Why There’s Sand in Your Pool and How to Get it Out
The only place sand is welcome is on a beach. When you find it on the bottom of your pool, the first question is, “Where did it come from?” The best way to get the sand out of your pool will depend on the answer to that question.
Why is Sand in My Pool?
If there is sand in your pool, there are three possible reasons why:
- It was carried there by the wind. Sand particles can travel hundreds of miles. If your pool only has a little bit of sand in it, this may be the reason.
- Your pool’s sand filter has cracked or broken components. If you have a sand filter, it is the first thing you should check when you find sand in your pool. The sand in your pool will keep piling up if the standpipe or laterals in your sand filter are broken.
- It isn’t actually sand. Yellow pool algae, or mustard algae, is often mistaken for sand. You can do a simple test to find out if it’s algae or sand in your pool: brush your foot or hand against the “sand.” If it forms a thick cloud around your foot or hand, then it isn’t sand; it’s mustard algae.
How Do I Get Rid of Sand in My Pool?
If you’ve concluded that the sand in your pool was carried in by the wind, removing it will be simple. Use your pool brush to sweep it into a pile, then use your pool vacuum to suck it up. Also, set the multiport valve on your pool filter to “Filter” and run it until the sand is gone.
Dealing with a Faulty Sand Filter
If you’ve discovered that the sand filter in your pool is the culprit, you will need to fix the filter first.
There are two components in your sand filter that may be causing sand to get into your pool: the standpipe or laterals. The standpipe is a strong plastic tube that runs through the sand in your filter. The laterals are attached to the standpipe at the bottom of your filter. Their job is to act as a sieve preventing the sand and other contaminants from leaving while allowing water to pass through. Natural wear and tear can damage these components over time. If the standpipe or one of the laterals is broken, take apart the pool filter like you would when you clean it. Then replace the damaged piece and put it back together. If you need help tracking down a part, or repairing your sand filter, reach out to a pool expert like our team at PoolWorks!
Once the pool filter has been repaired, follow these four steps:
- Sweep all the sand into one place using a pool brush.
- Run your filter with the multiport valve on “Filter.”
- Use your pool vacuum to manually suck up sand that isn’t caught by the filter.
- Test your pool water, balance it, and add chemicals as needed.
Removing Mustard Algae
If the “sand” in your pool is actually mustard algae, the process for removing it will be very different than the last two. Mustard algae can survive on bathing suits, pool toys, and pool equipment. You will need to clean all of these along with your pool to get rid of this algae. Start by following these six steps.
- Clean all your pool equipment, pool toys, bathing suits, and anything else that goes into your pool—wash bathing suits with color-safe bleach. Use a chlorine-based cleaner for your pool toys and equipment. (Avoid using actual bleach since it can damage pool toys and equipment.)
- Consolidate pool equipment that is too bulky to move or large to hand-clean in the shallow end of your pool.
- Brush the sides of your pool with an algae brush, and then vacuum the bottom and sides of your pool. This will loosen and remove as much algae as possible. (Before you start this process, set your pool filter to “Waste.” Yellow algae can thrive in your pool filter, which is why it’s best to set it on “Waste” instead of “Backwash.” Add fresh water to your pool if the water level dips down after running your filter on waste.)
- Test your pool water and balance it before shocking your pool. For pool shock to be most effective, the water’s pH level should be between 7.4 and 7.6. The total alkalinity should be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm.
- Triple shock your pool. Mustard algae is chlorine resistant. To get rid of it, you need to use a potent dose of pool shock. We recommend three pounds of pool shock per 10,000 gallons of water. It’s best to shock your pool at dusk or later in the evening. Turn your filter on and let it run for at least 24 hours.
- Repeat steps 3 through 5 until all the yellow algae in your pool is gone.
The key to a healthy pool is to pay attention and be proactive when you notice something is off. Sand doesn’t belong in your pool. If you see sand in your pool, take the time to figure out how it got in and solve the problem. If you need help, call a professional! The pool experts at PoolWorks are here to serve you. We work with pool owners throughout Lakeland, Florida, and the surrounding area.