I can’t count the number of times we get called out to some ones pool who is struggling to keep from going green and when asked when the filter sand was last changes the response is a blank look and a shrug of the shoulders! In England our short seasons gives our filter media a maximum useful life of 8 years but really you should be having it changes every 5 years.
Changing it regularly can dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals you need to keep your pool clear. Filter sand/media is very rough silica sand at about 0.45mm. It is this roughness that makes the sand efficient at filtering out fine particles. Like a stone in a river, with time it smoothes off any rough edges to leave the media inefficient. Clarity goes, algae is not removed and you end up filtering the water 24 hours a day and shock dosing the water to try and get it crystal clear for the weekend party all of which costs a whole lot more then a more regular sand change.
Silica Sand (approx £15per bag)
I have always stuck with standard silica sand filter media as it is inexpensive and works well and if changed every 5 years is perfectly efficient. If you live in a dusty area, near a farm at harvest or in deep woodland a better media is available but at a higher price.
Zeoclere (approx £40 per bag)
A zeolitic filter media that gives years of service along with water clarity 60% better than sand. Ideal for leisure centers, schools, hydrotherapy, hotel pools and spas. It removes ammonia and heavy metals from pool water.
Glass Filter Media (approx £17 per bag)
Is the environmentally friendly filter media and a viable alternative to sand. It is made from glass recycled in the UK and doesn’t involve intrusive mining and the use of scarce resources. The key benefits of glass filter media that it is more efficient. It can remove up to 30% more material and pollutants than sand so saving on backwashing and the resultant water, energy and chemical treatment costs. It requires less material. It’s less dense than sand, requiring 15% less media to fill the equivalent filter. It has a longer life span and is suitable for both commercial and residential filters with laterals or nozzle plates.
Winter is a great time to have your media changes as you can give the filter time to drain. Dry sand is so much easier to remove from the tank then wet and heavy.