This is a great question we get asked all summer long. The most common reasons for sand accumulating on the bottom of the pool are – broken lateral(s) or a crack in the lateral stand pipe assembly inside your sand filter. This happens a lot with above ground pool owners. We hear stories about pool owners disconnecting the pump and filter for the winter, pushing the sand filter over on its side and rolling it into the garage with the filter sand still inside the tank. This practice will for sure break the plastic parts inside the tank and every year you will be replacing laterals or the entire assembly. If this happens on an in-ground pool the sand filter was most likely improperly winterized and water was left to freeze inside the tank cracking the lateral assembly.
The stand pipe travels down through the center of the sand tank. The laterals stick out from the bottom. Together they make up the Standpipe Assembly. We choose to replace the complete lateral assembly. Over 50% of the time we remove the sand thinking that a lateral is cracked allowing sand through it when in fact the manifold at the bottom of the tank was also cracked. Side mount sand filters look a little different but the same concept applies.
The best solution is to replace the complete lateral assembly which includes both the laterals, stand pipe and manifold. Call you local pool store with the make and model number of your pool filter. They will give you a quote on replacing your stand pipe assembly or schedule a Pool Service Professional to diagnose the problem. Note that some older brands and models of filters need to be replaced with updated filters such as the Pentair ClearPro sand filter. The reason we do not replace certain brands or models is there might be difficulty ordering or getting the correct replacement parts for them. Some models may also have a high likelihood of additional problems after replacement.
Sometimes sand can be mistaken for silt or organics dropping out of solution and resting on the bottom of your pool. If the accumulation of material at the bottom of your pool is more dispersed and is not just under the jets it might be an indication of water chemistry problems. The solution to these problems can be more complicated. The best option to remove silt or organic material from the pool is vacuuming the pool to waste until there is no longer material at the bottom of the pool. A secondary option is to purchase a Robotic Pool Cleaner.
As always test your pool water at least once per week for Chlorine, PH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Phosphates.
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