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Pool Info: Pool Filters - Page 2

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Filters (cont.)


problems (or sizing problems).


Sand in the pool?


Bad news. If it hasn't blown in, or been carried in on the feet of swimmers, it's likely coming from the filter. A broken lateral or standpipe may be the cause. You'll need to empty the tank, locate and make the repair, refill with fresh sand and test.


Sand bed replacement:


To replace filter sand, you'll first need to empty out the existing sand. One method is to spread a tarp out beneath the filter drain assembly. Then remove the entire assembly, turn on the pump, and step back! The water pumping through the filter will remove most of the sand out the drain hole. Another method is to remove the drain plug only and allow the filter to drain for several hours or days. Then, remove the top dome or multiport valve.


If you have the Triton style dome on the top of the filter, you'll need the octagonal dome wrench to remove the dome. Once the dome is removed, gently twist the baffle/pipe out of the way so you can get a scoop to the sand.


If you have a Top Mount Multiport,  you may need to cut some pipes to remove the valve. You can reconnect them later with unions or couplings. Once these pipes are cut, the clamp band connecting the valve to the filter is removed, and the valve pulls straight up and off. Plug or tape or cover the standpipe so you don't spill sand in it. Then you can use a shop vacuum to suck out the sand, or you can use a small cup to scoop out the sand. 


Be very careful as you scoop or suck, not to knock or break the laterals at the bottom of the tank. They can be brittle when the get older, and it may be wise to replace laterals at the time you replace the filter sand. Use a hose to wash out the sand beneath the laterals. When the tank is empty of sand, replace the drain assembly, using silicone sealant on the threads. Then add enough water to cover the laterals, so the new sand pouring in won't crack them. Again, if you have the top mounted multiport, cover the standpipe opening. If you have a side mounted filter valve, gently push the intake baffle to one side, or wrap the baffle with a small plastic bag to keep the sand from entering the pipe as you pour it in.


Pour it in! Use only specially graded pool filter sand; #20 silica sand, 45 - 55 mm. On top mounted multiport filters, use care to keep the lateral/ hub assembly in the center, and on the bottom of the tank. After each bag of sand is added, make sure it is still centered. It may be useful to have a helper hold the standpipe in place while the sand is added.


Add the recommended amount of sand only; more is not better! If you don't know this info, contact your dealer or manufacturer. Most tanks are filled only about 2/3 of the way full, to leave enough "freeboard" space on top. When full, lube o-rings and reassemble filter top. Make sure lid is very secure, lids that blow off can be very dangerous. It's a good idea to replace the o-ring on the filter domes.


When the filter is started up, start up on "RINSE" setting first (if you have a multiport valve). Then backwash and rinse again. If you have a push-pull valve, backwash first. This final step will prevent putting a lot of "sand dust" into the pool after a sand change.


Leaking filter?


Sand filter tanks rarely leak themselves, however leaks often occur in and around the multiport interface. A common complaint is that water is leaking out of the backwash port of the multiport (six position) valve. Slight adjustments of the handle may temporarily solve this problem. A more permanent repair may necessitate replacement of the spider gasket inside of the multiport. You may also have leakage up around the middle of the handle on the valve, which external adjustments rarely fix. This usually requires replacement of a Teflon washer and sometimes the spring as well.


You may have a push-pull valve, or slide valve as it is sometimes called, instead of a multiport valve.  Leaks can occur through the top of the index plate, or out of the backwash line. This is a easy inspection to determine what o-rings need to be replaced. Leaks can also occur at the bulkhead unions where the valve attaches to the side of the filter, or around the threads on a top-mounted multiport. The drain plug can leak if not secured tightly or properly sealed.


Leaking valve repair:


Usually a one hour job, plus internal valve components; gaskets or springs.


Filter replacement?


Well, they don't last forever. But almost. A new filter may be in order if your current filter is outdated (15 - 20 yrs old) and difficult to use or get parts for. If the filter tank has cracked, usually from freeze damage or possibly from closing off return valves while the pump is running, a new filter is in order. Replacement is usually fairly simple, with just a few plumbing fittings needed.


Sand filter replacement:


Price is size dependent, however, as an example, we sell the Pentair Tagelus TA-60D filter for $294.97.


Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)


The D.E. filter is the most efficient type of pool filter on the market. It can trap particles down to 3 - 5 microns; well below what the naked eye can see. As with sand filters, the pressure gauge indicates a need for backwashing when it reads 8 - 10 lbs. higher than its clean reading. After backwashing a D.E. filter, a new application of D.E. filter powder is added to the filter by pouring into the skimmer. An annual breakdown of the filter is necessary to thoroughly clean D.E. filter grids.


A D.E. filter requires that the operator (you) add D.E. powder to coat the filter grids inside of the filter tank. This widely available, inexpensive powder is actually the microscopic.....                (continued........)

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