How to Replace the Sand in a Swimming Pool Filter

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Things You'll Need

  • Filter sand, ground to a size of .45 to .55 mm in diameter

  • Plastic cup

  • Screwdriver

Pool Filter Sand

The rough, gritty sand in your swimming pool's filter keeps particles of dirt and other debris out of your water. This is obviously very important, which is why your pool filter requires servicing about every five years. Over time, the sands roughness smooths out, which means your pool water won't be as clean as you'd probably like, and the system will have to run more frequently. Essentially, this makes the pool less efficient and more expensive to run. Thankfully, replacing the sand in your swimming pool filter is a very easy task.


Step 1

Remove the old sand by opening up the top of your swimming pool filter and gently scooping out the sand using a plastic cup.

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Step 2

Remove the pool's drain--depending upon what type of pool you have, you will either want to remove it by unscrewing it or move it to the side to get it out of your way for step three.

Step 3

Clean and examine the laterals thoroughly, which can be easily unscrewed from the filter. You're looking for signs of breakage and if you spot breakage, your laterals must be replaced with new ones.

Step 4

Put the under drain back in its place, by either turning it or screwing it back on.


Step 5

Add water to the tank until it's at least half full. The water will help to cushion the laterals when adding the new sand.

Step 6

Add each new bag of sand, making sure to even it out after each addition. Continue adding the sand until you've reached the line that should be present in your filter.

Step 7

Close the top of the swimming pool filter.


If you're laterals are impacted with dirt or other debris, soak them in a mixture of muriatic acid and water and then rinse them thoroughly.

If your swimming pool filter calls for "pea gravel," you can still use sand.


Never use a small shovel or other hard digging device to remove the old sand from the filter. You may break the laterals of the under drain, which are very fragile.


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