Sand Replacement In Pool Pump Filter

Last month, my younger brother invited my entire family to spend the weekend in his beautiful house. My kids just finished their examinations a few days back, and so, we happily accepted the invitation. It was long since we siblings spent some time together and it was just the right time and opportunity.

It was fun to catch up. After some long awaited chatting and gossiping, we went to bed. I don’t remember the exact time, but I woke up when my brother started banging on my door. When I came out, he told me that the pump pool was not working.

That was an issue as he has invited us for the weekend for a barbeque and pool party. His face was pale as he did not know what to do. Thankfully this revered “pool pump expert” was there at his service. 


Frequency of changing filter sand

As soon as I took a look at the pool water, I knew that his pump was fine. I asked him when he last changed his pump filter sand. His look answered everything. He later told me that he had no idea that one needs to change the sand. Wait! Even you don’t know that? I hope you read this article before you face a similar situation. 

An average pool pump filter keeps the water clean from dirt. The water passes through the sand, and all the dirt gets trapped. One needs to change this sand after every 3 to 4 years. If you fail to do this, the already saturated sand will no longer be able to filter the water. 

I recently moved into my new home and installed a new pump. So, when my brother asked me to help him with changing the filter sand, I got an opportunity to learn the tricks to accomplish the task. 

Steps to Replace Sand in the Pool Pump Filter

We followed these steps to resolve the issue in hand. You can also try.

Step 1 – Remove The Old Sand

Firstly, we opened the pool pump cover to see the actual pump body. Then my brother unscrewed the filter compartment. It is common for the filter sand to contain bacteria, along with other kinds of dirt. To minimize the chances of infection, we used a small shovel to scoop out the sand. I soon realized that it would take much time. My brother brought out his trusted shop vacuum to suck up even the last speck of sand.

Step 2 – Pour Water Into The Filter Tank

Before we put the new batch of sand in the filter, I told my brother to pour some water in the tank. When I was consulting the manual, I learned that pouring some water helps to lessen the impact of dropping sand. Pouring in sand directly may damage the filter base.

Step 3 – Pick The Right Sand Quality

Some online consultation also told me that a lot depends on the selection of sand. #20 silica sand is one that manufacturers make for pool pump filters. The size of each grain is 40-50mm in its diameter. My brother has no idea about the type sand that goes in the pumps. If it were not for me, he would have picked the wrong sand, and destroyed the pool.

Step 4 – Pour The Sand In The Filter

Each pool pump filter is different, and each requires a certain amount of sand for optimum functioning. I measured the amount of sand before filling the filter, as I did not want to take any chances. If the amount of sand is less or more, then it can interfere with the filters’ operations, or damage it.

Step 5 – Close The Sand Pipe

We used wide tapes to close the opening of the sand pipe. It is mandatory to prevent any sand grains from getting into this pipe.  Taping the opening of this pipe helped in this. I knew that one should keep the pipe at the center. But it was not possible for me to do so alone. So, I asked my brother to hold the pipe, while I poured the sand around it. Any shift in the position of this pipe will hinder the process of putting the valve on.

Step 6 – Put On The Filter Cover

After the filter was full, I asked my brother to bring the filter head to put it in place. I took care to turn it slowly so that it does not become too tight. If you make it too snug, then there are chances that the body of the filter will crack.

Step 7 – Backwash The Pool Pump Filter

Once everything was in place, I asked my brother to turn on the power. But that was to backwash the filter. For this, we made sure that the pool had more water than its usual capacity. Then my brother started the backwash and let it run for around 5 minutes. Once the process was over, I asked him to start the rinse cycle for 60 seconds. Then the pool pump filter was ready for the actual process.

Cost Of Changing The Filter Sand

Apart from purchasing the pool pump filter sand, you will have to shell out around $100 to $200 for hiring an expert who would replace the sand in your pump filter. Before I rolled up my sleeves and stated work on the sand replacement, my brother has already called the specialists.

As soon as he heard the labor cost, he was in dilemma about spending so much in such an emergency. Thanks to my presence of mind, and acquired skills, my miserable kid brother was able to save a significant amount. But most importantly, I was able to save his face in front of his buddies coming over the next week.

For my services, he paid me with a tight hug, a big thanks, and extra bottle of my favorite beer. After all, that is what family does right?! They look out for each other.

Bryan Mallory

My name is Bryan Mallory and I have over 25 years of experience in swimming pool, spa maintenance and repairs. With my experience and knowledge I can return your pool back to its best and keep it in peak condition.