happens. Snow in the forecast tomorrow :O
 

garybtru

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2017
159
Upstate NY
Thanks all for your input.
X-PertPool - when we removed the pump, we disconnected at box - it's on it's own out there - so the wires on the actual pump itself were not touched.
pooladdict and linen: I've heard both ways, so I'll go with the Hayward instructions this year and leave the multiport in place (will remove the pressure gauge and sight glass though) will cover the multiport and see what happens. Snow in the forecast tomorrow :O
Hi, I know this message is several years old but I'm curious as to how this has worked out for you over the years with regard to your valve: just removing the pressure gauge and sight glass, etc. Still going strong? :)
 
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