How full should my pool sand filter be?

Sand filters for a swimming pool are the most affordable and easiest way to keep a small home pool clean. So, before giving you an answer to the question “How full should my pool sand filter be?” let is talk general information about sand filter.

The sand filter is one of three different filters used in the pool to filter out debris and dirt. The sand filter is supplied with sand particles inside the collector filter. These sand particles have been sorted to capture particles ranging in size from 20 to 100 microns.


A sand filter is a sealed container with quartz sand. They are installed near the pool, for stationary sports in technical rooms.

One of the advantages of pool sand filtration is a simple washing of the sand layer and low costs when you want to change the sand from old to new.

Filters for home swimming pools are equipped with six-position taps, detachable couplings, and pressure gauges. The position of the six-way valve is either upper or side. The built-in upper diffuser creates an even distribution of water at the sand cushion for maximum filter area.

Sand filters are made of high-quality plastic that is resistant to aggressive environments. They can be single-layer and multi-layer.

In the filters of the first type, quartz sand of one fraction is used, in multilayer filters-3-5 fractions, which is placed from a large fraction to a small filter size of fractions.

In some cases, multimedia filters are used, where in addition to various fractions of quartz sand, an absorbent is also used.

What is a sand filter?

The pool sand filter consists of a filter tank, a pressure gauge, and a 6-position valve. The filler is quartz sand of different fractions, capable of detaining particles up to 20 microns. These characteristics are quite enough to keep the water in the pool clean.

What can a filter filler consist of?

There are silica sand, zeolite sand, and glass sand.

Silica sand : It is mined and helps to trap particulates.
Glass sand : It is made of recycled glass and can help to trap manganese and iron particles.
Zeolite sand : It is made of volcanic rock minerals

All the sand is will be good for your pool filter sand.

Pool sand filter filler can only be made of sand or sand and gravel, as well as sand, gravel, carbon, anthracite.

Why Change Pool Filter Sand?

  • New filter sand has sharp, crisp edges that stack well into layers. Old sand has rounded edges that don’t filter the water as well.
  • Oily dirt, dead algae, and other gummy residues build up and are pushed deeper into the sand bed with each backwashing.
  • Small amounts of sand can be lost during backwashing, and over many years time, can add up to a considerable loss.

How full should my pool sand filters be?

How full should my pool sand filter be 2

You may want to change the sand of your filter, but you don’t know the quantity of sand to add and the level to stop.

The filtration system quality is influenced not only by the size of the sand fractions but also by the height of its layer. The required loading height is usually indicated on the containers. It is usually about 3/4 of the size of the tank.

Free space in the tank is necessary to compensate for the increase in the volume of the sand mixture during backwashing.

When filling the pool filter tank, small turbidity is initially noticeable in the water, it is practically not cleaned. After a while, the result becomes better and the value on the pressure gauge begins to increase. Then the pressure value becomes constant and the pool filter works as expected. Over time, when pressing micropores, the pressure again begins to increase with a decrease in the filter system quality.

In this case, it is necessary to wash the filler mixture in your pool.

Rule of the thumb

how much pool filter sand chart

It is often difficult to understand how full should pool sand filter be, especially, if you can’t find the owner’s manual. In this case, you can use the golden rule-leave a distance of 6 inches between the top of the tank and the top of the filter sand.

So in most cases, this helps in not having to worry about how much sand there should be in your pool filter.

Or you can refer to your pool filter sand chart here. You need to know the diameter of the tank, which is often listed in the filter model number or can be found in the manufacturer’s specification.

Owner’s Manual 

Determining how much sand to adding or change the filler from old to new in a swimming pool sand filter is a natural process. If you are the kind of person who keeps the owner’s manual in a safe place and can find it with ease, lucky you. These manuals come with a guide on how to add the filler in the filter tank and the amount to add. 

Clogging of the filter and its timely cleaning

Periodically, the pool filter becomes clogged, and the pressure gauge signals that the operating pressure is exceeded.

The filter is cleaned by backwashing 1 time in 7-10 days, then the installation continues to work in normal mode.

How do I know that I need to clean the filter sand?

When the critical indicators are reached, the pressure gauge arrow moves to the red zone. This is the signal for the backwash of the filter – the mode of washing the filler in the opposite direction of the water flow.

When to Change Pool Filter Sand?
This depends on the size of your sand filter in relation to the pool. It is important to change the sand in a timely manner. Without replacing sand you can not get a clearly clean pool. So new sand replacement should be in 5-6 years.

What determines the frequency of filter cleaning?

The frequency of filter cleaning depends on the type of pool, water pollution, the number of bathing sessions, the type and number of chemical preparations of the devices. For greater filter efficiency, six-position valves are installed that automatically and regularly flush the filter.

To clean from contamination, it is necessary:

  • Disable the filter sand.
  • Set the backwash mode and turn on the filter sand again. You can control the degree of cleaning of the filter using the cap on the valve body. The backwash is completed at the moment when the cap becomes transparent. The whole process can take up to 3 minutes.
  • Set the “Direct Flush” mode and hold it on for 20-30 seconds.
  • The water level should be brought back to normal and switch to filtration mode.

This operation should be repeated every 7-14 days. Periodically, it is necessary to clean the buckets inside the skimmer and pool pump.

Required filter dimensions and suitable filler

In the sand filter, the pool water is cleaned with fine calcined quartz sand of a certain fraction-0.4-0.8 mm (ordinary beach or play sand is not suitable for this purpose: clogging the separators, leads to equipment failure). The dimensions of the filter are selected for the volume of a particular pool. At the same time, the more grains of sand media are of the same size, the better their filtration abilities will be.

Losing Sand or Falling Sand During Backwash

The lost sand is not normal during the backwash. This way, you don’t have to add filler to the device over time when backwashing.

The reason for which the filler can be lost may be too much sand. Then you should consider adding sand.

Large water consumption

The disadvantage of such a filter can be considered its maintenance, which takes quite a long time since the sand must be cleaned with a reverse flow, which leads to large water consumption, so it is generally impractical to use this type of filter in pools with limited water consumption.

Influence on water consumption

 If the water source on the site is your own, regular cleaning does not affect the budget. And for a city pool, the meter will add additional cubic meters.

The device of the filter is quite simple, many home craftsmen assemble them themselves, adapting the model to their pool.


The normal operation of your device for cleaning the pool is the key to good leisure. For this reason, always monitor the health of your device and the pool.

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