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1) Make sure that you have thoroughly backwashed the sand.
2) Make sure your chemical balances are correct
3) Remove filter canister top valve and insure that it was properly seated on the filters canisters center pipe.
4) Remove all sand from the filter canister
4) Clean all components thoroughly
5) Check for cracked laterals or plumbing
6) Repair or replace any bad or missing components
Tip: carefully use a rubber mallet to seat the canister valve by lightly tapping on and about the circumference of the valves seat.
Your sand filter has developed a fault. Normally water is filtered from the top of the sand filter through the sand to the bottom of the sand filter into the spoke pipes. The filtered water is collected by a pattern of spoke pipes that is
connected to the collection box. These pipes only allow water to pass
through to the return riser pipe to return the water to the pool via the selector valve.
This problem happened to me too, the fault was at the bottom of the sand filter, at the connection box, it had collapsed/cracked and allowed the sand entered the riser pipe to the selector valve that controls the backwashing, rinse, and filtering etc. and the sand and water is returned to the pool via this valve.
The can be repaired, it requires removing the control valve, removing the sand to get access to the riser pipe, and the collection box and spoke pipes. the the damaged collection box can be repaired. Put back together in reverse order.
There is only one thing that can cause sand to come back into the pool from a sand filter. The internal assembly, called the lateral assembly, is either cracked or broken. This is an easy fix and should cost you around $70 to replace the whole thing. You need to unscrew the bottom drain cap on the filter to remove the water in the tank. Then, remove the multiport valve on top of the filter. Take a shop vac and remove the sand in the filter. If the sand hasn't been replaced in the last 3-5 years, this would be a great time to do that since you already have the sand out anyway. Then, remove the lateral assembly and inspect the entire thing. After you replace the lateral assembly, you'll need to fill the sand filter tank 1/2 full of water before adding fresh sand. This is done to cushion the laterals from the weight of the sand. Cover the hole in the top of the lateral assembly pipe with a cup or duct tape to prevent any sand from getting inside the pipe (the sand will come out into the pool if it gets into the pipe). Fill the tank 3/4 full of pool filter sand. Make sure it is genuine silica pool filter sand from a pool company. A lot of big box and home improvement stores sell play sand as filter sand. This will cause you more problems!
To change the Media (sand, or zeolite sand replacement) you have to remove the top off the filter. There is a clamp that holds the top on. This is held together with two screws. If this is a top mount backwash valve you will have to remove the backwash valve. If you are lucky the person who installed it will have used unions so you can easily remove and replace it. If not you will have to cut pipes and re-plumb them when your done. If this is a side mount backwash valve then you should be just removing a top lid. Once you remove the top you can access the sand. You do not want to add sand without taking the old media out, and it doesn't do much good to replace only a portion of the sand. The label on the filter will tell you how much you need. Make sure you use #20 silica Pool Sand, and not any other type of sand. You can use Zeobest Zeolite sand replacement if you want a better filtration media. It cost a little more than twice the cost of sand, but you use half as much. It will filter better than cartridges, and almost as good as DE filters. You will want to "recharge" the media about once a year. this entails soaking the media in a solution overnight, then backwashing very well (another reason to use unions for the top). Hope this helps. If you need further assistance post a reply in the comments, and don't hesitate to leave good thumb rating if you found this helpful. Thanks, and good Luck!
You may have to change the sand from to much mud. this requires removing the valve from the top and syphoning the sand with a "sand changer" then removing the latterals from the bottom.( they unscrew from the hub inside the filter and cleaning them. Return the correct the amount of sand covering the tube shaft that connects the valve to the hub sot he sand doesnot clog the flow again. Return valve to the top and it should flow freely again.
This usually indicates a broken spider gasket in the top valve. Your local pool dealer should have a replacement. it is simple to change, just remove the screws at the top of the valve around the flange and the spider gasket shoud be visible. Take to the dealer and get it replaced.
Backwash the filter, drain water from motor etc., remove the dome on the top of the filter. I usually use a shop vac and vac the sand out, not overloading the vac. When all the sand is removed, check the laterals and piping in the filter for cracks, etc. I like to spread washed pea gravel or small rock under the laterals to help support them. Then add about 6 inches of water in the filter. Be sure to get sand of the right grade for a sand filter. Fill it with the recommended amount of sand, smoothing it to keep it level and around all fittings. Do Not fill the filter all the way. There needs to be space between the sand and the top laterals. Close the filter with the dome and be sure to inspect the o-ring on the dome. Put the backwash valve in the backwash position and backwash till clear. Put the valve on "filter" and open the air release valve on the top of the filter to bleed the air and start the pump. The pool may cloud a little but don't worry about it. It will clear as the sand compacts. It is a very labor intensive job...
You will simply remove the old sand from your pool filter and follow the instructions from your users manual like you are adding sand for the first time. In case you don't have it, I am going to paraphrase it for you below.
1. Be sure correct amount of filter sand media is in tank and
that all connections have been made and are secure.
IMPORTANT: To prevent unnecessary strain on piping system and valving, always shut off pump before switching Filter Control Valve positions.
The correct amout of sand can be determined with this link: http://www.backyardcitypools.com/pool-filters/Filter-Sand-Requirements.htm
2. Set your controls to the backwash position.
3. Prime and start pump according to pump instructions. (be sure all suction and return lines are open), allowing the filter tank to fill with water.
4. Once water flow is steady out the waste line, run the pump
for at least 2 minutes. This initial backwashing of the filter is recommended to remove any impurities or fine sand particles in the sand media.
5. Turn pump off and set valve to RINSE position. Start pump and operate until water in sight glass is clear—about 1/2 to 1 minute. Turn pump off, set valve to FILTER position and restart pump. Your filter is now operating in the normal filter mode, filtering particles from the pool water.
6. Adjust pool suction and return valves to achieve desired
flow. Check system and filter for water leaks and tighten connections, bolts, nuts, as required.
Lots of sand? You may have a broken lateral in your filter.
To repair, you will have to remove all the sand from the tank to physically inspect.
Might you have changed the sand this year? (top 1/3 needed to be changed every 3 to 5 years normally) If you changed the sand ... did you put water in the filter tank first? If not ... there is a good possibility you broke a lateral (a small pipe with slits in it) when you put the sand into the filter.
It could be that you have too much sand in the filter. Check the owners manual for the clearance - top of sand to top of filter.