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.

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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.

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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.

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(121 to 159 of 159)

 Posted: 6/29/2012 

I replace my sand ,valve handle , spider seal , gasket, and I am still leaking( small flow ) of water out of backwash port, I am about to change multi port over tank ? Or should I get new filter ?

 Posted: 6/27/2012 

After numerous people telling they would do or help me do it, I'm doing it myself! I have a hayward pump and a sand filter that was given to me without the top and cleaned all the sand out. Went and bought a used top for the sand filter and now after looking at your site and instructions I'm wondering about the piping, it didn't come with any. I'm using this filter for an above ground pool. Any suggestions?

 Posted: 6/14/2012 

Excellent guide. The instructions that came with my new filter said nothing about taping the top of the laterals pipe but I did and there was a mountain of sand that the tape kept out! Also, I had a very small drip drop from the pump inlet. I redid the teflon tape (as you suggested) 5 times instead of one & that did it!

Another commented said he had a problem centering the laterals pipe. To avoid that problem, I rotated the cardbord guide to make sure it was centered in all directions and it lined up perfectly.


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/12/2012 

sand filter not working - Sounds like you have one or more leaks in your system. Look at you How to Guide on correcting pool leaks (under the pumps section of How to Guides). It will give you some places to look.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/12/2012 

Jim - Try wrapping 5-7 layers of tape around the fitting. If that doesn't work, you may have to replace that fitting. If you have enough length in the pipe to your union, you can cut into that pipe and use a straight coupling to replace the pipe and fitting to the filter.

 Posted: 6/11/2012 

Thanks for posting these instructions. I have installed my sand filter but am having a problem with Step 16. The adapter in the Pump port keeps leaking. I wrapped it several times with teflon tape. This is the second time I've done this and it continues to leak about 1 drop every 8 seconds. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/11/2012 

Filter blowback - Check to make sure your spider gasket is intact. Make sure you have at least 6" between the top of the sand and the bottom of the valve. I am working on a site that show pictures of multiport labels

Anonymous  Posted: 6/8/2012 

I have a sand filter but it is not work properly. The pump is fine but I lost my pressure. The pump is reading 10-15 psi. Also the sand filteris leaking, I have no pressure coming out of the return valve and very little sucuction from the pool. What do I do?

Anonymous  Posted: 6/7/2012 

I am having the same problem as Mary Harrison did in 2011 comments. My filter is blowing debree and some sand back into the pool, the water is crystal clear. We have 5 new laterals this year. What is going on. Also the name plate on the top of my filter is shot and I can hardly tell where everything is, ie, filter, backwash, etc. urggggg

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/7/2012 

rjb - If you can gently nudge the central pipe to center without lifting the assembly off the bottom, try that. If it comes off the bottom, you will have to remove the sand and start over.

 Posted: 6/6/2012 

I'm helping a neighbor replace the sand in his very large pool filter. We followed all the steps in your diagrams, however after the sand was replaced, we are having difficulty getting the control valve to seat on the central pipe. We took care to center the pipe while refilling, but it appears to be slightly off center. Any suggestions?

 Posted: 6/4/2012 

Our label on our Pentair Sand Filter is missing and we don't know where anything's an SD40 model. Please help!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/3/2012 

Patrick - You are going to want to replace the cap so take the cap to a hardware store and see what male threaded fitting can attached to the cap. Once you find fitting take the cap off and find the female fitting that can be screwed on the first fitting. This second fitting is the one you want. It will screw on the threaded port on of the drain. The other end of this filling should be a slip end for a 1 1/2 inch pipe to slide in and be glued. I would now put a 1 1/2" union onto the pipe so you can later detach the drain from the drainage pipe if you have to work on the filter.

 Posted: 6/3/2012 

If I wanted to fit a pipe onto the drain of a S244, what fittings would I use.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/1/2012 

bob - Try using Floc to clear the suspended particles out of the water. Follow the instruction carefully.

 Posted: 5/29/2012 

Help help i cant get my water clear all ph are fine it seems to get real bad with the filter running

 Posted: 5/28/2012 

I come back to your site, time after time,....if I need the straight story on part's ,or how to, it's you guy's....thanks.

Anonymous  Posted: 4/8/2012 

Thank You so much for this information.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/15/2011 

Liz, It's hard to say without seeing the valve. It sounds like you have a blockage in the top of the valve. If this is a new valve, you may have a bad valve. You may have to have a pool professional look at it.

 Posted: 7/12/2011 

Thank you so much for the great detailed directions. I did everything exactly as told and the filter runs great but I don't get any pressure when I try to backwash or vaccuum to waste. The water just trickles out. What is wrong? Please help. Thanks

 Posted: 6/17/2011 

I would not have been able to "easily" install this filter with the instructions provided by Hayward. Your step by step details with photos were awesome. They should pay you a comission off what I just paid them!

 Posted: 6/9/2011 

Our sand filter is blowing some sand after we backwash it. It is also blowing back into the pool some of the particles that have gone through the filter system. What in the world do we need to do? The water is clear as crystal.
Mary Harriston


 Posted: 6/7/2011 

We have a sand filter and it seems that half to 2/3 of the sand has gone into the pool. We took the filter apart, checked the laterals and found no holes or cracks. The top section for Filter, backwash, etc. has been replaced by a pool co. (not sure it solved any of the problem). My question is once we put the filter back together and want to clean the sand out of the pool, what settings should be use and for how long to get the sand out?

 Posted: 5/13/2011 

Should the laterals with the downpipe be all the way at the bottom of inside of filter when filling sand or should it be up a few inches from bottom, since it is actually a few inches above bottom when inserted into the valve assembly. ALSO, it appears from all instructions that the top of the lateral downpipe is NOT glued to the valve assembly, it just slips in (correct?).

Anonymous  Posted: 5/10/2011 

does pool filter have to be below water level of pool to function properly

 Posted: 5/3/2011 




Anonymous  Posted: 5/1/2011 

what size sand filter do you install for a 12,500 gallon fiberglass pool...?

 Posted: 4/14/2011 

What is the normal psi for an above ground 18' pool?

 Posted: 4/12/2011 

What is the normal psi for an above ground 24' pool without algae?

 Posted: 4/9/2011 

can you tell me what the right pressure reading should be?

 Posted: 4/2/2011 

Thanks for the detailed info. The instructions that came with my Hayward pump were not too good.

Anonymous  Posted: 3/26/2011 

was given a disassembled used sand filter...soo info helped alot. thanks

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/21/2011 

You should leave a minimum of 6" space between the top of the sand and top of the tank. A couple of inches more space is all right. 3 bags is the recommended amount for the Hayward S180T filter. Other size filters will take more or less sand.

 Posted: 3/19/2011 

I put in the recommended amount of sand (300#), but it didn't come to within 6in of the that OK?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/6/2010 

We know of no unique unions that connect directly to the multiport valve. The multiport valve will install on a DE pool filter much like the Sand Pool Filter with short pipes and standard unions.

 Posted: 10/4/2010 

Thanks for the helpful information. Is a DE filter connected in a similar manner adding unions? Are there unions that can be connected directly to the multiport valve? Thanks.

 Posted: 6/28/2010 

thank you very much. very helpful

 Posted: 6/6/2010 

Pool Sand Filter pictures and info were very, very helpful and precise. Everything went as should! Thank you!!!

 Posted: 5/25/2010 

thank you very much for this informations ,helped me a lot to set up my sand filter ,