Here’s How to vacuum a pool to waste with a sand filter

Sometimes a swimming pool gets overwhelmed with leaves, algae, and debris on the bottom, which the standard automatic pool cleaner can’t cope with. Or we have a time constraint in which the pool needs to be cleaned. In this post, we will be discussing which is the correct multiport valve position to use when vacuuming a pool with a sand filter.

You don’t want all of that debris to pass through the sand filter and clog it up. Firstly switch off the pool pump. Both the weir and pool pump baskets must be removed, cleaned and refitted.

Just to make sure that they are not already blocked which could cause a restriction in water flow when vacuuming. Check to see that the swimming pool water level is at least half the height of the weir opening. The vacuuming process uses a lot of water.

The Multiport valve has six positions. Filter, Rinse, Recirculate, Backwash, Waste and Closed. Because there is a lot of debris sitting on the bottom of the swimming pool the multiport setting must be on WASTE.

Remember to push down on the handle before turning it to the Waste position.

When the Multiport valve is in the waste position the dirty swimming pool water is going to bypass the sand filter and flow straight out the waste outlet pipe into the garden or drain.

If the Multiport valve is in either the Filter, Recirculate or Backwash position all the debris that is being sucked up from the bottom of the swimming pool will be passing through the sand filter and back into the pool.

The sand filter will quickly get clogged and the smaller debris particles will be pumped straight back via the return jets straight back into the pool. This is a situation you do not want.

Connect the weir cover and pipes to the manual vacuum unit. Switch on the pool pump and continue vacuuming. When vacuuming is completed switch off the pool pump.

Remove and re-clean the weir and pool pump baskets. Replace the baskets. Check the swimming pool water level and fill if necessary. Test and correct the PH and chlorine levels after filling the swimming pool.

Reset the Multiport valve to filter for normal filtration.

How To Clean The Sand Filter In Your Pool

Backwashing a swimming pool sand filter is an important element of pool maintenance. It ensures that swimming pool water is filtered correctly at all times. A sand filter needs to be back-washed once every 2 weeks or when the automatic pool cleaner moves slowly around the swimming pool.

How do swimming pool sand filters work? 

Before learning how to backwash the sand filter, let’s first get to know its main element and how it works. 

Sand as the filter medium:

This natural element has a great capacity to filter water. Today it is the filter medium most used in swimming pool filters and thanks to them the water remains impeccable. 

A Fact to remember: This filtration method is one of the most effective.

How do sand filters work?

  • They transfer the water through the filter distributor from the top to the bottom. 
  • They trap all dirt and any impurities present within the water, due to the small sand particles that the sand is made up of.
  • As the filtration cycle continues, little by little more contaminants are deposited between the sand particles.
  • Finally, when the water entering the filter reaches 10 pounds compared to the water leaving the filter reaching 20 pounds, it is then time to backwash the filter. This difference in pressure can be noticed when observing the pressure meters located on each side of the filter inlet and outlet pipes.

Another fact to remember: The average life span of sand filters are 5 to 15 years.

How To Clean Your Sand Filter

1] Switch off the swimming pool pump motor.

2] Disconnect the automatic pool cleaner or anything else that is connected to the pool weir.

3] Remove and clean both the weir and pool pump baskets. Refit baskets back into place.

4] Set the multiport valve onto the BACKWASH position. Remember to push down on the multiport handle first to unlock it before turning the handle. This prevents the multiport valve seal from being damaged.

5] Check to see that the waste hose is laying in the correct place, as this is where all the dirty water from the sand filter is going to. Also to make sure that the dirty water is not returning back into the swimming pool.

6] Switch on the swimming pool pump and allow it to run for at least 2 minutes or until the water in the sight glass is clear.

7] Switch off the swimming pool pump motor again.

8] Push the multiport handle down and turn it to the RINSE position. This is to recompact the loose sand after the backwash cycle.

9] Switch on the swimming pool pump for 20 seconds.

10] Switch off the swimming pool pump again.

11] Push the multiport handle down and turn it to the FILTER position.

12] Reconnect the automatic pool cleaner to the weir and resume normal filtration and cleaning.

As you can see, sand filters are important regarding pool filtration to be taken care of so your pool can be kept impeccable at all times.

For this reason, it is essential to ensure that the filter is always in optimal condition, and it is very important to clean it regularly. 

Also, doing a backwash to the filter of your pool is not a complicated task nor does it take up much time.

So now that you know how to clean a pool filter, all you have to do is make your pool crystal clear and enjoy it.