Quick Dip: Pool Filter Sand Vs Play Sand Whats The Difference
Why Using Play Sand in Your Pools Filter is Asking for Trouble.
Question: Why cant I just use play sand from Home Depot or Lowes in my swimming pool filter? It is a bit cheaper. Are there any downsides to this? Whats the difference between play sand and pool sand?
In the words of Anakin Skywalker, I dont like sand, its course, rough and gets everywhere. Having gritty sand pouring into your pool is one of the last things you want, but is just what can happen if you use the WRONG sand in your pools sand filter system.
Quikrete 50 Lbs Of Pool Filter Sand
This Quikrete pool filter sand is at the top end of the price range. Since pool filters can often hold hundreds of pounds of sand, the extra expense is going to add up by the time your filter is refilled. This sand is a nice pure white color that makes it seem clean just based on looks. With a 20/40 gradation, it should be perfect for use in almost any pool filter. However, in our testing, this sand was a bit too fine and was being pushed through the filter and into the pool, resulting in a lot of wasted time spent cleaning up the mess.
- Outprices other pool filter sands
- Still just sand
How To Change Pool Filter Sand
Why do I need to change my pool filter sand? Doesnt sand last forever? Well, the answer to that is yes and no. Yes, sand basically lasts forever but over time, it loses its potency as a filter media. To the naked eye, the sand used in sand filters look just like any old regular sand out there. But under closer inspection, you would find that the grains of sand are actually rough and textured. This roughness is the component that provides the filtering component. The tiny bits of dirt, algae, dead bugs, and other contaminants gets snagged by the tiny burrs on the sand and clean water passes on through.
Over the years, this texture gets smoothed out due to the amount of water passing through. To illustrate this point, try walking down a beach or a stream, notice how almost all of the small rocks have smooth surfaces? This is called weathering. The surfaces of the rocks gets smoothed out over the years, and while youre left with nice smooth sand, its useless as a filter media.
The Importance And Function Of The Filter
To prepare you to choose the perfect filter, let’s start with explaining the job of the filter in your pool. The filter and pump are the heart and lungs of the pool circulation and filtration system. The primary purpose of the filter is to keep your pool clean by removing undissolved debris from the pool water.
How Does Pool Filter Sand Work
Different types of pool filter media clean at different levels of efficiency. For example, sand actually only cleans out particles as small as 40 microns.
Now, dont get me wrong, 40 microns is still extremely small. After all, the human eye cant see anything smaller than 50 or 60 microns.
However, certain bacteria and algae spores can measure as small as 2 microns. And while there isnt really a sand filter media that can capture that, there is some that comes closer.
Heres how it works
With your pool pump running, it is constantly circulating the water in and out of the filter. As it runs through, it slowly sinks down into the sand.
The sand is coarse enough to grab onto tiny particles in the water. As it does this, the clean water flows back into the pool, cleaner than it started.
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How Does Silica Sand For Pool Filters Work
To be effective, you must have a swimming pool pump to push the water from the pool to your filter. The water then flows through the silica pool sand in the filter. As the water seeps through the filter, the large and small dirt particles stick to the sand, with crystal clear water trickling out through the bottom of the filter and back into your pool.
Next Day Delivery Details
Dohenys is pleased to offer free next day delivery at no additional charge for orders over $100 to most of the US for all Doheny’s brand chemicals and many of our most popular swimming pool supplies. Next Day Delivery Service does not mean Next Day Air, but simply that your qualifying products will be shipped from the warehouse closest to you resulting in delivery the next day. We do have a shipping charge of only $9.99 for orders under $100.00.
Some details regarding this service:Other than for Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, not all products are stocked at all locations and therefore not available for next day delivery. Only those items with a Next Day Delivery designation on the product page can be expected to arrive the next day and orders must be placed by 4 PM CT .
If you reside in the next day delivery area served by our Pleasant Prairie facility, order in-stock products and place your order by 4 PM CT you should receive your order the next day . This applies to products even if they do not have a Next Day Delivery designation.
Because next day delivery is not guaranteed for standard service and residential deliveries are made only Monday through Saturday though Saturday delivery is not guaranteed, there is a chance that our product will not arrive the next day. While we try our best, unexpected demand can cause products to occasionally be out of stock or create a warehouse backlog that also can prevent shipment the day of the order.
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How Often Should You Replace Your Pool Filtration Sand
Our high-grade silica sand for pool filters has a general life cycle of between 2-5 years. At this point, the gaps between the sand become filled with dirt, and it can no longer remove the debris from your pool effectively. Changing your silica pool sand after 3 years will increase the quality and clarity of your pool water and reduce the number of chemicals you use. Changing your pool filtration sand will typically take 1-3 hours, depending on the ease of access around the filter and the condition of your old sand.
How To Clean A Sand Pool Filter
To clean a sand pool filter, youll need to do something called backwashing. And before you ever get started, youll need to turn the power off at the breaker.
Then, youll look for a setting on your filter called backwash and turn it to that setting.
Next, check the waste hose to make sure its securely connected to the valve. Also make sure there are no kinks in it so it will allow for easy water flow.
Now, turn the power back on at the breaker and the pool pump. Let it run for a couple of minutes or until it runs clear.
Turn the pump off and set the valve to rinse. Turn the pump on again and let it run for another couple of minutes, or until it once again runs clear.
Once youre all done, you can set your pump back to filter to return to normal use.
For a more thorough walkthrough, check out this video:
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How Do I Know If My Sand Filter Is Bad
There are several indications that your sand filter is bad, meaning the sand needs to be replaced or the parts need to be serviced.
The first indication is cloudy water when youve tried everything else to clean it up. This could be caused by a low flow rate.
Another thing to watch out for is backwash cycles that get shorter and shorter. This could mean your filter is greasy or dirty.
Sand in your pool is also a dead giveaway that theres a problem with your filter.
Usually, this means you have a broken lateral at the bottom of the standpipe. This is something you can fix yourself. Just be sure to follow directions carefully.
Palmetto 50 Pounds Of Pool Filter Sand Best Overall
Pools are already full of chemicals, and its a good idea to try not to add more. The Palmetto pool filter sand is 100% natural with no added chemicals. Its made specifically for pool filters, so its perfectly sized to filter out everything your pool may collect such as insects, sunscreen, hair, dirt, etc. Since it wont solidify or become clumpy, this sand will never clog your filter and always offers a smooth backwash. The biggest draw to this sand is that once you fill your filter with it, you wont have to think about it again until its ready to be replaced in another three to five years. That said, its one of the more costly pool filter sands on the market.
Refilling your pool filter with sand doesnt have to be expensive, and with the AquaQuartz pool filter sand, its not. Priced very affordably, this sand has all the features of good pool sand. Its free of chemicals and is 100% natural as well, so it backwashes evenly with no problem.
- Very fine sand may pass through some filters
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Zeosand 50 Pounds Swimming Pool Sand Premium Choice
ZeoSand is a bit different than other pool filter sands. Zeosand is half the weight of normal sand, which means it takes half as much ZeoSand to fill your filter. Although it is accompanied by a premium sticker price, since you only need half as much, it may actually be a more economical option in the end. Because of its different physical structure, ZeoSand can filter out much finer particles than normal pool sand is capable of, featuring 3 microns for ZeoSand compared to 20 microns for other pool filter sands.
The unique makeup of ZeoSand does come with a drawback though. This sand requires very extensive backwashing prior to use. Failure to do so results in zeo dust turning your pool green. When we first started running the ZeoSand, we noticed a bit of cloudiness in the water. After just a short while, it had spread to the entire pool. We had to start over, and this time backwashed it repeatedly for extended periods to make sure it was really cleaned. This drawback is enough to keep the ZeoSand out of our top two positions.
- Requires extensive backwashing prior to use
How The Filter Works
Pool water comes from the circulation pump into the filter where small debris particles are removed through depth or surface filtration, and then goes on to the heater or back to the pool.
A filter works through mechanical separation of water and debris through surface or depth filtration. Sand filters use special filter sand, cartridge filters pass water through a fibrous element, and DE filters pass water through a thin layer of diatomaceous earth that is coated onto a grid.
A gauge located on the filter or valve can be used to measure the back pressure or resistance in your filter system. When the pressure increases by 10 psi, the filter should be cleaned to reduce resistance and improve water flow.
Cartridge filters require disassembly and cleaning of the cartridge periodically to remove debris from the filter.
DE and Sand filters require periodic backwashing to remove debris from the filter. To accomplish this water is directed through the pool filter by a valve . Once the water runs through the filter, it flows to the pool heater or back into the pool. To backwash, the valve is manipulated to reverse flow and direct debris-filled water to waste.
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What Kind Of Sand Do You Use In A Pool Filter
Whatever you do, dont make the mistake of just buying a bag of sand from your local supply store. You could end up with the sand youd use in a sandbox instead of what you need for your pool.
Pool sand is actually something called silica sand. Its not something somebody scraped up from the beach. Its closely inspected and properly graded especially for filters.
But in addition to pool sand, there are other alternatives, such as filter glass and filterballs.
How Often Do I Need To Change Pool Filter Sand
Depending on the usage, pool filter sand can go for years without needing a change. Here are MrPoolMan, we recommend that you absolutely change your filter media sand at the very least three years and at seven years at the latest. This will not only ensure that your pool water is filtered optimally, but this keeps the stress on your entire pool system low as well. The best way to tell if your sand filter media is nearing the end of its lifecycle is that your pool may cloud up more often and youll notice that youre shocking your pool more often than normal.
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Pool Filter Sand 50 Lb 4151
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Provides pool owners with a way to replace your filtering sand to dramatically improve your pool water quality. It requires less maintenance. After use, your sand filter will provide your pool with softer, more natural water with a jewel-like brilliance. This sand adsorbs and eliminates water contaminants, ammonia, and odor caused by algae, bacteria fungus, mold, and mildew.
- Reduces odors, eye burning, and chemical usage
- Traps particles and ammonium ions that cause eye burning chloramines
- Reduces need for chemical shock treatments
Why Buy Silica Pool Sand From Pfs
This is not the type of sand you can buy in your local hardware store. The quality of the silica sand required and the specific mesh sizes mean that youre better served going straight to the specialists thats us. We supply high-quality and consistent pool filtration sand in the exact sizes you need.
Not only is our silica pool sand an excellent alternative to the more expensive Northern white silica, but we also process and ship your order quickly for delivery straight to your door.
The properties of our silica sand for pool filters include:
- 99%+ silica quartz sand
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The 10 Best Pool Filter Sands
When you first installed your pool or bought a home that came with one, you probably didnt realize how many choices youd have to make in order to keep it clean.
On top of all that, you probably never guessed there were also options as to the type of material you can put in your filter. But there are!
You can use plain old pool filter sand , filter glass, or several other products that look like little balls of fabric or fiber.
Well, we did…and if you keep reading, youll know just about everything you need to know on the subject, too.
And possibly, quite a bit more.
When Should I Change The Sand In My Pool Filter
Most experts recommend changing your pool filter sand every five years or so, but truthfully, this can vary depending on usage and the size of your tank.
Basically, if your filter stops doing its job and its been a few years since you replaced the sand, its probably time to do so.
This, of course, is assuming its been backwashed often and taken care of.
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In The Swim Filterballs
In the Swim is another popular name in the pool industry. Their products are designed specifically with pools and spas in mind.
These filter balls are an alternative to sand that provide the same filtering quality, but with greater efficiency. One pound of them is also equal to 100 lbs of silica sand, so theyre much easier to manage, store, and use.
The main benefit of using these filter balls over sand is that they create a lower working pressure, creating less stress on your filtration system than sand.
Doheny’s Lowest Price Guarantee
Shop with confidence at Doheny’s.
Our volume discounts guarantee the absolute lowest prices on all of our products: swimming pool supplies, chemicals, equipment and more. To prove it, if you find a lower total delivered price by a licensed and authorized pool supply catalog or website , we will refund you the difference. We will even guarantee our Low Price for 30 days after your purchase. Simply contact our Customer Care Team at: or call us at 1-800-574-7665 to report the lower price. After verification, the difference will be promptly refunded. Doheny’s is not responsible for inadvertent price or text misprints or errors. Some restrictions apply – call for details.
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Above Ground Sand Pool Filters
The Pool Supplies Superstore is pleased to offer free next day delivery at no additional charge to most of the US for many of our most popular swimming pool supplies. Next Day Delivery Service does not mean Next Day Air, but simply that your qualifying products will be shipped from the warehouse closest to you resulting in delivery the next day. We do have a shipping charge of only $9.99 for orders under $100.00.
Some details regarding this service:Other than for Pleasant Prairie, not all products are stocked at all locations and therefore not available for next day delivery. Only those items with a Next Day Delivery designation on the product page can be expected to arrive the next day and orders must be placed by 4 PM CT .
If you reside in the next day delivery area served by our Pleasant Prairie facility, order in-stock products and place your order by 4 PM CT you should receive your order the next day . This applies to products even if they do not have a Next Day Delivery designation.Because next day delivery is not guaranteed for standard service and residential deliveries are made only Monday through Saturday though Saturday delivery is not guaranteed, there is a chance that our product will not arrive the next day. While we try our best, unexpected demand can cause products to occasionally be out of stock or create a warehouse backlog that also can prevent shipment the day of the order.
Out of stock