DIY Tips For Replacing Sand In A Sand Pool Filter

Sand filters for pools are known for typically requiring much less maintenance than other types of pool filtration systems, but they do require some care to stay running at their optimum level. Part of sand filter maintenance involves changing the sand in the filter. Depending on how much your pool is used and what type of filter system you have, the sand will typically need to be replaced about every 5-7 years in order to keep everything running efficiently.

Over time, as the sand in your filter is run through the system, the granules become smoother and the sand filtration process becomes much less efficient. When your sand filter stops working as well, that means it’s pumping harder and harder and overworking to do what should be a simple job. Keeping up with changing the sand on a schedule will help keep everything running smoothly and help to keep your filter running for as long as possible.

Tools You'll Need:

  • Pool sand
  • Silicon
  • Garden hose & plastic tarp



  1. Remove the old sand from the pool filter - You need to remove all of the old sand that is in the tank. To drain it manually, lay plastic sheeting underneath the filter drain assembly, remove the assembly and turn on the pump. This is the fastest, but messiest way to get rid of the sand from your system. For less mess, try removing the drain plug and allowing the sand to drain for a few days.
  2. When removing sand with a scoop or with suction, make sure you don’t hurt the laterals at the bottom of the tank. The unions, couplings and pvc glue can become fragile over time and and can be easily knocked down if you aren’t careful.
  3. Once the sand has been removed, take out the pipe and lateral assembly carefully and soak them in a bucket of cleaning solution. This helps for laterals that have become clogged with and debris. If you noticed any broken or damaged laterals, now is the time to replace them.
  4. Next, replace the drain plugs and use a new layer of silicon sealant to ensure a clean, sealed fit.
  5. Pour water back into the tank so the laterals don't break when you add the sand.
  6. Now cover the standpipe to prevent sand from getting in. When sand gets in the standpipe and the pump gets turned back on, the laterals won't get damaged.
  7. Pour in the new sand, making sure to only use specially formulated sand that is graded for pool filters, as any other types of sand can damage your pool filtration system and your pool. Look for pool filter grade silica sand #20, 45-55. Don’t overfill! Always use the amount of sand that the manufacturer recommends - overfilling a sand filter system can lead to damage and unneeded wear and tear.


By following these easy steps, you can help your sand pool filtration system run as efficiently as possible and maximize the amount of use you get out of it. When you take care of your pool equipment, it will help take care of your pool.

Doheny’s Recommends

- Zeo Sand



You might also like to read:

Doheny sand filter