9 Ways To Improve Your Sand Filter | Improve Sand Pool Filtration

9 Ways To Improve Your Sand Filter | Improve Sand Pool Filtration

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably been using a sand pool filter for some time now. And as you’ve discovered, they make it much easier to keep your water clean. Plus, compared to other options, they’re pretty low maintenance.

So whats not to love?

Well, as great as they are, even the best pool filter needs maintenance — from replacing the filter media, to cleaning out the unit. Performing these tasks is the key to making your filter last as long as possible.

But wouldn’t it be great if you could reduce the amount of maintenance needed while also improving the filter’s effectiveness?

Well, you can.

And in this post, we show you 9 ways to improve sand pool filtration and get more out of your filter.


9 Ways To Improve Your Sand Filter

How To Improve Sand Pool Filtration



Add DE powder

add de powder to sand filter to improve sand pool filtration
Image via YouTube

In the world of pool filtration, DE filters reign supreme. They’re the most sensitive and have a reputation for producing visibly cleaner water.

And do you want to know what makes that possible?

A special powder that increases filtering sensitivity and creates a stronger bond to contaminants

And guess what:

You can add DE powder to your sand filter to make it more effective.

Just add 1-3 cups of DE powder when you backwash or replace your sand. Adding powder makes your sand filter 4x more effective, allowing it to filter contaminants down to 3 microns.

Related: How To Replace Pool Filter Sand


Double filtration layers with pool aluminum sulfate

Image via The Pool Team

Wouldn’t it be nifty if there was a way to add a pre-filter to your sand filter? A first line of defense that handles the biggest debris and lets the sand focus on the smaller stuff.

Well, it exists, and it’s called aluminum sulfate.

While commonly used as a pool flocculant, aluminum sulfate also serves as the perfect pre-filter treatment.

Add a cup to your filter (through the skimmer) after backwashing/sand replacement. The formula will form a gel-like layer at the top of the sand bed.

Not only does this make your filter more effective, but it helps preserve your sand even longer.


Use enzymes to prevent mudballing

mudballs in pool filter prevent mudballs with pool enzyme
Image via The Pool Factory

Chances are, you’ve seen these things whenever you’ve opened up your filter to clean it out.

Between all the bodily oils, hairs, and dirt that enters your pool, mudballs are the aftermath. They’re clumps that naturally form on the top layer of your sand filter.

The most direct solution for mudballs, is replacing your sand as soon as you see them.

But prevention is the real winning strategy here:

To prevent mudballs from forming in your filter, add a pool enzyme product, like Pool Perfect. Enzymes help break down dirt and oils so they don’t clog up your filter.


Add clarifier to improve filter effectiveness

pool clarifier to improve sand pool filter
Image via Ohana Pool and Spa

While pool enzymes help break down contaminants, clarifiers gather them into one place.

Clarifiers contain a special polymer that attracts dirt and other contaminants. From there, the polymer forms into small clumps.

But these clumps, unlike mudballs, are good for your filter and help it to remove debris more effectively. Hence why the typical use for clarifier is pool algae removal.


Keep filter sand moving freely with decalcifier

pool decalcifier
Image via Pinterest

Regardless of how much you stay on top of sand filter maintenance, there will eventually come a time when your sand stops swishing around how it should.

Not due to a lack of water, but a lack of movement altogether.

As the calcium from your pool water builds up in the filter, it gradually dries out your sand, causing it to harden.

Although this process isn’t 100% avoidable, there’s a really good way to deter it. And that’s by using a decalcifier.

If that sounds familiar, it should. You’re probably already using a decalcifier as part of your regular pool maintenance.

So you want to keep your pool filtration smooth and reliable, add some decalcifier to your sand filter.

Related: 21 Pool Care Hacks That Make Pool Maintenance Easy


Upgrade filtration power with a slime bag

pool slime bag add to improve sand pool filtration

So far you know how to increase filter sensitivity, add a filtration layer, prevent clumping, and much more.

So why not top it off and give your filter the upgrade it deserves?

Nothing fancy of course, just a good ole fashioned slime bag.

Yup, that’s the name of the product, and it does exactly what you think. It catches pool slime.

But moreover, it catches whatever your filter doesn’t. The extremely small and fluid debris that usually gets pumped back into your pool.

Attach a slime bag to your pools return valve to add a helpful enhancement to your filter system. Of course, this little addon might only interest the pool owners who want a crystal clear swimming pool.

Related: 7 Secrets For Keeping Your Swimming Pool Crystal Clear


Backwash twice a month to fend off buildup

backwash sand pool filter twice a month
Image via YouTube

Of all the tips in this post, here’s the most important one of all:


While debris buildup will occur naturally, one of the best ways to slow it down is to cut it off early.


By backwashing your filter and replacing your sand more often. It might not seem like much, but two good backwashes a month are just what sand filters need to loosen up debris and keep things running smoothly.

So backwash your filter bi-weekly to minimize buildup.


Use a sand alternative for more effective filtration

switch to pool filter sand alternative to improve sand pool filter
Image via In The Swim

One of the best ways to improve sand pool filtration is to stop using sand altogether. Yes, you read that right.

Although it’s a great option, there are far more effective alternatives available for your sand pool filter. Filter media that offers superior sensitivity and longer lifespans.

Here are a few pool filter sand alternatives worth checking out:

  • Filter glass
  • Zeolite sand
  • Polyester balls


Buy a larger filter or a smaller pump to prevent channeling

use a bigger sand pool filter to prevent channeling
Image via Classic Pool Service

Have you ever opened up your sand filter and found long hallow trails that resembled ant tunnels?

If so, that’s probably for one of two reasons:

  • Your filter is too small for your pump
  • Your pump is too powerful for your filter

So what’s the best solution? Buy a bigger filter, or get a different pump?

Whichever is cheaper. That said, odds are, a bigger filter is the best option if you have a powerful pump.


The key to improving your sand filter

Making your sand filter more effective is all up avoiding what slows it down. And usually, all that calls for is a little be of preventative work on your end. By backwashing your filter more often, switching filter media, and taking advantage of chemicals like decalcifier and clarifier, you enjoy the most optimal pool filtration. And ultimately, a much cleaner pool for less.

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