Why Is My Pool Filter Blowing Out Sand?

Have you backwashed your filter?

Normally, most of the foreign particles brought about by the elements such as the rain and wind into your pool will go directly to the filter. But some may be deposited at your pool’s bottom which requires being vacuumed.

Before vacuuming, make sure that the filter hasn’t been backwashed. Backwashing agitates the sand which hinders effective dirt trapping for a few hours, so vacuuming will most likely return the dirt instead of removing it from your pool.

Important: Do not backwash your filter prior to vacuuming.

Is your pool filter working right?

It could be that your pool filter is working poorly that dirt is returning in your pool after you vacuumed. Check on the sand of your sand filter, if you have one and make sure that it still has its sharp edges to effectively filter debris from your pool.

If your filter needs cleaning, the use of a commercial cleaner, once in a while is recommended. Backwashing once a month would also ensure that your pool filter is clear of debris and foreign materials.

How to keep your filter working right

  • Check pressure gauge on a daily basis. A high-pressure reading may mean that your filter is clogged. You should check for trapped debris and discard them right away.

Clogging may cause damage to your filter thereby making it inefficient in cleaning your pool. Read your filter manufacturer’s manual to know the standard operating pressure and check regularly for the proper index.

  • Clean your filter regularly. Periodic cleaning is essential in your filter maintenance to prevent the build-up of debris inside the filter. This, as well can cause the filter to work overtime and eventually lead to straining the system. 

  • Skim regularly. Skimming your pool to remove large debris such as fallen twigs and large leaves could prevent your pool’s filter from straining.

Remember that your filter functions to remove small debris from the water to make it clear.

To avoid clogging your filter, you can use an automatic leaf skimmer to get rid of leaves and other foreign particles from the water’s surface. However, you’ll need to remove large sticks or branches by hand.

  • Winterize. When closing your pool at the end of summer, it is important that you winterize your filters.

Make sure that it is clean and all the accessible components (o-rings, gaskets, and fittings) are treated with a silicone-based lubricant to prevent them from becoming brittle and avoid cracking during winter.

Multi-port valve set at “Filter”

The “Filter “position in your multi–port valve is the usual setting used on your regular vacuuming job. It is apt for vacuuming a relatively clean pool.

However, vacuuming algae or a large amount of dirt in the “Filter” setting would most likely result to the dirt coming right back into the pool through the return jets. Instead, set your multi-port valve to the “Waste” position.

Vacuum to Waste

Set your multi-port valve to the “Waste” position if there is a lot of debris in your pool, especially very small particles of dirt and algae that easily clog up and strain the filter.

Vacuuming the pool to waste diverts the water to the pool’s waste line so that the large amounts of dirt, organic pollutants such as algae as well as chemicals from pool treatments go directly down the drain.

How to vacuum to waste

Check out this video to follow the simple steps on how to vacuum to waste.

In vacuuming to waste, you will need the following:

  • Vacuum hose,
  • Vacuum plate,
  • Filter system with multi-port valve head,
  • Backwash hose.

Here’s how:

  • Step #1: Check your pool water level and fill it accordingly. Keep in mind that your pool water is being used when you vacuum to “waste” so you would be simultaneously filling up your pool.

Don’t let your water level go lower than the skimmer. Turn off other pool equipment such as automatic pool cleaner and heater.

  • Step #2: Attach the vacuum head to the ends of the telescoping pole and vacuum hose with the swivel cuff and submerge it into the water.

Make sure that the vacuum hose is full of water before plugging its open end to the vacuum plate. Clean the skimmer basket before securing the vacuum plate above it.

  • Step #3: Switch off your pool pump and set the valve dial into “waste”. Then turn the pool circulation pump on. Make sure to close additional skimmers and bottom drain.

  • Step #4: Vacuum your pool starting from its deep end making it quick as possible. Make sure not to get the water in a very low level which could be damaging when running your pool pump.

  • Step #5: Add water to your pool after vacuuming whenever necessary to put the water level back up. Be sure to switch your pump off, detach vacuum device and empty and rinse skimmer baskets.

  • Step #6: Set the valve dial to the filter position when water is in its normal level. Previously closed skimmers and drains should be opened before running your pump again.

Vacuuming to clean your pool should be rewarding rather than frustrating. Considering all the possibilities that could affect the task would ensure that your time and effort is not wasted and what more?

You can cut your expenses on chemicals and most of all- you need not worry anymore about the dirt coming back in when vacuuming your pool!

Did you find this “When vacuuming pool the dirt comes back in?” article informative enough? Hope this works for you.