How To Install a Pool Sand Filter


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This guide describes the steps required to install a Hayward sand filter. The picture at left shows the two major components of a typical sand filter: the Filter Tank and the Multiport Valve and piping assembly. When installed, the valve sets on top of the tank and the vertical pipe the lateral assembly are inside the tank.

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Step by Step


Step 1

Before starting the installation, you will need to purchase sand. Use only high rate No. 20 Silica Sand. An example is pictured at left. Check the manufacturer to determine the amount required. This unit (Hayward S180T) uses 3 50 lb bags of sand - 150 lbs total. You can also purchase our superior to sand Click here for our Sand Alternative.

Please click here to view sand filter alternative. 

Step 2

When installing the pool sand filter, you will connect it right after the pump. Pool water will come in through the pool pump, be filtered through the sand filter and released to the chlorinator before returning back to the pool. If you have a pool heater, the pool filter will release water to the heater before going to the chlorinator.

Click Here to View Our Available Sand Filters

Step 3

The pool filter should be installed on a level concrete slab not more than 6 feet above the pool water level. Position the pool sand filter so that the piping connections, multiport valve and drain are convenient and accessible for operation and maintenance. Place the filter next to pump.

Step 4

Before you connect the pool sand filter into the piping system, you have to assemble the filter. First, screw the pressure gauge to the 1/4" hole on the side of the filter. If the threads aren't prepared, wrap them with two layers of Teflon tape. Start in a clockwise direction at the first thread with a half-width overlap for the full length of the thread. Be careful when screwing the gauge on. Use a wrench on the square nut on the final turns.

Please click here to view teflon tape.

Step 5

Make sure drain cap is securely in place.

Step 6

Fill tank about 1/2 way full with water to provide a cushion when the sand is poured in. This will help protect the laterals.

Step 7

Next you will be installing pipe and lateral assembly inside the tank. Separate the valve from the pipe and lateral assembly. Also make sure the 10 laterals at the end of the pipe are rotated up. They have to be in their up position to fit through the hole in the top of the tank. These laterals are somewhat fragile. Ensure that none are cracked or broken. Place the pipe and lateral assembly inside the tank.

Step 8

After the lateral assembly is inside, carefully rotate the 10 laterals 90 degrees in their down position.

Click Here to View Our Available Sand Filters

Step 9

Make use the pipe is centered in the opening. Tape the top of the pipe to prevent sand from entering and clogging the laterals.

Step 10

The sand filter package comes with a cardboard sand shield. Place this over the pipe and within the opening.

Step 11

Pour sand carefully into the pool sand filter until laterals are fully covered. For this unit 3 bags should leave at least 6" space between the top of the sand and the top of the filter. Level sand as you pour and make sure the center pipe remains centered in the opening. Be careful when leveling the sand that you do not lift the pipe and lateral assemble up off the bottom of the tank. You will not be able to push the pipe back down without causing the laterals to rotate up.

Step 12

Lightly lubricate the valve/tank O-ring with a silicone lubricant and place it on the underside of the valve.

Please click here to view the magic lube o ring lubricant.

Step 13

Remove tape from top of pipe. Slip the Multiport control valve onto the central pipe - check the O-ring to ensure it is positioned correctly.

Step 14

Install clamp around the tank and valve flange. Loosely tighten clamp so that the valve can be rotated on the tank for final positioning.

Step 15

The next step is to connect the "PUMP" port of the multiport valve to the discharge side of the pump. You will need to screw a straight thread adapter (purchased at a hardware store) into the "PUMP" port. To help seal this connection wrap two layers of Teflon tape the adapters. Start in a clockwise direction at the first thread with a half-width overlap for the full length of the thread.

Please click here to view teflon tape.

Step 16

Screw the adapter into the "PUMP" port. Hand tighten than wrench tighten no more than 1/2 to 1 1/2 additional turns. Do not over tighten or you cause the joint to fail.

Step 17

Cut a short piece of pipe and glue it to the adapter. Make sure the pipe and inside of the adapter are clean. Gluing is a two-step process. First apply a thin but even coat of purple primer on each surface to be joined: the outside of the pipe and the inside of the adapter. After the primer dries, apply a thin even coat of glue to both surfaces. Immediately push the pipe all the way into the adapter and twist 1/4 turn to spread the glue. Wait 30 seconds for the glue to set.

Step 18

Glue on a union to facilitate future maintenance on the pool sand filter or pump. In 5-7 years you will have to disconnect the multiport valve from the tank to change the filter sand. A union will save you from having to cut it out of the piping.

Step 19

Screw another adapter into the discharge side of the pump then add piping and elbows required to connect the filter and pump ports.

Step 20

Connect the "RETURN" port to a line returning to the pool. In a basic system this connection will probably be to the Chlorinator. Also add a union to this line for future maintenance.

Step 21

Connect up the "WASTE" port up to a wastewater hose. Note: This picture does not show the water hose.

Please click here to view the backwash hose.

Step 22

Tighten multiport valve flange clamp with a screwdriver. Tap around the clamp with the screwdriver handle as you are tightening the clamp to help seat the clamp properly. Place vinyl protector caps over the ends of the screws.

Step 23

Your new pool sand filter should now be ready to operate. Generally you would want to backwash the sand filter now, but if you have a new concrete of gunite pool, or have a large amount of dust or debris, start the filter in the "FILTER" setting initially (NOT "BACKWASH") to prevent clogging the laterals. After a couple of hours on FILTER, go to the next step and start the BACKWASH cycle.

Step 24

With the pump OFF, depress the multiport valve handle fully and turn it to the "BACKWASH" position. Make sure that your waste line is rolled out to where you want to dump the pool waste water.

Step 25

Prime and turn ON the pool pump. Be sure that you have at least one suction and all discharge lines open.

Click Here to View Our Available Sand Filters 

Step 26

Run the pool pump for 2 minutes after you have a steady flow of water out the waste line (after the pump is fully primed). This will flush all the impurities or fine sand particles out of the sand media.

Step 27

Turn the pool pump OFF and turn the valve handle to "RINSE".

Step 28

Turn the pump back ON and run until the water in the sight glass is clear. This should take no more than 1 minute.

Step 29

Turn the pool pump OFF and turn the valve handle to "FILTER".

Step 30

Turn the pool pump ON. This is the normal operating mode for your filter. Note the pressure gauge reading. This is your clean sand filter pressure. As contaminates build up and clog your sand the pressure will climb. When it is 8-10 psi above your clean filter reading, it's time again to backwash your filter.

Click Here to View Our Available Sand Filters


(1 to 40 of 159)

 Posted: 1/26/2022 

Is it possible to connect two filters in series if you are not satisfied with the level of filtration? would you need a bigger pump to achieve the same flow rate?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/26/2022 

What is the specific issue with your filter's performance that you want to improve? That'll determine if another filter is necessary.

 Posted: 9/10/2020 

Can not force the valve onto the tank because the o-ring won’t allow valve to seat on the tank!! Will seat without old ring! Can someone please help?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/10/2020 

The important info we need to be able to help you: the model number of the filter and the model number of the valve.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/3/2020 

So I bought a new pump it seems to be running very loud now. I may not of followed all theses steps. Any suggestions??

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/23/2020 

The steps in this guide are about installing a sand filter, not a pump. If you followed these directions to replace a pool pump, then that may be the problem

 Posted: 8/8/2019 

PLEASE DISREGARD MY PREVIOUS QUESTION!! Common sense answered for me!!! When water fills from the side the Manual air release raises the tank level.... BUT when it fills from the top it does it on it own. So sorry! Thanks!!

 Posted: 8/8/2019 

Hello! I had my Hayward S200 sand filter replaced with Rx radiant top mount. (Resembles The Hayward in your instructions!) my old filter upon initial startup and after backwashing I had to open the manual air release on top to fill the tank. These instructions that care with the pump are awful but it, in a sense, says same thing. The problem is, I cannot find the manual air release!!! The only other port (besides from pump connection, to pool connection and the waste connection) is where the pressure gauge goes! So how can I manually release air on a top mount filter? (Sorry if this sounds stupid, I just want to make sure I do it right!) any guidance is appreciated! I actually going to check instructions on a Hayward top mount since they are so similar.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/19/2019 

I am installing a new Harris 19" sand filter.. On the lateral at the bottom there is a clear hose looks like an airline with a plastic whit tip. Im not sure where that goes or its fuction, as the directions say nothing about it... Any help is appreciated. Thank you......

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2019 

Usually, that tube is an air relief; its job is to give air trapped in the top of the tank a place to escape.

 Posted: 5/17/2019 

I am installing a Pentair T50 Top mounted sand filter. I am having trouble getting the clamp to seat properly.. the gap between the tank and the valve seems to be to wide. suggestions or tricks??

Anonymous  Posted: 3/26/2020 

We had the same problem with not being able to get the top of the filter on level there was a gap. I held it down while husband filled up with sand. Can we cut a little off the pipe... will it still work, what did you end up doing?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/31/2020 

If the pipe is protruding so far up as to prevent the valve from being installed, I'd say the lateral assembly is not touching the bottom. Ideally, you want to to a dry run before adding the sand to make sure all the parts are fitting together correctly.

 Posted: 3/31/2020 

Thanks so much that was the problem so how sand got under the tube.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2019 

Are you sure the lateral assembly is flush on the bottom of the tank? Some times the lateral assembly can float or get lifted up when the sand is being added. That little gap between the assembly and the floor can be just enough to prevent the valve from sitting on the tank.

 Posted: 5/4/2019 

should i add a bag of pea gravel to the sand

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/6/2019 

There is no need to add pea gravel to the sand.

 Posted: 4/20/2019 

I had to cut the flex hose because I could not remove the fittings. What would be the best way to replace this hose and fittings?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/24/2019 

Gene - replace it with a new length of heavy duty flex hose. or you can hard pipe it with PVC. Your local hardware store should carry both of those options as well as the hose adapters for hooking it to your pump and filter.

Anonymous  Posted: 1/9/2019 

Should the filter be in the filter position when add chlorine

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/9/2019 

Yes, the valve should be set to the normal filtering mode.

 Posted: 1/2/2019 

I bought a Pureline PL1512 filter with 1.5 hp pump to upgrade the intex filter on my 24 ft pool. i am having trouble finding hose adapters to fit between pureline and intex hoses. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks kent

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/3/2019 

Hello Kent - We have hose adapters that will work the PL1512 and your Intex hoses. The part number is 4564.

 Posted: 8/27/2018 

Hello Adam - Try unscrewing the sight glass and reseating the sight glass gasket. Screw the sight glass back in and see if it fixes the leak.

 Posted: 8/24/2018 

Followed these instructions & everything went great. Fast delivery on the purchase from your site -- thanks! One problem: when I backwash or recirculate (S180T, same as video) there is leakage from around the edge of the sight glass. How should this be fixed?

 Posted: 7/20/2018 

Hello Josie - Sand can bypass the filter if you have a cracked lateral or standpipe. Also, some sand can get into the pool if you backwash the filter but don't rinse it after the backwash.

 Posted: 7/15/2018 

Sand is going back in pool. Replaced tank,mulitport,,and ck laterals. All good but still the same problem. What else can it be?

 Posted: 10/13/2017 

Solution - The flow rate of the pump cannot exceed the flow rate through the filter or it will damage the internal structure of the filter. Many dealers suggest matching a filter with 25% greater flow capacity than the pump to avoid any stress to the filter.

 Posted: 10/9/2017 

Is it proper to connect a filter which operating flow rate is 14 m3/h directly to a pump which flow rate ranges from 4m3/h to 24m3/h without installing a back pressure regulator in between or installing a variable speed drive on the pump's motor? Will there be any side effect if the flow rate of the pump is greater than the flow rate of the filter?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/24/2017 

Linda - This pressure gauge will fit on the MP Valve of your Hayward Pro Series S166T filter - Bottom Mount Pressure Gauge 0-60 1/4" NPT (101D-204D).

 Posted: 7/22/2017 

I have a Hayward Pro Series S166T1580S and although I have plenty of water pressure coming through my pump and filter and back into the pool, my pressure gauge stopped working. It use to read around 20psi but now it doesn't move off 0. Can you tell me which gauge to purchase as a replacement?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/10/2017 

Bob - You sand problem could be as simple as have a longer Rinse cycle to clear out the fine sand in the new sand. See our guide on "How To Reduce Sand in Your Pool" for possible explanations of this and other potential solutions.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/9/2017 

Z - When you turn your pump off, do you get a back surge of water to your skimmer. If so, you may have air building up in the top of the tank due to a suction air leak. This backpressure would clear your incoming pipes out and require you to prime the motor each time you restart. See our guide on "How to Identify and Correct Air Leaks".

 Posted: 7/9/2017 

Replaced Top Valve, New Laterals and put in new sand...Sand now coming into pool through outlets. Hayward S244T...pressure gauge at 16 PSI. Plow Rate about 90 GPM

 Posted: 7/6/2017 

What would be the cause for me to need to prime the pump and in-coming line with water anytime the pump had been off for more than an hour.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/22/2016 

John Larive - Here's a link to the Pentair Meteor sand filters Owner's Manual. See page 2 for the amount of sand to add for each model. The model number is the filter diameter in inches.

 Posted: 8/20/2016 

I got a American Products (Pentair Meteor sand filter and pump) giving to me. the label with how many Lbs. of sand to use on side of the filter is gone. Is there a way to find out how much sand I need to buy for it ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/30/2016 

pump grounding - On a plastic AG pool, connecting the pump wiring to a GFCI receptacle is the primary grounding safeguard. As a backup, you might also drive a 3' heavy metal pipe into the ground and connect the pump to that. Most motors have a lug at the back of the motor to connect to.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/29/2016 

The instruction manual for our Mighty Max sand filter says the motor needs to be grounded. It is a 3 prong, going into a gfci socket. Do I need to do anything else or is this enough. It is for a bestway quick set pool.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/14/2016 

replaced laterals - Check to see if the pump's impeller is clogged first. See "How To Clean Out a Pool Pump Impeller". Check that the strainer cover is not cracked and that the cover O-ring is not damaged. Then you may have to take out the sand again to check for other cracks in the laterals, the hub that holds the laterals, and the vertical standpipe. Cracks in any of these may let sand into the laterals to clog them.