Replacing Sand in a Hayward inground pool Sand Filter: PAGE 1


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A typical sand filter for an inground pool. This one is made by Hayward, and holds 300 lbs. of sand and has a top mounted Vari-Flo valve (check the label on your filter to see what the sand capacity is). The replacement sand can be purchased at a pool supply store (special "coarse" sand is used). It is sold in 50 lb. bags, and each bag is around $7. Six bags of sand will be used to replace the sand in this filter. Hayward recommends replacing the sand every 3 to 5 years. The sand used in filters is rough, with jagged edges, and as the sand wears down and smooths out from use, it loses its ability to filter out debris. As sand ages, it can also clump up, and form open channels in the sand bed that allow water to pass right through, without being filtered at all.

Prior to removing the sand, you will want to drain the water from the filter by removing the drain cap at at the bottom of the tank. The water must pass through the sand in order for it to drain out, which can take some time. If you are using a Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum to remove the sand (recommended), you can also remove the water from the top using the vacuum once you have removed the valve assembly (see below).

To remove the Vari-Flo valve assembly, start by removing the flange clamp collar that seals it to the tank body. This collar on the Hayward sand filter is held on by two screws.
This shows the halves of the flange clamp being removed. Notice that the valve assembly still cannot be removed from the tank body because of the white PVC pipes that are attached to it. These pipes will have to be cut, and then I will glue in PVC union connectors so that the pipes can be re-attached where they have been cut.

The PVC pipes after having been cut. I have staggered the cuts so there is room between each pipe for the new union connectors that will be glued in later in the project. To cut the pipes you can use a handsaw, hacksaw, or an electrical saw like a Sawzall/demolition saw. Clean the shavings/debris from the inside of the pipes after cutting them.

The Vari-Flo valve assembly has been removed, revealing the vertical pipe that connects to the lateral assembly buried beneath the sand in the filter tank.

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Copyright 2009 Thomas Penrose