Swimming Pool Sand Filters: How to Backwash

What You'll Need
Swimming pool vacuum machine
Swimming pool cleaning brush

Swimming pool sand filters remove particles of dust and debris from your pool. These particles can come from a variety of sources, including being blown in by the wind and hitching a ride on the bodies of the people who swim in your pool. Cleaning sand filters regularly is a straightforward job, if you follow these simple steps.

Step 1 – Clean the Pool

Pool maintenance, including backwashing swimming pool sand filters, is the less glamorous side of pool ownership. Before you start to clean the filter, first turn off the pump and clean the pool with a pool vacuum and brush. If you really dislike this chore, there are automatic cleaners available which suck out debris whenever the pump is running.

Step 2 – Backwashing

After making sure that the pump has been turned off, turn the dial on the filter to backwash. Sand filters are the most common types of filter for domestic pools, although some filters use a sand substitute. The sand in your filter should ideally be changed every 3 years, although this is a task that is better left to the manufacturer. Clean the basket around the pump thoroughly, then turn the pump back on the “backwash” setting. You should leave it running for around 5 minutes, by which time the water coming out of it should be running clear.

Step 3 – Rinsing

Next turn the pump to “rinse” mode. This ensures that the debris you have just released from your swimming pool sand filters does not re-enter the system and clog up the pump. The pump needs to be run on this mode for around 1 minute. Then close the filter, and run the pump on its normal setting.

Step 4 – Test the Water

While you are in the mood for pool maintenance, check the water for pH and chlorine levels. It is easy to be over-zealous with chlorine in the mistaken belief that the more you use, the cleaner the pool must be. However, using too much can cause skin problems, and using too little can lead to unpleasant contamination.

Step 5 – Take Control of Your Pool Maintenance

Cleaning swimming pool sand filters is a task that needs to be done ideally once a week. Make sure that you get into a regular habit of doing this, especially during the swimming season when the pump filtration system will be working particularly hard. To make this task more bearable, ensure that your family contributes to the cleanliness of the pool. If you cannot persuade them to take part in any of the actual cleaning tasks, at least insist that they shower before entering the pool and wear shoes around the poolside, to limit the entry of debris and to reduce the burden on the pump.