Sand filters are easy to operate, easy to maintain & are quite effective in removing bacteria & other organisms
Sand filters are a common way to purify swimming pool water. There are three types of general sand filters, slow sand filters, up-flow sand filters and rapid or gravity sand filter. All three sand filter types are quite common for purifying water for drinking; most sand filter systems for swimming pools are gravity sand filters (the 26" Pool Sand Filter System is pictured right; view the 26" Pool Sand Filter System here).
Sand filters are typically the most popular filters with swimming pool owners. They are easy to operate, easy to maintain and are quite effective in removing bacteria and other organisms. Water enters the top of these filter systems, flowing over the sand. The water slowly seeps through the sand pulled by gravity; dirt, bacteria and other particles are trapped in this special sand (silica sand), typically aided by a flocculent, as it works its way to the bottom. This filtered water is collected under the sand and returned back to the swimming pool clean and crystal clear.
Overtime, dirt, bacteria and other particles build up in the top few inches of the sand, restricting water flow. This will cause the internal pressure of the pump to build; you will notice an increase in the pressure gauge. Soon the water will stop flowing, as the filter becomes clogged with more and more dirt. If you own a sand filter and this is happening, it's now time to backwash the sand filter.
All sand filters require regular backwashing (the 19" Pool Sand Filter by Waterway is pictured left; view the 19" Pool Sand Filter here). Fortunately for sand filter owners, the process of backwashing these types of filters is designed to be easy. First, unplug the pump, move the valve handle to the backwash position, and plug it back in. Now that the water flow has been reversed, the dirty water can be sent out the backwash port; fasten a vacuum hose or pool hose to the backwash fitting, and be sure to direct the bad water away from the swimming pool. Run this on backwash for four or five minutes; this should break up the debris that has built up in the sand.
Backwash water can be poured directly on lawns without fear; the dirt and other particles will not hurt your grass. Once the filter has backwashed for a few minutes, turn it off, unplug the pump, set the valve handle to the rinse position and plug the pool pump back in. Now run the filter on rinse for one or two minutes. The sand will resettle during this process. After a minute or two, unplug the pool pump, set the valve handle back to the filter position and plug in the pump. The process is complete and your sand filter should be operating like new!
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