Swimming is a popular recreational activity for the young and old. Because of this, it is extremely important to keep the swimming pool clean. However, some swimming pool owners worry about maintaining the pristine condition of their pool. You do not have to go through that because there is pool filter sand.
There are many methods to clean pool water such as using cartridge pool filters, but pool filter sand is one of the most well-known and simplest filtration methods. You do not have to thoroughly check the sand filter when cleaning, and you can backwash without any difficulty. If you want value for your money, ease, and durability, this pool cleaner is definitely for you.
How Does This Kind of Filter Work?
It is not enough that you know what a pool filter sand is. Although you own a cheap or expensive one, it is important for you to know how it actually cleans your pool.
- Having a uniform size and shape for its particles, sand filters are excellent in decontaminating your pool water. The rough and jagged particles and presence of fluctuation capture and holds back even the smallest dirt present, leaving water dirt- and contaminant-free.
- This kind of filtration process utilizes a sand filter tank. This is positioned near your pool and connected to your pump through its valves and pipes. It is an enormous plastic or fiberglass tank, which is round or cylindrical. It holds the filter sand. Manifolds that are made of plastic can be seen inside the sand filter tank. These long finger-like manifolds turn the sand around. When it is working, they displace the sand around so that the sand can be exposed equally to the water which flows through the filter.
- With the pump operating, it attracts water in the filter because of the sand. A favorable turnover rate is made possible by the water moving fast enough. Moreover, it can also shift slowly in order for the sand to effectively eliminate as much dirt as possible in the pool water. As a result, the sand does not make too many back and forth movements when the water goes through.
- When the water leaves the tank, all the undesirable substances have been removed. The pool is ready to be used again. The duration of this process often lasts repeatedly for a few hours. However, it all depends on the rate and size of your sand filter and pool pump.
Contaminants Removed From Sand Filters
Pool sand filters eliminate virtually every dirt and debris in your pool. They can take 20 to 40 microns away, so it means that even dirt that is as thin as a strand of hair can be removed.
For traditional swimming pools, there is a limitation in removing certain types of minerals such as manganese, iron, and calcium. Choosing a different sand type such as Zeosand is advisable for hard water in order to suit your pool’s maintenance needs.
Waterborne bacteria, viruses, and parasites are removed through the sand filters. As a result, your pool water becomes very safe to swim. While you are cleaning, make sure to put on gloves and be extra careful when rinsing the filter and changing the sand.
Silica sand is the best option for pool filter sand. You just need to know what to look for once you decide to buy it.
The main difference among authentic silica sand is the brand. However, you should steer away from size 20 since it can possibly damage your filter.
It is available in any size for any budget. You can even purchase it online if you are lucky. You can also shell out more money for a more popular brand name. There is less dust in it, so you are ensured that your swimming pool will function better than cheaper brands.
It will be better to experience using this first hand since it varies for each pool.
Cheaper Playground Sand and Natural Beach Sand as an Alternative to Silica Sand
As stated, you should not use silica sand with size 20 as your sand filter. The same applies to the playground and natural beach sand since these kinds of sand have different sizes, which are not suitable to act as a filter. It will just wash away from your pool if you any of them. Their texture is smooth, so they cannot trap dirt effectively.
Instead of making your pool cleaner, beach sand will likely pose a danger of introducing more filth in your swimming pool. Because this sand is not disinfected properly to act as a filter, it may bring about more problems such as parasites and insects.
In a nutshell, you ought to use sand that is meant to be used as a filter so that you will not have difficulties maintaining your pool clean.
Alternatives to Silica Sand
If you have a hard time buying silica sand, you can utilize some of its alternatives. Although they are quite limited, you might even stumble into one that works best for your pool.
This is the most common alternative to silica sand. The zeolite that has volcanic rock as its source is the main component of Zeosand. This option is good for your health because its particles have a honeycomb form which can strain more water. Therefore, you only need a lesser amount of Zeosand as compared to the standard sand filter.
If you do not really like traditional sand, you can opt to use Filterglass. You do not need to worry hurting yourself or damaging your pool or filter even though it has a filed and polished finish. Since it is from glass that is real and recycled, it can remove iron and manganese, which are substances that silica sand cannot eliminate. You also only need to use less as compared to silica sand. In addition, you can avail of filter balls if you want to save money. It has similar functionality as sand filters, but you do not need to buy bags of sand. It will still be better to test this product first.
Mixing with Other Filter Media
Other filter media complements pool filter sand.
DE Pool Filter
Blending DE or diatomaceous earth increase the filtration effectivity of sand filters. If the pool water is hard, not used often, or your sand filter is not cleaning well, then this is the appropriate medium for you.
You should be wary of adding it to your sand filter. It will get into your pool if it is too much. You should put on a mask and gloves when handling it so that you will not inhale. Do not invest in a big bag of DE. A small bag is enough since it is just an additional component of your sand filter.
You should not experiment with other types of media. Just use DE pool filter and approved sand filter alternatives to avoid any trouble.
Silica Sand and Health
Silica sand does not completely impose danger to your health because the body naturally has silica. Nevertheless, you should not ingest it or expose yourself to it since it can be toxic.
Some studies have pointed out that when you inhale silica, it can result in lung cancer. The dust from the silica is the main source. That is why it is better to have sand without much dust. You should always protect your mouth with a mask and gloves. It will not hurt taking these precautions in handling silica sand.
ZeoSand and Filterglass are less detrimental. However, you still have to wear protective gear like gloves to avoid irritation of your skin due to direct contact with it. Moreover, both are toxic-free.
Another important precaution is the storage of these sand filters. You should put them far away from children and animals. If ingested, they can cause health discomfort.
Backwashing or Cleaning Your Sand Filters
You can backwash or rinse your filter on a daily basis. It is a case-to-case basis, but there are guidelines that you can follow.
Clean your filter once a week or twice a month.
It depends on how often you use your pool. If you do not use it too much, weekly backwashing is not needed. However, if you use it most of the time or if you see debris and feel the water is hard, you have to do it weekly. The whole process should not last for more than 20 minutes.
Every 5th year, you should change the sand and rinse the filter.
If you have very dirty pool water or your filter breaks down, you have to do this more often. It is more beneficial for your filter and the environment if you do not replace your sand each year.
Another rule of thumb is checking the pressure gauge. It can indicate whether your filter has obstructions such as dirt and debris or not.
Changing the Filter Sand
Though some sand filters are quite costly, you do not need to worry about spending much money for buying sand since you do not have to do this many times.
When you use your filter for the first time, you might need to use more sand in order to fill your fill. You ought to put extra sand just in case spills or other mishaps happen.
After that, you just need to keep a small bag for the maintenance backwashing. You will lose a small amount of sand every time you do this. Thus, the amount of sand will decrease in the long run. This can cause the tank pressure to drop and, in turn, your filter will not work properly. You will see the result once you notice your pool water gets dirtier.
To avoid this situation, you just need to open the tank and put sand little by little until you see the tank pressure is at the right level. Except this, you do not have to replace your sand in 5 years. For hard or very dirty water, you need to do this every 3 years.
How to Backwash Your Sand Filter
This process is relatively easy. From the term backwash, the main principle is making the water move back to the filter so that the dirty water can be disposed of.
1. Shut the pump.
Make sure that the pump is not working to avoid breaking the plumbing or the valves of your system. It is advisable to turn off the circuit breaker of your house.
2. Set the valve to backwash.
Your pool’s filter valve is likely in filter setting, so you have to change it to backwash.
3. Position the waste hose.
You should place your water hose to the area where you want the dirty water to flow.
4. Check the sight glass.
Turn on the switch of the pool pump and leave it on for 2 minutes. While this is happening, you better check the sight glass because the water this time should change to clear water. Once you see that the water is clear, you can turn off the power.
5. Set the valve to rinse
After setting the valve to rinse, the sand loosens up and you need to reset it. The dirty pool water is drained out from the filter. Let the pump run again using the rinse setting for a minute or two.
6. Change from rinse to filter.
You can shut down the pump and return the setting to filter. Then, you can turn on your pump again. The pressure gauge level should be normal again.
Sand filters are fit for any pool type because they have no pool chemical. You just need to remember to give your filter the maintenance it needs. The way to do is not complicated at all. If you do this, you will enjoy a clean swimming pool for a long time.