how to tell if your sand filter is bad

How to Tell If Your Sand Filter Is Bad: 7 Common Pool Filter Issues

If you’re a pool owner, then you know just how important regular maintenance and proper upkeep is. There’s a lot of work that goes into keeping your pool functioning properly, and one important task is to ensure that the sand filter isn’t malfunctioning. To know whether it’s functioning or not, you need to know what signs to be on the lookout for. 

Knowing how to tell if your sand filter is bad is one of the best ways to keep your pool clean and safe. If you’re not sure what signs to look for, then you’ll want to keep reading below. We’ve created a list of the top 7 common pool filter issues that you need to know about.

Here are the problems that you need to keep an eye out for!

1. A Slow Sand Filter

If your swimming pool begins to seem a bit cloudy or unclear, then you may have a sand filter that’s running slowly. This can happen even though your sand filter looks fine and seems to be running as it should. It can look like how it’s supposed to but not be filtering debris from your pool as it should.

If you’re suspicious of this, the first thing you should do is test the water chemistry. Be sure that the balance is correct. Now you should check with the backwash valve.

Make sure that it’s working in a correct manner as well and that the flow rate is where it should be. If you still haven’t found a problem, then consider changing out the pool filter sand inside your sand filter. 

2. Leaking Multiport Valves 

Leaking multiport valves isn’t a direct issue with the sand filter, but it’s related to the sand filter, so you should check this out as well. The multiport valves are attached to the sand filter on the sides or on the top of it. The spider gasket is located inside of the sand filter tank, and its job is to keep a consistent flow of water through it to the correct ports.

Sometimes, however, problems with this gasket occur due to it being old and worn down, becoming loose, or even twisted. When this happens, water is forced through other ports, creating issues with the multiport valves. If this is the case, your filter won’t function as it should and your pool will become murky or cloudy. 

3. Broken or Bad Laterals

When the laterals on the sand filter are broken or bad, the sand returns to the pool. If this is the issue on hand, then you might need to prepare for some labor. To check the lateral to see if it’s gone bad, you need to remove all of the media from the pool filter.

If the lateral is broken or bad, it’s a quick task to replace it. The hardest part is removing the media to get to it. You can also consider checking the air relief tube. 

This part is much easier to get to, and you won’t have to worry too much about taking the sand filter apart. 

4. Dirty Sand Filter

If you’ve noticed that the backwashing cycles have become shorter, then you should check to see if the sand filter is dirty or greasy. If the filter is dirty or greasy, then don’t be surprised if it takes on the appearance of sandy lard. When this happens, the water doesn’t flow through the sand filter media.

Instead, it’s forced to create a channel down the side of the filter and then returns back to the pool. You can purchase a sand filter cleaner that will help the situation for a bit of time, but this is only temporary. For a permanent fix, you should replace the pool filter sand. 

5. Valve Failure

Valve failure can happen due to tree damage, from freezing, or from becoming deadheaded. The valves are the multiports located on either the top or sides of the sand filter tank. However, the most common problem is the failure of the gaskets inside of the tank that then causes the valves on the outside to fail. 

If this happens, the problem is more serious and will need immediate correcting. 

6. Tank Failure

Tank rupture can happen when the valves are closed off after the filter on the backwash lines or return lines. Because of this, you want to keep an eye on the pressure gauges when you turn the pump on. If while doing this you notice that the pressure begins to rise, then you should shut the pump off as fast as possible.

You then want to check for closed valves. However, problems with the tank’s valves aren’t the only cause for a tank failure. In some cases, if the tank is a cheaper version, it may bust at the seams. 

Either way, both of these problems are serious and will require a replacement if they occur. 

7. Pressure Issues

Speaking of the pressure, always check the pressure to ensure that it’s where it should be. A filter that’s too small for the pump can cause a build-up of pressure inside the tank. This is due to the fact that the pump is pushing more water through than the tank can handle. 

The pressure could also be high due to a dirty filter that needs to be rinsed. However, low pressure is also an issue. If the pressure is low, check to ensure that nothing is stopping the water from going into the filter such as debris. 

Correct any of these issues to ensure the pressure goes back to normal. 

Do You Know How to Tell If Your Sand Filter is Bad?

If you’re a pool owner, then you need to know how to tell if your sand filter is bad. Knowing what signs to look for is going to help you keep your sand filter running as smoothly as possible. 

Now that you know the signs, you can work towards keeping a clean and safe pool, but sometimes you need help from the professionals. Here at Sahara Construction and Custom Pools, we’re dedicated to servicing and maintaining your pool correctly.

See what services we offer and contact us to see how we can start helping you maintain your pool today!