Troubleshooting Common Sand Filter Problems
A swimming pool filter is one of the most crucial elements of a healthy pool. The filter acts as kidney, removing all sorts of dirt and debris from the water as it passes through. When your pool sand filter isn’t working properly, the cleanliness of your pool can take a sharp nosedive. But what are some of the most common sand filter problems, and how can you solve them?
When it comes to leaks, there could be a number of things going on. In most cases, the problem usually stems from a faulty gasket or o-ring, loose nuts or bolts, bad connections or cracks in the equipment. First, identify where the leak is coming from. Carefully inspect the area for cracks in the tank or individual pieces, and replace as needed. In the case of a cracked tank, the most expensive part to replace, you might opt to purchase a new sand filter instead. Leaks from the multiport valve or backwash line are most common, happening when the spider gasket or plunger o-ring wears out. If a minor adjustment to the handle doesn’t fix the leak, replace the gasket and/or o-ring. A worn out drain cap or flange gasket/clamp can also be a source of leaks on a sand filter, and they’re simple to replace.
Sand in the Pool
If you recently replaced the sand in your pool filter, or if you have just run a backwash cycle and notice grains of sand at the bottom of your pool, don’t be alarmed. This isn’t uncommon for either scenario. But if you’re finding handfuls of sand below the returns, or if sand enters the pool during normal use, this can indicate a problem caused by worn, broken or misaligned parts. If there’s a lot of sand in the pool, it’s likely that you have a broken lateral or standpipe. In this case, you’ll need to remove all sand from the tank to replace the broken parts. Small amounts of sand in the pool could also be caused by a faulty backwash valve, which will need replaced, or by having too much sand in the tank, which can be removed.
High or Low Filter Pressure
If you find yourself constantly dealing with tank pressure issues, it’s possible you’re dealing with a clog or improper sand levels. For low pressure, check obstructions before the filter; clear the pool skimmer, and check the strainer and impeller on your pump. Low pressure can also be caused by low water levels or by too little sand in the filter. With high pressure, backwash the filter first to see if this solves the problem. Pressure will rise when the sand needs to be cleaned, and if the time between backwashes keeps getting shorter, it may be time to replace the sand in your filter. Other causes for high pressure include using a pump that’s too strong for the filter, too much sand in the tank or an obstruction inside (or after) the filter. If your multiport valve is recirculating water and reducing backwash flow, this could also be a source of pressure problems. Another possibility is that your pressure gauge is stuck and needs replaced; it should read “0” when the pump shuts off if functioning properly.
We have everything you need to make pool sand filter repairs. Before getting started, be sure to check the owner’s manual. Although most of these problems are simple to fix on your own, some manufacturers will void the warranty if repairs are made by anyone but a professional. Nonetheless, filter repairs need to be made as soon as possible to keep your pool pristine. While waiting for pool filter parts or repair, you can help keep algae at bay by keeping chlorine levels high, brushing and skimming your pool daily, and by circulating the pool on the filter bypass setting.