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


(81 to 120 of 159)

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/27/2014 

gunney - If you pool package provides hoses, I would use those. Installation would be easier than having to hard plumb the piping. The ports are usually labeled. Connect the waste line to the port labeled "Waste". And I'm not sure how your vac hose is set up, but generally that debris is run through the valve at the "Waste" setting.

 Posted: 5/25/2014 

should i hard plumb my filter or just use the hoses that came with the pool.also i have a plastic adapter {clear} and was told to place it in the one port that had nothing in it,this would be the waste port.correct? my next question is can i use my (vac,) hose to run the waste through off this plastic thing? (there is a hole all the way through it)to get it far away from the pool area.

 Posted: 5/25/2014 

this was very very helpful as this is the 1st time i will be using a sand filter.thank you i will let you know how well this worked tomorrow.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/25/2014 

liz - Not sure on this one. Try to find the owner's manual on this pool. We have a link to large list of owner's manuals at the bottom of this each product page under "Resources".

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/23/2014 

gunney - We recommend filling the tank half full of water before adding the sand to protect the laterals at the bottom of the tank.

 Posted: 5/22/2014 

Just put a new liner in above groud pool. The inlet has 3 gaskets. How are they placed? One is cork and two are rubbery. Thanks

 Posted: 5/22/2014 

i was told at the pool store to fill thge sand tank with just enough water to cover the little legs in the bott5om then add the this correct?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2014 

kidzilove - Sounds like you have a blown spider gasket in your multiport valve. See our guide on "How to Replace a Spider Gasket on a Multiport Valve" for more information.

 Posted: 5/21/2014 

Just opening our pool and when i put the pump to recirculate, it actually comes out the backwash hose. I need to recirculate to add sink and sweep, what could be going wrong??

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/12/2014 

Lucy - Try taking the gauge off and wrapping 3 or 4 layers of plumber's tape around the threads. If that doesn't work, you may have to replace the gauge.

 Posted: 5/11/2014 

We have a Hayward above ground sand filter. Turned it on today and there's a leak around the gauge on the back of the top. Any suggestions? We can't figure it out.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/7/2014 

lew - Hard to tell from the description. Could be a Salt Chlorine Generation system or an activity sensor. Please send a picture to

 Posted: 5/6/2014 

Hi -- I bought a home with an aboveground 6000-gallon pool. Besides the pump and filter, there is another piece of equipment I can't identify. A strange-looking plastic contraption about 10 inches long is mounted on the top edge of the pool and extends into the water about an inch or two. A 16 gauge power cord runs from it to a weatherproof black box about 4x3x2 1/2 inches in size. Another power cord comes out of the box and is plugged into a 120v outlet. There is a knurled knob on the box which seems to have two settings. There is no writing on the box. Any ideas what it might be? Thanks.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/15/2014 

kermit - Sounds like your filter may be clogged. If you add too many non-standard chemicals, they can start to gum up the sand. Or check your spider gasket in the Multiport Valve. It may be damaged and water isn't going where it is supposed to. If you've had problems this long, it's probably time to have someone else look at your system.

 Posted: 4/13/2014 

Professional pool service provider installed a new sand filter about 8 months ago. Our pool is always cloudy, constantly needing chemicals and will not clear. When secondary or sweep is turned on there is cloud of dirt coming from sweep. Pool provider swears there in nothing wrong with filter. He made a mistake when installing but claims it was corrected (had to remove all sand from filter and reinstall). This is a rental and tenets are very frustrated not being able to use the pool.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/18/2013 

sand in pool - It may be the quality of the sand filter. Some do not contain the sand well. Or, if you just added new sand, it may be due to fine sand that gets through the filter. Try vacuuming the sand off the bottom of the pool in the waste filter mode to eliminate much of the fine sand.

Anonymous  Posted: 7/17/2013 

Just installed a brand new filter and pump. But shortly after I vacuum I notice sand on the bottom. It happened with our last filter as well. Where is the problem please????

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/21/2013 

Stand Pipe Connection - The stand pipe should not be glued onto the multiport valve. The pipe fits fairly snugly into the top of the multiport valve.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/20/2013 


The multi port control valve just seem to slide lose on the stand pipe. Shouldn't this be a water tight connection?



InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/19/2013 

gg424 - In the case of this filter, there is an O-ring between the Multiport Valve (top) and the tank that seals the two sections together when the clamp is applied.

 Posted: 6/19/2013 

Does the top of the filter fight tight to the tank? or is there a space for the clamp to fit?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/14/2013 

sdg12 - I assume by sticker you mean the label on top of the multiport valve that shows the valve settings. I have incorporated a larger picture of the label in step 24. Click on the picture to expand it. Hope this works for you. I'm trying to build a collection of better label pictures that customers can copy and use.

 Posted: 6/14/2013 

I am needing the sticker of the top of the filter. Mine blew away in a storm. A picture would even work! I tried the pic you have here, but it wouldn't let me blow it up! Any help? Thank you!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/9/2013 

McAsku - Not necessarily. If your old pool filtration system was sized correctly with your current piping and you are not adding significant water features, you should be able to use your existing piping. Generally it is a fairly costly process to dig up and replace your pool piping.

 Posted: 6/8/2013 

If I have a pool company install a brand new hayward filtration system, motor, pump and filter, for an inground pool,do they change the lines in the ground?

 Posted: 5/28/2013 

Great step-by-step easy to understand directions. Thanks for sharing!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/29/2013 

mark - These pool filters are designed to work outside rain or shine.

 Posted: 4/28/2013 

are these filters ok to leave outside if its raining or do they need cover might sound silly but never had one before

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/9/2013 

leaking main drain - You should have a set of diverter valves in your pool system. One of them should be set up to control the flow of water from your main drain or your skimmer. Rotate this valve's handle so that the "OFF" end is pointing to the pipe coming from the main drain.

Anonymous  Posted: 4/9/2013 

I have a Hayward sand filter for an inground pool. Last fall developed a leak in the main drain line and plugged it to keep from loosing water over winter. If we leave the main drain plugged and only hook up skimmer line, how do I actually go about doing this?

 Posted: 9/7/2012 

THANK-YOU....... These directions are fantastic I would not have connected the filter up without them. Once again thank-you.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/30/2012 

Cindy - Most people run their filtration systems for 8 hours per day.

 Posted: 8/29/2012 

How many hours per day should you run a sand filter on a 24' above ground pool?

Anonymous  Posted: 7/26/2012 

WOW.... The direction you have provided is so helpful. At least now when I am reading the direction that came makes some sense.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/22/2012 

pebbles - It's not clear why you would not put the max amount of sand in the filter (leaving some space for flushing the sand as explained above). You could use less sand but it would not be as effective a filter.

 Posted: 7/21/2012 

do i need to put the max amount of sand in my filter?


 Posted: 7/19/2012 

if the pump isn't completely level with that cause it to not work properly my pool
is green I've used all the correct chemicals have the polaris 65 in it when I baciwash the water is clear an
d doesn't seem to be filtering properly


Anonymous  Posted: 7/17/2012 

wow! I learned a lot reading this instructions. Please have a 3-D picture or better view of the valve and lateral tube assembly.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/3/2012 

Suave - Changing your multport valve should correct your leaking problem.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/29/2012 

Trish - First measure the return port on you filter. It will be 1 1/2 or 2". Then if you have the flexible pipe that goes to the return port of your above ground pool, take that into a hardware store and ask them for the fittings to go from your filter return port to that flexible pipe. If you don't have the pipe, measure the return port to your pool and ask for fittings and flexible pipe to connect the two ports.