How Often Should I Change The Sand In My Pool Filter?

As the owner of a Hayward Pro Series S180T Sand filter, I certainly did my research before buying this particular filter. But one question that came up often during my research by other pool owners was how often should I change sand in pool filter. Read on a bit and I’ll tell you what my experience is with replacing sand and why and when you should change it.

I’ve had an above ground swimming pool since 2008 and the original filter we put in was a Waterway sand filter. This was replaced last season with the Hayward S180T so we do have a bit of experience with these type of filters. There are a few times in the life of your pool when you will want to consider changing the sand and those are as follows:

1. When you install a new Sand Filter – The most obvious time you’ll want to change sand is when you purchase and install a new filter. In most cases, you should not consider reusing the old sand as it most likely has run it’s useful life in the old filter and bags are so cheap these days it doesn’t make sense anyways. For roughly $10.00, you can purchase a 50-lb bag of Quikrete pool filter sand at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and have piece of mind that your new filter has new sand. The only time you may want to reuse the sand is if you purchased it in the last few months and you know for sure it’s still in good condition.

2. If your pool water is not clearing up like it should – Back when I had my Waterway sand filter, about 3-4 years after purchasing the pool, the water was just not getting cleaned like it should be. I constantly had problems with dirt and cloudiness and it was recommended that I replace the sand. The filter only took 100-lbs of sand so for $20.00 it was an easy decision to replace it. In the end, it was the right decision as my pool quickly cleared up and I was back to sparkling clear water.

3. If it’s been more than 3-4 years since you changed the pool filter sand – In most cases under normal use, I would highly recommend changing your sand out every 3-4 years. Everything eventually wears away and that is especially true for sand filters which run sometimes 24×7 during the summer months cleaning your pool water. If you consider that your system will pump roughly 60-70,000 gallons of water in an 8-hour period, that is a lot of filtering in a summer season. Sand particles will eventually wear down and reduce their ability to catch those small particles of dirt and debris and pretty soon you have a cloudy pool. Spending $20-30 every few years on sand is the right thing to do so make it a 3-4 year habit (if you can remember!)

In a future post, we’ll go over some of the things to look out for when changing sand filter. But for those looking just to find out how often you should change sand in a pool filter, a good average is about 3-4 years under normal conditions. Good luck and feel free to shoot me any pool related questions you might have. I answer all emails so don’t be bashful. Thanks!

In the meantime, if you’re looking to find out HOW to change the sand in your pool filter, check out this video. These guys at SwimUniversity know their stuff and put out excellent how-to videos for pool owners. Check it out…